Another blown opportunity. Another game in which Auburn takes control and imposes its will on the opposition early on, only to give it away with turnovers, inopportune penalties, and the inability to take away the run.
-What a tremendous atmosphere in Athens. The UGA fans were mild and tolerable as they've been humbled rather frequently this year. No grown men barking at me, hiking up a leg to mock piss on me as I had remembered as a player in trips to Georgia. No, I believe their fans came away in utter shock at rallying to win a game. At least the one's we were around.
-It's a shame Todd had the two INT's because, other than that, he was fairly sharp. The last INT was an obvious miscommunication as Adams broke towards the sideline and Todd threw it to the center of the field. That set up UGA's go ahead score, another team capitalizing on our mistakes.
-The inability to get Ben Tate off and running successfully was disappointing, especially given the early success through the air. This was one of the only games I can recall seeing Ben tackled on numerous occasions by one defender. I also believe McCalebb was about 75% on the ankle, which did not provide the shock value his speed gives the opposition's defenders when he's healthy, only allowing Ben more room to run.
-The turning point in the game, in my eyes, was the loss of Eltoro Freeman. With Freeman out, freshman Johnathan Evans stepped in and the Georgia running game found it's footing. Prior to Freeman's departure, the only real Georgia offense game from bombs down the sideline with Neiko Thorpe defending.
-The injury to Rambo on our last drive ended up greatly benefiting the bulldogs... preserving the win. How? Because it gave Georgia's defensive line a much valued needed rest...probably 15 minutes worth. The next play...Todd gets sacked. On fourth down, again, Todd under enormous pressure and must throw the ball very early. Adams has no chance to get in "jump ball" position.
-Two most costly plays of the game: 1. Fannin dropping pass at the goalline. It would have been a tremendously difficult catch, but it was open and Todd delivered a beauty. Auburn wins if Mario comes down with the catch. 2. Burns illegal motion penalty in which he completed a long pass down the AU sideline. It turned out to be a 40 yard penalty and would have resulted in Auburn points.
-The "you've gotta be kidding me, did he just do that AGAIN?!" moment: You guessed it...final drive, Auburn down 7, Auburn driving..."False start. Number 73, offense, five yard penalty." I understand how it happens...he's on an island, isolated...blocking a speed rusher without the ability to hear the quarterbacks cadence (particularly on the road). So he moves when the defensive end moves. But, only the defensive end didn't move and Ziemba put us in a hole to climb out of...again!
-The "you've gotta be kidding me, did he just do that?! moment of bliss: Demond Washington racing 99 yards on the KO return to tie the game. Moment of pure grandeur! The UGA fan beside Dr. Z tried to dampen the moment with his farcical claims of AU holding, but he couldn't contain our celebration!! Another moment I thought, "We win! They can't overcome that!"
Depth reared it's ugly head in this one defensively. If we stop the run and don't turn the ball over we win going away. It's a could have been, should have been sort of year, but I still feel we're light years from where we were last season, and where we were projected to be this season. Better beat us this year while you can, because Auburn's on the rise and championships are on the horizon. In the words of Coach Tuberville, "And you can write that down!" I just did!