UGA Football Recruiting 2014 – New Running Backs

uga_ix

Rest easy UGA IX. Fall will be here before you know it.

Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall Will not be Around Forever
Much to the dismay of Bulldog Nation, year two of Gurshall was cut short due to injury.  Still, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley are two of the most talented tailbacks in college football. One can reasonably surmise that both members of the duo aspire to play professional football, which they both have the option to pursue following the 2014 season.

The purpose of this post is not to opine about whether Todd Gurley or Keith Marshall will leave the University of Georgia early.  Rather, we aim to spotlight the bright future being cultivated by the Georgia Bulldogs at the running back position.

Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are Ranked in the Top Ten
The 2014 G-Day Game has come and gone.  College football now shifts into summer, and the calm before the storm.  Bulldog Nation continues the process of welcoming this year’s recruiting class.

Rather than endeavoring to analyze the group as a whole we aim to serve Bulldog Nation by spotlighting two talented tailbacks.

According to ESPN, Sony Michel is currently the number-two running back prospect in the country, while Nick Chubb is rated as the eighth highest incoming tailback.  Both young men look forward to playing football at the University of Georgia.



Both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are listed at 5’11” tall.  Chubb currently has a size advantage over Michel, outweighing him 216 to 205.

Nick Chubb Sets Lofty Goals
Chubb and Michel were teammates at the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, and the two are excited about playing college football between the hedges in Athens.  Nick Chubb told ESPN he is focused on making his name mean something to Bulldog Nation. “I’m going in behind guys like Herschel  Walker and Todd Gurley, two of the best running backs ever. I’m going to make a name for myself and do my best.”



Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have proven to be uniquely talented tailbacks. Bulldog Nation should continue to marvel at their ability, but it is nice to know the future is in capable hands.

Paying Tribute to Larry Munson – Part II



Larry Munson Calls the Dawgs
In 1966 Larry Munson was working in West Palm Beach, Florida, covering spring training for the Atlanta Braves.  According to Wikipedia, Munson was browsing the Atlanta Journal, (now known as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) when he noticed a blurb about Georgia Bulldog radio play-by-play man Ed Thilenius leaving The University of Georgia to take a broadcasting position with the Atlanta Falcons.

Larry Munson seized the opportunity and called the UGA athletic director to express interest in being the new voice radio voice of Georgia football.  He was quickly hired.  Despite the location of his new job, Munson continued living in Tennessee to maintain his Rod & Gun Club television show.  Larry Munson resided in Nashville until 1978 when he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work as a reporter for the Georgia Radio Network.

A Match Made In Bulldog Heaven
Larry Munson’s distinct voice set the tone for UGA football for over 40 years.  Former Georgia sideline reporter Loran Smith told the Gwinnett Daily Post that Munson was cut from a different mold than the sportswriters of today.  Larry Munson was a master at his craft while openly rooting for Georgia, which is one of the many reasons Munson will forever be revered by Bulldog Nation.

Larry Munson’s Favorite Calls of All-Time
Rather than opining about personal favorite Larry Munson moments, it is best to track down Munson’s fondest bellows according to the memoirs he left behind.  The historic memories that follow can be found in an ESPN Insider CFB Nation article written by David Ching on November 21, 2011.

Larry Munson’s ten favorite calls are chronicled in the article, which is written according to Munson’s autobiography, “From Herschel to Hobnail Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson. For the purposes of this blog, his top five calls are remembered.

5. Sugar Falling From the Sky/Hunker Down!
Larry Munson’s work on the Georgia/Auburn game in ’82 has likely been brought up during every UGA football season since it occurred on November 13, 1982. The Dawgs put on their rally cleats to stage a comeback and grab the from the Auburn Tigers.  Munson made it sound as if the Bulldogs were hanging on for dear life.

I know I’m asking a lot, you guys, but hunker it down one more time!” UGA responded by stopping Auburn on fourth down, which led to an observation which will live forever in Georgia football lure. “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky.”  Hear the call at larrymunson.com.

4.  My God a Freshman
I regret that I was not conceived yet, so that I could at least lay claim to being alive in some form when Herschel Walker announced his arrival in Athens. It was on September 6, 1980 and the Dawgs found themselves trailing the Tennessee Volunteers.

