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Dawg defense lifted ‘Georgia curse’ gloom

After spending Saturday morning driving in the cold rain to a soccer field in Newnan and then standing out in said rain for two hours, losing a match and driving back, I plopped down in a recliner in front of the TV.

The Georgia-Florida game was already underway and the hated Gators were holding their own.

I just had a sense of doom – an overwhelming thought that the ‘Georgia curse’ would ruin the rest of the weekend. The Dawgs would fall in Jacksonville and the Braves would blow it in the World Series despite being up two games to one. It was a chill that penetrated far deeper than the cold mist at the soccer complex.

The Dawgs missed a field goal. Florida missed a field goal. Georgia hit a field goal. Time was running out in the first half and then boom! The vaunted Dawg defenders, perhaps the best defense ever, took matters into their own hands.

UGA linebacker Nolan Smith ripped the ball loose from Gator quarterback Anthony Richardson at the Gator 11. UGA scored on the very next play on a nifty run by James Cook.

On the Gators’ next series, local boy Travon Walker tipped a ball that Smith intercepted. Stetson Bennett went deep and hit Kearis Jackson with a 36-yard TD pass and it was suddenly 17-0.

Instead of running out the clock, Richardson continued to throw. Nakobe Dean baited him into a pass on a deep out route, picked it off and returned it 50 yards for a TD to make it 24-0. It didn’t take a highly trained sports psychologist to observe the Florida players and know their will was broken. The Dawgs went on to win 34-7 on a day when their offense sputtered but, with this defense, offense is sort of optional – at least until the SEC title game Dec. 4.

It was amazing how quickly my gloom lifted. Georgia Tech had lost, brightening the day. Then, I wandered along Thomaston Street taking photos and watching kids of all ages ignore the rain and cavort while trick-or-treating.

Later I watched the Braves win to go up 3-1 in the Series and I dismissed all thoughts of the Georgia Curse.

Then Sunday night, the Braves wasted a first inning grand slam and lost. The Series returns now to Houston with the Braves up three games to two.

I am worried about them.

(This was written before Atlanta won the World Series.)

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