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Georgia Dominates FSU in Orange Bowl Rout

Georgia Dominates FSU in Orange Bowl Rout

GEORGIA DOMINATES FSU IN ORANGE BOWL ROUT – I jokingly called the Orange Bowl the Opt Out Bowl in my prediction article.

And after the game, the story is going to be, unfortunately, more about opt outs than about the fact that the Georgia Bulldogs just broke their own bowl record in embarrassing the Florida State Seminoles by a 60 point margin, the largest in bowl history.

Ask yourself, do you honestly believe that FSU’s starters would make a 60 point difference in the game? Did you also forget the 18 players UGA had in the portal?

Or the two first rounders who were hurt and didn’t play? Plus multiple other injuries? Or that UGA’s third string QB led the Dawgs to 21 second half points? Right. This game is about who wasn’t playing. And it’s about the chasm of difference between UGA’s program and Florida State’s. 

UGA Opt-Ins

CB Kamari Lassiter after the game said he was given a first or second round grade for the draft. He played. Safety Javon Bullard announced for the draft after the game; he played.

Center Sedrick Van Pran-Grainger is going pro undoubtedly and he made sure to take the soul of a Florida State defensive back with a pancake block on a screen pass to allow Arian Smith to score a touchdown.

DB Tykee Smith has declared for the draft and played. ALL of those kinds of guys opted out of the game for Florida State. All of them played for Georgia. 

So, I’m going to say what you should already know by now: Florida State was not winning that game, even at full strength. UGA is on a different level. 

So, What Happened?

Well, UGA dominated both lines of scrimmage. FSU, led by QB Brock Glenn, couldn’t get anything going offensively. They were held to just over 200 yards in the game.

The Dawgs, on the other hand, racked up almost 700, forced 4 turnovers, and put the game out of reach by the second quarter. That’s when it really unraveled, when with quick scores and forcing turnovers, the Dawgs scored 35 points in under 5 minutes of possession time. 

In my preview, I wanted to see three things happen in the game. I got two of them. I wanted Kendal Milton to go off in his last game. The former 5 star recruit has spent 4 years in Athens hampered by injuries. But he’s scored 9 touchdowns in his last 9 games. He finished his career as the force he was always meant to be, and he showed that on Saturday.

No one from FSU wanted to tackle him. He finished with 104 yards on 9 carries and 2 touchdowns. Not a bad day’s work. 

Dillon Bell

I also wanted to see a wide receiver break out in this game. I got that in Dillon Bell. He’s come on strong at the end of the year, and made two ridiculous catches on the perimeter during the game.

He led the team with 5 catches for 85 yards. If he can improve going into next year, UGA has found another guy who can play X or Z that can make plays, which they desperately need. I also was impressed with freshman WR Anthony Evans. Evans, who was on punt return duty, showed ability to break big plays, with a 17 yard return during the game.

But at receiver, he showed promise, catching a 14 yard touchdown pass in the end zone for his first career score. He also drew a pass interference penalty in the red zone as well. Seemingly, he has taken reps away from CJ Smith (who is now in the transfer portal) as the year has gone on.

He showed the kind of shiftiness and speed that UGA has welcomed from Ladd McConkey. 

I didn’t get an interception from Javon Bullard, who has since declared for the draft. Bullard had a solid game, and fellow safety Malaki Starks got the pick instead. That’s fine with me. 

Promising Studs

Aside from Anthony Evans, a few other young players stood out as promising future stars. RB Rodrick Robinson looked like a fine replacement for Kendall Milton. His 240 pound frame is heavier than he needs to be, but he still was reasonably nimble for a back his size. He finished with 70 yards on 7 carries, showing patience and power in his game.

QB Gunner Stockton started the year as the third string QB, but moved into the backup role with Brock Vandagriff leaving for UK. Stockton looked impressive as he led the offense the entire second half.

He finished going 6/10 for 96 yards along with 7 carries for 46 yards. Stockton’s accuracy was wanting at times, but his ability to make and extend plays was notable. He broke Deshaun Watson’s high school records in Georgia, and we got to see why. He can sling it, can place it, and is tough as nails.

If he can improve his accuracy and let the game slow down for him, he’ll be the next great UGA QB.

Defensive Dominance

A couple of young defensive stars stood out to me as well. Gabe Harris lined up in the Jack linebacker position, and looked like a freak. He was able to force a fumble after flying past a block and hitting a ball carrier.

DL Jordan Hall continues to shine as well. UGA also got great news in two corners who announced on social media after the game they were staying with the program after they were rumored, and one had even announced, they were entering the transfer portal.

Julian Humphrey, who didn’t play due to injury, said he is staying as did Daniel Harris. Harris got a good bit of playing time in the game, which he had not much of the year. He gave up a big 50+ yard catch, but he was in solid coverage. On the whole, Harris looked strong, and his length is crazy at DB. 

Notable plays

Ladd McConkey went out with a bang. After a turnover, the Dawgs love to go for the end zone. The designed a WR pass for Ladd McConkey, but FSU had everything covered down field. McConkey decided to run, and wove his way through the defense for a score. It was a great final highlight for a DGD. 

Daylen Everette got some redemption in the game. He was picked on all year by opposing teams, giving up big plays in the passing game and earning the malign of UGA fans. Still, Everette managed an interception in this game, the first of his career. 

Reserve RB Cash Jones crushed an FSU returner on a kick off, which forced a fumble that was recovered by reserve WR Cole Speer. It was great to see Jones get some playing time and make some nice plays. 

DL Mykel Williams had a sack, fumble, and recovery in the game. Williams underperformed compared to his expectations this season, mainly because he was dealing with injuries all year.

His position will change as he returns for his 3rd and likely final year for the Dawgs. He played up to his preseason expectations in this game and was a disruptive force on the defensive line. 

Walk-on QB Jackson Muschamp, son of co-DC Will Muschamp, got into the game. He managed to scramble for about 17 yards on one play, which elicited a fantastic response from the slide line. His dad did a slime celebration into a first down signal, as teammates celebrated all around him. It was one of the best moments of the game. 

Final Thoughts

It was a bittersweet way to end the year.

While I was thoroughly proud of the performance UGA showed in the Orange Bowl, I also keep thinking that I can’t believe we aren’t in the playoff. We should have beat Bama.

We are one of the best four teams without a doubt. And next year’s schedule is unforgiving, with some glaring issues UGA must fix to achieve another championship. Despite falling short of its goals, this team is a special one, and the 2020 class is the best in UGA history. 50 wins in 4 years. 2 National Titles and 1 SEC title.

Plus, they contributed to an unmatched culture at the University of Georgia. And ultimately, that’s what will keep UGA on top: connection, composure, discipline, physicality. 


FUN My Pillow

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