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Tuesday Thoughts 11/28: Anger is a Privilege

In which we work through our feelings like adults.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in years, that was exciting.

Game Recap in Three Sentences

Tech struck first and kept it close all night, but a scoreless third quarter from the Jackets let the Bulldogs build up a lead.

We gained 205 rushing yards, the second-highest total Georgia has given up all season.

The defense came up big in a few key moments, earning two takeaways and stopping them on a couple pivotal second-half third downs.

Above The Line of the Week

  1. Buster Faulkner. This man called an incredible game for this offense and I was constantly impressed at how we were able to move the ball against a top-5 defense. I’m blown away by what he’s been able to do this year.
  2. Eric Singleton Jr. With another 96 receiving yards, he firmly asserted himself as the team’s leading receiver in a helluva freshman debut.
  3. Brent Key, for preparing these guys and keeping them fighting the whole game.

Unformed Thought of the Week

No one scored more points against Georgia than us, and only Auburn lost by fewer points (one fewer to be exact). Moral victories suck, but it’s worth lingering on the fact that we took the best swing at the two-time defending champs who are the favorites to three-peat and have been stomping most other teams.

5 Star (7 Star, 5 Star) Developmental Program Haiku of the Week

Like clockwork each year
Smile for the future though
Let’s crush that bowl game

Anger is a Privilege

I was angry Saturday night.

How could we give away another winnable game? How could our inability to tackle let another team run all over us? How could we continue to drop passes on third downs? How could we settle for field goals? How could the offense disappear for a whole quarter again?

But wait a minute; that was the Georgia game that I’m angry about. We’ve been blown off the field for the past five years of this rivalry; feeling angry that we could’ve won one isn’t something I’ve gotten to feel in a while. Recently I’ve felt nothing but depression from this game - how could you watch the 2019 and 2021 games and think we’re even playing the same sport? In a way I feel awakened; seeing a competitive (albeit still outmatched) team fight a close game in this rivalry renews my belief that we’re finally on the right path.

Even putting aside the color of their jerseys, that was a top-five offense and defense that we just hung with. I’m angry that we had a winnable game against the number one team in the country - isn’t that amazing? The more I think about it all, the more pride I feel for how far we’ve come as a program in this last year. Obviously, the anger means there’s much more to be done, but man, can we take a step back and think about the progress that’s been made?

I’ll admit it’s taken me a couple of days to reach this calmer and more positive mindset, but even my initial anger was channeled in such a different way than it has been in the past. I was furious at this game in 2021 because watching that shutout felt like watching the program I love die; this year I’m mad that we settled for an early FG on fourth down instead of going for a TD and that’s a drastically different mental framework. In years past it didn’t feel like much of a rivalry, it felt like a college team alternating between sleepwalking and showboating their way through a charity game against high schoolers. This year you could see Kirby’s frustration and anxiety and you could see the players getting worked up. Several Georgia fans I’ve talked to have expressed similar feelings - we had them nervous. Relish that feeling; we don’t have to be the basement-dwelling afterthought, we can be the thorny rock-fighters that challenge the goliaths of the world.

If you’re angry like me, relish that too. I’ve talked about the theme of normalcy a lot this season; what’s more normal than being angry about losing a close game to your rival? It’s one more step on our grand path of rebuilding the program back to what we know it can be. It’s a privilege to feel the fire of a rivalry and honestly be able to say “let’s get ‘em year”.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Look Ahead

Up next is the bowl game, but our location and opponent hasn’t been announced yet. I’ve seen a few different predictions thrown around: Fenway, Gasparilla, Birmingham, and Pinstripe mostly. Whoever we end up playing though, I want to completely demolish them. Give me one last firing-on-all-cylinders performance that crushes someone to send out 2023 with a bang.