Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Countdown 2010: 77 Days to Go

77: Ray Goff (1973-1976) QB #10/
Matt Robinson (1973-1976) QB #17

This list is very arbitrary and was very difficult to compile. One of the difficulties faced was the tandem of Ray Goff and Matt Robinson at quarterback in the mid '70s. Should we include them as a tandem? Should we include them separately? If included as a tandem, where should we list them? Ray Goff was the 1976 SEC player of the year, for goodness sakes, on the 1976 SEC Championship Team that would go on to play eventual National Champion Pitt in the Sugar Bowl.

So, I'd like to think we settled on Goff and Robinson as a tandem at #77 because the Dawgs would've liked to have had either at quarterback in 1977.

Once the Dawgs installed the veer offense, Goff became an excellent running quarterback. In 1973, he was one of a handful of freshmen that moved up to the varsity - Goff as the third string quarterback.

In 1975, as the starting quarterback, Goff is famously known for the "shoestring" play against Vanderbilt. Georgia coaches noticed on film the Commodores' defense would always huddle next to the ball and hold hands. So they had Goff run a sweep to the right, outside of the hash marks, without anyone blocking for him. After the tackle, the official placed the ball on the right hash mark, and sure enough, that's where Vanderbilt huddled. Goff alone walked over and knelt next to the ball. Asked what he was doing by a Commodore, Goff said "nothing," and quickly shoveled the ball over to Gene Washington, who ran untouched to the end zone.

Later in the 1975 season, Matt Robinson, who entered the game on passing downs, was in another trick play involving Gene Washington against Florida. Known for Munson's famous call of Appleby-to-Washington, the play began with Robinson handing off to Richard Appleby on an end-around, a play that Georgia had run consistently. This time, however, Appleby stopped and threw it to Washington, who "thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, ran outta his shoes down the middle" for a 10-7 Georgia victory.

Ray Goff scores the go-ahead touchdown vs. Florida in 1976's "Fourth and Dumb" game.
Courtesy: Getty Images

The 1976 season would prove to be Goff's and Robinson's most successful as a tandem and for the Georgia team. Robinson had a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in a 21-0 win over Alabama that jump kicked the Dawgs' run to the top of the conference - and set off tremendous celebrations up and down Milledge Avenue, and all over Athens. The 1976 SEC Champions finished 10-1 with a lone loss to Ole Miss, but defeated Florida in the infamous "Fourth and Dumb" game.

Ranked 4th in the country heading into the Sugar Bowl, the Dawgs faced #1 Pitt and Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett. But Pitt had their way with Georgia, who felt they might've had an outside shot at the national championship with a Sugar Bowl victory over the top ranked team.

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