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April 30, 2009

Let's Hope the Herd Is the Word

I was listening to Colin Cowherd last week on ESPN Radio and he made an interesting observation: there is a correlation between a team's returning starts along its offensive line and success--"a returning offensive line equates to wins," as he put it.
He said that the two biggest surprise teams of 2008, Ole Miss and Utah, had over 90 career starts returning on their offensive line. Whereas, the three biggest disappointments in '08 who appeared in the preseason top ten, Georgia, Clemson, and Missouri, all returned less than 40 career starts on the offensive line.
I did some digging... Preseason #1 Georgia's offensive line in 2008 returned only 24 career starts: 13 from Chris Davis and 11 from Clint Boling.
While Cowherd talked, it dawned on me that not only do the Bulldogs return all five starters on the offensive line from last season but Trinton Sturdivant also returns--a starter in 2007 who was injured just prior to 2008. Certainly, I thought, Georgia returns a ton of starts along its offensive line for the upcoming season.
In fact, the Bulldogs return nine players (including Kiante Tripp, who apparently will play defensive end) who have started on the offensive line. They have combined to start in a whopping 102 games while at Georgia! A position breakdown of the nine returners:

Chris Davis (26 starts): 16 left guard, 7 right guard, 3 center; Clint Boling (23 starts): 13 right guard, 7 left tackle, 3 right tackle; Trinton Sturdivant (13 starts): 13 left tackle; Cordy Glenn (10 starts): 7 left guard, 3 right guard; Ben Jones (10 starts): 10 center; Justin Anderson (7 starts): 7 right tackle; Vince Vance (6 starts): 3 left guard, 3 left tackle; Josh Davis (4 starts): 4 right tackle; Kiante Tripp (3 starts): 3 left tackle

A breakdown by position: Left Tackle (26 starts): Sturdivant 13, Boling 7, Tripp 3, Vance 3; Left Guard (26 starts): C. Davis 16, Glenn 7, Vance 3; Center (13 starts): Jones 10, C. Davis 3; Right Guard (23 starts): Boling 13, C. Davis 7, Glenn 3; Right Tackle (14 starts): Anderson 7, J. Davis 4, Boling 3

How does Georgia's 102 starts compare to its upcoming schedule? Quite favorably. The following is a listing from highest to lowest of returning offensive line starts for 10 of the Bulldogs' 12 opponents in 2009 (Detailed information on Arizona State and Tennessee Tech was not readily available from their websites.), followed by (in parenthesis) the number of returning starters and the total number of players who have started at least one game on the offensive line:

Oklahoma State- 91 starts (3 returning OL starters, 3 players who have started on OL); Kentucky- 86 starts (3, 7); Tennessee- 80 starts (3, 4); LSU- 79 starts (3, 3); Vanderbilt- 67 starts (5, 7); South Carolina- 65 starts (4, 6); Auburn- 59 starts (3, 4); Georgia Tech- 52 starts (3, 4); Florida- 51 starts (3, 5); Arkansas- 43 starts (3, 5)

All 10 of these opponents return at least three offensive line starters, including all five by Vanderbilt (although none of these five Commodores' have started for more than one season). In comparison, you can see, how returning just 24 starts as the Dawgs did a year ago is considerably low. (Again, can someone please explain to me how we were the #1 preseason ranked team last year?!?)
I've been listening to Cowherd for four or five years and, much more often than not, he is correct in his assessments and predictions. Let's hope he is right on this subject and there is a direct correlation between Georgia's returning offensive linemen and the number of wins for the Bulldogs in '09. Now, if only Georgia can establish a dependable running game behind its experienced line...

