Special Report: Georgia Tech @ Georgia, 2006
This is my first live blogging. And it is going to be of the most aniticipated football game in Atlanta and Athens, Ga.
Here in Anderson, S. C., the sports editor at the newspaper, John Brasier, with whom I worked with during my internship, said in the preview that Georgia Tech was possibly looking past Georgia to the ACC Championship game. With all due respect to him, and I mean that, Mr. Braiser is wrong. First, Georgia Tech cannot possibly be looking to the ACC Championship Game because they don't even know who they're going to play. Second, the Georgia game is the most meaningful game of the season to Georgia Tech. No other game means as much. To players and fans of the rivalry, the reason the season exists is to play the game of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate! :)
Now is it possible that John is right? Sure, it's possible. But I believe that it is highly unlikely. Plus, there is the fact that Georgia Tech hasn't won against Georgia since 2000. I think they'd be eager to break that streak.
Even the CBS people say that this game is more than just a game. And Georgia Tech is going to look past it?! Yeah right.
The show's featured important players of the game are Matthew Stafford, quarterback for Georgia, and Tashard Choice, running back for Georgia Tech. No argument there. Choice is one of the best running backs in the ACC and Stafford is a promising freshman quarterback for Georgia.
Twice already the announcers have mentioned that this group of seniors has never lost to Georgia Tech. Well, la-dee-da.
Steve Buerlein says that the team that keesp their emotions in check enough will win.
The usual praise for Calvin Johnson. He does deserve it all. He is that good. He leads the ACC in receiving yards and touchdowns, just to name two things.
Georgia Tech has eleted to receive. I don't think that's a good idea. They would need the ball to start the second half. Especially here.
Jamaal Evans broke a nice run to the 41 yard lime. Ball tried to go for an early dagger and neither Johnson nor Battle got it, so he almost blew it. Three and out, as I thought.
Now for Durant Brooks, one of the best punters in the nation. Boom. At the nine. Brooks is the man.
Wow, even I fell for that play fake. Even the announcer was fooled by it. NOW they give it to Lumpkin. Figures.
Georgia: "Don't Give it Away."
Georiga Tech: "Get to Stafford."
So says CBS, makes perfect sense
Right now, Georgia is doing what Georgia Tech should be doing. Smart, efficient and good passing. Running the ball isn't that succesful right now. The best thing that Georgia needs to do is pass.
Third and 21 thanks to a 15-yard personal foul, Georgia gets it to Massoquoi, but just for 11 yards. Ely-Kelso punts it to the nine. It might be a battle of great punters.
Georgia Tech: "Make the Right 'Choice'"
Georgia: "Find Johnson's Kryptonite"
Tashard Choice gets it two timnes in a row. He'll get it a lot more since Ball can't pass. 2nd and 8 after a Choice first down.and as usual, Ball can't pass. 3rd and 8. Passing time. And it looked like Ball just threw it away. This is why he's not a good quarterback. Sure, CBS showed that Ball has 20 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions, which is an improvement, but what Ball is doing right now is what kind of quarterback he is: bad throws, tends to throw it away too much, scrambles. And when Ball can't do anything, they go to Choice. A lot. And that's easy to sniff out.
Lumpkin is getting stuffed running, so he's passed to and he gets a first down, then he's stuffed again. I sense a trend.
Timeout with 2:31 in the 1st by Georgia on third and 8 after a recovered fumble. Pass. First down. Like clockwork. Might be under review, but it'll be a first down. And it is. Georgia just has to keep doing what they're doing and they'll get a touchdown.
Lumpkin: kept from a first down twice, 3rd and 3. FINALLY a sack!! First one that Georgia has allowed in two games, and thank goodness they'll have to punt. End of the 1st quarter.
Punt, GT ball. Reggie Ball sacked. What a surprise. He'll need a long pass now. Punt coming up for certain. Calvin Johnson got some yards, but now it's 3rd and 9 after 2nd and 19. And James Johnson drops it and gets slammed by Battle. Punt by Brooks to the 15-yard line. Time for another Georgia march. Georgia Tech has to get their offensive act together. Eventually, they'll allow a touchdown.
Stafford fumble!! And Georgia Tech recovers!!! Phillip Wheeler!
Wow, another throw to Calvin and another miss too! How exciting! Right to Tashard Choice, he gets just a yard. Time for a big play.
Big play my ass. Reggie Ball was just running around, he wasn't doing anything. According to the replay, someone was WIDE open in the endzone, Choice was open early on. Ball's a fool.
Travis Bell's up and the kick... the guy might be inconsistent, but he got the 35-yard field goal in. 3-0 Yellow Jackets
Stafford incomplete. Survivor: Cook Islands advertisement. Whoo-hoo. Kenny Scott, GT's best cornerback, broke up another pass. And a freaking good catch, I thought Stafford was throwing it away.
