Isaiah McKenzie didn’t want the bye week to occur when it did.
It made the memory of not being able to pick up a crucial fourth-and-1 near the end of Georgia’s 17-16 loss to Vanderbilt linger longer than it normally would have.
The play has been well documented since. After Georgia showed the play initially out of a timeout, Vanderbilt called a timeout of its own to adjust. The Bulldogs then ran the exact same play, with inside linebacker Zach Cunningham bringing McKenzie down short of the first down.
McKenzie said he felt like he let his teammates down, although it didn’t seem there was much more he could’ve done given the extenuating factors surrounding the play.
But McKenzie, after joking that he wished he could’ve grown an extra inch to lean further toward the first-down marker, said there was still plenty he could have done individually to keep the game alive.
"All I could think about that whole week was what could I have done to get that 1 yard," McKenzie said. "But I wouldn’t say there wasn’t much to do. I could have probably dove or did something. At that time in the moment it wasn’t going through my head. It was just, 'Get the 1 yard.' It just hurt me I could have probably done something different, like jump or stretch my arm out. It’s just a thought."
With that play in his head, McKenzie wanted to "rush the bye week" so that Georgia’s next game could come quickly. And the Bulldogs’ upcoming contest will be incredibly important to bounce back in, considering it’s against archrival Florida.
McKenzie has had quite the season thus far. He leads Georgia in receiving with 415 yards and five touchdowns. He caught a huge 51-yarder against North Carolina and a game-winning touchdown on a fourth-and-10 at Missouri.
Banged up at times in his previous two seasons, McKenzie said he did a lot of rehabilitation during the offseason to in the name of injury prevention.
But even through the positives of his junior season to date, McKenzie said his final carry against Vanderbilt has been tough to get over. It’s a memory he’s hoping to replace once Georgia takes on Florida Saturday.
"I've had my highs and my lows, a lot," McKenzie said. "I have to get better from them. That play really took a toll on me. I made a conscious effort to never let my teammates down again, just like that fourth-and-1 play."