Friday, June 11, 2010

The Countdown 2010: 85 Days to Go

85: Horace King, Tailback #24 (1972-1974)

Horace King, a Damn Good Dawg, was one of the pioneers of UGA athletics, entering the University in 1971 as a member of the first class of African-American Football players. King was a standout at Tailback and Wingback, starting for three seasons while rushing for 1,287 yards and 19 touchdowns and earning All SEC honors in 1974. King later enjoyed a 9 year career in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. Highlights in Detroit included leading the 1979 Lions in rushing and setting, what was then, a Silverdome recored with a 74 yard run from scrimmage.

Horace was a local product from Athens High School that, according to his account in Tony Barnhart's book "What it Means to be a Bulldog", initially struggled with the decision to come to UGA until High School teammate Richard Appleby agreed to join him. Horace King was a favorite player of my father, who at the time, was a very recent graduate of the University. King worked hard for the Bulldogs both on the Gridiron and in the classroom, earning his degree in 1975, paving the way with Chuck Kennebrew, Clarence Pope, Larry West and the aforementioned Appleby for the future success of African-American athletes at UGA.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If You Want the SEC To Expand, Why Not Oklahoma and Oklahoma State?

I'm sick of conference expansion talk, but at least some stuff is finally going down to make it interesting.

Many, like Tony Barnhart, wonder if the SEC should get ahead of the curve and look to expand, while also trying to argue that we need to get the Texas schools brought in if expansion is inevitable.

I don't really think we need to expand yet, but Texas doesn't seem to want to come here (A&M does, but their not controlling the situation).

Given that, why not take Oklahoma and Oklahoma State? While Oklahoma City isn't a huge market for media, Oklahoma is a marketable brand nationwide. And the cowpokes are a nice tag along, and we could get all of T. Boone Pickens money.

The Countdown 2010: 86 Days to Go

86: Tim Worley, Tailback #38 (1985 – 1988)

A Parade All-American from Lumberton, North Carolina, Tim Worley came to The University of Georgia in 1985. During his freshman season, Worley was a member of a five headed monster in the Georgia backfield that included Keith Henderson, Lars Tate, David McCluskey, and James Jackson. Worley would finish second on the team in rushing that season with 627 yards and led the team with 10 touchdowns. 104 of those yards on the ground came during a breakout performance against the Florida Gators in Jacksonville. Florida came into the game on an 18-game winning streak and carried with them a #1 ranking in the country. Georgia built a 17-3 lead but the Gators drove the ball inside the Georgia ten with a chance to cut the game to one score. A Florida fumbled ended the drive and Georgia took over inside its own ten. On second down from the 11, Worley ran a toss sweep to the right of the Georgia line. 89 yards later, it was a 21 point lead for the Dawgs and the game ended in a three touchdown upset of #1 Florida.

Worley missed most of the 1986 and all of the 1987 season due to injury. In 1988, he returned for his final season and rushed for 1,216 yards and scored a total of 20 touchdowns. Worley was a Heisman contender until the final weeks of the season and was named a first team All-American. #38 is tied for 15th all time in scoring at Georgia with 30 career touchdowns and is 12th all time in rushing yardage, with 2,038 yards. He was selected seventh overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1989 NFL Draft. He played for 5 seasons with Steelers and Bears and retired in 1994.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Huge Commitment: Wilcox County's Nick Marshall

The Dawgs continued to put together what looks like to be an amazing 2011 recruiting class with the commitment of Nick Marshall from Wilcox County High School. My brother in law's father is from Rochelle and friends with the coaching staff down there, and they have nothing but great things to say about this kid. I saw him play in the state championship game last year and he played great at the quarterback position. With LeMay already a part of the class, I am glad to see that Marshall expects to play DB at Georgia. While some may be concerned that he is leaving the QB position, here's a video of what he can do on the defensive side of the ball:

What is even more exciting about Marshall's committment is his plan to play basketball for Coach Fox as well. He will easily be among the top players in the state next year and because he will be on a football scholarship, he will not count against the basketball scholarship limit. I am really excited about the direction the basketball program is taking.