Danny Ware gets to the 35-yard line. This is why Georgia Tech needs to pony up on offense. Their defense is not going to keep this up. 3rd and 5, Georgia calls a timeout because of the play clock. At least this will give the Jackets defense a brief rest.
... false start on the offense. 3rd and 10, and How I Met Your MOther, something I won't be watching! Kenny Scott covered Massoquoi and Georgia will have to punt, thankfully again! Downed at the 11. And I won't be watching the Amazing Race either. Choice gets two more, 3rd and 1. Naturally, they sniffed that out. Ball sneaks up for a first down.
Calvin stumbled and he missed it with a dive! Dangit.
Choice gets to the 40 though, then again to the 49, then to the 39! At last, they appear to be moving the ball nicely! Another home run ball and it appears to be defensive pass interference, but they're not challenging. Little option does absolutely nothing. 3rd and 10. Time for another pass. And they won't get it.
Incomplete to Calvin Johnson, who had Paul Oliver practically climbing Johnson's back as the ball got there. Brooks for a punt and he got a touchback.
Lumpkin stuffed again behind the line. Might as well just call him Kregg "Stuffed" Lumpkin. :D Pass for a catch and run for a first down, what a surprise. Lumpkin gets six yards. This is almost predictable. Incomplete pass, but it was off, Massoquoi could have gotten to it, but didn't. Short pass and catch, I bet here.
I was almost right. Short pass and drop. ;) Punt for Ely-Kelso. This game might as well be called Battle of the Feet. Ely-Kelso vs. Brooks.
Short pass to Calvin, he gets two. At least he caught another ball. Makes me feel better. :) However, Choice runs for a first down at the 31! :D And time for a time-out with 1:00 left.
Colorado, Ole Miss, Florida.
Nice pass to James Johnson, 2nd and 1. Johnson didn't get the next pass this time. 3rd and 1. Choice is stopped at the line of scrimmage. It's time for 4th and 1. Personally, I think it's too risky to go for it. The Yellow Jacket defense is going to give up a touchdown sooner or later.
Georgia Tech runs the clock down to 11 seconds and calls another time-out. Very smart. Playing for the last play of the half. As long as it's way down the field, if a pass is intercepted, it's unlikely to be brought back for a touchdown. Of course, this is Georgia Tech's last chance until Georgia's first series ends in the second half. This is why I think it's a better idea to kickoff in the first half.
But... someone decides to punt. Brooks punts it to the 12 and that's the end of the first half. That's fine, I guess. Playing it safe. However, the other side of the coin is you get a good play that scores a touchdown and you get a bigger cushion and some more momentum.
Analysis: It's fine that Georgia Tech has the lead, but they need to put some more points on the board. Ball needs to pass better, Calvin and James Johnson need to catch better. I'm convinced their defense can't keep this shutout up, though I commend the fact that they've kept the Dawgs out of the endzone and between the uprights on the road. Very good job by Tashard Choice running. Held Lumpkin to 27 yards on 11 carries, they need to
Second half up. Not excited. Very nervous. I get the impression that TV announcers expect Calvin Johnosn to dominate every say. It's almost insulting. The guy isn't Superman, as some like to call him.
Minter gets a first down, but Lumpkin is stuffed again and again. And another pass for a first down. Why can't they stop them on the short passes to spot third-down conversions? And Lumpkin not stuffed, 10 yards. Looks like what I said is coming true. Tech needs to score points. Their defense can't hold it up forever.
Offsides by Georgia Tech, first penalty of the day, what did I say?
However, Stafford is stuffed at the 49 to negate the free play. :) 2nd and 16. Stopped at the Georgia 49! 3rd and 19: Jahi-Word Daniels stops the pass, which ends up being short, just like before. Ely-Kelso punt time. Fair catch at the 20.
Now Choice is stuffed for a two-yard loss. He had to talk to Ball in order to hear the play, so it was kind of obvious. Choice to the 27 for a 3rd and 2.
And the ball is tipped and intercepted. What a surprise. What a sur-prise. And it's in the 25 yuard line too. Danny Ware is now stuffed, thankfully.
Short pass and run for a first down. They'll get a touchdown. This is the game right here. Because Ball can't do shit.
Incomplete pass, 2nd and goal. Tipped and Kenny Scott almost intercepted it. Third and goal. Stafford kept it but he just got to the 8th. Time for Ely-Kelso to ... MISS A 23-YARD FIELD GOAL!!!!! HE MISSED A CHIP SHOT!!!!! SHOCKER!! Well, maybe not a shocker, he isn't really a kicker, but DAMN!!
