Showing 1 - 9 of 9 posts found matching keyword: vanderbilt

Today was the 100th annual Georgia Homecoming football game. As is often the case, it was against Vanderbilt, who played UGA in the very first homecoming game on November 18, 1922. As is often the case, the Bulldogs won big. (To be fair, Vandy won 12-0 in 1922, and went on to finish the season undefeated, their second undefeated season in a row. Obviously, 1922 was a different time.)

Vanderbilt 0, UGA 55

Despite the score, I had a lot more fun this week, in part because the Dawgs scored early (and often), in part because Mom came with me, and in part because we arrived a hour before kickoff and got to watch plenty of Homecoming pomp.

One thing worth documenting: As I've mentioned before, UGA has replaced paper tickets with e-tickets, accessible only on smartphones. I had both tickets on my phone, and both had to be scanned for Mom and me to enter the stadium. However, after scanning the first ticket, my phone received a text notification... which temporarily locked out the ticket app. Oops! It was no big deal at the time — we were, in fact, the only people in our line — but this presages potential trouble on a busier day when, say, a boisterous (read: drunk) Tennessee crowd comes to town.

From now on, airplane mode.

(Side note: It didn't help anything that my phone case broke on Wednesday. So I did what anyone would do and fixed my smartphone with duct tape. It really is good for everything!)

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The first night game of the season meant the return of the cell phone lights to Athens!

Vanderbilt 13, UGA 41

Ok, so they're not really visible in that pic, but trust me, it's cool. In fact, the only reason Sanford Stadium was that full at the start of the 4th quarter (score at the time: Vanderbilt 6, UGA 38) was because the homecoming crowd was waiting to play with their flashlights. It was worth it.

As for the football game itself: Vanderbilt was who we thought they were, and UGA started its season 6-0 for the second straight year — for the first time ever! National title, here we come (he says, tongue only partly in cheek).

The next home game isn't until November. I have my fingers crossed that by then, the temperature will finally fall below 80° during a game. While I like my Georgia football team hot, I prefer my Georgia football weather mild. And yes, I believe that I *can* have it all.

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Frankly, there can be no more debate. The 2016 Georgia Bulldogs are not very good.

Vanderbilt 17, UGA 16

Even though I was there and watched every play, I can't tell you why exactly the Bulldogs lost to the Vanderbilt Commodores today. They ran and threw okay (offensive line is still a weakness), but couldn't get points. Special teams were as terrible as usual, if not worse, and I think that was the difference. Giving up 7 points to Vandy in the first 22 seconds (after an opening kick return to the 4 yard line) was probably more than this team could overcome.

At least losing to Vanderbilt 17-16 proves that the Hail Mary loss to Tennessee wasn't as painful as it seemed at the time. This Georgia football team will be nowhere near Atlanta when the SEC Championship Game in December, and rightfully so.

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Remember last year when Vanderbilt ended UGA's season with that last minute comeback in Nashville? Revenge accomplished.

Vanderbilt 17, UGA 44

I cannot tell a lie: we left in the 3rd quarter when Vanderbilt, down by 24 points, punted on 4th and 1. If Vanderbilt was willing to give up on the game, I didn't see any need to stick around for the 17-44 final.

No more home games until November, when Auburn comes to town. If the Tiger's 7-41 romp over LSU today was any indication, that's going to be a pretty good game.

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Mom and I traveled to Nashville to see UGA play Vanderbilt. Instead of a football game, we saw an epic tragedy. It was cold and rainy at kickoff, and the sun didn't come out in Nashville until it had set on the Bulldog's SEC Championship chances.

UGA 27, Vanderbilt 31

I could talk about the terrible targeting call that turned a failed Vandy fourth down conversion into a first down that finally broke the spirit of our staggering team. (Replay can overturn the ejection, but not the bad call itself? Who thought that was a good rule?) Or I could talk about the inability of our coaches to improve the failures that have defined them this season (Richt's special teams muffed a punt and a snap, Grantham's defense surrendered 31 points, Bobo's offense managed only a field goal in the second half, Tereshinki's conditioning resulted in a 6th player with a knee injury.) Or I could talk about Arron Murray failing to put it together with the pressure on again.