April 27, 2009

All-Time NFL Draft Results

Stafford becomes the fourth UGA player taken first overall and the 273rd Bulldog ever selected in the NFL Draft. (Reuters)
During Georgia's fine representation in this weekend's NFL Draft, I thought to myself that surely Georgia ranked in the top 20, or maybe even the top 15, in the number of players ever selected in the draft. I was correct in my assumption. Using the NFL's site and DraftHistory.com, I compiled some "draft stats." The following are the top 20 schools in number of individuals selected in the NFL Draft from the first draft in 1936 through the latest, 2009 edition. Totals include any players taken in a supplemental draft (e.g., Paul Oliver in 2007) and the 1984 Supplemental USFL Draft. Not surprisingly, this top 20 of players selected looks very similar to any given listing of the greatest college football programs of all time:
1. Notre Dame (462)
2. Southern Cal (461)
3. Ohio State (390)
4. Oklahoma (339)
5. Michigan (332)
6. Nebraska (331)
7. Tennessee (321)
8. Penn State (317)
9. Texas (316)
10. Miami of Fla (294)
11. Florida (289)
12. Michigan State (286)
13. UCLA (285)
14. Alabama (280)
15. Georgia (278)
16. Washington (272)
17. Purdue (269)
18. LSU (268)
19. Pittsburgh (261)
20. Colorado (257)

I'm kind of shocked Alabama has not had more players selected. Also, Michigan State and Purdue's high rankings are rather unexpected. As far as the rest of the SEC:
Auburn (245), Arkansas (236), Ole Miss (219), Kentucky (180), South Carolina (170), Mississippi State (167), and Vanderbilt (109)
I thought that even more impressive than Georgia's total number of selections would be the number of Bulldogs chosen in just the FIRST round. I was somewhat mistaken as Georgia ranks only fifth in the SEC in first round draft selections:
Tennessee (41), Florida (40), Alabama (35), LSU (31), Georgia (27), Auburn (26), Arkansas (22), Ole Miss (14), Kentucky (13), Vanderbilt (10), Mississippi State (9) and South Carolina (9)
The Bulldogs' four number one overall selections are the best in the conference and topped nationally by only Notre Dame and USC (each with five).
Thirty-eight Bulldog offensive tackles, more than any other position, have been selected in the NFL Draft. This is followed by 31 offensive guards, 31 "backs" (drafted as both an offensive and defensive back), 30 running backs, and 29 defensive backs. What position is the least drafted? Just one halfback (Bobby Towns in 1960) and punter (Spike Jones, 1970) from Georgia have been selected.

April 26, 2009

In Case You Need More Email...

I just added a new feature to the blog that may benefit readers. Below "Other UGA Sites" on the right panel, you'll see a box where you can enter your email address if you want to receive an email every time I update the blog. I thought this might be a useful feature since I only post a couple times weekly. Hope it helps for those who are interested...

April 22, 2009


The Georgia-Florida series from the 1970s is mostly remembered for the Bulldogs' dramatic wins in 1975 (Appleby to Washington for 80 yards) and 1976 ("4th and Dumb" and a Ray Goff-led comeback). The victory over the Gators that preceded the two, although not nearly as distinguished, was certainly just as thrilling.

PREGAME: Florida journeyed to Jacksonville with one of its greatest teams in its history. The Gators were 7-1, ranked 6th in the nation, and had already accepted an early invitation to play Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl that New Year's Day. Georgia had one of its most explosive offenses in years, however, the defense was the worst in the 11 seasons of the Vince Dooley era, allowing 355 yards and almost 25 points per game. The Sugar Bowl-bound Gators were a comfortable 6 1/2-point favorite over the 5-3 Bulldogs.

DETAILS: Surprisingly, Georgia shut out the Gators through the first two quarters, 9-0. The Bulldogs scored on a 5-yard run by Horace King (photo--courtesy of Red and Black) and on a safety when Florida backup quarterback Jimmy Fisher slipped and fell in his own end zone. The Gators took a 10-9 lead in the third quarter following a Don Gaffney scoring pass and David Posey field goal. In the fourth quarter, King scored on a second five-yard run, knifing past several Gator defenders into the end zone standing up. The Bulldogs elected to go for two points and sophomore quarterback Matt Robinson connected with Richard Appleby (who would REALLY make a name for himself in the very same stadium a year later) for a two-point conversion and a 17-10 advantage. In the final minutes, Gaffney drove the Florida offense 55 yards, scoring on a 4-yard scramble with only 28 seconds remaining. Gators coach Doug Dickey, as he had the year before, decided to go for two points and the victory, down 17-16. In 1973, Gaffney had defeated Georgia, throwing for a late touchdown when trailing 10-3 and then passing for the subsequent two-point conversion to break the hearts of the Bulldogs, 11-10. A year later, he attempted to do the same but his two-point pass fell low and wide of fullback Jimmy DuBose. The Bulldogs had turned Florida's sugar sour in a one-point, thrilling victory.

