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Kirby Smart: Georgia a 'force to be reckoned with' in coming seasons

13 Enero 2018
Kirby Smart: Georgia a 'force to be reckoned with' in coming seasons

Georgia had the ball first in overtime, and Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a 51-yard field goal. It wouldn't be a college football season if at some point you didn't see that beautiful, bright, white bulldog in his red Georgia jersey sitting on the sideline with tongue wagging, or stretched out on a bag of ice during one of those hot September games.

It meant six points for Alabama, two more than it needed to prevail 26-23 and overcome a Georgia team built in its image.

ESPN college football analyst Mark Schlabach did just that this morning, releasing 10 bold predictions for 2018. No, he doesn't. And that is a good part of the reason he was elected in the first place. Miamis Malik Rosier is also likely to face a challenge from NKosi Perry, who will be a redshirt freshman and Notre Dames Brandon Wimbush will have to reclaim his job after Ian Book led the Fighting Irish to a bowl victory. I enjoy the relationships that you have on a team.

The latest chapter of this Alabama football dynasty, its greatest escape, ended in an unthinkable way. Let's just say the confidence - if not the audacity - to pull it off in such daring fashion left even us old football guys walking off shaking our heads.

And exactly when does Alabama encounter emergency? This was the kind of season that only happens every few decades, if that. Thompson and Tagovailoa are going to make it very difficult for MSU and Alabama to ignore them for playing time over veterans Nick Fitzgerald and Jalen Hurts. I still can't believe that this is what happened. I don't. A four-loss team in the playoffs? Thus far, Georgia has had nine players enroll early in the 2018 recruiting class: quarterback Justin Fields, running back Zamir White, offensive tackle Cade Mays, outside linebacker Brenton Cox, offensive guard Trey Hill, receiver Kearis Jackson, offensive lineman Warren Ericson, defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, and cornerback Divaad Wilson.

As good as the Alabama-Georgia game was, it's debatable whether it was more exciting than the New Year's Day national semifinal when Georgia rallied for a 54-48 overtime win over Oklahoma at the Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, the Big Ten went 7-1 in its bowls after being shut out of the playoff.

Palet said that typically the pass is a "hole shot" - a laser between the safety and the cornerback - but that Tagovailoa's deft fake allowed him to put more loft on the pass.

That is what allows a team like Alabama to have sustained success.

"They played against each other Monday night and today they're on the same team going in the same direction, so it's a strange profession", Dale Pruitt said.

The lefty's playmaking, which included a powerful short-yardage run, invoked comparisons to Pro Football Hall of Fame lefty quarterbacks such as Steve Young and Kenny Stabler, the latter a Tide alum.

"I haven't really thought about it, to be honest with you", he said.

But it wasn't just Tagovailoa.

"So these are things that I know that I cannot do forever, but they're certainly things that I have enjoyed and hope I can continue to enjoy in the future".

If I had the inclination, I could go blow-by-blow over all the things that cost Georgia the national championship, including a handful of atrocious calls by the refs that had the potential to change the game. Sabin's office had called to arrange for a private showing of the World War II movie, "Red Tails", about a black flying squadron who faced long odds fighting German air attacks. "The move Saban made definitely adds to his already impressive resume as a coach".