But before I submit myself to this exercise it is only right that I enter into it prepared and ready to gain something from the experience. I'm six months removed from my seat in the Georgia Dome where Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon continually ran roughshod over our defense, play after play after play. If the team is being asked to learn from their mistakes before moving forward, it is only fair that I do the same. Or some semblance of it with a keyboard. So here are my raw and unfiltered thoughts of the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs.
|Highpoint of the hysteria. Then, wtf? (Dale Zanine USA Today)|
- My lasting memory of this game will always be of the players reacting after the ball was tipped and time expired. How could it not be? But Lacy and Yeldon getting into the secondary on what seemed to be each and every snap was what lost the game for Georgia. My guess is that when I rewatch it I'll see a mixture of tired bodies, coaches getting out-schemed and a defensive line getting flat out trucked. Repeatedly. Especially as the game wore on into the fourth quarter.
- We led 21-10 midway through the 3rd quarter and really seemed to have our legs under us. But Alabama scored on three of its next five possessions, all touchdowns. Meanwhile, we only managed 82 yards after Gurley's 3rd quarter touchdown gave us the lead and before the last drive that ended the game. The second half gave us the ball six times and half of those were three and outs.
- Offensive and defensive ineffectiveness aside, how good were the special teams? There were a good number of punts, especially early on. Lot of opportunities to impact field position and consequently the scoreboard. My memory doesn't serve me well enough here to give a grade overall, but I wonder what it'll be after watching again.
- The last drive. Murray and Co. flew down the field with precision, albeit after a lengthy review of an overturned interception. Eight plays and 81 yards. I'm curious to see the playcalling that led to this explosion as compared to the two series that preceded it (six plays, 1 yard and two punts). The clock certainly dictated we had to go pass heavy on the final drive. Perhaps we should've done more of that earlier on.
- The last play. I've accepted and sided with Richt's explanation. I've held to the notion that spiking the ball wouldn't have made a difference in numerous blog posts and countless conversations since December 1st, 2012. I've even suggested that had the pass not been tipped or if it had fallen innocently to the turf, we would've won the game. Granted, I've seen the play on highlight reels and replays many times since then. But once I re-immerse myself, will I still feel the same?
- Overall, even now as I sit here having read the drive charts and a write up or two from early December, I surmise that the Georgia Bulldogs lost this game as a team. The defense can't be blamed for the
sputteringstagnant offense when first downs and yardage became the clear objective to winning the game. And the offense can't be blamed for treating Bama's backs like bulls in a Barcelona arena.