But what it all comes down to is the fact that Georgia lost 31-27, and is now all but mathematically eliminated from SEC contention. What was such a promising season is now wasted.

Heartbreaking. There is no other word.

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I don't know if Vanderbilt came to town today with the intention of losing, but after watching them play, I can't say otherwise. They acted like they knew that they were outclassed by this Georgia team and hadn't considered any way to win. The Dores played us hard last year, but just didn't seem to have their heart in it tonight. It was, quite frankly, sad to watch as UGA quickly steamed their way to a 48-3 win.

Vanderbilt 3, UGA 48

Otherwise, it was a beautiful evening. The air was cool, the crowd enthusiastic and friendly. I attended the game with Dad, his first UGA game since his foot surgery last August. I enjoyed king-sized pretzel and a Coca-Cola as we heckled the Vanderbilt band ("The Spirit of Gold"). Some of our old season ticket holding seat neighbors had even returned. It was a good day for a ball game. Too bad the opponent didn't show up.

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We came to Athens for the crowning of a new king, and we stayed for something that vaguely resembled football.

Mom watches the dogs (the actual dogs, not the football team).

Vanderbilt perfectly played the role of the walkover Homecoming guest, allowing Georgia to hang 43 unanswered points on them in the completely one-sided rout. Unlike Tennessee last week, which was reeling from a crushing loss at LSU, Vanderbilt was just plain bad: outplayed in all phases of the game. If you didn't know better, you'd think that Georgia was actually good. (But we know better: Georgia blew through all of their first half timeouts in the first 5:16 of the 1st quarter. The crowd held it's breath, relaxing only once it became clear that Vandy hadn't really come to play.)

UGA 43, Vanderbilt 0

But no one seemed too disappointed that the game wasn't competitive. Most of the crowd, my mother included, had come to the stadium solely to see the coronation collaring ceremony for Uga VIII (nee Big Bad Bruce). Uga VIII, less than a year old, seemed a little understandably overwhelmed by the crowd, cameras, and noise. Russ, however, seemed relieved to be free of the burden of having to watch the Dawgs play any more football.

Russ, make way for the new head of the Bulldog Nation, Uga VIII

Earlier in the week, Athletic Director Greg McGarity said that Uga represents "everything we want our student-athletes and fans to be: proud, loyal, tenacious, and relentless." I can't speak for any bulldogs, but I for one am proud to recognize that three of those words are nearly synonyms for stubborn.

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I really enjoy Homecoming each year. Everyone is generally more pleasant and less drunk than at a typical game. And of course, the game is usually a laugher as well.

UGA 27, Vanderbilt 14

While this year Vanderbilt was a little more competitive than in years past, as my brother said on the ride home, "the game wasn't as close as it seemed to be." If not for a handful of missed field goals and phantom pass interference calls, this game would have been a typical Homecoming blowout rather than the deceptively close 27-17 final score indicated.

Once again, Michael Adams (receiving fewer "boos" and catcalls than in years past) presided over the Homecoming Court, the highlight of which was the Homecoming King dropping his crown and tripping over his fallen sash. I'd report his name here, but I couldn't tell you who it was if you gave me a lineup. I didn't make a note of Homecoming Court winners while I was in school, and I don't plan on starting now. I may enjoy the spectacle, but that doesn't mean that I really care about it, you know.

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I said before today's game that the worst part of a potential loss to Vanderbilt would be being exposed to the world as a bad football team. And then we lost to the Commodores.

UGA 22, VU 24

The picture above was taken just after the Dores kicked the game winning field goal (leaving 2 seconds on the clock: don't get me started on how poorly refs in the NCAA have handled clock management this season). That's Vandy celebrating on the right. They hadn't beaten us in 11 years.

The worst part? After the game, I realized that we have very little chance of beating Florida, Auburn, or Georgia Tech this year. That will give us, at best, a 7-5 record. Ouch.

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To be continued...


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