Let's Talk About the UGA Loss to the University of South Carolina

This past Saturday started out as one of the best Saturdays I have spent in Athens. I was more excited than usual for the game because on Friday night I coincidentally ran into the entire football team and coaches while they were on their way to the Georgia Center Hotel (The "Hi, how are y'all?" I got from Coach Smart made my week).

I woke up and got ready, putting on my jeans and Georgia shirt to Dress Down for the Dawgs. After painting my personal favorite player's number on my hand as I do for every game (#87 went to high school with me so I always represent), I met up with my game day buddy (we all have that one special friend that we spend the entirety of gameday with) and set out to tackle the SEC Nation broadcast. After being at the ESPN College GameDay broadcast a couple of weeks ago, we were excited to see another national broadcast and, more importantly, collect all the free things the sponsors were giving away. After getting a few new cups and clear bags, we headed to the game. Now before I continue, it is important to note that I LOVE Georgia football. I grew up watching Georgia games and cheering on the Dawgs. I bled black and red long before I became a student here. 

Like every other game day, we made our way to Reed Plaza to enter through the student gate back there. Admittedly, I made us arrive at the game earlier than we probably needed to, but I was bubbling with excitement! We were playing an unranked SEC team, which means rivalry and tradition, but a presumably pretty straightforward game. I was just excited to watch a game that I honestly expected to be much less of a nail biter than the Notre Dame game weeks ago. We found our seats—always no more than fifteen rows from the field near the band creates my version of the perfect atmosphere—and settled in. 

As far as the game, I will spare us all the painful specifics, but we all know our Dawgs lost after a double overtime fight. My soul was shocked and sad. At one point I even told my friend to just leave me sitting there in Sanford Stadium. What some people may not understand is that though this is just one loss, it significantly shifts our chances of making the playoffs this year. Because the college football playoffs only include four teams, it is extremely competitive and difficult to make the playoffs. Teams that go undefeated may never see the postseason. Though I had no real impact on the game, I felt so defeated. An optimist at heart, I know anything can happen in the coming weeks, but I know our battle is uphill to say the least.

I want to end with an open message to Coach Smart and our Bulldogs. While myself (presumably along with all of Dawg Nation) are a little disappointed, we are still extremely proud of our team. Ultimately, we did get back into that game, even if the wake up we needed happened just a little too late. Dawg Nation is ready to show up and show out next week as we celebrate homecoming and take on an SEC East enemy. Saturday was just one of those days, and it is okay. We are Bulldogs; we'll come back stronger and ready to attack the day and keep chopping wood.