Tennessee fans, enjoy the champagne. Georgia fans, may we suggest more hard liquor?
Wow! What an awesome — or awful — afternoon in Athens. Your perspective depends on your allegiance. But no matter where your heart or your liver found itself, you must admit the Georgia-Tennessee finish was incredible.
The Bulldogs and Volunteers provided fireworks on an otherwise dud of a day throughout the conference. There were pushovers galore for the conference’s top contenders, but we were gifted a glorious matchup between the hedges that produced some of the day’s most memorable calls.
Here are a few worth revisiting from Saturday:
Avoiding a shutout at Auburn
Zzzzzzz. We would fill the paragraphs below with straight “Zs” to describe the boredom of Auburn trouncing Louisiana-Monroe, 58-7, at Jordan-Hare Stadium. But then you might click elsewhere, and what’s the fun in that?
The Tigers ripped into the Warhawks, as expected. The game was a joke, as expected. We didn’t learn anything meaningful from Auburn during the romp, as expected.
The only drama? Would Louisiana-Monroe land one or two punches on the Plains. The Warhawks’ best moment came on a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Garrett Smith to wide receiver Marcus Green to close the first half. The play was ruled a clean catch, as you can see below. No goose egg for them. Yay, moral victories!
— Andrew Astleford (@aastleford_NJ) October 2, 2016
A Dobbs dive toward the end zone
Way to do that dive, Josh Dobbs.
The Tennessee quarterback showed fine athleticism with a 4-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter of the Vols’ did-that-really-happen 34-31 victory against Georgia at Sanford Stadium. Check out the ridiculous moves below, followed by a terrific tumble toward the end zone that cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 17-7.
The ball was in Dobbs’ left hand, and officials ruled after a long review he crossed the goal line as he flew through the air. There wasn’t any conclusive evidence that he didn’t score, so Tennessee was given hope on this play. Rocky Top was ready to roll.
— Rick Russo (@wvltrick) October 1, 2016
A non-review situation in Athens that should have received a closer look
Sometimes, officials can be too careful. Time can be wasted on reviews that should never happen. Anyone with two eyes and a brain can see certain plays don’t need a second look.
Then there are occasions when officials blow a chance to review something altogether.
That was the case in the third quarter of Tennessee’s victory. Vols running back John Kelly dropped a pass that was ruled a catch for a 7-yard gain. Tennessee went on to score a touchdown to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 24-21, so the play wasn’t meaningless.
Be better, guys.
John Kelly didn't catch it, but they didn't review it
— Nathanael Rutherford (@Mr_Rutherford) October 1, 2016
Young Jacob Eason might become The Chosen One. He might lead Georgia to The Promised Land one day. He might turn water into wine with his golden arm and cure cancer over a weekend.
All that could happen, and we won’t forget how the freshman quarterback helped the Bulldogs lose to the Vols.
One of Eason’s biggest blunders Saturday was losing the ball in the end zone after a sack by Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett in the fourth quarter. Defensive end Corey Vereen pounced on the fumble, giving the Vols a 28-24 lead. The play was reviewed to see if Eason attempted to throw a pass, but the right call was confirmed.
It was a disaster for Georgia in every sense of the term.
Barnett/Vereen/Shoop magic pic.twitter.com/qyPkwzarHk
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) October 1, 2016