Georgia plays Auburn for the SEC championship, rests in the case of College Football Playoff –

Georgia plays Auburn for the SEC championship, rests in the case of College Football Playoff


ATLANTA – Somehow, this 41-year-old opaque coach with the barbed-wire equipment was suddenly and slightly like a warm symphony conductor. At the end of his blurry victory tour of the Mercedes-Benz stadium on Saturday, after his fuzzy two-year ascent in Georgia, he raced and delighted beneath section after section of fans wearing the same red and black uniform he once had. He led Georgia as a security of all conferences. The noise kept growing and stirring the hairs on the neck.

Having reached the final section of fans, and having let delirium penetrate his serious football brain, Kirby Smart stopped and took off his perpetual white visor. Then he leaned into the crowd and handed him that cheap accessory like a formal hat. Georgia, chronically hopeful and not completely Georgia, had reversed a 40-17 defeat only 21 days ago in Auburn, had beaten Auburn, 28-7, had won its first Southeast Conference title since 2005 and had secured the pbadage to School. Football Playoff, the Carnegie Hall sport, if you will.

What had just happened was a sudden change in physicality. Then, in the happy locker room, someone asked if Smart shows his players that happy side.

"Oh, show a side," linebacker Davin Bellamy said.

"What is that?" It was the next question.

"Plucking the bad" was the next response.

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It had been a demonstration of controlled brutality that the unlikely number "7" had pbaded afternoon and night. That "7" had appeared early, on the scoreboard, next to Auburn's name, after Auburn had opened 75 creative yards in 10 plays with seven hands touching the ball, Jarrett Stidham throwing Nate Craig-Myers for the final six yards. If I had bet that "7" would remain forever – threatening in Auburn, smiling at Georgia – I could have raided some wallets.

The "7" was transferred to an offensive, Auburn's, who averaged 36.7 points per game and spent his last five games he must win with 52, 42, 40, 42 and 26, the last number in that Moment-No 1 Alabama. It reminded the 76,534 witnesses that Georgia's defense had been one of the most important units of collegiate football before Auburn got it in the noisy Plains one day in November, and that meant that from 8 to 5 in the debut year of Smart after his long administration in Alabama under Nick Saban, Georgia could reach 12-1. The "7" impressed even though Auburn's star running back Kerryon Johnson seemed quite shy in all, his 13 injured carries producing 44 injured yards.

The edge of Auburn in total yards on November 11 was 488-230. Georgia almost reversed it on Saturday, beating the Tigers 421-259. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, so besieged at Auburn, He completed 16 of 22 pbades, from capable throws to big pitches, and said: "We lost our composure in Auburn, and tonight we kept our composure, and we played really, really physically ahead." And as happens sometimes in sports among young people, the tenor of the previous game had helped to foster the tenor of this.

"Throw the ball when they already had us defeated," Bellamy said. "Dancing with five minutes remaining, he does not win with humility, I mean, we knew we'd see them again … and that was planted in our head, you know, we have a weight room, and the weight room has TVs with They were dancing this week, and I had the audio of them saying this and saying that, it made us angry, man. "

"Every time we question our physical appearance," intervened his linebacker partner, Lorenzo Carter, "that's when we know we have to go to work, that's one of the things we're proud of, and say someone "Outside of us" is unacceptable. "

His will, and Auburn's" 7 ", continued through a variety of huge works, three of them, one that changed the game, one that deepened the change and that helped to consolidate the game.

For the first, with Auburn advancing 7-0 and 14 yards to make it bigger, Bellamy came face to face with an inning, made her way to see the ball like a duck in Stidham's hand. "Once I turned the corner, and I saw that he had his back to me, and he did not have his first reading, and he was looking for his second reading and he turned around," Bellamy said. "I saw the ball, and I just went for it," pushing her away from her teammate Roquan Smith. Seven plays and 84 yards from Georgia later, Fromm's two-yard touchdown pbad to Isaac Nauta rocked the game back to 7-7.

By the second, with Auburn losing 10-7 in the third quarter, his star kicker Daniel Carlson, the SEC's all-time leading scorer, lined up for a 31-yard field goal, which Carlson hit, but that 310-pound Georgian DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle hit away, his teammate Dominick Sanders. "I mean, I honestly did not know I blocked it until I blocked it," Hawkins-Muckle said. "I saw the ball broke, I lowered the ball, I raised my hand, I heard the tip, I did not even feel it, I just heard the advice, I just heard the fans go crazy, and I said, Aw, I really blocked this kick. "It was a very exciting time for me once I realized I had blocked it."

And for the third, Carter reached the side of a block and slapped him Johnson, another loose ball to which Smith helped himself. That took Fromm's seven-yard touchdown pbad to Terry Godwin on the left side of the end zone, and Fromm's two-point conversion pbad to Godwin on the right side of the end zone. By then, they were 21-7, and with the 64-yard touchdown again from D & # 39; Andre Swift, who went off, that left a locker room with happy linebackers from a brutal defense that had left a "7" sitting all afternoon.

"At the end of the game three weeks ago," Bellamy said, "everyone was upset, but there was calm."

"He has a murderous mentality," Carter said of Smart. "It's a trickle effect." . . . He just let us know that there is a standard, that there is a new standard in Georgia. "

Then, his tough coach had removed his visor, Bellamy could say something that might have sounded false, but that Saturday had come to do Ironclad's sense: "The team that showed up on the field three weeks ago," he said, "was not a Georgia Bulldogs team."

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