PLAYER OF GAME: Although King was responsible for both Bulldogs touchdowns, "Gliding" Glynn Harrison rushed for 85 of Georgia's 173 rushing yards. Harrison's best run was one that did not count--an 87-yard touchdown jaunt that was later called "one of the greatest runs in Georgia history," however, it was nullified by an offsides penalty.

12 first downs, 173 rush yards, 90 pass yards, 12-5-1 passes, 263 total yards, 1 fumb. lost
Florida- 23 first downs, 240 rush yards, 180 pass yards, 19-11-1 passes, 420 total yards, 1 fumb. lost

RUNDOWN: The Gators would finish the '74 regular season with an 8-3 record and would narrowly lose to Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl, finishing #15 in the final AP poll. Georgia's win over Florida propelled its SEC record to 4-1 and kept its hopes alive for an SEC championship. However, the Bulldogs dropped their final three games, including to Miami of Ohio in the Tangerine Bowl, to finish a disappointing 6-6 overall. Georgia's inadequate play on defense in 1974 eventually led to its "Junkyard Dawgs" moniker and scrappy style of play the following season.

April 20, 2009

The Next-to-Last No. 1

As we are all fully aware, Matt Stafford is the odds-on favorite to be selected the first pick of this Saturday's NFL Draft. If chosen number one, the quarterback would be only the fourth Bulldog ever selected first. The first two Georgia players taken as the top pick are two of the greatest in Bulldog lore--Frank Sinkwich (1943) and Charley Trippi (1945). The third and last UGA player selected first, on the other hand, is not nearly as renowned.

Harry Babcock (photo), a blocking back in high school, was switched to end soon after arriving at the University of Georgia in 1949. A season after catching no passes on Georgia's freshman squad, the native New Yorker was third in receiving with eight catches for 77 yards on a Bulldogs varsity team that completed only 61 passes in 1950. In 1951, Babcock benefited with the arrival of quarterback Zeke Bratkowski as Georgia established one of the most potent passing attacks in football. The junior end broke school records with 41 catches and 666 receiving yards. He caught two touchdowns--both coming in a 35-28 win over Boston College, covering 76 and 54 yards. 

In mid-October of that season against Maryland, Babcock's parents traveled from Pearl River, NY, to Athens to see their son play for the first time as a Bulldog. Although Georgia was drubbed 43-7 by a Terrapin team that would eventually finish 10-0 and No. 3 in the nation, Babcock did not disappoint, catching nine passes for 114 yards. For the season, he finished first in the SEC and seventh in the country in receiving.

Two weeks prior to his senior campaign of 1952, Babcock suffered injuries in an auto accident that would hamper him all year. Nevertheless, he did catch eight passes against Alabama for 106 yards in early November and was on the receiving end of two touchdowns (44 and 32 yards) a week later in a win over Pennsylvania. Against Georgia Tech, he endured a broken cheekbone early in the second quarter which kept him out of the remainder of the game and also at Miami in the season finale. Despite limping through most of the season, Babcock caught 31 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns. He was second in the SEC in receiving, finishing just one catch behind the conference leader and teammate, Johnny Carson. For the second consecutive season, Babcock was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and, in addition, was selected first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) featured in Collier's magazine.

On January 22, 1953, at the NFL Draft, most everyone was surprised when Harry Babcock was chosen the first overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. It was reported San Francisco selected the 6-2, 196-pound end because it simply needed a receiver who could catch long passes. Even the first selection himself was shocked: "...it sure floored me to be picked [so high]," Babcock said from Athens the day of the draft.

Similarly to his senior season, Babcock suffered a series of injuries that cut short a disappointing professional football career. He tallied only 16 catches in three seasons with the 49ers and was later lost to another injury during his one-year stint in the Canadian Football League. Babcock died in 1996 at the age of just 66.

