12/2/17 7:30 pm
Revenge in the Benz
By: Joshua Grosh
It started with a defense on the ropes, and ended with a defense smothering and an offense on fire. It is the perfect ending to the revenge tour – the revenge over the only team to beat UGA in 2017. We took redemption against Tennessee, we redeemed ourselves against Vanderbilt, we avenged the pains of Florida, we had retribution against Georgia Tech, and now, revenge against Auburn in what could be remembered as “Revenge in the Benz.”
There is no denying this, Georgia was fighting Auburn and the referees at many portions of this game – and at some points, Georgia benefitted from the referees. Even worse, initially Georgia continued to shoot themselves in the foot to keep Auburn drives alive – yet the Georgia defense stood tall each and every time. But what made this game different from the first? How did Georgia turn this around for such a colossal win? Well, a few reasons. First and foremost, Kerryon Johnson was stopped – at least partially due to his injury undoubtedly – by Georgia’s defense who beat Auburn at the line of scrimmage. Secondly, Georgia refused to concede the edge to Auburn. Multiple times Auburn continued to try to go to the edge with wide receiver screens, sweeps, and etc, but Georgia was always there to snuff it out – in fact, sadly, Georgia gave up a big play because they took away the screen and the WR adjusted and moved outwards to get a completion. It contained Auburn and forced Auburn to burn Georgia deep – which they simply couldn’t as it became increasingly apparent that Johnson could not stay in the game. Thirdly, the offensive line played its heart out. They would not be blown up at the line as the game wore on – initially they were getting beat by Auburn’s defensive line. The ability to push the line of scrimmage or just hold the pocket helped Fromm to build up his confidence and ultimately set the tone for the future. Then, finally, Roquan Smith. He finished the game with 13 tackles, 10 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for a loss, two QB hurries, and two fumble recoveries. He played out of his mind and deserves every bit of the MVP award for this game.
Tonight, was a statement win, rather some want to identify it tonight. If you look at the score, you may think it was just a decent blowout that got away from Auburn – but if you watched the game, Georgia felt in control of this game. The defense shut the door on Auburn after their first drive rarely allowing Auburn even near striking distance outside of two drives which ended in an Auburn fumble and a blocked field goal. Georgia would not let Auburn gain the momentum outside of the first drive and gave Georgia’s offense time to finally break through and get warmed up.
In the end, Georgia won and now continues the revenge tour. In this win, Georgia won its first SEC championship since 2005 and breaks the drought for the SEC East in the championship game – the first time the SEC East has won a SEC title since 2008. This makes Georgia’s 13 SEC championship and ties it for second place in SEC history with Tennessee – note, Georgia has 7 divisional titles to Tennessee’s 6. This leads Georgia to its first playoff berth and a likely match up against Oklahoma – depending on a Miami win/loss and a Wisconsin win/loss.
To wrap it all up…. Go Dawgs!
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