For the first time in over a decade, the Bulldogs trudged into the half trailing by more than 30 points, caked in mud, sweat, despair and with an upset looming over their heads.
They became further handicapped as the game progressed when an injured wrist on a 6 yard run early in the third quarter left star running back Knoshown Moreno immobilized and in agony.
With an injured Knoshown Moreno and a nonexistent ground game, Georgia heavily relied on offense through the air and Bama knew it, their task was revealed.
Climbing from the realm of an insurmountable lead, the Bulldogs came close but tumbled in the 4th quarter unable to convert the big play.
Prince Miller's inspirational 92 yard punt return at the beginning of the 4th quarter trimmed the deficit to 31-17. With every step the return man took he em-blazed his team's sideline and amplified the cheer, the school spirit, and the hope in the voices of the 70,000+ that lined the stadium like a can of sardines.
The Crimson-Tide responded calmly by driving down the field and settling for a field goal, which pushed the lead back to a three possession lead 34-17, eclipsing the victory for #8 ranked Bama.
The Bulldogs' first drive of the 4th quarter proved to be the deciding factor in the contest. With 9:38 remaining and several yards past their original line of scrimmage from which their drive began, Matthew Stanford untimely under threw wide receiver Muhammad Massaquoi, a duck of a throw almost falling into the hands of Bama safety Rashad Johnson. Georgia once again managed to survive mental miscues and continued to plow through Bama territory.
However their offense was once again stalled and they ran into more trouble again. The Bulldogs faced 4th-and-18 if they wanted to extend any chance of a comeback win. It almost came to pass but wideout A.J. Green's first down reception, was nullified after freshmen Ben Jones was flagged for holding. At 4th-and-28, Stafford snapped the ball, was chased out of the pocket, and sent the ball into the turf, yards in front of an outstretched A.J. Green, wiping away all thoughts of the greatest comeback in College Football this season.
Quarterback Matthew Stanford finished the game with 24-42 274 yards 2 TD and 1 INT, and Knoshown Moreno dismally concluded his night with 9 carries for 34 yards and 1 TD.
The Big Picture: Georgia's receiving core faltered in the final quarter with 3 drops on their first possession of the fourth with two by 5th string wideoutMicheal Moore, including a catch deep inside the ten yard line which would'vesaved them from their doom. Georgia had 4 drops in the 4th, contributing to their demise.
Clutch Player: Bama halfback Roy Upchuck rose as the clutch player of the 4th quarter, stomping on the necks of the Bulldogs defense. Along with his rushing touchdown in the first half, Upchuck had significant 2 catches in the 4th totaling 51 yards. The first came aroundthe 13:00 mark on a 2nd-and-5 play GA's 42.
Foreseeing pain in his future, John Parker Wilson remained stationary in the pocket and threw a dump-off towards the sideline to Roy. From there the junior executed a nifty move on Linebacker Akeem Dent, propelling him 22 yards downfield and down to the Georgia 20 yard line, which led to the field goal that pushed the lead further out of reach of the opposition.
The second reception came with 6:13 remaining, and leeched the life out of the brigade sporting red, white, and bone emblem apparel. Wilson again sensing the pressure slung it out to the playmaker and in efforts of deja-vu, he once again delivered calf-shattering move, that sent a Georgia defender to the ground and him to the Bulldogs' 13 yard line, 29 yards later.
Georgia's next 5 games aren't exactly the component of cakewalks with the Volunteers, Vanderbuilt, LSU, and Tim Tebow and the Gators approaching, will truly test their team character.
With the win the Crimson-Tide improve to 5-0 (3-0 in SEC) will undoubtedly jump up the ladder in the Polls and the Bulldogs suffer their first loss of the season and fall to 4-1, sliding (2-1 in SEC), perhaps out of the Top 5 and near spots #7-10.
Bulldog fans, the time is now to vent your frustration.