Babcock was often recognized by Wally Butts as not only the best receiver he had ever coached but also the best blocker (at any position) he had ever seen. That's saying a lot considering the caliber of receivers Butts coached and the fact that the end position is not regularly identified with blocking.

Babcock finished his collegiate career as Georgia's leading receiver of all time. Even today, through the 2008 season, his 1,199 career receiving yards rank 16th at the school and 80 catches are tied for 15th. Above all, despite Babcock's injuries that inhibited both his college and professional playing careers, the one-time gifted receiver shares the same, rare notoriety with only two, and after Saturday, probably just three, other Bulldogs.

April 19, 2009

Here's Johnny... and the Miracles

The April issue of The College Football Historian was recently released, featuring an article of mine on the 1943 Georgia football team and its star back Johnny Cook. Coached by Wally Butts (photo), the '43 Bulldogs came very close to following most of the SEC and cancelling their season because of limitations from World War II. Instead, Georgia decided to go ahead and play and an apparent dismal season turned out to be somewhat of a success.
The editor of The College Football Historian, Gary "Tex" Noel, is also Executive Director of the Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association (I.F.R.A.) and a friend of mine. In addition, Tex has written the book Stars of an Earlier Autumn--a collection of stories, records, and statistics from college football's early years of 1869 to 1936.
The following is my article on the 1943 Bulldogs and Johnny Cook:
1943 GEORGIA BULLDOGS: Johnny and the Miracles
The University of Georgia’s 1942 football squad is still considered even today perhaps the school’s greatest ever. The Bulldogs achieved an 11-1 record, including a shutout victory over UCLA in the Rose Bowl, and the first of only two consensus national championships in the football program’s rich history. However, with the season’s closing came an expected end to Georgia’s winning ways.
With the start of the 1943 season, the personnel demand of World War II had carried off many of college football’s players into the draft. Only four of the 12 Southeastern Conference schools would field a team in ’43 with the universities being interestingly located in the two states of Georgia and Louisiana—Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, and Tulane. Georgia was especially thin. Not only did some Bulldogs join the military, like future All-American and Maxwell Award winner Charley Trippi, but many key players were lost to graduation, namely All-Americans George Poschner and Frank Sinkwich, who had also captured the Heisman Trophy in 1942. In addition, several Bulldogs suffered injuries in the preseason. As Georgia neared the start of the 1943 campaign, coach Wally Butts’ squad returned not a single letterman from the season before but featured all 17-year-old freshmen or players who could not meet the military’s physical standards. “We have pretty much of nothing,” stated Butts prior to the season’s start.
The depletion of players was compounded further when the U.S. Army decided that six more players in UGA’s advanced ROTC would also not be allowed to play. This could have been the straw that broke the Bulldog’s back! Coach Butts now came to the realization there was little hope of winning more than one or two games during the year.
One day prior to Georgia’s season opener against Presbyterian, Butts decided to ask his team if they wanted to join most of the SEC and cancel football in ’43. If the players agreed to do so, Georgia’s schedule would be eliminated immediately. “I asked them frankly if they wanted to pay the price in defeats they’ll have to take,” said Butts. Georgia players agreed to do so. “So we’ll play football as long as eleven men are available to put a team on the field.” Butts and his Bulldogs would not join the majority of the conference, who appeared to place the possibility of a poor win-loss record above everything else. Instead, the decision was made by the Georgia team to honor the games that had been scheduled.
Presbyterian’s experienced team, filled with seniors, had pummeled Fort Jackson the week before 41-0 and was a heavy favorite over the Bulldogs. Georgia kicked-off against the Blue Hose on September 17th on a Friday night at 8:15 “eastern war time” to begin a season which the Atlanta Constitution described, “looms as [Georgia’s] most dismal gridiron campaign in history.”
