Sunday, October 2, 2016

Just another Saturday

And now, welcome to October, the month of flame and closure. When the world, or at least this part of it, shifts into Technicolor. When the best of all days are Saturdays, because Saturdays are given over to college football, and no place is as one with autumn as a college campus on the day of the big game.

Think Sunday has it all over Saturday in the fall?

Silly child. Sunday, NFL day, is a corporate board meeting. Saturday, college football day, is a carnival, blood and bone and passion with a focus to it, passion bound to heart and soul in a way the soulless professional game will never be.

You want to see soul?

For that you had to be in Death Valley at Clemson last night, where Louisville's dazzling Lamar Jackson, ran for 162 yards, passed for 295 and brought the Cardinals back from a 28-10 halftime deficit, only to lose 42-36 as Deshaun Watson led his team back in the late going.

You had to be in Bloomington, Indiana, where the Hoosiers, who usually just mark time until basketball in the fall, shocked Big Ten power Michigan State by outscoring the Spartans 24-7 in the last minute of the third quarter, the fourth quarter and overtime.

Finally, you had to be in that scarlet canyon in Athens, Georgia, between the hedges, where the most astounding finish of this or any autumn Saturday played out.

It began with Tennessee climbing out of 17-7 hole to claim an apparent come-from-behind victory, only to see Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason steal it back for the home team on a Hail Mary with 10 seconds to play. Pandemonium ensued. The stadium rocked and thundered. And then ...

Ah, yes. And then.

And then, Eason's counterpart in Volunteer orange, Josh Dobbs, reared back and flung his own desperate prayer from the Georgia 43 as time expired. He was aiming for Jauan Jennings, surrounded by six Georgia defenders in the corner of the end zone.

Somehow, by some whim of geometry or physics or plain orange magic, Jennings came down with the football.

And somehow, some way, a 31-28 Georgia win suddenly became a 34-31 Tennessee win.

 "It was a crazy play, stuff you dream about," Dobbs said later. "It was absolutely amazing."

Or, maybe, just another Saturday in the fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment