Bloodbath in the Valley

My my my…. How can a girl not be happy on the day a piece of my heart returns?

The trip down to Death Valley for No. 5 Georgia to face the ACC No.8 Clemson Tigers was a highly anticipated and deemed a toss-up by fans and analysts alike.

College Game Day graced Death Valley for its inaugural 2013 opener. Four full hours of watching all that orange can make a Georgia girl’s eyes hurt.

All in all, it was totally worth it to see Lee Corso reach for the Georgia mascot helmet. Oh, and the puppies didn’t hurt either.

The match up between quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd made for an intense, high scoring game. Murray and the Bulldawgs have been waiting since the bowl win over Nebraska, but even more so after the defeat against Alabama. These boys were ready to play again.

Boyd, with the help of his wide receiver, Sammie Watkins, welcomed Georgia into Death Valley ready to make their young defense work for every tackle and stop.

After a all-important Todd Gurley run to tie the game up in the first quarter, Georiga fans watched Gurley limp off the field to the sideline and then back to the training room. Gurley and Marshall then continued to switch out in the backfield for the Bulldawgs.

A huge blow to the Dawgs offensive, Malcolm Mitchell was sidelined after a knee injured after Gurley’s 75 – yard  touchdown run. The wide receiver is out for the  season with an ACL tear.

The Dawgs took a one-touchdown lead 21-14  during the second quarter, after a change of possess Murray fumble the ball, allowing the Tigers to recover the ball then drive the ball down  field to tie the game at 21-all closing in on the half.

Up until this point. the 5th year senior had shown confidence in the pocket and athleticism by keeping plays alive and gaining yards.

The end of the second quarter brought a battle of turnovers. The first strike was delivered by Georgia as they  recovered a fumble punt. But,  Clemson retaliated by coming up with an interception.  Death Valley was full of highs and lows and I’m not referring to the stadium. It was a blood bath in the Valley.

Going into the third quarter, after a messy first half performance Murray, Gurley, and the Dawgs returned to the field. Clemson drew first blood into the second-half revving up an orange explosion.

Since Georgia was without a reliable kicker, they were without an extra scoring option. The Dawgs played all four downs until its time to punt away. Luckily, the Dawgs used an old tick, one that Richt used against Alabama in the SEC Championship, during the third quarter to gain momentum with a fake punt earning the Dawgs a much needed first down.

It worked. Georgia got the first down and a surge of energy. With a few complete passes and a strong push run by Gurley into the end zone, the Dawgs tied up the bloodbath at 27-all.

The struggle continued deep into the third as Clemson put up a field goal leaving room for Georgia to jump ahead if they could reach the end zone. Well, they tired. Pushed all the way to the three-yard line than had to settle for a field goal.

The snap went high and the Dawgs went scoreless on the drive.

It all depended on the last fifteen minutes. Who wanted it more? Who had the stamina to move on to week two with a win under their belt?

Its was a battle. Nothing short of one. Both Clemson and Georgia showed weak spots in their defensive games. But the Tigers were able to take advantage of Georgia’s short comings to jump ahead by 10 with the clock winding down.

Murray, with his seniority, was able to connect and drive the Dawgs down field to score, closing the gap to 3-points 38-35.

Unfortunately, the missed field goal was enough to set the Clemson Tigers ahead to claim the victory in the top game of the week.

The Bulldawg Nation will have to regroup and refocus as they travel back to Athens and prepare to take on Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks next week in Athens.

Hunker down you dirty Dawgs. You have a lot of fight left ahead of you.

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