The Bulldogs not only shocked Presbyterian 25-7 but the victory stunned most of the college football world. In front of only 6,000 spectators at Sanford Stadium, Georgia intercepted nine Blue Hose passes, which still remains tied for an SEC single-game record. Most importantly, it discovered a new set of “Touchdown Twins” in freshmen Johnny Cook and Charles “Rabbit” Smith, replacing Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi from the memorable season before.
The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker the following week in the last minute of play against LSU, the eventual Orange Bowl champion. The setback was followed with victories over Tennessee Tech and Wake Forest by a combined score of 74-0. Georgia, presumed to experience perhaps its worst season in history, was instead 3-1 and ranked 20th in the nation.
The Bulldogs lost their next game to Daniel Field, who was not an individual player or person but a team of former college stars in Augusta, Georgia. Next, LSU defeated Georgia for a second time, but the Dogs rebounded to win their next three contests.
Included during the three-game winning streak was a 46-7 thrashing of the Virginia Military Institute in Atlanta. Johnny Cook scored four touchdowns, all in the first half with the first three occurring within a 10-minute span. His scores included a 78-yard rush and 80-yard punt return. Cook’s four-touchdown performance would not be bettered at Georgia until more than 50 years later (Robert Edwards’ modern-school record of five touchdowns vs. South Carolina in 1995).
Inexperienced, young, and withstanding an ever-changing starting lineup, the Georgia Bulldogs, led by Cook, had miraculously won six of their first nine games and held a scoring margin of nearly 18 points per game heading into the finale against their state rival.
Unlike Georgia but resembling some college teams at the time, Georgia Tech’s football squad was made up of Navy V-12 and other military trainees. Despite 168 yards gained by Cook, the “military” Yellow Jackets hammered the amateur Bulldogs 48-0.
Interestingly, in chronicling the series results between the Dogs and the Jackets, Georgia discredits the two Yellow Jacket victories in 1943 and 1944 (a 44-0 Tech win). However, Georgia Tech considers its two victories despite fielding a squad supplemented by the V-12 Navy College Training Program during both years.
The Bulldogs ended the 1943 season with a respectable 6-4 record and the nation’s ninth best offense, averaging 330 yards per contest (Georgia finished fourth in the country in passing offense). Johnny Cook, Georgia’s 17-year-old, starting tailback, was the school’s lone first team All-SEC selection. He led college football in passing, completing 73 of 157 passes for 1,007 yards and eight touchdowns. Cook also added 361 yards and nine scores on the ground. He was tied for fourth in the nation in scoring, tallying 72 points on 12 touchdowns (nine rushing, two on punt returns, and one via a kickoff return). To date, Cook remains the only Bulldog ever to lead the country in passing and, besides the great Sinkwich, the only Georgia player to finish a season in the top ten in both passing and scoring.
Soon after the ’43 season, Cook followed the same path as many of the young men of his time as he was drafted into the military. He would not return to the university until just prior to the start of the 1946 football season. However, instead of returning to Georgia’s lineup as its star tailback, Cook found himself mostly sitting on the Bulldogs’ bench as there was overwhelming depth in the team’s backfield. After finishing second in the SEC in scoring as a freshman in 1943, Cook did not score a single point in his final year as a Bulldog in 1946. He did, however, pass for three touchdowns during a campaign where Georgia finished a perfect 11-0.
It has been said that the ’43 Georgia Bulldogs are one of only a few, if any, college football teams that literally started from scratch to complete a season with a winning mark. The Bulldogs came so close to following most of the conference’s teams and cancelling the 1943 schedule. However, led by young Johnny Cook, a one-season wonder, the Bulldogs apparent “most dismal gridiron campaign” was miraculously transformed into one of significant success.

A portion of this article is a revision of the “Against All Odds” story from Garbin’s book Then Vince Said to Herschel… (Triumph Books—2007). For more information on Garbin’s books, please visit the author’s website at http://www.patrickgarbin.com/.

