Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dawgs Drop Opener


As the sun rose over Lake Carl Blackwell just outside Stillwater, Oklahoma on this opening Saturday of the 2009 college football season, there were small rain drops hitting the water. By the end of the day all that was falling were the dreams of Dawg fans.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys lived up to their number nine ranking with a 24-10 victory in the newly renovated T. Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Dawgs took the opening kickoff and marched eighty yards in ten plays to score when Joe Cox hit Michael Moore on a four yard fade pass in the right corner of the endzone. The most interesting thing about the drive though is that it may well be the first time in Georgia football history that three different players took a snap at quarterback on the first drive of the season.

Not a soul in the state would have believed that it would be the Dawgs only trip into the Red Zone for the entire game.

Dez Bryant got behind Bryan Evans with 2:24 left in the first half on a 46 yard pass from Zac Robinson and made an over the shoulder catch that would have made Willie Mays proud to tie the game. The Dawgs fumbled the ball right back to the Cowboys and Dan Bailey kicked a 28 yard field goal with five seconds left in the half to put the Dawgs in a hole 10-7 at halftime.

The Cowboy's Perrish Cox returned the second half kickoff 74 yards to the 24 and eight plays later Robinson scored from the one to give them a ten point lead.

Blair Walsh kicked a 53 yard field goal with 6:49 remaining in the quarter to put the final points on the board for the Dawgs.

Following the second Dawg fumble of the afternoon deep in their own territory, everyone knew that Dez Bryant was going to get the ball thrown to him. The Dawg defense was not up to the task of stopping Bryant, he made the catch around the four, turned and put the ball in the endzone for TD number two on the day.

Joe Cox said after the game that turnovers are the most critical stat in football, the Cowboys got three and scored on two of them. Cox was sporting a rather large bruise on his forehead but it was not nearly as large as the emotional one that was evident in his eyes following the first game that he had started and lost since he was in the 8th grade.

The Dawgs saw left tackle Trinton Sturdivant go down in the second half with another injury to his left knee, the same one he just spent a year rehabing from a torn ACL and MCL. The extent of the injury will not be known until an MRI is performed on Sunday in Athens.

The Dawgs fell to 30-5 in an opponent’s stadium including 10-3 against ranked teams. It was the first non-conference road loss in an opponent’s stadium under Richt and the first season-opening loss since 1996 when Jim Donnan’s Dawgs lost 11-7 to Southern Miss in Athens.

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