Observations from the Cheap Seats: Georgia Bulldogs Manhandle Auburn


The Georgia Bulldogs decided to show up and be the team they could be upon their return home against Auburn.

First I wasn’t going to the game. Then I was. In the end, Todd Gurley and I entered the stadium together. I wore black, and he wore red.

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Friday afternoon, I was presented with a ticket, courtesy of a friend, Brian, who I had been to SIX Georgia-Auburn games with, all at Jordan-Hare stadium. This was the first Auburn game we would attend together at Sanford Stadium. And this was the first time either of us tailgated with a real-live Charlie Brown. The Augusta resident was gracious enough to let us invade his tailgate, and they were a great bunch!

Going in, I thought this year’s game would be a battle of will – which defensive coordinator would blink first? Auburn’s Ellis Johnson or Georgia’s Jeremy Pruitt? I said it would be a miracle if we stayed under a combined 100 points, and the first team to punt would lose.

Johnson definitely held the upper hand on wit. Regarding Gurley, during the week he said, “Nobody’s stopped him. The only one that’s stopped him was the autograph guy.”

Turned out Johnson didn’t have an answer for Nick Chubb and Gurley, and Gus Malzahn didn’t have an answer for Pruitt’s defense.

If you’re a Georgia fan, and the glass is half full, you believed the Gus luck finally ran out against the Aggies. If you’re like me, and your inner Munson is louder than the other voices in your head, then the horseshoe found its way back to the backsides of the WarTigerPlainsmen.

I think the horseshoe has relocated to Tallahassee for now.

Tailgating with Charlie Brown – Photo: Sravanthi Meka

This was Nick Marshall’s first game back in Athens since his untimely departure, and he’s probably glad he doesn’t have to come back. Since I couldn’t watch on TV this week, what was higher? The number of times ESPN mentioned Nick Marshall being a former Georgia player, the number of kickoff returns, or the number of times ESPN showed the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare”?

Ahhh…Night games! I can count on one hand the number of games that have kicked off in the dark at Sanford Stadium. Walking to the stadium, I saw at least five or six groups rearranging themselves to fit liquor bottles in the appropriate hiding places. I went in sober, save for the Fireball shot someone forced down my throat.

Once in the stadium, the blackout was in full force, in the stands at least; the players were still in red. The stadium went retro late in the first quarter with some Soulja Boy, and it had a reprise in the fourth quarter. It felt like 2007 again, and all we were missing was Verne and Gary dancing in the booth — Thank Dawg!

Fake punt and going for it on fourth and one in field goal range? Who is this guy? Evil Richt? It was nice to see a little fire in the game-planning, even if the fake punt got called back.

Much like Auburn’s last trip to Athens, which seems like a decade ago, Auburn scored on its opening drive, and we never heard from them again. The silence from the War Tigle Plainsmen was golden. Although Auburn scored on that drive, the Georgia fans didn’t give up on their team, kept their volume when Auburn had the ball and didn’t let up until well into the fourth quarter.

As for the atmosphere, it couldn’t have been a better setting – for the team, for the fans, and for the recruits. The future of the team got to see a fantastic performance all around, and maybe the way the fans responded will help in that decision to come to Athens.

The student section expressed its displeasure on Gurley’s kickoff return for touchdown that was called back, and the entire stadium did so when Adam Erickson’s fake punt pass to Shakenneth Williams came back after an “illegal man downfield” call. It was getting ugly. Sanford Stadium’s mood improved after the fair catch muffed punt and recovered fumble, and continued to improve with each of the following two turnovers.

But as soon as Chubb scored the last touchdown of the game to go up 34-7, the stadium started emptying. It wasn’t just the orange and blue leaving the stadium. Red and black left in droves as well. I stayed until 0:00, because beating Auburn is always a great thing.

Beating a top-ten team at home, after losing in heart-breaking fashion last year, is something you don’t want to forget too quickly just so you can get a drink downtown.

Since my friend is a Redcoat Alum, we stayed to listen to the Redcoats post-game. I’ve listened to them post-game after wins and losses, and yes, they do sound so much better after a win.

How sweet it is! Even though the free Waffle House will be Wednesday, we still stopped for Waffle House on the drive back to Atlanta. Tradition is tradition, after all.