Congratulations to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. They did what many believed they would not do. Despite their offense not firing on all cylinders, they managed to come up with the big plays when they needed them.
Georgia on the other hand could not.
After a great opening drive to start the game, the Dawg's offense vanished in front of 50,000 plus in Stillwater.
Obviously as a Dawg fan I am very disappointed at the outcome of Saturday's game. I felt the Dawgs came out ready to play, and the first drive of the game seemed to indicate just that.
But as the first half closed, it was OSU who welcomed momentum to their sideline, and that is where it would stay.
Three big plays helped seal the deal for the Cowboys, and in turn seal the fate of Joe Cox and the Bulldogs.
1) Zac Robinson to Dez Bryant for 46 yards and a TD.
To this point Georgia's defense had pretty much held this duo in check. Dez Bryant had taken a wicked hit on the side line from Georgia safety Brian Evans, and seemed to be out of rhythm.
Trash talking seemed to be a part of each encounter these two had. But it would be Bryant who delivered the biggest blow. The All Big 12 conference wide out would get past Evans and make a diving catch for the TD.
Score tied 7-7.
The OSU offense never really seemed to get on track as they have in the past. But they delivered when they needed to.
2) Carlton Thomas fumbling late in the first half, and deep in Georgia territory.
So the Dawgs now need to answer. But Georgia would have to start deep in their own territory. Needing a few first downs, they instead made their first big mistake. Carlton Thomas looked for a couple of yards up the middle, but his run came to an abrupt halt. A hard hit from a OSU defensive player, popped the ball loose and onto the ground.
OSU recovered.The Dawgs defense would step up, and with their backs to their own goal line they managed to hold the Cowboys to a field goal.
Bad way to end the half, but it could have been much worse.
3) Perrish Cox returns the opening kick off in the second half 81 yards.
To me this play really set the tone for the second half. Georgia was looking to come out and regain control. But Perrish Cox would have none of that. He exploded up the middle of the field for 81 yards.
Seconds into the half and the crowd is smelling blood.
Zac Robinson would sneak in for a TD minutes later, and suddenly the Cowboys are up by 10.
Game over? It shouldn't have been. The Dawgs had plenty of time to regroup and get back into the game, but it was not to be.
Penalties and inconsistent play plagued Georgia through out the second half. A long punt return by Prince Miller was called back. A questionable (in my opinion) roughing call on Reshad Jones gave OSU a first down late as well. But it would be mistakes, bad decisions by Joe Cox and turnovers that would do the Dawgs in on this Saturday in Stillwater.
Credit has to go to the Cowboys defense. They certainly stepped up in this game when their offense struggled at times. If someone had told me that Zac Robinson would have only thrown for 135 yards, or that Kendall Hunter would only have 75 yards rushing, and that Dez Bryant would be held to three catches for 77 yards...I would have bet the farm on Georgia.
But as I stated earlier, while not as explosive as they were last year, they made the plays when they needed to.
Georgia will have to regroup in a hurry. South Carolina and Steve Spurrier come to Athens on Saturday. SEC play is here, so it won't get any easier.
Hopefully Joe Cox will improve, Richard Samuel will keep running hard, and the defense will step up as they did this past week.
One game does not a season make...for that I am thankful.