Steve Spurrier’s Career Versus UGA – Looking Back and Ahead

steve_spurrier_mark_richtSteve Spurrier: Head Dawg Catcher Since 1963
Stephen Orr Spurrier began his collegiate football career at Florida in 1963.  He was the starting quarterback for the Gators from 1964-1966, and won the ’66 Heisman Trophy.  During his four years as a player in Gainesville, Florida had two wins and two losses against the Georgia Bulldogs.

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Vintage Spurrier.

1979: The Ole’ Ball Coach Could Not Sting the Dawgs as a Yellow Jacket
Steve Spurrier was the quarterback coach at Georgia Tech in 1979. During his lone season coaching the Tech quarterbacks in Atlanta, the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Jackets 16-3.  Bulldog Nation’s rivalry with coach Spurrier went on a ten-year hiatus after that, as the ole’ ball coach spent the next ten college football seasons at Duke.  He began his time with the Blue Devils as an offensive coordinator in 1980 and ’81, until he was named head coach in 1982.

1990: The Gator Went Home to His Swamp
December 31, 1989 would turn out to be an ominous day to be a Georgia fan because it was the date that Steve Spurrier was hired as the new head coach of the Florida Gators. Coach Spurrier was hot off of leading Duke to an Atlantic Coast Conference title in 1989, and he brought his healthy disdain for Georgia with him back to Gainesville.

Steve Spurrier spent 12 seasons at the helm in Gainesville making life miserable for Georgia fans everywhere.  He compiled an 11-1 record against the Bulldogs while on the sidelines at Florida.  During one particularly horrible encounter in 1995, Spurrier and his Gators ate the Bulldogs alive by a final count of 52-17.  When asked his reason for hanging “half a hundred” on UGA, Spurrier crowed,  “We heard no one had ever done that before.”

1997: The Bulldogs Finally Beat Steve Spurrier
Entering the 1997 season, The University of Georgia faithful had endured seven straight years of losing to Steve Spurrier and Florida.  As we summarized in an article on the history of the Georgia-Florida Classic, the Bulldogs got the better of Steve Spurrier as a coach at long last on November 1, 1997, when Georgia defeated Florida 37-17.  The win was undoubtedly Mike Bobo’s biggest victory as a player at UGA.

Coach Spurrier would go on to build a new four-game winning streak against Georgia before he departed for the Washington Redskins and the National Football League. After two seasons as a head coach in the pros, Spurrier would quickly opt to return to the college game.  Spurrier’s rough NFL stint is quickly summed up by the video below.



2005-2012: Spurrier Takes South Carolina To New Heights
Steve Spurrier was announced as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecoks on November 23, 2004. Since his arrival in Columbia, Spurrier has led the Gamecocks to an SEC East title, beaten a number one ranked Alabama squad, and garnered multiple top ten rankings for the previously mediocre South Carolina football team.

2013: The Latest Chapter Unfolds
The ole’ ball coach has  continued to be the bane of Bulldog Nation’s existence.  South Carolina has  beaten Georgia four times in the eight years that Spurrier has been the head coach at USC.  If the Gamecocks can fight off the Bulldogs for a fourth straight season, they will be the early front-runner to win the SEC East this year.

The Georgia Bulldogs Cannot Afford to Start 0-2
When Georgia began the season with two straight loses a couple of years ago, the Bulldogs began the campaign ranked number 19 in the 2011 preseason polls after a 6-7 season in 2010.  At present, the Bulldogs’ goal is to win a championship.  For UGA to have a chance to earn a championship of any kind in on the gridiron in 2013, the Dawgs must defeat Steve Spurrier this weekend.

The task is easier said than done.  Steve Spurrier has a record of 15-5 against the Georgia Bulldogs since he put on his head coaching visor.  It may be too early to pronounce the Bulldogs’ season on the line in week two, but this game could not be more important to the immediate future of Georgia football.

Georgia Versus Georgia Tech: 2012 Regular Season Finale

georgia_georgia_techThe Stakes Are High for Georgia Against Georgia Tech
Rivalry week is the focal point for Bulldog Nation as we head into the final Saturday of the regular season. Expectations are sky high in Athens, following two unlikely upsets. As a result of Kansas State and Oregon losing, Georgia is once again in the thick of the 2012 national championship picture.

