College Football

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Falling Apart?

By: Robert Craft news services

Many talent evaluators around the NFL believe Jalen Carter is the best player available in the NFL draft.

Whether he goes first or fifth or somewhere significantly south in the draft depends in large part on whether: 1) He has a significant turnaround from his current physical and mental state , or 2) a team locks onto his raw talent only.

The best version of Jalen Carter was not on display at Georgia’s Pro Day. NFL personnel officials, coaches and media members in attendance saw an overweight Carter huffing and puffing through drills that were set up for defensive linemen. He did not participate in any other skills tests, nor the 40-yard dash.

Carter weighed 323 pounds, that’s 13 pounds heavier than he was listed at during Georgia’s season. It’s also nine pounds heavier than the 314 he weighed at the scouting combine two weeks ago. It was clearly not nine pounds of muscle. He looked flabby. He looked like a risk for any team that decides to hand him a $20 million-plus signing bonus.

After arriving in Indianapolis to undergo physical exams and meet with teams (Carter had already opted out of workouts), the arrest warrant was issued in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. Carter left Indianapolis, turned himself in and was booked and released within hours. Then he returned to the combine and resumed interviews with teams.

No, Carter shouldn’t get brownie points for having to leave the combine in the first place. Yet, he returned when others might have stayed away. Which is an additional point for teams to consider in assessing one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.

Carter is the most dominant defensive lineman in this draft, who had a viral moment in the SEC Championship Game when he lifted LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with one arm while throwing up the No. 1 sign with his other hand.

Putting aside Carter’s two misdemeanors, the main questions about Carter that have been out there among pro scouts since during the season related to his consistency and work ethic.

Carter’s Pro Day was not a good look. There already were lingering questions about where Carter might be psychologically after the accident, and how he had handled himself in the suddenly negative spotlight.

All 32 NFL teams attended the Georgia pro day, including Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith, Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus and General Manager Ryan Poles and Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and GM Omar Khan.

Carter helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships and played at a dominant level despite dealing with knee and ankle injuries.

He has a month before the draft to get into shape and ease concerns. He has a month to realize he is in the midst of a job interview.

At The End Of The Rainbow

By: Garrison Ryfun news services

Just before Saint Patrick’s Day, Florida State and Georgia Tech announced they would play their 2024 season opener in Ireland as a part of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.

This will be the 9th college football game played in Ireland, and one of the few times neither school playing in Ireland has had an Irish/catholic connection.

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic started in 2016 with a contest between Georgia Tech and Boston College, where the Yellow Jackets prevailed 17-14.

The Classic then took a five-season break and finally returned in Fall of 2022, with a matchup between Nebraska and Northwestern last season.

Now, The Classic seems serious about bringing a week 0 college football game to Ireland, with games set up to begin the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Notre Dame, a more fitting brand for Ireland, is set to take on Navy to start the 2023 season at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland for The Classic.

There are pros and cons to the more increasingly common, neutral-site season openers – even ones that take place outside of the United States.

The biggest pros are for the student athletes and brand of college football in general.

The student athletes get to go and experience a different country and different culture, something many of which likely have never done in their lives.

The brand of college football also gets to be put onto display for Irish citizens, who have likely never experienced American college football in their lives.

The cons for a college football brand is losing a home game and the revenue that the local businesses around your school usually get with a home game.

In this case, the home team would have been Georgia Tech, and the game would have been played in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is one case where I do not think local businesses will be as hurt with a neutral-site game. Though there is said to be a large alumni base of Florida State graduates in the Atlanta area.

This kind of classic abroad is also done in the National Football League with five games already set to be played out of the United States in the 2023 season: with the Bills, Titans, and Jaguars playing in London and the Chiefs and Patriots both hosting games in Germany.

This is all done in an attempt to grow the brand of American Football abroad.

Something that may wind up failing, but as long as the governments of these countries continue to advocate for it – American football will be there to show off in all its glory.

Greener Grass

By: Robert Craft news services

In a talk that generated headlines across the ACC, Florida State Seminole athletic director Michael Alford pointed out the difference in projected conference revenue between the ACC, the Big Ten, and SEC once their new media rights deals begin.

It’s true, FSU does not have a viable escape route anytime soon. In the Texas/OU and USC/UCLA cases, the schools waited to leave until their leagues’ Grant of Rights were up. (Two Big 12 schools have since negotiated an early exit.)