Enter freshman running back Herschel Walker. Larry Munson’s rousing reaction to Herschel’s heroics soon followed. “He’s running all over people! Oh, you, Herschel Walker.  My God almighty, he ran right through two men. They had him dead-away inside the nine. Herschel Walker went 16 yards. He drove right over orange shirts, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!“  Hear the call.



3.  An Olympic Effort
Florida Gators football is nauseating.  From the obnoxious Gator chomp celebration, to the ridiculous statue of Tim Tebow, everything about the swamp sucks. In 1975, the Bulldogs used some trickery to pry a win from the jaws of the Gators. With Georgia in a 7-3 hole, UGA head coach Vince Dooley called a reverse pass.

To the delight of UGA fans, Larry Munson roared during the ensuing touchdown which propelled Georgia to a 10-7 victory over UF.  “Washington caught it, thinking of Montreal and the Olympics, and ran out of his shoes right down the middle 80 yards! Gator Bowl rocking, stunned, the girders are bending now. Look at the score!”  Hear the call.

The final two calls will be remembered in part III of our tribute to Larry Munson. We will also share a bit of personal recollection on what impression the Bulldog legend left on every Georgia fan who heard him call a football game.

Aaron Murray Should Stay at UGA for his Senior Season

Aaron Murray Played One Hell of a Capital One Bowl
Following a record-setting five touchdown passes and 427 passing yards in the 2013 Capital One Bowl during Georgia’s 41-28 victory over Nebraska, only one question remains on the mind of Bulldog Nation. Should Aaron Murray stay in Athens for his senior season, or should he leave UGA for the National Football League in the wake of his suddenly rising draft stock?

Aaron Murray Has Unfinished Business at the University of Georgia
There is no doubt that Aaron Murray possesses all the tools necessary to be a star in the NFL. Regardless of where and when Aaron Murray decides to play professional football he will have every opportunity to succeed. With that said, Aaron Murray should return to the University of Georgia for his senior season to try to lead the Bulldogs to a championship.

aaron_murray_bulldog_nation

Aaron Murray has more barking to do in Athens.

ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. feels that Aaron Murray should come back to Georgia for his final season because he is not assured of being a first round pick. SB Nation Atlanta reported that Kiper observed, “I think unless you’re a guaranteed first round pick it’s wise to go back. Especially when you play at Georgia with all the talent around the quarterback there.” Kiper went on to compliment the receivers and running backs that Murray has at his disposal in Athens.

Aaron Murray Can Set the Georgia Record for Passing Yards Next Year
Aaron Murray currently has 10,091 yards passing in his career at UGA. If he never throws another pass in Athens, that number leaves him at third all-time behind Eric Zeier (11,153) and David Greene. (11,528) If  Murray plays for the entirety of his senior season, he will certainly leave Georgia as the all-time leader in passing yards. Nobody remembers third place. Aaron Murray already owns the all-time record of touchdown passes in his career at Georgia with 95. If Aaron Murray comes back to Georgia and caps off his career with a championship, he will have his own wing in the Georgia football hall of fame. Along with Herschel, of course.



Aaron Murray: Leaving the Legacy of an Undisputed Champion
It is Aaron Murray himself that provided the most important reason the quarterback should wait for the NFL when he admitted that he had been unable to sleep following the Alabama game. Aaron Murray must come back to Georgia for a shot at redemption. Winning the national championship in his senior season would be a storybook ending to a fantastic career.

Aaron Murray majored in psychology at the University of Georgia, so it is safe to assume that he knows how valuable his presence is as the quarterback at UGA. Regardless of who declares for the 2013 NFL Draft, Aaron Murray is the most valuable piece of Georgia’s championship puzzle. Losing his experience and leadership would make the puzzle very difficult to compete in 2013.

The National Football League Can Wait for Aaron Murray
The NFL Draft happens every year. Aaron Murray should not be too hasty to jump on the National Football League train this year because he will have the opportunity to turn pro for the rest of his adult life. If he should choose to forgo his senior season at Georgia, he will never have another chance to put on the silver britches as a player.

With all of the accolades Murray has earned in his three years at Georgia, he has the opportunity to return to the hedges as a Heisman Trophy front runner fully capable of leading his Dawgs to glory. On the other hand, if he goes to the NFL he will simply be one teams’ answer among a questionable crop of quarterbacks.

aaron_murray_mark_richt

Coach Richt knows Aaron Murray’s best is yet to come.

