football

Counting the Days – Day 1

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"One" is for (L to R) DAVE O'BRIEN, Larry Munson's lone replacement for a 41-season stretch; KNOWSHON MORENO's 1-yard celebratory TD vs. Florida in 2007; and, the one time brothers faced off against one another in a bowl game--a historical moment which nearly didn't occur.

Welcome to our countdown! Today is the final day since tomorrow Georgia opens its 2016 season! For every one of the last 100 days, Patrick Garbin and I have each shown you three unique and creative ways why we think that number is special to the Dawgs. According to Three Dog Night, “one is the loneliest number” and, as Nelly said, “two is not a winner and three nobody remembers.” Well, I hope you all remember these memories about Georgia football regarding the number 1, and some of the other moments we wrote about during the last three-plus months. After all, it was Europe that said it best: “this is the final countdown!”

By Dave McMahon—Twitter @dave_mc_stats

3 – As we mentioned a few times in these articles, Georgia has appeared in 51 bowl games, winning 29 of them. Two of their 29 postseason victories the Dogs won by just 1 point. The first happened in the 1973 Peach Bowl when the Bulldogs faced Maryland. First, Georgia scored a touchdown, and then the Terrapins followed. The Bulldogs countered with a field goal, and then Maryland tied it by halftime, 10-10. In the third quarter, Georgia scored a touchdown. If the final stanza, the Terps kicked two field goals, and it was not enough as the Dawgs prevailed, 17-16. The touchdown that put Georgia up for good was a 1-yard run by quarterback Andy Johnson. The other 1-point bowl victory for the Bulldogs occurred in the 1984 Cotton Bowl. Many Dawg fans remember the game for the 17-yard run by quarterback John Lastinger with 3:22 remaining that eventually gave Georgia a 10-9 victory over the Longhorns, while revealing to everyone the answer to “What time it is in Texas?”

2 – Arguably the biggest play in Georgia history is the Belue-to-Scott 93-yard touchdown pass that gave Georgia the lead over Florida in the 1980 Cocktail Party. Many of you likely remember it well because of all the property that was destroyed that night, and the fact they had to rebuild the stadium. Anyway, Lindsay Scott was a spectacular wide receiver during his time but, surprisingly, the 93-yarder was his one and only touchdown reception that season. He had six touchdown receptions the following year in 1981, and 10 during his career, plus one touchdown on a kickoff return as a freshman in 1978.

1 – Another big play a little more recent was a 1-yard score—well, technically, it wasn’t the touchdown that was all that “big,” but what resulted after the 1-yard score. During the first quarter of the 2007 Cocktail Party against Florida, Knowshon Moreno leaped and scored a touchdown from one yard out. Seconds later, practically all the Bulldogs took the field to celebrate. Players jumped, and danced, and then were flagged. Regardless, head coach Mark Richt and the Bulldogs were tired of having been pushed around by the Gators. In 2007, beginning with Moreno’s 1-yard leap, Florida’s bullying came to a halt as the Bulldogs pulled away with a 42-30 win.

By Patrick Garbin—Twitter @PGarbinDT

3—We all are fully aware of one of Georgia’s favorite traditions of “Calling the Dogs”… Gooooooo Dogs! Sic ’em! Woof! Woof! Woof! Still, when this cheer originated 40 years ago for the Bulldogs’ season opener against California in 1976, the call was one word shorter and, compared to today’s standards, seemingly worded awkwardly: He-e-e-re, Dogs! He-e-e-e-e-re Dogs! Si-i-i-i-i-ck ’em! The idea for the cheer was derived from the “Sooie Pigs!” call of the Arkansas Razorbacks, who Georgia had faced in their last game of the previous 1975 season in the Cotton Bowl.

2—For 41 regular seasons—from 1966 through the 2006 campaign—Larry Munson, Georgia football’s legendary radio play-by-play man, missed just one game as the “Voice of the Bulldogs”: October 6, 1990, at Clemson, when he was recovering from back surgery. Munson was substituted by a young Dave O’Brien, a Syracuse University graduate still in his 20s, who was in his first of what would be two seasons as the Georgia Radio Network’s football color analyst.

1—Dooley vs. Dooley in the 1971 Gator Bowl, or the last time Georgia faced North Carolina when head coaches and brothers Vince and Bill Dooley faced off, nearly did not occur… In mid-November of 1971, a 9-1 Bulldogs team (with Georgia Tech still remaining to play) voted to go to the Cotton Bowl to face Texas; however, there would be no bid extended to the Bulldogs from the bowl game in Dallas, which instead invited then-undefeated Penn State. In turn, Georgia accepted a Gator Bowl bid to presumably face Notre Dame for the first time. Yet, the Fighting Irish, which seemingly was hoping for a major-bowl invitation, decided at the 11th hour not to go bowling at all when invites from the Orange, Sugar, and Cotton were all extended to others. The Gator Bowl scrambled to approach 8-2 North Carolina, but would only extend an invite if Bill Dooley’s Tar Heels beat Duke in their regular-season finale. The Blue Devils were defeated, leading to the 1971 Gator Bowl featuring for the first time in college post-season history brothers opposing one another as head coaches. As for Notre Dame, its first meeting with Georgia would have to wait nine seasons until the 1981 Sugar Bowl, when the Bulldogs defeated the Irish and were unanimously named No. 1 for the first, and only, time in Georgia football history.

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