So was that Green and Houston’s way of saying goodbye?

ATHENS –- Did A.J. Green and Justin Houston play their final game in Sanford Stadium on Saturday night?

In Green’s case, probably. In Houston’s case, perhaps.

And if Georgia’s 42-34 win over Georgia Tech was the last game between the hedges for Green and Houston, both said powerful goodbyes with their performances.

Wide receiver Green had a game-high eight catches for 97 yards, and outside linebacker Houston had a fumble return for a touchdown and a game-clinching interception –- the first touchdown and the first interception of his UGA career.

Green and Houston, both juniors, insisted after the game that they haven’t yet decided whether to enter the 2011 NFL draft and that they won’t make the high-stakes decision until after the Bulldogs’ bowl game.

“I think it was a great way to go out if it is my last one,” Houston said of Saturday’s game. “But I don’t want to think about that right now. We just beat Tech, and that’s all I want to think about right now.”

Said Green: “It’s always in the back of your head. But I haven’t come to that decision yet.  I’m just going to make the best decision for me and my family.”

Green said he was moved when Georgia’s student section chanted “One More Year!” after the game.

“This went by so fast,” Green said. “Now I’m a junior, and I’ve got an opportunity to leave, man, to do what I love the most. … Standing there by the student section and hearing them chanting and going crazy, it’s just a dream.”

Green is widely projected as a top-five pick if he enters the 2011 draft. It is less clear where Houston would be drafted. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. rated Houston as the No. 17 prospect earlier in the season, but doesn’t currently have him among the top 25. Georgia coach Mark Richt indicated after Saturday’s game that he doesn’t have an inkling as to whether Houston will decide to stay or go.

“I have no earthly idea what the future holds for him, but my hope is he’s a Bulldog for another season and improves his draft status to where he’s a top-10 pick because I think he’s got that capability,” Richt said.  “I don’t know if he’s there right now, but I think he’s one of those guys that can move himself into that kind of position.”

Houston had two huge plays against Tech:

  • Late in the third quarter, with Georgia leading 28-21, he recovered a fumble and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 35-21 lead. “We played the option perfectly [on that play],” Houston said.  “I squeezed the tackle; my linebacker [Akeem Dent] came free. He nailed the pitch man; the pitch man didn’t even see the ball coming. The ball was laying on the ground for me to make a play on it, and that’s what I did. I refused to stop until I got in that end zone.”
  • Late in the fourth quarter, with Georgia leading 42-34 and less than a minute to play, Houston intercepted a Tech pass to clinch the victory.  “I saw the quarterback’s eyes. I thought he wasn’t going to throw it. When he threw it, I was, like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” Houston said. “It was right there. I knew I had to make a play on it.”

Whether the interception was Houston’s last play in Sanford Stadium remains to be seen.

106 comments Add your comment

[...] So was that Green and Houston’s way of saying goodbye? [...]

Godogs57

November 28th, 2010
5:54 am

Where is Saint Simons??? I figured we would see him here?

LBS

November 28th, 2010
6:33 am

#3 Come on back guys

Wes Durham's Gigantic Bottom

November 28th, 2010
7:36 am

Samuel L. Jackson (UGA Fan) to Saint Simons and Paul Johnson,

“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you!”

Cedrick Texas DAWG

November 28th, 2010
7:38 am

No way in hell AJ Green comes back!!!

Coastal Dog

November 28th, 2010
8:01 am

I told you to give Washaun the ball. Murray’s so dad gum good I’m afraid we’ll forget the running game next year — wonder what we’re telling RB prospects in that regard? Houston will come back; he needs UGA another year as badly as UGA needs him. Again, remember, last time we had this bad a year (1979) just remember what we did the next year! Happy Thanksgiving!

Coastal Dog

November 28th, 2010
8:04 am

And just so you’ll know, Coastal Dog is from SSI. Any techsters here will go back in the closet for another year. They’re very easy to control.

Frankie

November 28th, 2010
8:09 am

That scoop and score was an awesome play.

