Georgia’s football season has ended. Surely, you know how it did.
The 26-23 overtime loss to Alabama in the national championship was heartbreaking for the Bulldogs.
However, the season was one to remember for Georgia. Not only did the Bulldogs set records and win a whole bunch of football games, they gave their fans a feeling of optimism for the future.
That being said, let’s count down the top 10 moments of an unforgettable 2017 season:
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10. Shutting out Tennessee: On the Volunteers’ first offensive play, defensive back Tyrique McGhee broke on a pass from quarterback Quinten Dormady and picked it off. In that moment, gone were the memories of Georgia’s loss to Tennessee in 2016 on a desperation heave to the end zone. The Bulldogs went on to shutout the Volunteers 41-0 in Neyland Stadium.
9. Hawkins-Muckle blocks Auburn: After seeing the field a lot in 2016, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle was a backup defensive lineman this season. Against Auburn in the SEC Championship game, Hawkins-Muckle blocked a field goal attempt on the Tigers' first possession of the second half. Earlier in the week, Hawkins-Muckle told teammates he would block a kick. Then he did. Auburn didn’t come close to scoring again.
8. Blankenship’s 55-yard field goal: Georgia trailed Oklahoma by 17 points right before halftime at the Rose Bowl. Then Tae Crowder grabbed a squib kick to give Georgia two more plays. After a quick Jake Fromm pass to Terry Godwin, Rodrigo Blankenship came on for a career-long 55-yard field goal. He nailed it. The field goal proved crucial in a game that later went to overtime.
7. The flea flicker: To open its game against No. 17 Mississippi State, Georgia ran a flea flicker. Running back Nick Chubb took a handoff from quarterback Jake Fromm, and Mississippi State bit on the run. At the line of scrimmage, Chubb turned and tossed the ball back to Fromm. Down field, Terry Godwin raced past a defender. Fromm rifled a pass to him. Godwin scored. Sanford Stadium erupted in cheers. Georgia won 31-3.
6. Godwin’s one-handed touchdown grab: Georgia trailed by a touchdown early in its much-anticipated game against Notre Dame. Then Godwin made one of the greatest catches in Georgia history. In the second quarter, on third down at Notre Dame’s 5-yard line, Fromm threw a fade to Godwin in the corner of the end zone. Godwin reached one hand behind his head to snatch the pass and score.
5. Snapping losing streak to Florida: Georgia hadn’t beaten Florida in three years. The string of losses were decisive, too. The Bulldogs got revenge with a 42-7 thumping. Running back Sony Michel scored two touchdowns and Florida was held to 249 yards of total offense. The Gators didn’t score until a couple of minutes remained in the game.
4. Bellamy’s strip sacks: Twice, senior outside linebacker Davin Bellamy recorded strip sacks in crucial situations. First, Bellamy ended Notre Dame’s final drive by sacking quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Second, Bellamy changed the course of the SEC Championship game when he strip sacked Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Georgia scored its first touchdown of the SEC Championship on its ensuing drive.
3. Carter’s Rose Bowl block: After Oklahoma and Georgia exchanged field goals in the first overtime period in Rose Bowl history, the Sooners lined up for another field goal attempt. At the snap, outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter broke through the line and jumped. Using his 6-foot-6 frame, Carter extended his arm and blocked the kick. All Georgia’s offense needed to do next was score and the Bulldogs would win the Rose Bowl.
2. Winning the SEC Championship: In any other season, this would have topped the list. Georgia hadn’t won the SEC since 2005 entering the year. Not only did the Bulldogs take home the conference title in convincing fashion by beating Auburn, 28-7, they avenged a regular season loss to the arch-rival Tigers in the process. The aftermath of the game was filled with pure elation. When Georgia returned to Athens, a large crowd welcomed the team.
1. Michel seals the Rose Bowl: Double overtime. Carter had just blocked Oklahoma’s field goal attempt. Georgia just needed a score. On second down, Michel took a direct snap, ran left, cut and accelerated to the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown. Ball game. For the first time since the early 1980s, Georgia was headed to the national championship game.