Georgia fans went from sheer ecstasy to pure agony, all in a matter of minutes.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Georgia fan Jake Bazemore said after Georgia's heartbreaking loss in Monday's national title game. He like many Dawg fans were just searching for the words after Alabama's game-winning touchdown pass.
Hundreds of Dawg fans hunkered down at B&D Burgers in downtown Savannah Monday night, hoping to see Georgia claim their first national title since 1980.
For much of the night, it seemed things were headed in that direction. A Jake Fromm touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman in the third quarter gave Georgia a 20-7 lead, and had fans like Bazemore feeling optimistic.
“Alabama, you never count them out. They've got Nick Saban," he said. "But now we’re up 20-7, so I feel a lot better than 13-7.”
Just as Bazemore feared, the Crimson Tide roared back. As they did, the emotions of the crowd swung the other direction. The stunning finish left the diehard Dawg fans in disbelief.
“I thought we had it. I guess Georgia did too," Bazemore says, again struggling to find the words. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't see it coming somehow, because we've had such horrible luck with this kind of thing. But I really thought we had them.”
Georgia fans still have plenty of hope for the future. Despite losing more than 30 seniors, including star running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and likely Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith, Georgia returns impact players like Fromm and Hardman. Kirby Smart has also secured the nation's number one recruiting class after the early signing period.
But all that does little to ease the pain right now.
“I’ll always be a Georgia fan, win or lose," Bazemore says. "There’s always next year. But God, I hate Alabama. This just sucks.”