The last time Georgia was 6-0 (2005), the Bulldogs won the SEC championship and D.J. Shockley, my broadcast partner on The SEC Network, was the starting quarterback.
That, and the 2012 SEC championship game with Alabama, were the last times I’ve seen the Bulldog Nation this excited.
After beating Tennessee 41-0 on Sept. 30 in Knoxville, the Bulldogs were ripe for a letdown when they went to Vanderbilt. Instead, Georgia ran for 423 yards in a 45-14 win.
Georgia has now won three straight SEC games (Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt) by a combined score of 117-17. Georgia has done it with great defense, a strong running game, and efficient quarterback play.
Now, barring an unthinkable upset against Missouri on Saturday, Georgia will go into the annual Cocktail Party in Jacksonville with struggling Florida at 7-0.
[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
“This is what we came to Georgia for,” running back Sony Michel told Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
After Missouri and Florida Georgia still has to play South Carolina, Auburn (on the road), Kentucky, and Georgia Tech (in Atlanta).
But for now, let’s just say that on Saturday we learned that Georgia is pretty good.
Here are some other Things We Learned on Saturday:
ALABAMA LOSS A “WIN” FOR SUMLIN
Coaches say they don’t believe in moral victories. Well, actually they do. They just won’t admit it.
Since the disaster of the blown 34-point lead against UCLA on Sept. 3, Kevin Sumlin’s Texas A&M team has gotten a little bit better each week. And Saturday night at home they played No. 1 Alabama—which has beaten its previous five opponents by an average of 38 points—to a single possession game, losing 27-19.
And in the process Sumlin has found his quarterback of the future in quarterback Kellen Mond, who made a couple of Johnny Manziel-like plays in the game.
Texas A&M was a 26 ½ point underdog.
“There are no moral victories,” Sumlin told reporters after the game. “When you play that long and play that hard no one is happy.”
But a performance like that with a good young quarterback gives fans hope. And that hope may be enough to bring Sumlin back for 2018.
THE GATORS ARE GETTING RESTLESS
Florida has been living on the edge all season and Saturday it finally caught up with the Gators in a 17-16 loss to LSU on Homecoming.
It’s simple, really. Florida, once known for its Fun ‘N Gun offense under Steve Spurrier, can’t throw the ball. They had 108 yards in the air against a team that lost to Troy at home last week.
The margin of victory for LSU was a missed extra point by Florida. But that masks Florida’s bigger problems, which begins with an offense that is ranked 103 in the nation (347.2 ypg).
“We’re going to find out a lot about our leadership as to where we go,” said Florida coach Jim McElwain.
Because the struggling offense, Florida fans have not been happy, even when they win.
Technically, Florida controls its own destiny in the SEC East if it wins out. But with Texas A&M coming to Gainesville on Saturday and then a date with Georgia in Jacksonville on Oct. 28, Florida does not look like a team capable of running the table.
**--Kentucky had to hold on to beat struggling Missouri 40-34. The Wildcats, who are off this week, have now won five games by a total of 38 points. And the one game Kentucky lost was to Florida (28-27). The Wildcats match up physically with every team they play down the stretch except for Georgia.
**--Alabama had played 36 consecutive quarters of football without a turnover before Robert Foster’s fumble in the third quarter against Texas A&M.
**--Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson made three field goals against Ole Miss to become the career scoring leader in the SEC. His 413 points passed Georgia’s Blair Walsh, who scored 412 career points.
**--After completing 14 pf 21 passes against Ole Miss, Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham has completed 72 of 91 passes (74.2 percent) in his last four games.
**--South Carolina’s dominating 48-22 win over Arkansas—which included three defensive touchdowns—was the Gamecocks’s first victory over an SEC West opponent since the 2013 season.
**--Here is a stat that will be troubling to Arkansas fans. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Dating back to last season Arkansas has lost five straight games to Power Five teams. In those five games the Hogs have been outscored 134-34 in the second half.
Arkansas goes to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.