Saban later admitted he anxious about his team’s body language during pregame warmups.
However bad it was on national television, I assure you, it was worse in living color. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie of Georgia left Saturday’s game after taking a hit while returning a punt in the second quarter.
As much as it pains me to say this, the SEC looks more and more like the National Football League every week. That crowd felt a lot like a few of the crowds I sat in during the Jim Donnan era, and that frustrates me. Despite doing everything they could to hype the game up, Georgia pulled a Georgia and fell apart after against big competition. It never did. We weren’t surprised.
Starter Greyson Lambert was woeful. At one point in the first half the scoreboard noted that Lambert stood at 6 of 10 passing.
“They believe in this team and I believe in this team”. “Those opportunities, there’s not many of them in the game, so you’ve gotta capitalize on that”. And it wasn’t even that close. But Saturday’s performance added a jolt to his confidence as the presumed starter for Alabama’s turnaround. Well, the Crimson Tide’s SEC reign is not quite over yet. “I can’t tell you how proud I am”. Brice Ramsey, the backup, was again deployed on Georgia’s first series of the second half. There’s a happy mean between crippling doubt and “Screw it!”
“They just said, ‘We’re gonna go with you here, ‘” Lambert said.
The only highlight for the home team was Nick Chubb’s 83-yard touchdown run in the waning second of the third quarter. And they did it in all phases of the game. And throwing less than 20% of the pass attempts in those games. His best attribute in this game might be his ability to freeze the Notre Dame defense by being a running threat. Saban made sure to remind everyone there’s “a process”, and that might have been a slip, because of course we all know it’s “The Process”. But he simply can’t be trusted not to turn it over against quality defenses. SEC Player of the Week Florida QB Will Grier completed 24-of-29 passes for 271 yards and four scores in the win over Ole Miss.
The Crimson Tide rose to the 10th spot in the poll after a soggy Saturday showdown with the Bulldogs in Athens, GA. This one is a manhood check for a unit which many, myself included, have lauded as the best in the conference. Alabama imposed its will on the Bulldogs in a game it absolutely had to win, and for at least one night, the Tide resembled the imperial SEC power that’s long defined the Saban era in Tuscaloosa. All of this mattered not one whit. Georgia’s failure to take advantage of a turnover early and a penalty that gave them 1st and goal at the 10 (followed by an 11 man yakety-sax routine resulting in the same 3 points taken off the board after the penalty).
No. 13 Alabama came off the ropes in a big way. All of a sudden, the hot young team with the hot young talent is in massive trouble and in danger of going 2-4 with an angry Georgia up next. It’s a tale as old as time.
Defensively, Georgia couldn’t push Alabama’s offensive line if they were driving bulldozers. An 0-2 league start would have all but eliminated the Tide from playoff consideration.
The pass protection was actually pretty good for Georgia at the outset of the game. Florida, LSU and Texas A&M remain the lone undefeated teams, and would you really feel confident picking any of those three into an SEC title game, much less a playoff?
No, I didn’t copy-and-paste scores from above – the same beatdown that took place at The Swamp happened between The Hedges in Georgia.
That was the moment that made droves of Georgia fans make the sad walk in the rain out of Sanford, cursing both Nick Saban and Mark Richt.