Who is the only player to have his number retired in Georgia and not in the College Football Hall of Fame? is the ALFAC!! trivia question. I don't know. Charley Trippi, I guess.
Six yards for Choice and then one yard for Choice. Another short drive? Well, Choice fumbled at the end of the third-down play (YIKES!) but he got it right back and that actually gets GT a first down! (WHEW!) Challenged by Mark Richt, of course. According to the announcer, Choice couldn't get that ball in the NFL because he had his foot out of bounds. In college, you can come back in bounds.
The Georgia fans are chanting something during the challenges and I can't tell what it is. Call confirmed, Georgia is charged a timeout because they blew it. Of course, Reggie Ball negates that whole thing by losing six yards. Predictably, Choice is stuffed. If Ball can't do anything, they run the ball, it's almost transparent. Long pass play time.
Fumble, flags are out, touchdown singal. What the hell?! Tony Taylor just dug it out of the pile and ran it in from 29 yards out for a touchdown. Damndest thing I've ever seen. 7-3 Bulldogs This is the game swinger. Georgia will win since Ball can't do squat.
Boy, I'm Mr. Pessimist. Jamaal Evans got to the 34 yard line. Nice jumping up and down there for me. Of course, Ball incomplete. Ball run to the 28. 3rd and 6. Choice to the four! Ball squirts for a yard. This is better. :D
False start, still 2nd down, feh. And Calvin gets his play and freaking misses the catch. At least it wasn't intercepted. And he MISSED it again thanks to a classic bad Ball!!! God, I'm pissed off as much as Calvin is. Bell getting a field goal try, he gets it. 7-6 Bulldogs Kickoff. End of the 3rd Quarter. Ball can't do squat.
By the way, the answer to the AFLAC!! trivia question is Theron Sapp. Was I ever wrong.
Lumpkin. Stuffed. Loss of two. Complete. Lumpkin first down, wasn't stuffed that time. Quick throw and attempt to run dropped. Lumpkin. Stuffed! I LOVE saying that! :D Incomplete!! They stopped them on third down!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!
Punt time for Ely-Kelso. Bad punt, good field position for Tech. Again. But they won't get anything except maybe a field goal. HOWEVER, that is all they need.
The announcers REALLY wanted offense. Pffft. Tashard Choice to the 50. 2nd and 4. Ball runs for a first down to the 43, his most successful run all day. Again to Choice. To the 39. 2nd and 6. He really is a very nice running back.
Deep ball, Calvin dives and misses again! But he wouldn't have gotten it anyway he landed out of bounds. However, Calvin gets an reverse run and he gets to the first down. Choice to the 21! At last, efficiency!! 2nd and 1. First down at the 14 for Tashard! Choice is the man today. :) Choice to the 10.
TOUCHDOWN BY TASHARD CHOICE!!!!!!!
No two points. "Bad Reggie" Ball slipped and fell. Still, 12-7 Yellow Jackets.
Asher Allen returns it to the 36. Pass to the 50. Here we go. Pass to Massaquoi, another first down at the 40. Touchdown impending for Georgia. Danny Ware to the 25. Touchdown still impending for Georgia. Ware to the 20. Touchdown still impending. Ware 4 yards. 3rd and 2. Easy first down for Georgia, I'm guessing. Ware first down. 15 yard line for Georgia, they'll just keep running down the clock. Now Ware is stuffed one yard in. Lumpkin stuffed with just 3 yards advanced there. 3rd and 6. Massaquoi gets the first down at the 4. FUCK!
Georgia touchdown denied to Danny Ware. 2nd and Goal. Ware stuffed. At the three. 3rd and Goal.
Massoquoi pass touchdown. FUCK! The two is good with Massaquoi. Georgia Tech's defense didn't hold. I knew they wouldn't. Bulldogs 15-12.
I'm so pissed off I can't see straight.
Georgia Tech may just as well give up. Bad Reggie isn't going to do anything.
Last drive. Futile drive. I may as well just stop writing right now.
Again, the announcers are invoking Calvin's name. He's not going to do anything. He has been quite corraled in by that Paul Oliver guy. 85 yards to go. Sixth striaght loss here we come. James Johnson missed the pass. Holding on Andrew Gardner. Refused. Third and 2. This is it. Sacked at the 15, what a surprise. Reggie Ball sucks. Reggie Ball just sucks. This is the game. I predict: Long Ball to Calvin and it will be intercepted because it will be a classic Bad Reggie pass.
WOW, an automatic first down!!!!!!! WHAT A GIFT!! Georgia calls a timeout. I don't think GT will do anything, though.
REGGIE BALL FUCKING SUCKS, HE FUCKING CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!!!!
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