... But I can't. Yes, it'd be easy to blame Murray for not spiking that ball. But to be honest, he had the back-shoulder throw to Mitchell open...the ball was tipped. I could blame Connely for catching it, but he's a RS freshman receiver who's always been caught to catch the ball...he's not going to think to knock it down. I could be pissed that our defense allowed so many rushing yards...but when they had to make a stop, they did. They gave the offense the ball in the 4th with a chance to win it. That's what you ask for in a game of that magnitude against an opponent of that quality.
In the weeks and months to come, we'll scrutinize our defensive scheme. We'll look at the huge rushing yards given up in some games this year, and we'll wonder if it's a scheme thing or a performance thing or a talent thing.
At the end of the day though, we went toe to toe with the best football program in the nation for four quarters, and came up a few yards shy of a victory. Is that something to be happy about? Hell no. Never be happy with losing. That's for losers.
But, it's a hell of a statement about the state of Georgia football. We want a program that can compete for championships annually. We have that. We've dropped our last two SEC Championship Games. That hurts.
Still, as a program, we're in as good a position as we've ever been in my lifetime as a fan. Two years removed from a losing season, we were moments away from a National Title. I experienced every emotion during that game, and I'm now left with the most powerful one - longing.
That longing will carry me into January, and then into a fall of excitement. Do I wish we'd win tonight? You're damn right I do. But, I'm also damn glad to be a graduate of UGA, and a member of a fraternity of lettermen from this school. Tonight, we lost...but it's still great to be a Georgia Bulldog.
Post-Script: This was written immediately after the game last night, before it came to light that Murray checked with Richt, and Richt told him not to spike the ball. I don't have a problem with the decision, as I said above. But, the outcome truly blows.