Georgia Tech Will Play for the ACC Championship
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets venture between the hedges this Saturday with a lot to gain and very little to lose, so I can only hope that the Dawgs do not overlook the Rambling Wreck as the showdown with the Alabama Crimson Tide looms large. For their part, Tech had something to celebrate this past weekend as well—The Jackets clinched the ACC Costal as a result of Miami forfeiting their postseason chances.

Georgia Tech’s Defense is Terrible
Despite winning their division, Rambling Wreck is an apt description for the way Georgia Tech has played during the 2012 campaign. Tech’s offense rambles down the field and then the defense wrecks everything by giving up a ton of points. In week four against Miami, Georgia Tech climbed out of a 19-0 hole to gain a 36-19 advantage against the Hurricanes. However, the Yellow Jackets proceeded to blow a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter before losing to the Hurricanes in overtime.

Georgia Tech averages 39 points per game on offense. However, they give up 30 points per game. The result is a track meet. Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 68-50 a couple of weeks ago in the highest-scoring game in ACC history. As long as Georgia does not get bit by the turnover bug, Georgia should be able to swat the Yellow Jackets. Bulldog head coach Mark Richt is 10-1 against Georgia Tech and 3-1 against Paul Johnson. The Bulldogs are familiar with the option after playing against Georgia Southern this past weekend, so Georgia should be primed for a strong performance in the final game at Sanford Stadium this year.

Georgia Tech Would Love to Ruin Georgia’s Season
Paul Johnson is a man in need of a signature win. Raining all over Georgia’s SEC Championship parade would certainly be enough for Tech fans to forget the ups and downs of this season. The Dawgs must be aware of every possible fake and trick play, because Tech pulling off an upset in this chapter of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” would catapult the UGA-GT rivalry into a new stratosphere. For what it’s worth, such a result would probably also translate into a busy day downtown for Athens police. Remember, college football preaches sportsmanship, folks.

Georgia Has to Capitalize on Their National Championship Opportunity
Gloom and doom possibilities aside, I expect the Bulldogs to maul the Yellow Jackets on Saturday. The opportunity currently in front of Bulldog Nation is too great to squander at this point in the journey. If Mark Richt is going to be the man to lead Georgia to the Promised Land, Georgia must treat these final three games as a playoff. The first round begins at noon on Saturday.

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Coach Richt is ready to prove he can win a national title without Bobby Bowden.

Georgia Bulldogs 2012 Schedule Preview – Part Three

(NOTE: For anyone who wants to look back, here is part one of the series, and here is part two.)

This crystal ball is not a homer, but it has been known to produce very accurate results.

The third and final look at the upcoming Georgia Bulldog football regular season begins with the homecoming game against Ole Miss on November 3. With all due respect to the Rebels, the only way this contest stays close is if it is played right after the Dawgs go to a homecoming party. Ole Miss won just two games in 2011, resulting in the departure of then head coach Huston Nutt. Hugh Freeze is the new face of Mississippi football, but I suspect hell would have to freeze over for Georgia to lose this one.

The Bulldogs hit the road for the final time in the 2012 looking for lucky win number ten in what could be a big time trap game in Auburn. The Bulldogs mauled the Tigers in 2011 by a final score of 45-7 during arguably the most impressive performance in Aaron Murray’s young career. Auburn will certainly be looking for revenge but it is hard to consider this Auburn team a serious threat based on last year. The coach Chizik era may end up being the biggest one hit wonder in the history of the BCS. The Dawgs get the victory by two touchdowns.

Following the conclusion of conference play, Georgia heads home for the conclusion of the regular season against a pair of in-state opponents.. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, the Golden Eagles of Georgia Southern and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets each run a similar offense, so Georgia should not be caught off guard by the triple option. Georgia Southern is a Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse, but they do not have enough to give the Dawgs a scare. Georgia continues their pursuit of perfection. Continue reading

Georgia Tech Needs More Options

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Paul Johnson may be a genius. Is he also his own worst enemy?

