football Edit

Counting the Days – Day 8

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"8" is for (L to R) eight 100-yard rushing performances in 2004, including Thomas Brown vs. Vanderbilt; No. 8 Buck Belue; and, a monumental win over Clemson in 1991 as an 8-point underdog.

Welcome to our countdown! And, there is only a little more than a week left before it’s game day! 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. Eight is Enough was a comedy/drama TV show meant for the whole family from 1977 to 1981. Dick Van Patten played Tom Bradford, a columnist for a Sacramento newspaper, who has eight children. After his wife passes away, Bradford remarries and the two try to make the family whole again. One of the daughters ends up marrying a baseball player, who makes it to the majors: Merle “The Pearl” Stockwell played by Brian Patrick Clarke. In real life, Clarke is married to Kathy Johnson, a former Olympic medalist on the 1984 U.S. gymnastics team. She currently announces for the SEC Network/ESPN family of networks, covering gymnastics.I have worked many times with her, and she is as great a person as they come. I have very good memories working with Kathy, and good memories regarding these Georgia football moments and the number eight, as well:

By Dave McMahon—Twitter @dave_mc_stats

3 – Standout Bulldogs to wear No. 8 include quarterback Buck Belue, who led a big-time comeback win over Georgia Tech as a freshman in 1978, and threw a clutch 93-yard touchdown to Lindsay Scott to defeat Florida as a junior. He accomplished other things well, such as help lead Georgia to a National Title in 1980. There was also Terrence Edwards, who is at the top, or near the top, in all the major Georgia and SEC career receiving lists. Another wide receiver to wear No. 8, and would be near the top of those same lists if he played his senior season, is A.J. Green. Green is perhaps the most gifted wide receiver in Georgia history. He made so many great catches for the Red and Black, and is still doing so today for the Cincinnati Bengals.

2 – Playing for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1996 to 1998, and appearing on offense, special teams, and primarily defense, Champ Bailey made eight career interceptions. While that total doesn’t seem to be a lot, in his defense, many offenses deliberately threw the ball to the opposite side of the field to avoid the superstar cornerback. Bailey intercepted two passes as a freshman, both resulting against Georgia Tech. In his sophomore season, he had three picks: one each against South Carolina, which he returned 35 yards for a touchdown, Tennessee, and Florida. As a junior in 1998, Bailey made three interceptions, as well: one each versus Wyoming, Tennessee, and Auburn. For his NFL career, he intercepted 52 passes.

1 –In the 2008 Sugar Bowl, Georgia faced Hawaii, who was led by quarterback Colt Brennan. The Warriors were just the third non-BCS conference school to play in a BCS bowl game (excluding Notre Dame). The first two non-BCS teams won their game, but Georgia did not let it be three in a row. The Bulldogs were strong on offense, but they were dominant on defense, registering a school bowl-record eight sacks: three by Marcus Howard, two by Rennie Curran, and one each by Geno Atkins, Brandon Miller and Rod Battle.

By Patrick Garbin—Twitter @PGarbinDT

1—After not producing a single 100-yard individual rushing performance in 2003—the first time that had occurred since 1972—Georgia had eight 100-yard individual rushing games in 2004, four each by two true freshmen. Danny Ware rushed for 135 yards vs. Georgia Southern, 127 vs. Vanderbilt, 109 vs. LSU, and 103 vs. Florida. Thomas Brown rushed for 130 yards vs. Kentucky, 122 vs. Vanderbilt, 111 vs. Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl, and 107 vs. Arkansas.

2—In the last half-century entering this season, Georgia has been an underdog at home by seven points or more on just eight occasions, winning one of the eight games—as an 8-point underdog to Clemson in 1991:

UGA as an Underdog by 7+ Points at Home (1966-2015)
Date Opponent Opp. Favored by? UGA's Result

10/12/1996

Tennessee

14 pts

Lost, 29-17

11/11/1995

Auburn

10 pts

Lost, 37-31

10/28/1995

Florida

23½ pts

Lost, 52-17

10/5/1991

Clemson

8 pts

Won, 27-12

12/1/1990

Georgia Tech

12½ pts

Lost, 40-23

11/4/1972

Tennessee

7 pts

Lost, 14-0

10/7/1972

Alabama

14 pts

Lost, 25-7

10/10/1970

Ole Miss

7½ pts

Lost, 31-21

Against Clemson in 1991, freshman and reserve quarterback Eric Zeier passed for two touchdowns and Georgia’s defenders overshadowed the opposition’s top-ranked defense as the Bulldogs upset the sixth-ranked Tigers, 27-12. Georgia intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles to help avenge a 34-3 loss at Clemson the year before.

3—Beginning at the age of eight years old in 1902 until his death in 1964, the beloved Pleas “Clegg” Starks served as Georgia football’s water boy and mascot, while leading the team onto the field. Clegg was seemingly as popular as the Georgia squad itself and was routinely referred to in the newspapers. He was known for his story telling, singing on train trips, his ability to supposedly throw a football 100 yards, and his adoration for and devotion to the University of Georgia. In addition, Clegg was considered the "spirit" of the team and a "storehouse of information" regarding UGA football history. In 1932 during a game at Tulane, head coach Harry Mehre noticed the Green Wave's trainer wearing a flashy all-green uniform. From the very next game and going forward, Clegg donned a red and black uniform which "attracted comment from New Orleans to New Haven."

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Rare colored footage of "Clegg" Starks at the 1943 Rose Bowl