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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Lose to Georgia Bulldogs Again: A Fan’s Reaction
As a Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fan, I was trying to be honest with myself. In my head, I knew the Georgia Bulldogs (10-2, 7-1 SEC) were the odds-on favorite to win this matchup (Nov. 26). But in my heart, I felt if Georgia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) got some breaks that it could pull out the victory in its home stadium.
The breaks fell the Bulldogs' way from the start. With less than 6 minutes to go in the first quarter, University of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray completed an apparent 28-yard pass to wide receiver Tavarres King to the Georgia Tech 30-yard line. But when it was replayed on television, it was clear that King's knee had hit the ground and it should have only been a 15-yard gain. Inexplicably, the referees confirmed the ruling on the field even after reviewing the video. Three plays later, Murray hit wide receiver Michael Bennett for a 15-yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. At that point, I knew the Jackets were going to have a long day.
The bad breaks kept coming. With only seconds remaining in the first half, the Bulldogs quickly lined up for a 41-yard field-goal attempt. Georgia kicker Blair Walsh missed the kick wildly to the left. But the referees had blown the play dead because Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson had cleverly called a timeout to ice the kicker. But the strategy backfired on Johnson, as Walsh successfully split the uprights on his second attempt to give Georgia a 17-10 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs set the tone on the opening play of the second half. They returned the kickoff 60 yards to the Yellow Jackets' 36-yard line. Two plays later, Murray hit tight end Orson Charles for a 28-yard gain. As Charles was going to the ground, he fumbled the ball but it bounced right back to him and the Bulldogs maintained possession. Georgia capitalized on its good fortune, as Murray hit King for a 3-yard touchdown pass on the very next play to make it 24-10. Without the good fortune, the Bulldogs' lead may have only been 14-10 at this point, but unfortunately for Georgia Tech, that's not what happened.
It's hard to beat a good opponent, but it's impossible when the ball bounces their way. Honestly, the Jackets really had no chance to win. They would have needed to play a near-perfect game, which is a tall order for any team. But on this day, the better team won, and I give the Bulldogs credit for that.
In a surprise bright spot for Georgia Tech, backup quarterback Synjyn Days provided a fourth-quarter spark to the offense. He drove the Jackets for a late touchdown to close the gap to 14 points (31-17).
After this disappointing loss, Georgia Tech needs to focus on its final game of the year. If the Yellow Jackets can win their bowl game, they will have nine wins in a season for the third time in four years under coach Johnson. I would consider that a successful season.
Joe is a life-long Georgia Tech fan. He is a former Atlanta resident currently living in South Florida.
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ESPN Telecast, Nov. 26
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