Posted: 9:14 pm Saturday, September 30th, 2017
By Jay Black
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Raise your hand if you saw this one coming?
Ok, all the liars put their hands down now. Anybody else?
We can pretty much say now that there are three outcomes for the 2017 Georgia football team: It’s going to be a great season (winning the SEC East), it’s going to be a special season (playoffs), or there is going to be some soul crushing agony on the way (a catastrophic upset).
There’s really no in between at this point.
For those that were tired of Georgia being mediocre and those bored with 8-4 and 9-3 records, you will not have to worry about that this year. Unless, maybe eight defensive starters tear their ACLs in the next two weeks.
If you’re trying to contain yourself, you can make the argument that Mississippi State was way overrated (and by proxy, LSU is going to need another coach) and that Tennessee is in deep trouble.
But OMG this defense is so good.
41-0? In Knoxville? Are you serious?
“They are buying into the culture of toughness and effort,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said on WSB. “Running to the ball and running the ball on offense.”
That’s the formula and it is working. It might be the 1980s formula, but retro is chic right now. This was a win from the Dooley days. Georgia enjoyed its biggest victory over Tennessee since a 44-0 whoopin in 1981. That was also the last time UGA blanked UT.
To make it even better, this is the first time anybody shutout the Vols since Steve Spurrier’s Gators in 1994.
“To do that to an SEC team and a great team like Tennessee is an amazing feeling,” said safety J.R. Reed. “And to get that goose egg at their place is amazing.”
Yes J.R. this was amazing, but points off for not finding another adjective. It’s about the only thing he or his defense did wrong this afternoon.
Georgia’s defense was so dominant the Volunteers punted more times than the UT band played Rocky Top.
And for this we are all grateful.
This is – for my money – the loudest stadium in the SEC and for one quarter it was an issue. But in the second half, the loudest sound you heard was Big Orange booing their coach and their team.
Did I mention, it was a 41-0 shutout?
“It wasn’t expected,” said running back Sony Michel. “But eventually I knew it was going to get out of control because our defense was so passionate about getting the offense the ball back.”
UGA’s offense rushed for 294 and gave up 62 on the ground. What more do you need to know? Except maybe that it had seven rushing yards in the first quarter.
There was a time when this thing was sort of teetering. Tennessee couldn’t do anything, but really neither could the Dawgs. They scored twice but had terrific field position to do it.
Enter Nick Chubb. The senior broke off three big runs in the second quarter to make it 17-0, the bus driver was looking for his keys. Chubb’s 20th career 100 yard rushing game moves him into the top 10 in SEC history for career rushing yards.
“They kept grinding,” said Smart. “It wasn’t there early but they kept grinding. It’s hard to run the ball in this league.”
If you are picking nits, you could say that Jake Fromm played the role of freshman in Neyland Stadium to perfection. 7-for-15 for 84 yards and an interception isn’t exactly ideal, but he proved he is capable of running the football.
And besides who cares. It’s 41-0 over Tennessee. All is quiet at Neyland Stadium. For once.
“To see these kids have success after as hard as they work, it means so much,” said Kirby Smart. “For that 12 hour window you get to enjoy it a little bit.”
None of these UGA players were alive when Tennessee got beat this bad, nor were they alive when Tennessee failed to score a point in a college football game.
It’s a night few will forget. But if this keeps up, this generation of Bulldogs and their fans will have something to really remember.