Welcome to the Bulldog Nation, Nick! Can't wait to see you in the red and black in 2011!

The Countdown 2010: 87 Days to Go

87: Jim Wilson, Tackle #79 (1961 – 1964)

Most people remember Jim Wilson for his book, Chokehold, which exposed unfair labor practices in the world of professional wrestling. But before his career as a wrestler and author, James Milligan Wilson excelled as a tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs. Wilson grew up outside of Pittsburgh but because of spinal curvature problem, was told to give up football. Overcoming his condition, Wilson earned a scholarship to The University of Georgia.

Despite playing mostly fullback in high school, Wilson moved to the line where he played both offensive and defensive tackle. Wilson and teammate Ray Rissmiller formed a dominate front for the Georgia offense. During his senior season, “Big Jim” would become the first player under Coach Vince Dooley to earn All-American honors. Dooley called Wilson “the strongest player I’ve ever seen.” Wilson was named a team captain that season and was named the Most Valuable Lineman in the Sun Bowl.

Wilson played in the 1965 Senior Bowl and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, where he was named to the 1965 All-Rookie Team. He eventually joined the newly started Atlanta Falcons, but ultimately left football to pursue a career in wrestling. Wilson was inducted into Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Georgia Circle of Honor in 2005.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Look Back at Georgia Quarterbacks Starting Debuts

Be it Aaron Murray, Logan Gray, or Hutson Mason under center this September against Louisiana-Lafayette, whoever the Georgia quarterback is, they will be making their first collegiate start. An out of conference, non-BCS opponent should provide the new starter with a chance to play without the pressures of an SEC conference game. In recent years, some Georgia quarterback have been lucky to start with an easier opponent while others have not. Here is a look at each starting debut for the last 5 players to start games for the Red and Black.

David Greene - September 1, 2001 vs. Arkansas State

After winning the starting job in summer, Greene was rewarded with a weak Arkansas State defense in his first game at starter. The Bulldogs rolled that afternoon, as Greene completed 72% of his passes. He threw for two touchdowns, one to Terrence Edwards and the other to Damien Gary.

Attempts: 29
Completions: 21
Completion Percentage: 72%
Yards: 285
Touchdowns: 2

DJ Shockley - September 3, 2005 vs. Boise State

After seeing occasional playing time during his first three seasons, Shockley finally started his first game to open the 2005 season against Boise State. Shockley would have the greatest starting debut in Georgia history, as the Bulldogs lit up the upstart Broncos. He tied a school record with five touchdown passes and added 85 yards on the ground, as the Dawgs romped to a 48-13 victory.

Pass Attempts: 24
Completions: 16
Completion Percentage: 67%
Yards: 289
Touchdowns: 5
Rushing Attempts: 5
Rushing Yards: 85
Average per Carry: 17

Joe Tereshinski - October 29, 2005 at Florida (in Jacksonville)

Joe Tereshinski was forced into the starting role against the Gators in Jacksonville following the injury to DJ Shockley against Arkansas. The Bulldogs were undefeated and it was a tough situation for Joe T to be in. Despite a conservative gameplan, Tereshinski put forth a valiant effort throwing, running, and catching the ball. This included a highlight reel touchdown catch on a halfback pass from Thomas Brown. The Dawgs came up short in the end and lost to the Gators, 14-10.

Pass Attempts: 21
Completions: 8
Yards: 100
Rushing Attempts: 6
Rushing Yards: 37
Yards per Carry: 6.2
Receiving: 1 catch for 9 yards and a touchdown

Matthew Stafford - September 16, 2006 vs. UAB

Stafford's first start came after he had taken over for the injured Joe Tereshinski the week before at South Carolina. Coach Richt used a conservative gameplan with the freshman at quarterback, and Georgia won easily 34-0. Stafford did not throw for a touchdown, however he did score on a quarterback keeper from 4 yards out.