The ACC’s deal goes another 13 years. In that board meeting, FSU’s general counsel threw out $120 million as a cost to leave the ACC, but as best I can tell, that’s just the league’s exit fee.

The cost to buy back more than a decade’s worth of your own TV rights from the conference would be exponentially more.

It’s been suggested that FSU and Clemson (or others) could challenge the Grant of Rights in court, but contracts that deal with millions of dollars tend to be pretty ironclad. If they weren’t, someone would have challenged one already.

FSU, as well as Clemson, are posturing for unequal revenue sharing, under the premise they bring more value than the other 12 schools, the implicit threat is lingering: if you don’t pay us, we’ll leave eventually.

This story is similar to USC’s decade of largely behind-the-scenes grumbling, but this time the other schools have no short-term incentive to agree to it. The best case the pair could make might be,

“We’re your conference’s best hope of winning a national championship in football. The 12-team Playoff Model is expected to be more performance-based than presently, if a big money team like Clemson or FSU wins three games in the playoffs en route to the 2026 national title, everyone reaps benefits.”

I don’t think anyone wants to take in less money than they are currently making. The question is one of leverage. Do Florida State, Clemson and others have actual leverage in today’s negotiations?

They’re locked into a deal with the ACC through 2036 that could cost more than $300 million to break between just exit fees and the grant of rights.

If those schools do not have offers in hand to join the Big Ten or the SEC, can they really force the rest of the conference to acquiesce on this?

For what it’s worth, I’m not sure shuffling around a few million dollars per year actually closes the revenue gaps Alford was talking about with his board.

If FSU gets, say, $5 million more per year than it does now, does that actually close the gap it’s staring down with powerhouses like Georgia? Or is this more of a philosophical conversation?

The ACC should be thinking externally, not internally, and figuring a way to generate more revenue, because soon their schools are going to be sharing it with their athletes

I see the anxiety and hear the chatter from FSU fans every day. Everyone’s worried about revenue, stratification and falling behind. So it may help fans to hear your leaders fighting for more. But I’m also not sure there’s going to be enough of a force to force real change.

My two cents: Though I do recommend making some effort to keep your marquee programs happy, FSU does not have much leverage here. You’re talking about a “threat” that might not come to fruition for more than a decade, by which point the sport’s traditional conference model could be abandoned entirely.

Who knows what will happen in 13 years’ time, programs can only plan for the near future.

You’re Fired

By: Kipp Branch news services

The Florida Gators football team began their second spring practice under head coach Billy Napier last week.

With new players and coaching staff, there are many storylines and position battles to watch this spring.

The Gators have big questions in a lot of position groups entering spring practice. Who will replace Anthony Richardson at QB is a huge question mark.

Florida lost all three starters from 2022 at linebacker, who steps up there? Questions abound across the board with this program.

Here is the main question in my mind and it is one that Florida does not have a great track record in regards to. Will Florida be patient and allow Billy Napier to build this program the right way?

Florida was one of the founding members of the SEC in 1933. It took Florida 58 years for them to win their first SEC Football Championship in 1991. Florida has won 8 SEC Football Championships overall and none since 2008.

It has been 15 years since Florida has won anything of significance in football. In the same time frame Florida has had 5 head football coaches. Doing the math Florida hires and fires head football coaches every three years.

Florida is never going to be successful again until they give a coach a chance to build a program.

Napier went 40-12 at Louisiana in four years prior to taking the Florida job, which included a 7-7 season in year one.

Florida is a huge step up from the Sun Belt Conference, and in many ways Florida was in much worse shape than Louisiana was when Napier took over.

Napier had to improve his overall talent at UL which he did, but that isn’t the case at Florida.

Florida always has elite talent in football. Did you watch Anthony Richardson at the NFL Combine put up the best performance for a QB ever?

Talent is not and never has been an issue at The University of Florida. Vince Dooley used to say that Florida was the most talented team in the SEC annually when he coached at UGA from 1964-1988. Dooley’s teams went 17-7-1 against more talented UF football teams during his tenure.

Steve Spurrier was hired in 1990 and he came in with his innovative offensive mind and made Florida the best football program in the SEC while going 122-27-1 in a 12-year run that is the best in school history.

During that window Florida won 6 SEC Championships and a national title in 1996.

Urban Meyer came in and recruited Tim Tebow and won national titles in 2006 and 2008.

My point is that Florida’s entire football history is compressed into a 19-year window from 1990-2008. Other than that Florida football has been nothing special.

Billy Napier inherited a culture problem at UF that he has been working to improve since he walked on campus.