Georgia Bulldog Memories: Knowshon Moreno

knowshon_moreno
Georgia’s Rushing Attack is Critical to Their Success
The running back position has always been critical to the success of the University of Georgia. I was not even a gleam in my father’s eye when Herschel Walker made his debut at Georgia, but I do remember hearing about NFL alumni such as Garrison Hurst and Terrell Davis playing their college ball in between the hedges in Athens.

Knowshon Moreno Helped Make Georgia a Contender Again
As a fan, my favorite Bulldog tailback thus far has been Knowshon Moreno. I know he gets some flack from a portion of Georgia fans for leaving after two seasons as a starter, (he took a redshirt during his true freshman year in 2006) but the paw print he left on Georgia in 2007 and 2008 is undeniable. Playing for a UGA team that featured a future first overall draft pick in Matthew Stafford, Knowshon often had a bigger impact on Georgia’s overall success because of his ability to make defenses miss en route to the end zone. Knowshon Moreno was certainly a Damn Good Dawg.



Knowshon Moreno was a First Round NFL Draft Pick in 2009
It was a foregone conclusion that Matthew Stafford would leave UGA following the 2008 season because he was guaranteed to be the number one pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Even so, I was hopeful that Knowshon Moreno would stay in Athens one more year as the undisputed leader of the Dawgs. It was not to be, as Knowshon was the 12th overall draft pick by the Denver Broncos that same year. Georgia has been looking for a game changing tailback since his departure, and they may have finally found the answer this year with Todd Gurley.

Knowshon Moreno Can Still Hurdle Over Defenders
Knowshon Moreno is remembered by Bulldog Nation for the highlight reel of carries he put together in his time at Georgia. One run in particular against Central Michigan, during which Moreno hurdled a defender, is a fond memory for Georgia fans. Since it was against the Chippewas, who are a middle of the pack college football program most Bronco fans did not even consider Knowshon as being capable of jumping over NFL defenders.



Just two weeks ago, Knowshon Moreno hurdled All-Pro, future hall of fame safety Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens. Reed was asked about the play following the game and he told Yahoo Sports that he had been suffering from flu symptoms. Admittedly, if I were a pro football player in Reed’s situation, I would feel sick as well.



Knowshon Moreno could be the next Dawg to play in the Super Bowl
The former Georgia Bulldog seems to be finding his groove again in the National Football League.  He has made the most of the opportunity he has had in Denver this year, and the Broncos are poised to make a Super Bowl run with Peyton Manning at the controls in the Mile High state. Happy Holidays!

Georgia vs Florida Football Classic – The History

The Bulldogs will have to fight for every yard.

Georgia Versus Florida for First Place in the SEC East
This Saturday afternoon promises to be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, as the Georgia Bulldogs try to turn back the gridiron challenge of the undefeated Florida Gators. Florida is the number two ranked team in the Bowl Championship Series, and the Gators are arguably the hottest team in all of college football right now. Conversely, Georgia is coming off an uninspiring victory against the Kentucky Wildcats. On the bright side, the Bulldogs are once again in control of their fate in the SEC East after the Gators chomped on the South Carolina Gamecocks last weekend.

The Florida-Georgia Classic
The artist formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” underwent a name change in light of all the drunken debauchery that has taken place in Jacksonville over the years. There is no specific trophy given out to the winner of the game, but maybe a prize should be given to the university that has the least amount of students arrested.

The History of the Georgia-Florida Football Classic
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have shared a mutual disdain on the football field for almost 100 years. The rivalry began in 1915, where it played out in a number of different locations in Georgia and Florida respectively. The game has been permanently held in Jacksonville since 1933, and has been contested there every year with the exception of ’94 and ’95 because of stadium remodeling.

Georgia needs to hit Florida hard to set the tone on Saturday.

The two universities cannot even be civil long enough to agree on a series record because Georgia counts a game contested in 1904, even though Florida argues they were not established as a university until 1906. Since we are a Georgia blog, we will stand by the Bulldogs’ claim of leading the overall series with a record of 48 wins, 40 losses, and two ties.

 1942: Widest Margin of Victory in the History of the Georgia-Florida Series
The most one-sided affair in the history of this match-up occurred way back in 1942. At the time, Georgia featured a supreme backfield of Frank Sinkwhich and Charley Trippi.  As for Florida, the Gators  lost the majority of their most experienced players that year because they were serving in World War II. Georgia dominated the game, mauling Florida by a final count of 75-0. Frank Sinkwhich captured the 1942 Heisman Trophy, and Charley Trippi is universally remembered as one of the best athletes in the history of Georgia football.

