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Whoa, Nellie! Lookout, Dawgs! It's a stampede!
Please note that no Dawgs were hurt during the making of this picture. Colorado brought their 900 pound buffalo mascot, Ralphie IV, to Athens to lead the team onto the field. (Ralphie IV, by the way, was donated to Colorado by Ted Turner.) Earlier this week UGA athletic marketing director John Bateman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "It's David and Goliath. But what's that old saying, 'It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog'?"
Bulldogs, by the way, were originally bred for -- what else? -- fighting bulls. Ralphie IV, however, is not a bull but a female buffalo. That should have been our first clue that we were in trouble.
We played like we didn't understand the game for 3 quarters, only to pull it together in the final 10 minutes of play for the victory. The entire game was a demonstration in coaching: be Dan Hawkins' play selection and execution in the 1st half, be Mark Richt's strategic determination in the 4th quarter. (Just plain be somewhere else for the third quarter.)
Colorado's excellent ball fakes kept our undisciplined defense confused. Meanwhile our offense decided to go pass-happy with our true freshman quarterback, ignoring the 3 talented runners that have won us the last 3 games. (I call this Tommy Tuberville Syndome after Auburn's similar bizarre and losing strategy with Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown three years ago.)
I should have taken a picture of the guy who sits next to me. He looked like he was going to have a stroke for the final hour of the game.
In the end, we won. And it was exciting. But I don't exactly want to go through this every week.