SEC coaches privately tell reporters that Florida has consistently been one of the most undisciplined teams in the conference over the past 5 seasons.

I believe Napier is the right man for the job in Gainesville. He just had a top 15 recruiting class and hit the transfer portal hard to address position groups like LB and QB.

Florida just opened an $85 million dollar football facility last summer that is state of the art.

The money, talent, and facilities are in place for Billy Napier to get UF back among the elite programs in the country.

Napier needs time to fix the culture and build the type of program that all associated with the University of Florida will be proud of. Billy Napier is the right man for the job at UF.

Will Florida give him the time needed to accomplish? Back-to-back 6-7 seasons while UGA is winning back-to-back National Championships makes the Gator nation impatient.

They must realize that it took Kirby 6 years to build Georgia into that status. Florida will not be elite anytime soon unless they stop firing head football coaches every 3 years.

Bad Rep

By: Robert Craft news services

Star defensive tackle Jalen Carter became the third member of Georgia’s 2022 national championship team to be charged with reckless driving.

A fourth bulldog was charged with a DUI and the fifth was reported to have gone 34 miles over the speed limit at the time of arrest.

In total, nine Georgia players have been arrested in the last 13.5 months.

These arrests don’t have to be blamed on Georgia. There’s nothing that’s come to light that suggests it is. With that being said, these incidents still reflect poorly on the program’s image, as a charge reflects poorly on all five player’s criminal records.

All of these are misdemeanors, but Georgia’s program is at their highest media coverage nationally in the history of college football. The microscope is more zoomed in than ever, and narratives will be longer if these habits continue.

The car crash that took the lives of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy is a terrible tragedy. The other parts of the story have always seemed irrelevant: I don’t care about staffers socializing with athletes. I don’t care very much about a university car being used. I don’t care that they were at a strip club.

I do care what directly led to the crash. Now, Kirby Smart should talk with his program and take a leadership role in athlete risk aversion.

Smart needs to get a handle on street racing and reckless driving. Police report the cause of the car crash to street racing and reckless driving.

A coach can’t take away anybody’s ability to drive, but they can take away a starting roster position. An athletic director may set an example by suspending or dismissing players for criminal offenses while eligible.

Smart has indubitably built an athletic powerhouse in seven seasons in Athens, going for his third consecutive National Championship next season. However, after their latest title win, the team has been marred with bad morale and criminal news headlines.

The one thing that could bring down Smart and the Bulldogs’ dynasty is legal actions and a criminal reputation. Anybody remember the facelifting SMU and Miami have been doing after their debacles?

University of Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks stated that neither Willock, nor the driver of the car was on “athletic department business” at the time of the accident.

Brooks added that his department “[conducted] a thorough review, in coordination with appropriate legal counsel, to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.”

This sounds like Brooks is trying to minimize sue damage. In a wrongful death case involving a motor vehicle accident, it is sometimes possible to hold an employer responsible if their employee’s negligence was responsible for the fatal accident. This is a vicarious liability under Georgia law.

Georgia follows a “comparative fault” standard in all personal injury cases, which includes wrongful death claims. Basically, this means that when the negligence of multiple parties led to an accident, a judge or jury must apportion the blame accordingly. The judge will then reduce the victim’s damages to account for their determined percentage of fault.

Willock’s family has not filed any legal action arising from his death. High-profile accidents like this one often raise a number of questions regarding the law in this area. Dave Willock, who is the father of the late Devin Willock, said that he was not planning a lawsuit at this time.

“Georgia is working with us,” Willock told the AJC. “We have no reason to do that (sue Georgia), because they are compensating us 100 percent.”

I have a feeling that in the near future lawsuits will be filed, but until then, Smart and Georgia’s athletic department have to clean up their public image.

In scenarios like these, a little bit of prevention is worth a whole lot of cure- Georgia got lucky, but it won’t matter if these incidents keep happening.

The New Reality

By: Garrison Ryfun news services

In the upcoming age of super conferences in college football, major brands who are not a part of the Big Ten or SEC are trying to position themselves to be able to compete revenue wise with the brands in those conferences.

Currently, the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners are set to join the SEC in 2024, and the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins are set to join the Big Ten 2024. This is coincidentally the same year the 12-team playoff starts in college football, something that other Power Five conferences are likely happy about due to the massive changes happening in the landscape of the sport – with conference realignment.

Florida State’s latest board of trustees meeting gave insight to how teams are going to deal with this landscape going forward: Either the ACC gives more money to the teams that bring in more revenue, or those teams will do everything in their power to find a better situation for themselves.

