The Georgia Football program ended any talks of being snubbed by the College Football Playoff Committee, after being thumped 28-21 by the Texas Longhorns. In losing they missed an opportunity to prove the committee totally wrong for this season.
The Texas Longhorns took advantage of a depleted Georgia Bulldogs defense, scoring 28 points in route to a Sugar Bowl victory. The Georgia Football program was dealing with numerous replacements on defense and the offense failed to pick up the slack.
Texas jumped on UGA early, scoring 20 of their 28 points in the first half. They took advantage of the Dawgs who were missing three of its top players on defense.
The Dawgs best cover cornerback, Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker, opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Baker has consistently shut down opponents best wide receivers all season long.
The Bulldogs number one pass rusher D’Andre also Walker sat out the game due to a groin injury. He was sorely missed, having been the only consistently disruptive player on the Dawgs pass rush all season long.
Georgia was also without freshman nose tackle Jordan Davis. Davis is a freshman All American candidate. The UGA run defense improved tremendously once Davis was installed as the anchor at nose tackle.
Without those three important players, the Bulldogs struggled to stop Texas early. They allowed points on three of the first four drives, and four of six drives during the first half. They allowed two touchdowns and two field goals in the half. All three touchdowns in the game were scored on the ground by Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
As the defense struggled to find their footing, the Georgia offense was not good enough make up for them. Jake Fromm missed open throws, wide receivers dropped routine passes and the running game uncharacteristically struggled, averaging just 2.4 yards per carry.
Shockingly star running back and UGA leading rusher D’Andre Swift was completely ineffective. He ran the ball just eight times for only 12 yards. Even more baffling was the fact that Swift could not hold onto the ball, fumbling twice. Overall Swift was not his normally explosive self for whatever reason.
Georgia found their footing in the second half outscoring Texas 14-8, but it was not enough, thus ending the saga of UGA’s season. It’s a disappointing end as the Dawgs missed a golden opportunity to prove that the College Football Playoff Committee was totally wrong.
The Nation was already abuzz with talk about the Playoff Committee selecting the wrong four teams after the National Semifinals. Clemson’s 30-3 shelling of Notre Dame opened up talk of expanding the playoff field to as many as eight teams.
Alabama opening up a 28-0 lead on Oklahoma before winning 45-34, ramped up the talk of flaws in the system even more.
Georgia football players also joined in on Twitter, questioning the selection committee. Wide receiver Terry Godwin sent out this tweet during the Clemson beat down of the Fighting Irish:
The loss to Texas halts talk from Georgia fans and Bulldog Nation as a whole of the playoffs for now. While that certainly was not the same Dawgs defense that we are accustomed to seeing, the rest of the country that is cheering for college football’s newest powerhouse to fail, doesn’t want to hear that.
If you can make any indictment against the Bulldogs’ defense, it is that the depth needs to improve. However very few teams could overcome the loss of their best run defender, best pass rusher and best coverage player.
Offensively the Dawgs need Jake Fromm to take the next step in the development process. He improved tremendously this season, however the Bulldogs are 0-4 under Kirby Smart when failing to run for 100 yards. Their top nemesis Alabama specializes in stopping the run, so Fromm must be able the step up and throw the ball over 30 times successfully.
Despite going down at the hands of the Longhorns, Georgia Football is clearly a top five program in the country. They will just have to wait until next season to prove their case without a shadow of a doubt.
What are your thoughts on how the Sugar Bowl loss by UGA, affects how the playoff committee is viewed? Do you think the loss hurt the case for possible expansion of the field? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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