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September 1, 2009

100-Yard Rushers

Will this Bulldog be the next Georgia player to rush for 100 yards or more in a game?
In reaction to the recent announcement that sophomore Richard Samuel (photo--GeorgiaDogs.com) is the Bulldogs' number one tailback, I received an interesting email. Because of Samuel's inexperience and the possibility Georgia could be constantly rotating tailbacks throughout games this season, the reader believed there is a good chance we will be without a 100-yard rushing performance. This is quite a rarity. In the last 40 years or so, there have been only two seasons (1972 and 2003) when Georgia was without a player reaching 100 yards rushing in a single game.
The same day I received this email, I heard mentioned on sports-talk radio that under Coach Richt, Georgia is an impressive 37-3 when a Bulldog rushes for 100+ yards. How substantial is having a 100-yard rushing performance since Richt has been at the helm? Considering Georgia is 45-19 without one, it seems at least somewhat meaningful.
I went back and researched all of Georgia's individual 100-yard rushing performances over the last 30 seasons--from 1979 through 2008. I chose to start from 1979 because 30 years is a nice, round number, I knew any 100-yard rushers from 1979 (Steve Kelly and Matt Simon) would not have accomplished such in 1978 or before, and, of course, I wanted to include the greatest of them all. In addition, Georgia's football media guide only began listing individual game rushing performances starting in 1989; digging through online, archived newspapers prior to 1989 on the lookout for 100-yard rushers started becoming quite tedious.
The following are Georgia's win-loss records with and without a 100-yard rusher over the last 30 seasons broken down by head coach:
RICHT (2001-2008): With 37-3 (.925), Without 45-19 (.703)
DONNAN (1996-2000): With 14-3 (.824), Without 26-16 (.619)
GOFF (1989-1995): With 26-11-1 (.697), Without 20-23 (.465)
DOOLEY (1979-1988): With 56-3 (.949), Without 33-23-4 (.583)
TOTALS (1979-2008): With 133-20-1 (.867), Without 124-81-4 (.603)

From 1979-2008, Georgia had 164 100-yard rushers in 154 different games; ten times two Georgia backs rushed for 100+ in the same game. Looking at the totals, it appears not only does Georgia have greater success with a 100-yard rusher than without under Richt, but the trend holds true for the past 30 seasons, especially from 1979-1988, regardless of the Bulldogs' head coach.

The percentage of games with a 100-yard rusher broken down by coach:
RICHT: 40 of 104--38.5%
DONNAN: 17 of 59--28.8%
GOFF: 38 of 81--46.9%
DOOLEY (1979-1988): 59 of 119--49.6%
TOTALS (1979-2008): 154 of 363--42.4%

A listing of Georgia's 100-yard rushers by season (number of 100-yard games, including bowls) from 1979 to 2008:

2008: Knowshon Moreno (7)

2007: Knowshon Moreno (6), Thomas Brown (2)

2006: Kregg Lumpkin (2)

2005: Thomas Brown (1), Danny Ware (1)

2004: Thomas Brown (4), Danny Ware (1)

2003: NONE

2002: Musa Smith (9)

2001: Verron Haynes (4), Musa Smith (1)

2000: Musa Smith (1)

1999: Jasper Sanks (3)

1998: Olandis Gary (3), Quincy Carter (1)

1997: Robert Edwards (6)

1996: Robert Edwards (3)

1995: Robert Edwards (2), Torin Kirtsey (2), Robert Arnaud (1)

1994: Hines Ward (2), Terrell Davis (2)

1993: Terrell Davis (2)

1992: Garrison Hearst (10), Mack Strong (1), Frank Harvey (1)

1991: Garrison Hearst (4), Larry Ware (2)

1990: Garrison Hearst (3), Larry Ware (2), Joe Dupree (1)

1989: Rodney Hampton (5)

1988: Tim Worley (7), Rodney Hampton (4)

1987: Lars Tate (4), Rodney Hampton (4)

1986: Lars Tate (4), Keith Henderson (1)

1985: Keith Henderson (2), Tim Worley (2), Lars Tate (1)

1984: Andre "Pulpwood" Smith (2)

(Be careful when and where you open Pulpwood's "preview" above of the OSU game.)

1983: Tron Jackson (1)

1982: Herschel Walker (11)

1981: Herschel Walker (11)

1980: Herschel Walker (8), Carnie Norris (1)

1979: Steve Kelly (2), Matt Simon (1)

Some facts:

  • Players with five or more 100-yard rushing games: Herschel Walker (30), Garrison Hearst (17), Rodney Hampton (13), Knowshon Moreno (13), Robert Edwards (11), Musa Smith (11), Lars Tate (9), Tim Worley (9), Thomas Brown (7)
  • Of the 164 100-yard rushers, 124 (75.6%) scored at least one rushing touchdown during their 100+ performance.
  • The Bulldogs averaged 30.3 points per the 154 games featuring a 100-yard rusher with a scoring margin of +14.3 points.
  • As mentioned, on 10 occasions two or more Georgia players have rushed for 100+ yards in the same game. Seven of these 10 occurred from 1985-1988, all involving Tim Worley, Rodney Hampton, Lars Tate, and/or Keith Henderson. Only one of the 10 games resulted in a loss--a 20-16 setback to Georgia Tech in 1985 when Tate and Henderson both rushed for 100+ yards.
  • Joe Dupree's 119-yard rushing performance against Auburn in 1990 came when he totaled only 186 rushing yards the entire year. Dupree, a freshman quarterback, played in only five games in 1990 and would transfer to Georgia Southern following the season.
  • To date, along with Dupree's 100-yard outing, Quincy Carter's 114 yards at Kentucky in 1998 are the only 100-yard rushing games by a Georgia quarterback since Ray Goff's 124 against Florida in 1976.

Some more facts (these are since the beginning of Georgia's "modern" era--the early 1940s to the present):

  • Georgia has had eight players rush for 200 or more yards in a single game in its history: Herschel Walker nine times and Charles "Rabbit" Smith (1945- Kentucky), Charley Trippi (1945- Florida), Kevin McLee (1976- Auburn), Lars Tate (1987- Virginia), Rodney Hampton (1987- Ole Miss), Garrison Hearst (1992- Vanderbilt), and Verron Haynes (2001- Georgia Tech) each on one occasion.
  • Interestingly, the Georgia player who ranks the highest on the school's all-time rushing list but never achieved a 100-yard rushing performance is James Jackson--Bulldog quarterback from 1984 to 1987. Jackson currently ranks 26th all-time in career rushing with 1,359 yards. The shifty, little quarterback, who was a three-year starter, had many 40- to 80-yard rushing games while a Bulldog but never 100+.

Whether Samuel, Caleb King, Washaun Ealey, Carlton Thomas, or someone else, I personally feel the Bulldogs will definitely have a 100-yard rushing performance in 2009. The odds are certainly in their favor and having an excellent offensive line will certainly help the matter. When better to happen than this Saturday against the Pokes?


Stephen said...


GREAT article...that link above is your pulpwood smith article. DO NOT turn on at work or around the kiddos.

Stephen said...

if that link dont work, here is the blog i got it from. GO DAWGS


Patrick Garbin said...

Thanks, Stephen. Go it linked up.

Unknown said...

hey patrick i am a UGA fan that has a rap group called MEAN GREEN...we did a rendition of the fight song and im trying to get the UGA nation to hear it...here is the link


tell me what u think and share it if u diggin it....GO DAWGS