Teams like Florida State, Clemson, Oregon, etc. will have to work out better deals for themselves. FSU AD Michael Alford pointed out that with the new television deals going into effect for the Big 10/SEC, schools like Florida State would be behind the curve by about $30 million annually.

This kind of gap will prevent these bigger brands from being able to compete for championships regularly, and in the coming months I expect more and more schools will start speaking about what needs to be done to stay relevant in college football.

This will, in all likelihood, create a very contentious relationship within conferences like the Pac-12, Big-12, and ACC. One way these conferences could help themselves out is by trying to create their own super conference.

The Big 12 is trying to lessen the impact of losing brands like Oklahoma and Texas by bringing in Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston in Fall 2023 – a move that will not make up for the brand loss that will come after the 2023-2024 season.

Notre Dame will likely be a big target for those three conferences, as it is the only independent team left with a brand that big.

Teams may even be poached from one conference to the other, something that would mean the death of at least one power five conference. A thing that may be inevitable in the coming years, and may even help some of these conferences stay competitive or become super conferences themselves.

This struggle is not going to be solved overnight and its effects on football will likely not be seen for a few years.

There will be massive restructuring in the way some conferences are run and the teams that are within those conferences. All we can do as fans is sit back and hope your school understands their value as a brand within the sport.

The future of college football starts with changes made today. How will other big brands respond to the inevitable? There will be some fascinating off-seasons in the next couple of years, that’s for sure.

The Dirty Dozen

By: Kipp Branch news services

In 2024 College football expands to a 12-team playoff. Here are my top 12 teams going into the Spring practice for 2023.

Georgia: Back to national champions, and 29-1 in last 30 games. Where else do you expect the champs to be ranked?

No matter who wins the starting quarterback job Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff or Gunner Stockton, the Bulldogs will be strong on offense and have TE Brock Bowers. Defense will be nasty as always under Kirby.

Michigan: Yes, they have folded like a cheap tent in the last two college football playoffs, but this team is the established king of the Big 10, and owns Ohio State currently. The Wolverines land here.

Ohio State: Ryan Day is 45-6 but it feels like this team does not live up to its potential.

Michigan has the upper hand over Ohio State currently. Marvin Harrison Jr. is back, and he is the best WR in college football.

Alabama: Alabama is still Alabama. People need to remember this fact. Nick Saban must be stewing inside about how 2022 played out. Who will be the QB? Once that is settled then look out for this team.

LSU: The Tigers land here. Brian Kelly is an elite coach, and this team has elite talent. Alabama vs. LSU will be for the SEC West Championship.

Penn State: Drew Allar is the QB now. Nick and Kaytron Allen return at RB. Is this team ready to compete with Michigan and Ohio State for the Big 10 Championship?

Florida State: Jordan Travis is back with weapons all around him to use. Mike Norvell seems to have turned the corner in Tallahassee.

Can FSU handle the mantle of being the favorite in the ACC? We shall see.

USC: The Trojans were one win away from the CFP in 2022.

Can USC win a Pac-12 title in 2023 with Washington and Utah breathing down their necks? Team defense will provide that answer.

Washington: Michael Penix Jr. makes this team a contender and he will be a Heisman candidate.

The Pac-12 needs a team to make the CFP desperately. It has been a long drought.

Utah: The Utes are the two-time defending Pac-12 champions. This team does not get the respect it deserves. Great head coach and talented players define this program. The Utes play a physical brand of football.

Tennessee: Hendon Hooker is gone. Joe Milton is the man now in Knoxville.

Josh Heupel has done a fantastic job in a short period of time.

This time the Vols must improve on defense.

Road games at Alabama and Florida will be tough. They get UGA at home in November, which is good, but UGA has won their last three visits to Rocky Top.

Defense is going to be the key in 2023.

Oregon: Dan Lanning won ten games in year one.

Bo Nix is back.

The Pac-12 could be an extremely competitive conference this fall.

This is a dangerous football team. As with most teams out west can they play defense at a level that allows them to compete with the big boys from the SEC or Big 10?

Just on the outside looking in: Clemson, Notre Dame, TCU, Texas, Tulane, and Kansas State. Can you imagine these debates when the CFP expands to 12?


Conference Breakdown:
SEC: 4

Pac-12: 4

Big Ten: 3

ACC: 1

Spring football is just a couple of weeks away. Let the debates begin.

Prospect AR15

By: Robert Craft news services

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson, one of the hottest and most difficult-to-sort prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, has every athletic trait I can think of.

At 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds, Richardson has a missile launcher for a right arm. He’s expected to flirt with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He’s even got a big, bright, Draft Day smile.

Richardson will be covered relentlessly for the remainder of the draft cycle, because the football world knows so little about him (and he has incredible skills). He made just 13 starts in college and threw fewer than 400 career passes. Teams will want to know more about his personality, football IQ and leadership.

Somewhere along the way scouts and coaches will learn that Richardson is a prospect who has been waiting a lifetime for this opportunity. Right now, he appears to be the most interesting man in today’s draft cycle.

In his only season as a starter, Richardson completed just 53.8% of his passes for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also rushed for 649 yards and 9 touchdowns.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has Richardson going ninth overall to the Carolina Panthers in his latest mock draft.

From a draft perspective, the most pressing question on Richardson is; how high does his stock rise before late April?

Overall, reactions to Richardson’s pros and cons are mixed, but his ceiling is higher than any quarterback in this class.

When people watch his film, they’ll find the times where Richardson struggled (early 2022), where he progressed and where he improved as the season wore on. Is he closer to being ready than some think? I believe he is

Many wonder if Richardson will be a first-round pick. To me, the actual mystery is whether Richardson will climb into the top 10.

“The questions about his readiness are valid and his game needs refinement” is what pro quarterback coaches will say. On the other hand, offensive coordinators are gonna say, “Give me Anthony Richardson. I’ll give you a quarterback in two or three years who will win BIG.” That to me is a big-time look ahead. It’s a leap of faith in talent.

Physically, he is the most talented quarterback in this class, but he’s not developed yet. He’s not ready. Carolina needs an NFL ready quarterback.

Why not take a shot? In order to have success in this league, you’ve got to have a quarterback. Anthony Richardson has a chance to be a star or you could wind up drafting another quarterback in a year or two. That’s the most fascinating part about him.

Whether he goes to the Panthers or elsewhere, Richardson’s development will be interesting to follow over the next couple of seasons. He might need some time, and picking him before he blossoms could end up paying off in a big way.

So, he might stand as too big a challenge for a franchise without a foundation. For one with ground underneath it and a willingness to develop a QB, though? Richardson could be the lottery ticket it’s always wanted.

Anthony Richardson is an incredibly talented yet unproven prospect, with a heart the size of his frame. For NFL programs, he’s a guy who can either make your draft or break your heart.

The Bobo Sequel

By: Robert Craft news services

Todd Monken is no longer in Athens, headed back to the NFL ranks to join the Baltimore Ravens after leading Georgia’s offense for three seasons.

Mike Bobo is stepping into the role as offensive coordinator after having served as an analyst for the Bulldogs this past season and a quite well-traveled past before that, much of which took place in Athens.

What’s old is new again, with Bobo’s promotion to offensive coordinator being announced. There were two other options for Smart to go in replacing Monken, and each had its upside but also a downside.

Look outside the program. Smart may have operated quietly behind the scenes, the same way he did with Monken after the 2019 season for James Coley’s job. There may not have been a home-run hire available: Look at the trouble Nick Saban had finding a new offensive coordinator before landing Tommy Rees, who had an uneven and inconsistent past with his years at Notre Dame. Now, Notre Dame is having trouble finding a replacement for Tommy Rees.

Sources report that Monken played a big role in Bobo being named offensive coordinator.

Monken and Smart had more than one conversation about Bobo and his contributions in 2022, and Bobo was a big part of the game planning each week.

This isn’t to say Georgia has upgraded or downgraded, just because Bobo’s past two stints in the SEC didn’t go well. It’s best to label it a lateral move for the program, because fans still harbor reservations about Bobo’s early years at Georgia.

It took time before he grew into his position and became cutting-edge. For some reason, there’s a perception he was a run-first coordinator, but Georgia passed 57 percent of the time in 2011 and 2012, following 50-50 in 2013, then run-heavy in 2014 when it had the triumvirate of Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

Were there play-calling mistakes during the Bobo era? Sure (feel free to bring up not giving the ball to Gurley at the goal line in 2014 against South Carolina, even though Georgia scored on a goal-line pass earlier in the game).

Does being a good fit make Bobo the right hire? There are no guarantees; in the position that Georgia is in now — more talent, more financial support, everything in place that led to two straight national titles — the safe hire seems like the right one.