Growing up a Bulldog in Athens has made me develop a healthy dislike for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Even though Georgia has dominated the head-to-head meetings with the Jackets since 2001, “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” is always a nerve racking week for Bulldog Nation. After all, the winner of the contest has bragging rights for an entire year, and the loser is left counting the days until the next chapter of the rivalry unfolds.

Despite my disdain for Georgia Tech, I want the Yellow Jackets to come into battle against the Bulldogs with as much buzz as possible. Crushing the momentum of a hated rival is much more satisfying than pouring salt into an open wound. After seemingly taking the Naval Academy as far as it is capable of going in today’s college football landscape, Paul Johnson was hired by Georgia Tech after the previous head coach (Chan Gailey) was fired following the 2007 season.

Paul Johnson brought his triple option offense with him to Atlanta in 2008. The Jackets were coming off of a seven win season the year before, and there was a lot of skepticism about whether Johnson’s offense could be successful in major college football. Georgia Tech doubters were silenced rather quickly, as the Yellow Jackets won 9 games in 2008, including hanging 45 points in defeating the Dawgs in Athens. The Jackets won the ACC title in 2010, and played in the Orange Bowl game in 2011.

Since reeling off 20 wins in his first two seasons as head coach in Atlanta, Paul Johnson has lost twelve games in the last two years, and he has yet to win a bowl game. Some of those aforementioned losses can be attributed to injuries, as well as occasional bad breaks. However, opponents of the Yellow Jackets seem to be smartening up to defending the option. Continue reading

Georgia LSU- 2011 SEC Championship Game

Bobby Petrino could do nothing but watch and shout obscenities as he witnessed his Razorbacks get decimated by a clearly superior LSU team. The #1 ranked Tigers proved that Arkansas’ number three ranking this past week was for national television hype only as they mauled the Razorbacks by a final score of 41-17. LSU now heads to the Georgia Dome for a match-up with the second hottest team in the country, as the Georgia Bulldogs look to spoil the Tigers’ undefeated season.

The 2011 regular season comes full circle for the Bulldogs.

The LSU Tigers have largely dominated the competition throughout their 2011 campaign. In fact, the Tigers have been in such control that some are speculating that LSU will play in the BCS National Championship Game even if the Dawgs pull off the upset in Atlanta on Saturday. Other than the clash with the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, the Tigers have beaten every opponent this season by at least 13 points.

Georgia’s journey to the SEC championship was not without adversity. After starting 0-2, the Bulldogs have barked, bit, and pawed their way back to the top of the SEC East by winning ten straight games. Georgia reigned supreme in the yearly rivalry with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in week 13 by a final score of 31-17. Now, the Bulldogs must figure out how to catch the Tigers by the tail, and send shock-waves throughout college football.

The key component for Georgia to pull off an upset against LSU is by controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. On offense, Georgia needs Isaiah Crowell to gain enough yardage to keep the Bayou Bengals honest. Carlton Thomas and Brandon Harton are likely to see action in the Dawg backfield, but Crowell is the key to success for Georgia’s rushing attack.

If LSU is able to stuff the run, and then pressure Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray with the front four on their defensive line it will be a long afternoon for Bulldog Nation. The Dawgs must block the Tigers and force LSU to blitz in order to get to Murray. Pressure from LSU will allow Georgia’s signal caller a chance to get the ball out quickly to the young Bulldog receivers which will give the Dawgs a chance at moving the football.

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has thrived this season bringing pressure. The Dawgs’ dominant defense needs to make LSU uncomfortable and force turnovers in order to make the Bulldogs’ job on offense easier. It is crucial that Georgia’s defense keep the Dawgs in the game early so that Mike Bobo and company can figure out how to beat the fast and furious Louisiana State Tiger defense.

LSU’s biggest asset on offense is versatility. The Tigers run a pro-style offense, but Georgia must be prepared for both Jordan Jefferson and Jarret Lee at quarterback. Jordan Jefferson has been the Tigers’ starter since November 12th, after he relieved Jarret Lee who was struggling against Alabama. With Jefferson as the starter LSU will spread the field at times to make their opponents defend the option. Georgia must also be ready for five different running backs, as the Tigers have five players with at least 27 rushing attempts in 2011.

