Let’s play a game. Answer the following multiple choice question:
Why did Georgia lose the game Saturday?
A) The tipped pass that was caught on Auburn’s last play of the game
B) The offense not playing well in the first half
C) The defense sucking
D) All of the above
There are two answers to this question. The correct answer, for which you will receive full credit, is “A”. If you answered “D”, then you will only get partial credit. Georgia lost the game because Ricardo Louis caught a deflected pass that fell in his hands perfectly in stride. That was the winning play. Now, all the other things were a factor, but not the reason. Becuase if Georgia had won the game, we’d all be grumbling about it but be glad we won. Why should one play, that 999/1,000 times fall to the turf, change the narrative.
The narrative of the game should be this: Georgia dug themselves in a deep hole, mostly through their own fault but with some help from the refs. Through good fortune and tough play, the Dawgs were able to come back and take the lead thanks to gutsy play from Aaron Murray. The Dawgs then lost on a fluke, Hail Mary play.
All this isn’t to give the coaches, specifically Todd Grantham, a pass or free ride. I certainly will get to Grantham later this week or after the season. The defense has been worse than bad. But, that is a 30,000 foot view.
I agree to an extent with what my counterpart Lugnut Dawg said in an earlier post about stop blaming bad luck as an excuse, but it is not that simple. Folks love to point fingers and assess blame to someone.
There are dozens of big plays that change the narrative. Belue to Scott. Johnson’s TD catch against Auburn in 2002. A.J. Green blocking a game winning field goal against AZ State in 2009. David Pollack’s INT against South Carolina in 2002.
Just think if Pollack hadn’t made that very lucky play then. That was a lucky play. We don’t talk about how bad the offense was, or that the vaunted defense that season let South Carolina drive the length of the field before fumbling the last play of the game. The big play by Pollack is what won the game.
Against Alabama in 2007, the thrilling OT victory and Stafford hitting Mikey Henderson on the first OT play is what we remember. We don’t remember how Alabama was down 10 points in the 4th quarter and came back to tie it.
There will be plenty of time to pick apart what went wrong. But in the end, shit happens. Sometimes the lucky plays go your way. Sometimes they don’t.