Pass Attempts: 17
Completions: 10
Completion Percentage: 59%
Yards: 107
Rushing Touchdowns: 1

Joe Cox - September 30, 2006 at Ole Miss

Joe Cox earned the start against the Rebels after leading Georgia to 4th quarter comeback victory over Colorado the week before. The Bulldogs played sluggish throughout the game and Cox was benched in favor of Matt Stafford. The Dawgs would ultimately win 14-9 and Cox would not start another game until the 2009 season opener at Oklahoma State.

Pass Attempts: 10
Completions: 4
Completion Percentage: 40%
Yards: 23

With two great running backs and an experienced O-line, I expect Georgia will go conservative with Murray (or Gray or Mason) in the opener this fall. I expect this debut to be a little more like Stafford's debut in '06 than DJ Shockley's or David Greene's.

The Countdown 2010: 88 Days to Go

88: Tim Wansley, Cornerback #2 (1998 – 2001)

Tim Wansley was an All-Star quarterback during his days at Buford High School. The 1997 Gwinnett County Player of the Year focused on defensive after coming to Georgia as a member of the class of 1998. Wansley was a backup corner during the ’98 and ’99 seasons, before being named the starting right corner in 2000. He would be named to the second team All-SEC team and returned for his senior season in 2001.

In 2001, Wansley was an All-SEC performer who made the biggest play of his career in his final game against rival Georgia Tech. Despite getting a ton of field goals from Billy Bennett, Tech was still haning around because the Dawgs could not get the ball into the end zone. That all changed when Tim Wansley picked off a George Godsey pass, returning it 48 yards for a touchdown. Wansley broke his leg the following week against Houston, but recovered to become one of 8 Bulldogs chosen in the 2002 NFL draft. For his career, he is Georgia’s all-time leader in pass break ups with 29. He is 14th all-time with 10 interceptions, including 3 returned for touchdowns. He played in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Countdown 2010: 89 Days to Go

89: Joel Parrish, Offensive Guard #67 (1973 – 1976)

Despite the graduation of Randy Johnson following the 1975 season, the Georgia Bulldogs returned a great offensive line for the 1976 season. Among the stars on that line, there was Mike “Moon Pie” Wilson and Joel Parrish. Parrish was from Douglas, Georgia, and was drafted to play baseball by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school. He ultimately decided to return to football and came back to Georgia in 1973.

In 1976, the Georgia Bulldogs would finish the regular season 10-1, winning the SEC and a trip to play Pittsburgh in the Sugar Bowl. Running back Kevin McLee and quarterback Ray Goff would combine for nearly 1800 yards rushing. Following the season, Parrish was named to the All-SEC team was award the most outstanding SEC lineman award by the Atlanta Touchdown Club. He was also one of four Georgia players to be named to various All-American squads. He would continue his football career in Canada, playing for the Toronto Argonauts.

Parrish, #67, seen here as a member of the 1976 Playboy All-American team.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Countdown 2010: 90 Days to Go

90: Mo Lewis, Linebacker #57 (1987 – 1990)

During the final years of Vince Dooley’s career, Atlanta native Mo Lewis began what would be an amazing football career. Lewis is considered to have one of the best NFL careers of any Georgia player, but his years in Athens were not too shabby either.

During his career in Athens, Lewis would rack up numbers that would put him near the top of many categories in the Georgia record book. His best season came during his junior season in 1989, when he had 10 sacks. This included a four sack game against Ole Miss. During his senior season, Lewis was named defensive captain and was named to the second team All-SEC squad by the Associated Press. He stands 12th all-time at Georgia in tackles with 314 (169 solo, 145 assists). He is 12th all-time in sacks with 14.

Lewis was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. During his thirteen year career in the NFL, Lewis was named to the Pro Bowl three times and was selected as an All-Pro twice. He retired with 1231 tackles (883 solo), 52.5 sacks, 14 interceptions for 241 yards, 79 pass deflections, 29 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries for 74 yards, and 5 defensive touchdowns in 200 career games. Lewis is most famously remembered for the play below, which injured then Patriot quarterback Drew Bledsoe and paved the way for Tom Brady to become the new starter in New England: