Knee Jerk Reactions: Kentucky Edition
I love Senior Day. Selfishly, it reminds me of every one of those I’ve had, but not-as-selfishly, it gives a program a chance to thank those who have poured (literal) blood, sweat and tears into a team and worked their damnedest to leave a school and a team better than they found it. Much has been written (and will be written) about the dedication and talents on Aaron Murray, but I want to take a second and thank all 28 Seniors, from the first day draft picks, to the special teams player, to the back up who helped prepare the team during the week, for their time, their passion, and their dedication to Georgia.
– Quarterbackery. Aaron Murray is now the only SEC quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards for 4 straight years. And while his exit from the game was what NO ONE wanted, quarterback-in-waiting Hutson Mason acquitted himself nicely in his first meaningful snaps, and gave us an early look at the foreseeable future of this Georgia offense. And, given everything that is coming back next year, the future is bright.
– Running game. Totaling 230 yards on 40 carries, the Gurley led running back corps looked the best they had all season, as Todd averaged 9.6 a carry, and looked healthier than he has since that LSU game against UK. Some of the success has to be attributed to an outgunned Wildcat defense, but both JJ Green and Brandon Douglas looked good, and will be great complimentary pieces around Gurley and a returning Keith Marshall next year.
– Defense. They barely allowed 200 yards total to a Kentucky team that has historically played Georgia well, and their success against the run this week after the let down against Auburn has me energized going into the game against that team in Atlanta.
– Yeah, even I’m not nit picky enough to complain about this one.
– You already know. I have fallen into the bad habit of talking about next year in this edition of Knee Jerk Reactions, and trust me, I recognize there are two more games that matter a great deal to this Georgia team. But, with Aaron Murray having suited up for the final time, and ending his days in Athens tied for the most games started at quarterback with David Greene, and more than a few Georgia and SEC records in his pocket, last Saturday feels a lot like the end of an era. It’s the last time we get the pleasure of seeing number 11 lace them up in the Georgia red, but I know this group will not let everything they have built go by the wayside over these next two games.
This is the time of year that everyone waxes philosophic about the season as a whole, and I’m no different. I’m glad these seniors got to leave their home field as winners, and know that their careers will be defined as Champions, as no one can take the two SEC East Titles from them. Anyone who tells you that these titles don’t matter never laced up the cleats on Saturday. Of course they wanted more, but their successes on and off the field can not be overstated.
In the spirit of getting sappy and reflective, I am using the end of this blog to tip my cap to a group that will always mean the world to me, Columbia Football Class of 2007. Together, we left our home field for the last time as winners, and a week later, ended our careers as collegiate football players as winners as well. I hope these Georgia seniors get that same feeling. Go Dawgs, and Roar Lion Roar.
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