Georgia didn’t wear black but was present for another funeral.
Facing No. 13 Alabama at Sanford Stadium for the first time since the 2008 regular season, No. 8 Georgia faced an onslaught attack from the Crimson Tide in all three phases of the game. Georgia’s offense struggled to move the ball. Georgia’s defense couldn’t slow down Alabama’s balanced attack. Special teams issues continued to persist.
When it was all said and done, Alabama left Athens with a dominating 38-10 statement win.
“We really didn’t have any counterpunches for them,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “We got outplayed and outcoached by them.”
Saturday's outcome was the latest lopsided loss that seems to occur once a season for the Bulldogs. In 2014, it came against Florida 38-20. In 2013, it came against Missouri 41-26. In 2012, the last time Georgia reached the SEC Championship, Georgia lost to South Carolina 35-7.
After the game, Georgia outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said a lot about this season will be determined in how Georgia responds to the defeat.
"The best step is to learn from this experience and learn how it feels to lose like this. Just to really know we could have played better, but that our future is still ahead of us."
Georgia and Alabama’s defenses were strong early, with the game tied at 3-3 early in the second quarter. After a 30-yard touchdown run from Derrick Henry, Alabama began to dictate the tempo of the game. Two possessions after Henry's touchdown run, Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown at the 4:43 mark in the second quarter.
Following a Georgia three-and-out, Alabama quarterback Jake Coker hit receiver Calvin Ridley for a 45-yard touchdown to put the Crimson Tide up 24-3.
With Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert struggling to a 7-of-17 start, backup Brice Ramsey opened the second half. Richt said he made the decision in hopes of finding an answer to Alabama’s defense, which became suffocating during the second quarter. Lambert only completed one of his final eight passing of the first half, which led to the quarterback change.
However, on Georgia’s first offensive play of the third quarter, Ramsey threw an interception to Eddie Jackson that was returned 50 yards for a touchdown.
“The big thing was trying to find a change of momentum,” Richt said. “It just didn’t happen.”
Ramsey, who played the first half’s final three plays, was in the game for a total of five Georgia offensive possessions. Lambert said he wasn’t given a specific reason as to why he was pulled for the start of the second half, although he’s certain it was performance-related.
“I think I completed less than 50 percent (of passing attempts), drives got stalled and I missed a guy here or there,” Lambert said. “I’ve got to play better.”
Lambert, who went 10-of-24 for 86 yards and an interception, said that while he would have liked to start the second half, it was necessary to do what the coaches asked of him.
“You always want to play, you always want to be the guy in there to play and lead the team, and do whatever you can to help the team win,” Lambert said. “In that moment, my job, in order to help the team win, was to help Brice on the sideline.”
Ramsey also struggled mightily during his time in the game, going 1-of-6 for 20 yards and two interceptions.
Coker, who was able to flourish behind a strong rushing attack, finished 11-of-16 for 190 yards and a touchdown. Coker hit his first five passes of the game and was able to stay in rhythm despite the constant rain that poured inside Sanford Stadium. Henry led all rushers with 26 carries for 148 yards and a score.
Georgia linebacker Jake Ganus said the Bulldogs simply did not bring their best against Alabama.
“We just made so many mistakes,” Ganus said. “I felt so much self-inflicted stuff happened against us. It’s going to hurt watching film how we killed ourselves in all three phases. But I tip my cap to them. We just didn’t execute.”
Georgia running back Nick Chubb extended his streak of 100-yard rushing games to 13, tying the program record held by Herschel Walker. Chubb ran for an 83-yard touchdown in the third quarter, which contributed to the bulk of the yardage total -- 146 yards on 20 carries.
The last time Alabama laid a shellacking on Georgia during the regular season was in 2008, when Georgia famously hosted a “blackout,” and wore black jerseys. That week, Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran commented during a practice that Georgia was choosing to wear black because it would attend its own funeral.
Saturday’s game was eerily similar, with the way Alabama jumped out to a big lead before the half.
“We’re just not good enough (Saturday),” Richt said. “It’s a long season.”