Georgia makes quick work of Georgia Tech; more early Snap Judgments
Snap Judgments from the Week 13 early slate. For more, check out Friday Snaps, Saturday’s midday Snaps, Saturday’s late Snaps, our recaps of Michigan-Ohio State, Florida-Florida State and Notre Dame-USC and our complete Top 25 review.
• No. 3 Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10. Looky here, it’s two teams headed to major conference championship games next week! Don’t be too hard on Tech; the Jackets and their coach have battled the flu all week, were operating without the services of leading rusher Orwin Smith and still managed to pile up 458 yards in Sanford Stadium. It was scoring that posed the problem; Tech didn’t even attempt a punt in the first half but had three drives snuffed out by a fumble, a failed fourth-down attempt and an interception, respectively. Its second-half drives fared little better, ending in two punts, one touchdown and three more unsuccessful fourth-down conversions. Georgia’s first seven drives, by contrast: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, punt, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. Mark Richt, in his postgame press conference: “Our goal was to win every phase of the game, for every unit to win. I think we may have done that.” Seems like a solid take, coach.
The result is the biggest margin of victory for the Dawgs in their year-end rivalry game since 2002. And speaking of records: With Saturday’s scoreboard assault, the 2012 Bulldogs are officially the highest-scoring squad in program history. That same 2002 team scored 450 points in 14 games; with 12 games down and two to go, this year’s squad is already at 456. Safety Bacarri Rambo tied Jake Scott’s school record for career interceptions at 16. And Aaron Murray is now the first SEC quarterback to put up three consecutive 3,000-yard seasons.
One off-field highlight, it must be said, was the bellowing emanating from the coaches’ box, audible on both television and radio. Georgia beat writer Seth Emerson sagely suggests the assistants upstairs try coaching from a little further away. We’re banking on Richt installing a swear jar in the Georgia Dome for next week’s date with Alabama. The Dawgs and Crimson Tide (barring an uproariously unlikely Iron Bowl upset) are scheduled to kick off at 4:00 p.m. ET in Atlanta next Saturday; Georgia Tech and Florida State will go toe to toe for the ACC title in Charlotte at 8:00 p.m. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 4 Ohio State 26, No. 20 Michigan 21. Playing with heads full of boiling steam and without senior leader John Simon, Ohio State wrapped a perfect regular season that will yield no postseason recognition. SI’s Pete Thamel was on the scene in Columbus and has a full report, but don’t miss this shot of Jim Tressel being hoisted up by his former players during an in-game ceremony honoring the 2002 national championship team.
That’ll do it for this particular crop of Buckeyes as far as football to be played, but a 12-0 season is the best possible comeback to last year’s ill-fated decision to play in the Gator Bowl. Michigan drops to 8-4 and awaits a bowl invitation. [BOX | RECAP]
• Pitt 27, No. 21 Rutgers 6. The Panthers built a 21-0 lead in a single quarter (well, the second quarter) and could slide into a bowl with a win over South Florida next week. Despite the result, Rutgers actually still gets a share of the Big East title thanks to another conference-mate’s upset (more on that directly below) and could end up in a BCS bowl if it can get past Louisville next Thursday night. [BOX | RECAP]
• UConn 23, No. 19 Louisville 20 (3OT). Louisville trailed 10-0 into the fourth quarter, but it forced overtime with a Teddy Bridgewater-to-DeVante Parker touchdown pass with less than 30 seconds remaining. (This with Bridgewater down to one good leg and one good arm.) Still, the Huskies won in triple overtime on a 30-yard field goal by Chad Christen. Bad day to be a ranked Big East team, and the race for that BCS brass ring could get still more complicated, depending on how Week 14 plays out. This just in, via Cincinnati sports info: “If Louisville beats Rutgers Thursday and Cincinnati beats Connecticut Saturday, there would be a four-way tie for the BIG EAST title between Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse at 5-2.” Bring it on. We love this stuff. [BOX | RECAP]