I have mixed feelings about Georgia’s 27-6 victory over Auburn Saturday in Athens. It has me loving the Dawgs but hating a lot of Dawg fans.
On the one hand, the Dawgs whipped the dog crap out of Auburn, as Tigers coach Gus Malzahn would say. In retrospect, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Georgia has won the last four meetings and 13 of the last 16. As Georgia fan Andrew Hall said on Twitter, this wasn’t a competitive game because it’s not a competitive series.
The big takeaway is that Stetson Bennett IV is your new QB1. The former walk-on passed for 240 yards and a touchdown and completed 60% of his passes. Kearis Jackson was a particularly effective target, hauling in nine catches for 147 yards. Bennett left some plays out there on the field, but he was solid enough to put away any doubt that he’s our starter. It’s a meteoric rise for a dude who walked on, transferred to a junior college to get playing time, transferred back and began the preseason as the fifth-string quarterback.
The game was won in the trenches, both offensively and defensively. The offensive line wasn’t up to the standard we’ve come to expect last week against Arkansas, but something clicked this week. The Georgia line bullied Auburn’s defensive front and allowed us to rack up 202 rushing yards and two rushing scores, both from Zamir White.
Georgia’s defensive front was just as dominant, limiting the Auburn run game to just 39 yards on 22 carries. The edge rushers also made life hell for Tigers quarterback Bo Nix, who wasn’t able to get comfortable in the pocket all night. The Dawgs finished the game with three sacks, one from Azeez Ojulari and two from Adam Anderson. Nix will have Dawgs chasing him in his dreams for the next week.
On the other hand, Georgia fans look like a bunch of idiots right now. The announced attendance was 20,524, but it seemed like a lot more. Perhaps that’s because, from my view on the couch, it seemed like the fans were concentrated in the lower bowl instead of evenly dispersed throughout all three tiers of the stadium.
I don’t know whether the folks who went to the game don’t believe in COVID, believe themselves impervious to the virus or think that some social distancing makes them safe, not just safer. But we’re a laughing stock to pretty much anyone with a brain.
The crowd shots shown during the broadcast were not flattering. It didn’t appear that social distancing was being followed, and there was nary a mask in sight. To be fair, some folks at the game said that camera angles were making it seem like fans were closer together than they actually were, and that there were more folks in masks than what was shown on television.
This may well be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that NO ONE SHOULD BE AT THE GAME. The dearth of social distancing and masks were concentrated in the student section, but I have a hard time blaming them. They’re only a step up from children and have essentially been told, if they want to go to Georgia, they’re gonna get COVID. But others in that stadium were adults with fully developed brains. There are no excuses for them. Be better and sit your ass at home.
Nor is there an excuse for UGA President Jere Morehead, Athletic Director Greg McGarity, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey or NCAA President Mark Emmert, the real villains in this story. They’re the folks with the actual power to keep people from the games, and they all lacked the courage or intelligence to say this shouldn’t happen. I’m really going to try not to be a scold about COVID stuff this entire season. I tire of it as much as anyone else. Dawg fans are my people. Folks I know and love were at Sanford on Saturday night. I don’t want to have to talk smack about them. I’d much rather spend my time crapping on Auburn, Tennessee or Florida. But when I see a smartass wearing a dog cone instead of a mask during a pandemic, I understand why the rest of the world thinks we’re all slack-jawed cretins.
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