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Numbers Watch

Here are some extra bits of information as you prepare for Georgia’s matchup against Appalachian State.

Season Two is underway for Kirby Smart and Bulldog fans had mixed emotions on his 8-5 debut. However the eight wins tied for the most ever by a first-year head coach at Georgia.

Georgia: Most Wins by a First-Year Head Coach
Season Overall Record Games Decided by One Possession ***

T1 - Kirby Smart

2016

8-5

5-3

T1 - Mark Richt

2001

8-4

1-3

T1 - H.J. Stegeman

1920

8-0-1

3-0-1

4 - Vince Dooley

1964

7-3-1

4-2-1

*** 8 points or less

Georgia is 93-27-3 in season openers. Smart won his season opener against North Carolina last season. The last Georgia head coach with an overall losing season opener record was Johnny Griffith. His teams went 0-3 in season openers, but all three were against a Bear Bryant-led Alabama team that went 30-3 in those three seasons. Here are the records of the last five Georgia full-time head coaches in season openers since 1964.

Georgia: Last Five Head Coaches in Season Openers
Seasons Record in Season Openers

Kirby Smart

2016-present

1-0

Mark Richt

2001-15

12-3

Jim Donnan

1996-00

4-1

Ray Goff

1989-95

5-2

Vince Dooley

1964-88

18-5-2

The best open to a Georgia season was in 1913 when W.A. Cunningham’s Georgia squad, led by All-American Bob McWhorter, started the season with a 108-0 win over Alabama Presbyterian. Not sure what the spread was for that game.

Two of main reasons Dawg fans are excited this season is the return of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Both running backs are already in the top ten in most career yards rushing. Chubb is in second place and has just Herschel Walker ahead of him while Sony Michel is in tenth place all-time (not bad for a player with just nine career starts).

Chubb and Michel - Career Rushing Comparison
Nick Chubb Sony Michel

1st Quarter

167 att, 945 yds, 5.7 avg, 8 TD

102 att, 564 yds, 5.5 avg, 7 TD

2nd Quarter

126 att, 784 yds, 6.2 avg, 8 TD

123 att, 738 yds, 6.0 avg, 3 TD

3rd Quarter

135 att, 1,034 yds, 7.7 avg, 6 TD

115 att, 678 yds, 5.9 avg, 5 TD

4th Quarter / Overtimes

107 att, 661 yds, 6.2 avg, 7 TD

95 att, 431 yds, 4.5 avg, 2 TD

At one time the great Herschel Walker’s record of most rushing yards seemed way out of reach. The 1982 Heisman Trophy winner gained 5,259 yards rushing throughout his Bulldog career. But that was in an era there of just 11 regular season games, no conference championships and bowl stats did not count in career totals. So Walker’s total was through 33 games only. Nick Chubb has played 32 career games and the way college football is structured now he can play up to 15 more. It will be tough for Chubb to break Walker’s school’s career yards rushing record, especially since he will most likely have to split carries, but just for fun I decided to see what Chubb would have to average to break the record. I also put a couple variables in the equation because we don’t know how many games Chubb will play this season.

For Nick Chubb to Break Herschel Walker's Career Yards Rushing Record
Average Rush Yards needed Per Game

Chubb plays 11 games

166.8

Chubb plays 12 games

152.9

Chubb plays 13 games

141.2

Chubb plays 14 games

131.1

Chubb plays 15 games

122.3

Chubb can also climb the career rushing touchdown list.

Georgia: Most Career Touchdown Rushes
Seasons Career TD Rushes

1 - Herschel Walker

1980-82

49

T2 - Lars Tate

1984-87

36

T2 - Todd Gurley

2012-14

36

4 - Garrison Hearst

1990-92

33

5 - Charley Trippi

1942, 45-46

32

T6 - Frank Sinkwich

1940-42

30

T6 - Knowshon Moreno

2007-08

30

8 - Nick Chubb

2014-present

29

Michel can climb the career rushing yards charts in the next few games.

Georgia: Career Yards Rushing (6th place through 10th place)
Seasons Career Yards Rushing

6 - Knowshon Moreno

2007-08

2,734

7 - Rodney Hampton

1987-89

2,668

8 - Thomas Brown

2004-07

2,646

9 - Kevin McLee

1975-77

2,581

10 - Sony Michel

2014-present

2,411

In case you are wondering, Willie McClendon holds the record at Georgia for most yards rushing in a season by a Bulldog senior. He had 1,312 in 1978. He and Lars Tate are the only Dawgs with over 1,000 during their senior season.

Switching to passing, Jacob Eason had a good, but not great freshman campaign. He had his ups and downs, but still managed 2,430 yards passing which was the fourth best by a freshman (true or redshirt) at UGA. His 16 touchdown passes broke Georgia’s record by a true freshman that was once held by Quincy Carter (12) in 1998.

Here is a breakdown on how Eason fared throughout the games last season.

Jacob Eason: 2016 Passing Comparison
Comp Pct TD Passes Interceptions

1st Quarter

53.5

1

1

2nd Quarter

51.8

6

1

3rd Quarter

57.3

5

2

4th Quarter

58.3

4

4

Here is who caught passes for Georgia last season by percentages.

Georgia: 2016 Receiving Comparison by Percentage
Receptions Yards Receiving TD Receptions

by Wide Receivers

61.8

66.6

62.5

by Tight Ends

19.3

19.3

18.75

by Running Backs

18.9

14.1

18.75

On the defensive side of the ball, Trenton Thompson is back. He was tied for the team lead with five sacks last season including three in the bowl game.

Roquan Smith led the team in tackles last season. He had 95 on the season. He averaged 4.4 tackles per game in the first five games, but 9.1 tackles per game in the last eight.

Dominick Sanders has led Georgia in interceptions in each of the last two seasons and has 12 in his career. The Bulldog record is 16 held by Super Bowl MVP Jake Scott and Bacarri Rambo. If he gets one more he will be tied for fifth with four other Dawgs including College Football Hall of Famer Scott Woerner and Sanders’ head coach Kirby Smart.

One last thing… Georgia and Appalachian State have played one other time before and that was on November 9, 2013. The Bulldogs prevailed in the game 45 to 6. The Mountaineers led 3-0 and had that lead over ten minutes into the game. The Dawgs won the total yards battle 568 to 253. Aaron Murray threw for two scores and Hutson Mason threw for one. Todd Gurley, Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green each had a rushing touchdown while Michael Bennett, Rantavious Wooten and Kenneth Towns had one via the air.

Also Mountaineers quarterback Taylor Lamb is the son of Bobby Lamb (current Mercer head coach) and grandson of Ray Lamb who worked for the Georgia Bulldogs football program for 19 seasons under Ray Goff, Jim Donnan and Mark Richt. He was a liaison between the athletic department and high school coaches (coordinator of high school relations).