Airing It Out

By: Steve Norris news services

You don’t have to be a Georgia fan to understand the effect that Todd Monken has had on Georgia’s offense the last three years.

Monken recently was named Offensive Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, ending his time in Athens, GA.

Monken created a balanced and creative offense that kept defenses guessing and got the ball to multiple playmakers throughout games. It’s was a thing of beauty to watch and as a Georgia fan, I hate to see Monken go to Baltimore, because watching Georgia’s offense in the past hasn’t always been a treat.

Georgia has historically been known as a running team and for good reason. UGA is known as “Tailback U’, mostly due to the incredibly talented running backs that have come through in the last few decades. Everyone knows about Herschel Walker, Garrison Hearst, Todd Gurley, and Nick Chubb, just to name a few.

However, when it comes to passing the ball, Georgia fans have had to hold their collective breath a lot over the years. When Georgia’s quarterback has had to air it out a lot in games, it usually hasn’t ended well.

I decided to check out the website and found this category: Most Passing Attempts by a UGA Quarterback in a Game.

Here’s the Top Ten results:

Tied at 10th are Aaron Murray and Quincy Carter with 49.

Murray’s was against Auburn in 2013 and Carter against Florida in 1998. Both were losses. Georgia was pounded by the Gators 38-7 and every Georgia fan remembers how that 2013 Auburn game ended. A 43-38 loss where Murray deserved better.

Tied at 7th are Eric Zeier twice and Jake Fromm with 51 attempts.

Zeier’s were against South Carolina (a 24-21 win) and Kentucky (a 34-30 win) in 1994. Fromms’ was an ugly 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina in 2019 that the Fromm-haters in the Georgia fan base have never been able to get over. While Fromm didn’t play well that day, that loss was a team effort.

At 6th is Zeier again (see a pattern here?) with 53 passing attempts against Auburn at home in 1993. Another ugly home loss (42-28) where Georgia’s defense failed to show up and give our quarterback any help.

At 5th is Zeier again with 54 in an awful Homecoming loss to Vanderbilt in 1994. I was there covering the game that day for 13WMAZ (Macon). It’s probably the worst, most “mailed in” game I’ve ever seen from a Georgia squad.

Tied for 3rd with 55 passing attempts in a game are Quincy Carter and Jacob Eason.

Carter’s performance was in 1999 at Georgia Tech. Another inexplicable loss that could have been easily avoided had Head Coach Jim Donnan just kicked a field goal at Tech’s one-yard-line in overtime.

Instead, he ran Jasper Sanks, who fumbled and Tech recovered. Had there been replay at the time, it would have shown that Sanks was down. Unfortunately for Dawg fans, Tech would hold Georgia scoreless on their next possession and then kick a field goal to win 51-48.

It’s still the last time Georgia Tech has beaten Georgia at Grant Field. Jacob Eason’s 55-attempt performance was in 2016 at Missouri. Eason’s final pass was a 4th Down touchdown completion to Isaiah McKenzie to give the Dawgs a last-minute victory 28-27.

In 2nd place is Cory Phillips with 62 passing attempts against Georgia Tech at home in 2000.

This was a 27-15 loss that sealed Jim Donnan’s fate as head coach. He was fired the next week.

Phillips was 36 of 62 passing, while throwing for 413 yards, yet Georgia only managed 15 points for the game. What’s more frustrating is that all 11 starters for Georgia on defense that year went on to play in the NFL in some capacity.

Which brings us to the game with the most passing attempts ever. The 1993 Cocktail Party. Better known to old school Georgia fans as “The Timeout Game”.

Eric Zeier put the ball in the air a whopping 65 times that game in a 33-26 loss. The field was a mess as it had rained for what seemed like forever.

With five seconds left in the game, Zeier hit Jerry Jerman for what looked like a touchdown and the opportunity to go for two and win the game.

Instead, the referees claimed that Florida defensive back Anthony Lott had called a timeout before the ball had snapped (replay showed he didn’t but it didn’t matter).

The Dawgs would fail to score afterward and suffered yet another heartbreaking loss to Steve Spurrier and the hated Gators.

Georgia went 3-8 in those 11 games, with the three wins coming by four points or less.

Yet, despite two straight national championships, I still hear some Georgia fans complaining that we need a quarterback with an NFL-type arm who can throw the ball around the yard on a regular basis.

Relax, my fellow Dawg fans. Monken and Stetson Bennett have proven that a strong running game along with a quarterback who understands and can run the system is all Georgia needs to be successful.


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