The Bulldogs’ special teams need a banner outing this weekend. LSU is the most talented team in the country, and Georgia can not afford to give the Tigers any help. Georgia’s special teams has given opposing teams gifts throughout the season: including missed field goals, favorable field position, and kick returns for touchdowns

On the other hand, Georgia kick returner Brandon Boykin has been dangerous all season. However, he will be returning punts from LSU punter Brad Wing who has been a weapon in his own right for the Tigers. LSU head coach Les Miles is known as the “Mad Hatter,” so Georgia must be on the look-out for fakes in the kicking game.

Bulldog Nation should embrace the underdog role while bearing in mind that they have the talent to tame the LSU Tigers. In their first trip to the Georgia Dome in the 2011 opener, it was clear that the Georgia Bulldogs were not ready for prime time. The second time around the Bulldogs are confident, young, and hungry. UGA is eager to prove that they are once again a force in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia will have to play mistake free football, but there could very well  be sugar falling from the sky onto the Georgia Bulldogs Saturday night.

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The Bulldogs may bust the BCS.

Georgia Bulldogs-Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2011

Week 13 of the 2011 college football season means “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” for the state of Georgia. Before the Georgia Bulldogs challenge for the SEC title in a little under two weeks, a bitter rival awaits them in a pit stop in Atlanta before the Dawgs head to the Georgia Dome. Georgia must avoid looking ahead to December 3rd in order to secure another ten win season for Mark Richt. Overlooking the Yellow Jackets could mean a long afternoon for Bulldog Nation.



The big issue facing the Bulldogs this week is the tailback position. According to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner Herald, Carlton Thomas returned to practice on Monday and Ken Malcome got reps with the first team As for Isaiah Crowell, Weiszer reports that he was walking without a limp. It is still unclear who will get the start against the Yellow Jackets.

There will not be many other mysteries to solve against Paul Johnson’s team. Georgia Tech runs the triple option, and when Johnson gets frustrated with his option game he has his quarterback throw the ball to try to catch the defense off guard. Yellow Jacket quarterback Tevin Washington has 60 completions this season, with more than half of them going to either Orwin Smith or Stephen Hill. Hill stands at 6’5″ and is the go-to receiver when Georgia tech decides to pass the football.

Throwing the football worked very well for the Georgia Bulldogs against Tech in 2010. Aaron Murray threw the ball just 19 times in the game, but he racked up 271 yards on 15 completions. Murray finished the game with 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions in Georgia’s 42-34 win a year ago.

What a difference a year has made for the Georgia Bulldog defense. Todd Grantham’s 3-4 struggled the first time around against Tech, as the Yellow Jackets stung the Dawgs for  411 yards on the ground last year on their way to putting up over 500 yards of offense in the game. This year the Bulldogs have been dominant on defense, especially during their ongoing nine game win streak. The Dawgs are ranked highly in every defensive statistical category and have been phenomenal against the run. Last week, Georgia held Kentucky to a mere 23 yards rushing on 21 attempts.

Saturday’s match-up promises to be more challenging for the Bulldog defense. The Georgia Tech rushing offense is ranked second in the nation. Georgia’s defense will need to play disciplined football again this week and set the edge to prevent the Jackets from having many big plays with their option attack. If Georgia can force a few quick 3 and outs to take the crowd out of it, the game could get ugly in a hurry if Aaron Murray is on his game. Georgia Tech’s defense is giving up 25 points per game so it will be important for the visiting Bulldogs to have a fast start at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Paul Johnson once said of playing the Georgia Bulldogs, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.” The  statement rings true this year as well, but only from the Georgia Bulldog perspective. Georgia Tech is 8-3, and they are not a factor in the ACC title race this year. For all the bravado,  Johnson is just 1-2 against the Bulldogs and Georgia Tech has not beaten Georgia since 2008.

Meanwhile, Georgia Bulldog head coach Mark Richt is sporting a 9-1 career record against the Yellow Jackets. Georgia is now the team hoping to get a chance to fry the biggest fish in the college football sea. The latest chapter of this storied rivalry should be a good one for the Dawgs. The team is young and hungry, and the Bulldog defense is far too athletic to fall victim to Georgia Tech’s one dimensional offense. Thanksgiving will be a day to be thankful for a banner year between the hedges. Afterward, Georgia will have Yellow Jacket leftovers in Atlanta on Saturday.