The Augusta moments were there, but the downed heads and monotonous voices said it all – they really didn’t matter.
Georgia’s local connections made big plays, but their memories are going to be forever focused on the 32-28 defeat to Alabama.
“I’m sure I’ll remember it, but I’ll remember the loss more than anything,” Westside grad and Georgia senior Sanders Commings said.
Georgia did lose, but the Augusta-area talent gave the Bulldogs a chance.
In the first half, Commings caught his first collegiate pass on a fourth-down fake and later made an interception in the end zone.
In the second half, Georgia extended its lead to 21-10 when Burke County alum Cornelius Washington broke through the line and blocked Alabama’s 49-yard field goal attempt. Teammate Alec Ogletree picked up the blocked ball and raced in for the 55-yard score.
“I just kind of shot through there,” Washington said. “I felt like I was in the backfield before the kicker even got up to the ball.”
Commings’ first moment came on the first play of the second quarter, when Georgia had it at Alabama’s 36 on fourth down. Georgia’s semi-gamble ended with a first down when Arthur Lynch found Commings. It was the first Georgia pass, completion and catch for the duo.
The 16-yard gain moved the Bulldogs closer to the end zone and the lead. Two plays later, Aaron Murray hit an open Jay Rome for a 19-yard touchdown and the game’s first score.
Commings also allowed Georgia to keep the lead, as fleeting as the hold was. After a roughing the passer penalty gave Alabama a first down, the Crimson Tide had it inside the Georgia 10.
All week, Commings realized Alabama liked to throw the back-shoulder fade while in the red zone. So on third down, Commings saw Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron give away where he wanted to throw – he looked toward Commings’ side. Commings
guessed correctly, soon making the pick. He then stepped out of bounds for the touchback.
Commings ended up with three total tackles and a pass breakup to go along with his first catch since he was suiting up for the Patriots.
Fellow senior Washington had one total tackle and two quarterback hurries to go with his block.
“We’ll bounce back in the bowl game,” Commings said. “The seniors, we’re going to give it our all. It’s our last game at Georgia.”