Saturday night in Athens is a great place to be when the Dawgs are winning. When you can gather with 92,746 fans to watch a football game you have to feel like you are a really lucky guy or gal.
This past Saturday night was no different. The South Carolina Gamecocks came to call, and the Dawgs were ready for a defensive battle.
Funny thing happened on the way to that defensive battle.
South Carolina was coming off a 7-3 win over NC State, while the Dawgs limped back to Athens after losing to Oklahoma State, 24-10.
Both teams appeared to have many question marks on offense. The defenses looked pretty solid for both teams. So how on Earth did these two teams put up a total of 78 points?
That, my friend, is why we love college football. What appears to be a weakness one week can turn into a strength the next.
An underachieving player last week all of a sudden comes up big when his team needs him most. The roar of the home crowd sparks the defense. It happens every week.
I was proud to be part of the Sanford Stadium crowd on Saturday night. Sometimes we forget just how loud that place can be.
The crowd is a great barometer. You can always tell when the home team is doing well, or when the officials make a bad call.
Is it just me or does it seem like the officials are calling anything and everything these days?
The student section was tremendous Saturday night. They were loud from the opening kickoff. Oh, to be young again.
In the fourth quarter, as the Gamecocks looked to steal a victory, the noise became deafening. When Rennie Curran deflected Steven Garcia’s final pass, it felt as though the stadium shook.
It was great to be a Georgia Bulldog as time expired.
I stated last week in my preview of the game ("Georgia Looks to Get Offensive"), that I believed Joe Cox, take two, would be much better.
I was quick to point out that I did not think Joe C would set the world on fire against the Gamecocks. But I did believe that Cox would lead the team, make some plays, and limit the mistakes.
Yes, he did throw a pick six that sure made things interesting. But he also completed 70 percent of his passes and threw for two touchdowns.
AJ Green gave Joe a great target to throw to. Richard Samuel kept the Gamecocks honest with 65 hard yards on the ground. The offensive line played much better in my opinion, but I still think they can play better.
When all was said and done, it was a solid performance from Joe C and the offense.
Take two was indeed much improved. Let’s hope take three is even better.
Seldom have I had to watch a game while ignoring a drunk. But Saturday night also seems to bring out the worst in people.
To make matters worse, the drunk just happened to be a Gamecocks fan. This is no reflection on the fans that came down to Athens from Columbia. I’m sure there were many drunk Dawg fans in attendance as well.
This drunk also just happened to be a 20-something young woman. Sad that this is how she chose to spend her pregame.
I tried to watch the game as I dodged her feet when she jumped up and down. I had to duck when she was swinging her arms wildly, cheering for her team. I had to hold my breath when she would turn to me and ask repeatedly, “Do you mind if we cheer for the Cocks?” Or, “You can talk smack to us, we don’t care.”
No, I don’t want to talk smack. I just want to watch the game.
These and other morsels were repeated no less than 50 to 100 times in the first quarter alone.
Thankfully as the game progressed she slowly started to sober up. We found out that she had been in South Carolina for a year, and she was originally from New York.
Apparently she couldn’t count while drunk. She also asked repeatedly how many scores they were down when the Gamecocks trailed 38-23.
Her friends apologized repeatedly. She cussed Steve Spurrier like a sailor. What a lovely girl.
I sat in someone else’s seats for this game. That was a bad decision. When Arizona State comes to town in two weeks, I will be back in my own seats.