ATLANTA - The Georgia Bulldogs took off Tuesday afternoon on their cross-country journey to Pasadena, California to play in the Rose Bowl.
The No. 3 Bulldogs will be playing No. 2 Oklahoma on New Year’s Day at 5 p.m. The battle will decide who gets to play in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Those are high stakes.
Of course, the winner of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans will make up the other half of that potential matchup. No. 4 Alabama and No. 1 Clemson will be hashing it out at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. That game happens at 8:45 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
But before too much excitement, the parades, the games, the teams actually have to travel to California.
The Bulldog’s long journey started around 12:30 p.m. SKYFOX 5 flew over Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall on the campus of UGA as head coach Kirby Smart and his players boarded five charter buses and headed to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Georgia State Troopers were along for the ride, escorting the team straight down Georgia 316 through Lawrenceville before hitting Interstate 85 and Downtown Connector.
FOX 5 Photographer Eric Len was near the tarmac as the team loaded up on one of Delta Airline’s recently decommissioned 747s for one final journey, taking the team out west. Firefighters at the airport gave the team a water salute, shooting their high-powered cannons on the airport's fire engines off well over the aircraft as it taxied to the runway.
It was a smooth takeoff for the team, something Georgia fans happens next Monday afternoon in Pasadena. Fans also have their hearts set on bringing the team back to Atlanta to play in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Jan. 8.
By all accounts, the team is treating this as a “business first” trip, and celebrate later on their way back home.
The team made a safe touchdown around 8 p.m. Eastern Time. And touchdown is what UGA fans are hoping to hear a lot come Monday.