April 18, 2009


NOVEMBER 21, 1936:
PREGAME: Only a couple of obstacles stood in the way of Fordham (Fordham College at Rose Hill in The Bronx) reaching its first bowl game in its history. In the first season of the Associated Press college football poll, the Rams were ranked third in the nation heading into their matchup with Georgia at New York's Polo Grounds. Undefeated with a record of 5-0-1 and well rested from a bye week, the Rams were coached by Jim Crowley (pictured right)--a member of Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen" and a one-time Georgia assistant in the late 1920s. Crowley's mighty line was tabbed the "Seven Blocks of Granite," featuring future Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi.
Georgia had won back-to-back games over rivals Florida and Tulane following a four-game losing streak, including losses to LSU and Tennessee by a 93 to 7 combined score. Head coach Harry Mehre (pictured center) had played with Crowley at Notre Dame and later the two would coach together at Georgia. The Bulldogs had a disappointing 4-4 record prior to their trip to New York.
Georgia was regarded as simply a warm-up game for Fordham prior to the Rams facing New York U. in their season finale and a presumed date with a Pacific Coast squad in Pasadena's Rose Bowl. Confident their team would be playing in California on New Year's Day, Fordham students wore buttons declaring, "From Rose Hill to Rose Bowl."
DETAILS: In front of 35,000 spectators, the teams fought to a 0-0 deadlock at the half. In the third quarter, Georgia's Quinton Lumpkin recovered a fumble by Warren Mulrey in Fordham territory. Soon afterwards, Maurice Greene completed a 30-yard pass to Otis Maffett for a Bulldogs score--only the fourth touchdown allowed all season by the Rams in seven games. Lew Young added the PAT. Fordham promptly mounted a long drive, including a long pass completion on third down and 20 near Georgia's goal line. Two plays later, Joe Dulkie scored on a short run and Andy Palau's PAT tied the score, 7-7. The Rams threatened to score in the final quarter but the Bulldogs kept them out of the end zone to preserve the tie and one of the greater upsets in Georgia football history.
PLAYER OF GAME: Georgia's Pete Tinsley had played in the Bulldogs' backfield earlier in the '36 season but by the Fordham game, the converted fullback was a standout lineman. What few yards the Bulldogs gained on the ground against the Rams were due in large part to Tinsley's blocking from his guard position. On the defensive side, Tinsley was recognized as an "All-American for the day" by sportswriters as he was constantly in Fordham's backfield, smothering its running game.
Georgia- 5 first downs, 88 rush yards, 35 pass yards, 4-2-1 passes, 123 total yards, 0 fumb. lost
Fordham- 12 first downs, 149 rush yards, 84 pass yards, 12-6-2 passes, 233 total yards, 1 fumb. lost
RUNDOWN: Riding the momentum of its upset tie against Fordham, Georgia completed its season by defeating rival Georgia Tech 16-6 to finish its campaign with a 5-4-1 record. Fordham, on the other hand, quickly fell from grace. Following the tie, the Rams lost its final game to New York U. to end the season with a 5-1-2 mark and a #15 ranking. Not only did Fordham not go from Rose Hill to the Rose Bowl but go to no bowl whatsoever.

April 12, 2009


Carlton Thomas scores the lone touchdown of G-Day on the game's final play (Online Athens).
I was at the Masters on Saturday, so I was not a part of the record spring crowd of 42,458 who attended G-Day. I did DVR the game, watched it a couple times, and observed some good things from both sides. Although, remember it's merely G-Day; we can learn only so much from a spring contest missed by several injured players and lasting less than two hours (and that included TV timeouts!). Most importantly, after finishing spring practice banged up, the Bulldogs did not suffer any additional injuries.
Offensively, quarterbacks Cox, Gray, and Murray, looked sharp overall, completing a combined 21 of 34 passes for 258 yards with no interceptions. These numbers would have been even better if not for six dropped passes. Lets hope the drops don't become an issue as they have been in seasons past.
The defenses certainly stood out. If not for Carlton Thomas, the game would have been limited to a few field goals (photo). His performance of 59 yards on eight carries and the game's only touchdown easily outshined the teams' other rushers. Including Thomas' fine outing and hindered by five sacks by each defense, the Red and Black combined to rush for only 71 yards on 42 rushes. Defensive end Justin Houston of the Black, one of just two healthy defensive ends currently for Georgia, was outstanding. The sophomore recorded three sacks and an additional tackle for loss.
In regard to the low-scoring affair, Coach Richt commented following the game, "I feel better with the score that we had than a 31-30 game." Personally, I totally agree with the coach, especially since our defense gave up a ton of points last season. Again, of course it's only the spring game and we have a long way to go until the season opener on September 5th.

