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This Georgia Team Has a Chance to Be Legends

Orange Bowl down, one more to go. Credit: Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics

It’s happening.

This season has only ever been about one game. Hell, the entire Kirby Smart Era of UGA football has only ever been about one game: Georgia vs. Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game next Monday in Indianapolis. It was always coming down to this.

You’ll recall a month ago when the Tide smoked the Dawgs 41-24 in the SEC Championship Game. That was both Georgia’s worst performance of the season and Alabama’s best. Unless Kirby learned nothing in the last month—a non-zero chance—this game will shake out differently, for good or ill.

There isn’t much left to say about the actual matchup other than, “Let’s just do it and be legends.”

Stetson Bennett IV, my dear Stetty boy, you’ve gotten more hate this season than anyone in your spot deserves, especially considering how well you’ve played. But today is the day you prove those bitches wrong, and those bitches include me. I wouldn’t have picked you as my quarterback to start the season or in any game since. I’m ride-or-die with you for the next one, though. I still don’t know if you can win us the national championship, but if you do, I’ll know you earned it.

JT Daniels, you better be ready if Bennett gets injured or things go south. Backups have become heroes in Georgia-Alabama games before, and it could happen again.

Jordan Davis, we love you, man. I don’t think I’ve seen a more beloved Dawg in my time as a fan. You weren’t up to your standard in the SEC Championship Game, but now you have another crack at it. Have a big game and come away with a win, and you may go down as the most beloved Dawg of all time.

Nakobe Dean, I didn’t think I would ever see another linebacker at Georgia who moved the way Roquan Smith moved, but here we are. The performance of the defense as a unit overshadowed your individual dominance this season, which is unfortunate, because you’re the best linebacker in college football.

The rest of the defense, y’all were being talked about as one of the best defenses of all time before the SEC Championship Game. Don’t let one bad game ruin that. You got a mulligan—a second chance at life. Make the most of it. And, by god, get to Bryce Young and put his ass on the turf.

Brock Bowers, not since Herschel Walker has “My God, a freshman!” felt so apt. For years, Dawg fans talked about getting the tight ends more involved. You show up, and we’ve got the best in college football. You’re a matchup nightmare, a game-changer, and we’ll need you in this one.

Running backs, you did not cover yourselves in glory last time against the Tide. Hell, this whole season has been a subpar performance as far as Georgia rushers go. But none of that matters if you show up in Indy and establish the ground game. Make those dudes respect you.

Dan Lanning, you have one game left before you bolt for Oregon. You’ve earned the shot. When we face your Ducks to open next season, I hope you get the warm reception a national championship-winning former coordinator deserves.

Will Muschamp, we have a strange relationship with you, my dude. Your “Agent Muschamp” years at South Caroline and Florida were at the same time hilarious and infuriating from a Georgia perspective. But you’ve returned home. There is little ill will left between you and Bulldog Nation. All you need now is that national title to have your DGD status fully reinstated.

Kirby, you’ve brought this program a long way in six short years. You turned us from a program everyone said should compete for national titles to a program that does just that on a regular basis. Now it’s time to take the final step and win the big one. As a bonus, you get the chance to kick Nick Saban’s ass and end this “master vs. student” narrative once and for all. We’re ready to put up your statue, Kirb. All you’ve got to do first is win the game.

Just do it and be legends.