Houston first took the QB laterally and forced him to pitch.

Then, Houston stayed with the play, cut under his LB, who took out the pitchman (was it Dent?). And darted to the outside.

Then Houston saw the ball there, secured it quickly, on the run, and then the QB came after him and caught him on the 5 yard line.

Houston quickly shifted the ball from his left hand to his right hand when he saw the QB coming for him.

Then Houston stiff armed the QB on the 5, and dragged the QB for 5 yards into the end zone.

Amazing play.

Loved the INT too. Houston dropped into coverage, the QB never thought Houston could get that deep that fast, and then cuaght and wisely went down to end the game.

beano

November 28th, 2010
8:09 am

hey saint simons (((42-34))) hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Old Boy

November 28th, 2010
8:10 am

@Wes Durham – Great name. Speaking of players that are gone next year, I loved seeing our Durham go out with a bang. I doubt we will see him at the next level, but he has really played with a ton of heart for us. I also love seeing a long strider who looks like he isn’t moving blow past people.
As much as I would love to see AJ here another year, the smart thing is to move on and not risk injury during another year in college where he can’t really improve his stock any. Just make sure to remember us when you are nice and famous ($$$).

Saint Simons

November 28th, 2010
8:10 am

Concerned GA Fan

November 28th, 2010
8:15 am

We also have to be concerned about losing Brandon Boykin and Cordy Glenn to the NFL. Hopefully, Green and Houston will decide to stay to bring us a championship like Tebow and Spikes did for FL.

Old Boy

November 28th, 2010
8:21 am

We might have to worry about Boykin but I am pretty confident Glenn will be back. I know he is talented, but being the second best linemen off a team that had its O-line struggle will not bode well for someone trying to make a splash in the pros.

A J Green's Agent

November 28th, 2010
8:30 am

Anyone want to buy a Georgia jersey from the Tech game?

joey

November 28th, 2010
8:32 am

@Wes Durham’s Gigantic Bottom

I just spit coffee eveywhere!HILARIOUS

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!GATA

Frank Lane

November 28th, 2010
8:54 am

It would be a great sign of leadership is Green and Houston were to return and announce together.

SGA DAWG

November 28th, 2010
9:17 am

Lets go Cam Newton style on AJ and Houston. Give em the cash. Obviously the NCAA and the SEC will do NOTHING about it. Oh wait, AJ sat out 4 games for selling a jersey…….Cam Newton’s daddy got 180k and he may get the heisman. wtf.

SGA DAWG

November 28th, 2010
9:19 am

Also, PLEASE GET BOBO OUT OF THERE!

Eddy Merckx

November 28th, 2010
9:21 am

AJ coming back is pie in the sky. Pray Houston comes back.

jp

November 28th, 2010
9:30 am

bwell

November 28th, 2010
9:32 am

I think both will come back, AJ take out the insurance policy you will be find. Houston we had a problem you fizzled down the stretch, yeah long season but you didn’t show up at Fla or Aub, stay one more year and improve your stock to be a top ten pick, you will be on everyone preseason favorites next year, you gotta bring your A game all season. This is why recruits come to GA. Coach Richt and staff preps this guys for the NFL, if the condition coach can get the players endurance up throughout a season the def can be unstoppable.

Loyal to a fault

November 28th, 2010
9:37 am

Unless the NFL has a work stoppage there is absolutely no way someone expected to go 2nd or 3rd in the draft and get $30 million guaranteed is staying. Bye, AJ. Thanks for busting your butt for us.

Haven’t heard where Houston would be projected. That will decide that. Would like to see our best player on D come back. Maybe we’ll surround him with some talent up front next year.

DOESN’T HELP US IN THE COACHING DEPARTMENT. We got outcoached last night. Johnson kept our offense off the field. We can’t tackle a pitchman in a simple college offense. I can’t feel good about giving up 500 yards of offense and losing the time of possession battle 2 to 1.

