football

Counting the Days – Day 12

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"12" is for (L to R) the whopping 12 field goals attempted in the '83 Georgia-Clemson game; 12 SEC championships; and, No. 12 Mike Cavan.

Welcome to our countdown, and we are less than two weeks away from game one! Each day leading up to the season opener, Patrick Garbin and I will each show three unique and creative ways why we think that number is special to the Dawgs. A TV show I grew up with, and many of you did as well, was Sesame Street. The learning show from the Children’s Television Workshop taught many things, including counting. One of my favorite counting clips was the Pinball Number Count. I even liked it when Family Guy made fun of it. I didn’t realize until a few years ago that the Pointer Sisters actually sang the vocals for the original song. That’s a lot of memories all rolled up into to one. Here are some more memories rolled into one regarding Georgia football and the number “1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12”…

By Dave McMahon—Twitter @dave_mc_stats

3 – As mentioned throughout our countdown, Herschel Walker had some amazing stats. And, here’s another: In the 1981 meeting against Georgia Tech, he had 36 rushing attempts, 12 (or, one-third) of which gained 10 yards or more. The 12 gains of 10+ yards were the most Herschel ever had in a single game. For the contest, he rushed for 225 yards and four touchdowns. In case you were wondering, Herschel had 72 rushing attempts gaining 10+ yards that entire season, and 162 for his Georgia career.

2 – Receiver No. 12 Juan Daniels hailed from Norcross, Georgia, and had 120 receptions in his Georgia career for 1,975 yards during the early-to-mid 1990s. He is still ranked tenth in the career receiving yards category. Daniels 16 touchdown receptions rank even higher at tied for eighth for a Bulldog career. Also wearing No. 12 was Tavarres King from Mount Airy, Georgia. King is ninth all time in career receptions, fourth in career receiving yards, and third in career touchdown receptions in Georgia history. His 205 yards receiving in the 2012 Outback Bowl against Michigan State is the highest total in any game for a Bulldog. King also has the tied for seventh-highest total for his 188-yard receiving performance against Kentucky in 2012.

1 – Georgia has won 12 SEC championships in football since the conference’s inception in 1933. The 12 is the third-most behind Alabama and Tennessee. The Bulldogs trail the Volunteers by just one title, but the Dawgs only lead LSU by just one as well. Georgia’s first SEC title came in 1942 under head coach Wallace Butts. In fact, only three head coaches have led Georgia to an SEC title in football: Butts (4), Vince Dooley (6) and Mark Richt (2). Since the start of the SEC, Georgia has won at least one conference championship in every decade except the 1930s, 1990s, and so far in the 2010s (Dawg fans hope that won’t be the case much longer). The only time Georgia won SEC titles consecutively was when three in a row were captured from 1980 to 1982.

By Patrick Garbin—Twitter @PGarbinDT

3—In the 1983 Clemson game at Death Valley, the Bulldogs and Tigers combined to a attempt an NCAA single-game record 12 field goals. Each team was 3 of 6 in field-goal tries: Kevin Butler attempting all the kicks for Georgia; Bob Paulling and Donald Igwebuike combining to kick for Clemson. The 12 field-goal tries would stand as a Division I-A record until surpassed in 2006. In addition to the Bulldogs and Tigers having the same number of field-goal tries, and made attempts, they scored the same number of points, as well, in a 16-16 tie.

2—Prior to becoming a long-time assistant and head coach at four different institutions, and an administrator at Georgia, including currently serving as the Special assistant to the head coach, No. 12 Mike Cavan was an acclaimed quarterback for the Bulldogs, who made a big splash as a varsity newcomer in 1968. After a year of freshman ball, Cavan promptly competed for Georgia’s starting job with juniors Donnie Hampton and Paul Gilbert entering the ’68 campaign. Hampton eventually won the job (Cavan, the No. 2 quarterback), and started the first three games of the season; however, he was one-sidedly out-dueled by his understudy in the trio of games (Cavan 451 yards and three TDs passing; Hampton 74 yards and one TD). Starting the fourth game of the year against undefeated and 13th-ranked Ole Miss, Cavan next out-dueled his opposition, quarterback Archie Manning, in a 21-7 Georgia victory. For the game, the Bulldogs’ sophomore sensation completed 12 of 20 passes for 180 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, whereas Manning gained only 152 yards of total offense on 40 plays and was intercepted three times. For the season, Cavan passed for nine touchdowns and 1,619 yards, which ranked as the second-most single-season passing yards in UGA history for nearly a quarter-century until the early 1990s. More so, in being named Georgia’s first SEC Rookie of the Year, he guided the Bulldogs to an undefeated regular season and conference championship.

1—For decades, Bulldog enthusiasts have cited “Belue-to-Scott” from 1980, but “Belue-to-Arnold” resulting a little less than two months later (and 86 yards fewer) was arguably nearly just as critical in Georgia clinching a national title. After throwing 12 straight incompletions to start the 1981 Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame—0 for 11 and an interception by quarterback Buck Belue, and 0 for 1 by tailback Herschel Walker—the Bulldogs faced a crucial 3rd down and 7 around midfield with 2:05 remaining in the game. Belue rolled to his right and threw towards the sideline to senior receiver Amp Arnold, finally, completing a pass and gaining just enough yardage for a first down, whereupon Georgia ran out the rest of the clock for a 17-10 victory:

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