ATLANTA – Here are three things we learned in Georgia's 41-34 overtime win against Georgia Tech.
These Dawgs have fight: If Georgia's bounceback from a 27-7 deficit at Auburn didn't prove it -- even if that game ended with a heartbreaking bomb for the Tigers' 43-38 win in the final seconds -- Saturday's rally made the point abundantly clear. These Bulldogs never, ever quit. This season will be remembered for what might have been if not for crippling injuries and controversial calls, but Georgia fought all the way to the finish time after time in 2013. Georgia Tech looked like it would win a blowout when it built a 20-0 lead in the first half, only to see Georgia outscore the Yellow Jackets 41-14 the rest of the way behind backup quarterback Hutson Mason and a much-maligned defense. As if the Bulldogs would have done it any other way.
Next season looks bright: Mason performed well last week in injured starter Aaron Murray's place, but that was against Kentucky. Making his first career start against one of Georgia's biggest rivals was a completely different animal -- and he hardly looked up to the task early. But he led a crucial touchdown drive to make it 20-7 at halftime. And then the Bulldogs scored on all five full drives after that. It was an unbelievable turnaround, but it has to give Georgia fans hope for what their 2014 offense will look like with Mason under center and essentially all of the key skill players also returning.
Gurley is a beast: Of course it helped Mason's cause that he had Todd Gurley behind him in the backfield. The All-SEC tailback still doesn't look like he's back to 100 percent following a midseason ankle injury, but he had more than enough in the tank on Saturday. Gurley scored the Bulldogs' first touchdown on a 9-yard reception. He was the only player to touch the ball in overtime, scoring after three straight runs in the first overtime period and then blasting up the middle for a 25-yard score in the second overtime. He finished with 158 yards of total offense -- 122 rushing and 36 receiving -- and scored four of Georgia's five touchdowns.