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"The Streak" looms large over No. 1 Georgia's legacy

84 days ago
Joe Menzer | SEC Network
Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

When a college football team wins so many games in a row that everyone starts referring to the run it's on simply as "The Streak," it's obviously something very rare and special.

Such is the case with two-time defending national champion Georgia, which has won an SEC record 29 games in a row. The No. 1 Bulldogs are looking to make it 30 straight this Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when they face off against No. 8 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Bama remains the last team to beat Georgia. The Crimson Tide accomplished it two years ago in this same game, which now seems like a lifetime ago.

"It's an amazing, amazing blessing," Georgia offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran said of The Streak.  "It's something that I could have never in my life imagined, something that God has allowed me to be a part of, and I'm so, so grateful for it."

Defensive back Kamari Lassiter said that one of the keys to keeping The Streak going is to avoid thinking about it as much as possible.

"You know, here it's never been about a streak or anything like that," Lassiter insisted. "It's always just been about being in the moment, just trying to win that moment. That's something that we try and pride ourselves on is just trying to be the best version of ourselves in that moment, trying to win every moment, and we believe that if we're able to win each moment that good things will happen for us."

Van Pran agrees wholeheartedly, so obviously the message Coach Kirby Smart preaches on a daily basis has sunk in with the players.

"I think we try not to think about the streak that I know everyone talks about," Van Pran said. "We try our hardest to just focus on the next game because at the end of the day none of those previous games can help you win the next one. We surely can't bring any victories we've had this season with us this Saturday, understanding that each team has a very, very unique challenge that they pose to us."

That's not to say the Georgia players don't appreciate the fact that they are making history with each victory they manage to earn along the way. That's especially true for players like Lassiter and Van Pran, juniors who say they know they have been privileged to be around for all 29 wins that comprise The Streak.

"I definitely do just take some time to definitely just try and sit back and appreciate it," Lassiter said. "It's hard to sometimes just take a second and just slow down when games are coming at you so fast with practices and all the media and everything flying around. But sometimes (it's) just being able to sit down and think for myself personally over the last few years that I've been able to be a part of a really good program and a program that's taught me a lot of things, not just about football but about life.

"I've been around some really good guys, some guys that have gone to the league, some guys that are still with me. But just being able to be a part of this and even somewhat have an impact on some of these teams is really truly just a blessing and something that I'm very grateful for."

Van Pran added: "I think ultimately I played a very minute role, though, in the success that Georgia has had because I think there's 22 guys that the world sees on TV, but then there's another 100 guys, more than that when you count all of the years that I've just played a role and come to the success that God has allowed us to see. I think I've played a very small role, but I'm very blessed that I was able to be a part of it."

Courtesy of ESPN.com Senior Writer Chris Low, here are some additonal interesting notes and numbers about The Streak:

Georgia's winning streak comes during an era when the SEC has never been better and when player movement has never been easier, making it even more difficult to create and maintain depth.

The SEC has produced the past four national champions (Georgia the last two years, Alabama in 2020 and LSU in 2019) and 13 of the past 17 national champions. There were six SEC teams in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. There also were six SEC teams in the final CFP rankings in 2022 and 2021.

There are only four streaks equal to or longer than Georgia's over the past 50 years among FBS teams. Oklahoma has the longest winning streak in college football history at 47 in a row from 1953 to 1957. The other notable streaks over the last 50 years include Miami twice (34 in a row from 2000 to 2002 and 29 straight from 1990 to 1992), Clemson (29 in 2018-19) and Florida State (29 from 2012 to 2014).

During the streak, Georgia is 11-0 against AP nationally-ranked teams and 6-0 against teams ranked in the top 10. The Bulldogs have scored 30 or more points in all but one of those 11 games against ranked opponents. The streak includes nine nonconference games and five against teams outside the Power 5.

Georgia has outscored opponents by an average of 39.9 to 14.8 during the streak.

Georgia has not trailed in 16 games during the streak. Of the 13 comeback wins, the Dawgs have trailed in the second half only six times. Georgia has trailed in its last six games, but only twice beyond the first quarter (vs. Missouri on Nov. 4 and against Georgia Tech last Saturday night).

The Bulldogs' biggest deficit during the streak came in last year's CFP semifinal against Ohio State, when the Buckeyes led 38-24 into the fourth quarter and Georgia didn't take the lead for good until the final minute.

The only other games in which the Bulldogs trailed in the fourth quarter were at Missouri on Oct. 1, 2022, when Georgia took its first lead of the game with 4:03 to play, and the national championship game against Alabama on Jan. 10, 2022, when UGA went ahead 19-18 with 8:09 to play and went on to win 33-18.

This season's closest call came at Auburn in Week 5. The Tigers tied the score 20-20 with a field goal with 6:21 left in the fourth quarter before Georgia scored the winning touchdown on a 40-yard Carson Beck-to-Brock Bowers touchdown with 2:52 remaining.

Georgia lost the 2021 SEC championship game to Alabama, which ended a 16-game winning streak. So the latest win over Georgia Tech was its 45th in 46 games, going back to Nov. 8, 2020.

The Streak
Game Date Opponent Result
1 Dec. 31, 2021  vs. No. 2 Michigan (CFP Semifinal) W, 34-11
2 Jan. 10, 2022 vs. No. 1 Alabama (CFP National Championship)  W, 33-18
3 Sept. 3, 2022 vs. No. 11 Oregon W, 49-3
4 Sept. 10, 2022  vs. Samford W, 33-0
5 Sept. 17, 2022 at South Carolina  W, 48-7
6 Sept. 24, 2022 vs. Kent State  W, 39-22
7 Oct. 1, 2022 at Missouri W, 26-22
8 Oct. 8, 2022 vs. Auburn W, 42-10
9 Oct. 15, 2022 vs. Vanderbilt W, 55-0
10 Oct. 29, 2022 vs. Florida W, 42-20
11 Nov. 5, 2022 vs. No. 1 Tennessee W, 27-13
12 Nov. 12, 2022 at Mississippi State W, 45-19
13 Nov. 19, 2022 at Kentucky W, 16-6
14 Nov. 26, 2022 vs. Georgia Tech W, 37-14
15 Dec. 3, 2022 vs. No. 14 LSU (SEC Championship Game) W, 50-30
16 Dec. 31, 2022 vs. No. 4 Ohio State (CFP Semifinal) W, 42-41
17 Jan. 9, 2023 vs. No. 3 TCU (CFP National Championship) W, 65-7
18 Sept. 2, 2023 vs. UT Martin W, 48-7
19 Sept. 9, 2023  vs. Ball State W, 45-3
20 Sept. 16, 2023 vs South Carolina  W, 24-14
21 Sept. 23 2023 vs. UAB W, 49-21
22 Sept. 30, 2023  at Auburn W, 27-20
23 Oct. 7, 2023 vs. No. 20 Kentucky  W, 51-13
24 Oct. 14, 2023 at Vanderbilt W, 37-20
25 Oct. 28, 2023 vs. Florida W, 43-20
26 Nov. 4, 2023 vs. No. 12 Missouri W, 30-21
27 Nov. 11, 2023 vs. No. 9 Ole Miss W, 52-17
28 Nov. 18, 2023 at No. 18 Tennessee W, 38-10
29 Nov. 25, 2023 at Georgia Tech W, 31-23