April 8, 2009

G-DAY Game: 25 Years Ago

As Georgia's G-Day game quickly approaches, I'm reminded of my first memory of the team's annual spring game--the unusual one that occurred a quarter-century ago. Leroy Dukes (photo--Georgia Sports Communications), who passed away less than a year ago, stole the show in an unconventional match-up which I doubt we'll ever see again for a G-Day. The following is a "Bulldog Bite" from my book "About Them Dawgs!" describing the game in 1984. Alumnus Bobby Poss' answer to what the game's point spread should have been is as classic as the game itself!
Spring Fling of '84: Unlike the more common and current annual Georgia spring game, the G-Day game of 1984 was the first which countered Georgia’s varsity against an alumni squad. The alumni team included George Patton (1964-1966), Kent Lawrence (1966-1968), Buzy Rosenberg (1970-1972), head coach Bill Hartman (1935-1937), and 69-year old Andy Roddenberry (1935-1937)—the oldest player present. The game was played on April 21 in front of 20,785 in attendance. It was the same day of the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall’s ground-breaking ceremonies while the point spread, according to alumnus Bobby Poss (1969-1971), was “two—two kegs.”
The game was shockingly tied at 10-10 at halftime before the Varsity shut out the Alumni in the second half and eventually won, 38-10. The Alumni’s touchdown was set up by a 63-yard pass from Tommy Lewis (1983) to Lawrence. Ronnie Stewart (1977-1978, 1980-1981) scored on a 1-yard plunge. The highlight of the game was when ex-linebacker Leroy Dukes (1962-1964) entered the game the instant his son, freshman David, came in to quarterback the Varsity. Before David could receive his first snap, Leroy jumped offside, untouched by the Varsity offensive line, and grabbed his son. David was pushed back by the elder Dukes but the youngster could not be brought down by his “old man.”

April 7, 2009


Worley races for 89 Yards vs. Florida in 1985.
Many Georgia Bulldog followers can reel off the greatest games in the football program's history: 17-10 over Notre Dame in the '81 Sugar Bowl, versus UCLA in the 1943 Rose Bowl, against Auburn in 1959, 1980 Florida, 2002 Auburn, and so on and so forth... However, as many great and distinguished games in UGA football history, there are as many glorious but obscure games. Over the next few months, I'll be posting and detailing, in no particular order, 10 great but obscure games in Bulldogs history--10 games most UGA fans are not necessarily familiar with, like the upset victory over #1 Florida in 1985 (photo).
All of the 10 games are Georgia victories with a couple of ties mixed in while most were played decades ago, thus, one of the reasons they are "obscure." I'll post the first game at some point next week.

April 6, 2009

Like the Internet Needs Another Blog about UGA Football...

I was signing at a reading festival last fall when another author and I had a conversation regarding blogs. She was a very well-known writer who had authored approximately 15-20 books, so I was more than willing to listen to any advice she had on furthering my writing career. She told me to "always be writing" and if there was no book or article to work on, creating and maintaining a blog was the next best thing. That's what she did several years ago and it had helped her career. She currently makes a very good living doing what she is most passionate about--writing.
Between my full-time job, family, including an extremely active two-year old, and our second child due in September, I have little free time. However, for the first time in more than five years, I find myself not working on a book. So, I'll try to find time to "blog" once or twice a week primarily about a couple of my passions--UGA athletics and college football.
I decided to give my blog its particular name because it will be, for the most part, solely about them Georgia Bulldogs. Additionally, I named it after my book "About Them Dawgs!" This book, although it was my second to be published, was the first I began working on. It took me two-and-a-half years to find a publisher for it while nearly five, research-devoted years elapsed from its start to the finished, published product. Let's just say "About Them Dawgs!" is somewhat special to me. By the way, if you would like to purchase this book or any of my three books, click on the books' images located on the side bar or visit my website at www.patrickgarbin.com (I just couldn't resist some shameless self-promotion).