Bug Spray

November 28th, 2010
9:42 am

I am a die hard Dawgs fan, love to make jokes about the North Avenue Trade School, etc., just like everyone else. But last night was the least satisfying win I have ever seen. But I have to agree with Loyal. We got flat outcoached. In every way. Once down 14 – 0 everything Paul Johnson did put his undermanned and less talented team in a position to win. He knew Grantham didn’t know how to defend a basic college offense. He knew we were weak up the middle with an undersized nose guard and undersized inside LB’s. He took advantage of our weaknesses.

Coach ‘em up, Dawgs.

Thomp

November 28th, 2010
9:45 am

We can only hope that rich goes too! Mediocre is as mediocre does! Rich please take the Miami job!

JDawg

November 28th, 2010
10:20 am

A.J. We will have to respect your decision…….no question about that…You have an opportunity to help your UGA do something special with one more year. As the commentators stated all night you make not only a difference in the passing game but also the running game……I will go one step further……YOU can make a difference in recruiting, program direction and personal growth………Get your degree and pick up a Heisman along the way.

We got the "W"

November 28th, 2010
10:33 am

We got the win
that’s 9 outta 10
Its always so nice
To whip their Ice!

Dawgfan55

November 28th, 2010
10:39 am

It was tempting with the way the season went to wish against a bowl trip to just get it the season over with. But that would mean losing to Tech and that just COULD NOT HAPPEN!! Saint Simons, you are truly sad.

tell me again

November 28th, 2010
10:40 am

This team had too many issues during the off season and early part of the year to get off to a good start….we did that to ourselves. After a 1 – 4 start this bunch of kids could have folded the tents but did not – this may have been CMR’s most resilient coaching job – To keep the wheels on long enough to make a comeback and salvage the season. We beat Tech and should have won a handful more….we are going to a bowl which seemed impossible after the poor start. These kids hung together, played hard and above all – WERE COMPETITIVE in EVERY game which is something that was a hot topic on these boards last year. We did not get blown out in these losses – CTG will get his players in there and the D will get better. Murray will return and be a seasoned veteran. We have a lot of talent that has been redshirted – their day is now here. These kids on this team are a special bunch – not in terms of wins maybe, but in terms of being competitive and never giving up – they deserve a lot of credit for all of the adversity they have endured. All of you guys who want to fire CMR – go to Florida and Fire Meyer, or Texas and fire Mack Brown – both of these guys had “phenomenal”recruiting classes the last 3 years and Texas was playing for the national Championship last year….Texas will not even make a bowl this year – and Florida only wishes they had a team that has scored 30 plus points the last 6 games. They scored 7 against their in state rival FSU. So – for all of you naysayers – UGA is not as bad as you say…..like I say, the wheel turns round and round – you’re not on top forever and you’re not on the bottom forever…Carolina will graduate a ton of seniors this year and Cam and Auburn will no doubt be under FBI scrutiny for the next 2 years….sometyime you get that “class” that stays 4 years and gives you experience, sometime you get that “player” (for less than 200,000) that makes a difference…..sometimes you just don’t. When they decided to let players leave early for the NFL they killed some great college football – money has ruined a lot of things in this country and I am all for the capitalist creed but everything is not made better by throwing money at it and sports is one of those things. Sports is supposed to be about respecting the sport, learning gamesmanship and building better bodies to go with better minds. We have all but forgotten these things. The Dawgs will be back – we will win our fair share of championships and rings and along the way I hope we will do it with class and earn the respect of all who we play against and see us. Go Dawgs!

Dawgfan55

November 28th, 2010
10:41 am

Thomp, just curious. Who is Rich? Are you referring to 70’s music star Charlie Rich?

Old Dawg

November 28th, 2010
10:42 am

Wes Durham’s Gigantic Bottom: Great use of Samuel L’s quote from Pulp Fiction. Glad to know he’s a Dawg!

