Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 1/3/12

Somewhere deep down inside the Georgia Bulldogs resides one of the best teams in college football. You don't have to be an expert to see it.

They definitely look like an elite team coming off the bus. When they're actually out on the field playing, you can catch glimpses of it occasionally.

But, to put it plainly, Georgia just can't get right. (The ancient Athenians called that confounding trait "hamartia.")

The potentially great UGa team showed up in the first half of Monday's Outback Bowl game with the Michigan State Spartans showed plenty of promise in racing out to a 16-0 lead at the break. The Dawgs who trudged off the field on the losing end of a 33-30 final in triple overtime looked like the same Georgia team that always finds a way to miss the mark.

The familiar Bulldog breakdown started with a thunderous rally by Sparty in the second half, leaving the game tied up at the end of regulation. It included Kirk Cousins leading a clutch two-minute drill that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown dive by running back Le'Veon Bell with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Georgia's downward spiral hit bottom in overtime. After intercepting Cousins in the first overtime, Georgia opted against trying to move closer to shorten the game-winning field goal attempt by struggling kicker Blair Walsh. Instead, after a kneel-down by quarterback Aaron Murray, Richt called for the field goal on third down from his own 25, which Walsh promptly missed.

All told, Georgia failed to notch even one first down and had negative nine yards of total offense in the three OT periods.

The result fit well in a year in which the Bulldogs managed to put together a deceptive 10-win campaign. UGa lost to the four best teams on its schedule, getting beat handily by both Boise State and LSU. Best win? Maybe housing a mediocre Auburn squad.

Plenty of programs out there would kill to win 10 games in a season. In that sense, the Dawgs had a strong year.

And yet, we're still left wondering: Will Georgia ever get right?


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