We went too conservative late

November 28th, 2010
10:45 am

I was bothered by Aaron’s fumbled snap and also by Bobo’s very conservative runs off tackel late in the game. My wife really knows nothing about football ( married for 35 years and both UGA grads ) and SHE recognized that UGA was “afraid” or unwilling to throw the ball to clench the game. Then, we hit a 35 yd punt to get GT aroused and they scored and SHANKED the PAT> AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA

Bobo, Gardner, and McClendon and one or two more UGA coaches need to be fired. Richt ought to resignng and take the Miami or Colorado job. He cannot win big anymore in the much improved SEC. The expected2011 recruiting bonanza wil prove my point. It will stun the UGA nation, how bad it is.

PS: FBI had great seats for the AU / Alabam game, I heard.

Go Dogs.

Duh, watching film

November 28th, 2010
10:55 am

CPJ only saw on film of UGA’s entire season the fact that we could be stomped up our gut. This is not brilliant coaching. Anyone, anyone with some modest knowledge of the sport, would gleen that to beat UGA, you run it up their middle.

Please, do not imply on here that CPJ is a coaching genius. Anyone in the USA is aware that you can run on UGA’s soft middle, because we lost Weston, Atkins and Owens to the NFL last year. UGA is playing therefore, with second and third teamers on MOST SEC teams. Period. period.

IF there are some 6′6″ 325 lb nose guards that can handle two O linemen, come on over to UGA. We need to recruit about 6 or 8 D linemen and same number of O linemen, then get two good to average SEC running backs and a flanker or two ( AJ never won one game for UGA ) and UGA will be fine.

It starts in the SEC with the beef ……………..not with 6′5″ skinny flankers. You can win BIG w.o. them, IF and only IF you have the beef.

UGA class of 71 & 73

DawginOH

November 28th, 2010
10:55 am

I will support these young men regardless of what they decide. Houston has all the potential to be the best defensive player in the country if he comes back next season, which could make him a very rich man come the 2012 NFL draft. I’m pretty sure AJ is gone no matter what, barring an NFL lockout. One Dawg who should really be mentioned in NFL draft chat is Kris Durham. Talk about a winner!

No matter what happens, we should all thank these guys for all they have done for UGA. I’m just as proud to see Dawgs dominate in the NFL.

HBTD!!

Jiggy Smaha

November 28th, 2010
10:59 am

The ONLY stat that matters is the one on the scorboard. Ask Boise State. If Paul Johnson had outcoached Mark Richt Tech would have won. Period. End of story. All of you people hating on Bobo need to take note that Georgia scored 30plus in the last 8 games. 30 plus in 8 straight games. Only time in Georgia history dating back to 1892. Things go in cycles. TEXAS would trade records with us for goodness sakes. Richt is smart enough to learn from his mistakes….Georgia will adjust their weight training program and get stronger—they will adjust their practice schedule and get tougher–they will recruit 2 Juco D-linemen….Next year will be a step-up. Guaranteed. And we just beat Tech for the 9th time in 10 years. The only other Georgia coach to do that is—NOBODY.

Dawgdad (The Original)

November 28th, 2010
11:04 am

What a dissatifying win. You have heard about backing into the playoffs, or backing up to get your paycheck, well, the Dawgs should have to back their bus to Memphis.

Miami would be doing McGarrity a huge favor to take CMR.

Greene, Houston, and Boykin are gone. Can’t turn down that kind of money to return to a middling team next year.

Grantham has been a huge disappointment. Even Willie did better against a much better Tech team, last year. We were defenseless except for Houston and a couple of the linebackers.

Jakar Hamilton (the hit man), ha! Has there ever been a more hyped dud. He stands stradling the ball on the goal line, and when called for being offside, he probably said, “Hey, I was just watching with no intent to get involved in the action, so don’t penalize me”.

BirdDog

November 28th, 2010
11:14 am

My guess is that both of these guys are gone. Can’t blame them but I will miss seeing AJ’s acrobatic catches in the red and black. He’ll probably be making those catches next year for the Panthers or Bills… Houston, we have a problem. The D needs you bad!!!

Veritas

November 28th, 2010
11:17 am

There is a lot of intangibles as it relates to A.J. and Houston entering the NFL draft…

1. A.J.’s mom WANTS him to stay and get his degree and what mom wants, mom usually gets.
2. Houston is not rated that highly right now. He needs another year to shore up his draft status.
3. The NFL could lockout its players; then what?

At this point I’m cautiously saying both will be back.

bilbo

November 28th, 2010
11:24 am

As long as AJ takes BOBO with him, we’ll be OK.

KeepDreaming

November 28th, 2010
11:42 am

AJ is gone, you can take it to the bank, cause you know he will!

[...] So was that Green and Houston’s way of saying goodbye? [...]

Mary Jane Geb

November 28th, 2010
12:06 pm

AJ, as I am an older and wiser UGA grad, you can’t make up for your college years by turning pro. Stay one more year and you’ll never regret it.

UGA student

November 28th, 2010
12:23 pm

Not gonna lie, I was fighting back tears when we were all chanting one more year. A.J. staying or going really could be the difference between another awful year or us seriously contending for the SEC championship. It’s probably in his best interest to go, but I and every Dawg fan would love if he’d just play for one more year. Our best hope is the threat of a lockout. Hopefully he also has a chip on his shoulder like he claims for missing the first four games. I feel like we haven’t gotten to see enough of him the last two years because of injuries and that. One more year could really make him go down as one of the greatest Dawgs ever because he is the most talented player we’ve had since Herschel.

Coffee Bluff DAWG

November 28th, 2010
12:27 pm

AJ has been the biggest difference maker on O since Hershel. I agree if he stays we can complete for an SEC title.

If he leaves (with Houston) then I’m not encouraged about next year.

Bulldawg

November 28th, 2010
12:28 pm

A.J., come back, you’ll be a multi millionaire the rest of your life, take this last year to really be a UGA celebrity and take us back to Atlanta for the SEC championship. Our offense could be great next year with a second year Murray, A.J. at receiver, and hopefully an improved running game. No defense has had an answer for A.J. yet, he’s simply unstoppable at this level. It will be a long time before we get the privilege of seeing another receiver like him between the hedges. A.J., get your degree and have the year of your life as a senior star in Athens. I guarantee you won’t regret it in the long run.

I-DOG

November 28th, 2010
1:44 pm

AJ provided some entertaining catches during his career, but he was .500 during his career against SEC competition. He should go pro and finish degree during the Summer or with some on-line courses unless there is a lockout.

Not sure what will happen with Houston. If he is projected to be a late 1st rounder, that seems like a situation that could go either way. It would be nice to have them both back, but we couldn’t win with them both the last three years, so if they both come back it doesn’t mean that UGA will have a winning season in 2011.

rusty

November 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Fire Richt and Bobo and go get Kirby Smart.

Common Sense

November 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Hey Techies.

Wide left.

Your 400 plus yards of the offense you borrowed from the 1930’s has gotten you nowhere.

Hunker Down

November 28th, 2010
2:16 pm

I think we probably will lose both players but have a higher chance of keeping Houston. It seems obvious to me that Aj is about the money and any consequences to his team are secondary. If they do go I understand and with Houston hold no begrudgings. He played with all his heart and might when on campus and always put the team first. Can’t say that about AJ. If AJ wants to gain my respect again then he needs to show me character and stay. Other wise it is all about the money and me just like the jersey sell.

RabidDawg

November 28th, 2010
2:20 pm

AJ is gone. He went into the fetal position after each catch to protect the investment. I don’t blame him. I hope the Falcons can trade up for him.

Preston

November 28th, 2010
2:21 pm

Anyone that thinks Green will return is kidding themselves. Think about it. What would you do? Turn down an opportunity to sign a top 5 NFL draft pick contract which will include a signing bonus large enough to live quite comfortably for the rest of my life or come back another year and risk suffering an injury that could wipe that opportunity out next year. Hmmm. Tough one huh? LOL