1964: Vince Dooley Brings Georgia Consistent Success in Clashes with Florida
Upon becoming the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs in 1964, Vince Dooley inherited a team that had lost ten out of its last twelve football games against the Florida Gators. At the beginning of his coaching tenure in Athens, Dooley was only able to achieve moderate success against the hated foes from Florida, as his record started with a pedestrian three wins, three losses, and one tie during his first eight seasons between the hedges. However, Coach Dooley found a way to change his fortune against UF, as the Bulldogs would feast on the Gators in 14 of the remaining 19 games that Vince Dooley was patrolling the sidelines.

1980: Georgia Wide Receiver Lindsay Scott Runs for His Life
The Georgia-Florida football game has produced some of the most unique moments in Georgia football history. 1980 in particular provided what is quite possibly the most unforgettable play-by-play in Georgia history, as incomparable Georgia announcer Larry Munson pleaded with Georgia wide receiver Lindsay Scott to keep running after then Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue completed a pass to Scott as the Dawgs were trailing by a point with 90 seconds left in the contest. The result saved Georgia’s season, as the Bulldogs prevailed by a final score of 26-21.



The meeting in 1980 also featured a superhuman effort from legendary Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Walker carried the ball 37 times during the game, for a whopping total of 287 yards, which may explain some of the reason that Lindsay Scott found himself so open on that fateful play.



1985: Georgia Strips the Gators of the Number One Rank in the Nation
One of the most satisfying aspects of defeating a bitter rival is crushing their championship aspirations en route to the triumph. This was precisely the case  when the Bulldogs met number one ranked Florida in in this chapter of the storied feud. In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, Georgia had two first freshman tailbacks (Tim Worley and Keith Henderson) carry the ball for over 100 yards in a 24-3 stunner over the previously unblemished Gators. The loss kept Florida out of national championship consideration, as they finished #5 in the Associated Press poll. (Note: The weather was rainy during that ball game. Does anybody know a good rain dance?)

1997: Georgia Finally Beats a Steve Spurrier Coached Football Team
As the Bulldogs began the 1997 season, Florida head coach Steve Spurrier had been torturing the Georgia Bulldogs since he started as the Florida Gators head football coach in 1990. This included an instance in 1995 when Spurrier’s Gators put 52 points on the scoreboard in Athens because Spurrier wanted to be the first visiting coach to accomplish that. Spurrier stated, “We heard no one had ever done that before.”

Steve Spurrier has never called a play he did not like.

When these two teams squared off in 1997, Bulldog Nation was desperate to shut the brash Gator coach up. Dawg fans finally had their day on November 1 of that year. Former Georgia quarterback and current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo led Georgia to a 37-17 win over Florida. According to Sports Illustrated, this game was Florida’s worst regular season loss in nearly five years. Even coach Spurrier had to admit that the better team won that day as he remarked,  “Mike Bobo had some good passes and they blocked better than we did. I don’t know what else to say except they were better than us.” 1997 was the only year that Georgia ever beat Steve Spurrier while he was the coach at Florida.

2007: Georgia’s Impromptu End Zone Celebration
When Florida and Georgia renewed their annual rivalry in 2007, the Bulldogs had just one victory over the Gators since 1997. Mark Richt and his pack of Dawgs had grown tired of being Gator bait, and Georgia was ravenous for anything that may change their luck in Jacksonville. When Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno scored a touchdown at the six minute mark of the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead, Bulldog Nation proceeded  to party like it was 1980. Thankfully, Georgia maintained their momentum and found a way to win the football game, because losing after all those shenanigans would have been embarrassing. (Celebration highlighted at the 2:12 mark.)



All Aboard the Mark Richt Mediocrity Express
The forthcoming battle with Florida will determine the fate of the 2012 Georgia Bulldog football team. Either the Dawgs will bite, scratch, and claw their way to a win, or Georgia will simply roll over as the Bulldogs take yet another signature loss, allowing the Gators to clinch the SEC East. Regardless of what happens for the rest of the regular season, this one game will define the legacy of this Georgia football team.

In order for the Bulldogs to be victorious, the Mark Richt mediocrity express must come to a screeching halt this Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville. If Georgia is able to pick up the victory, it will be the first time in over two decades that the Bulldogs earn consecutive wins over Florida.

Herschel Walker Debuts Against UT 1980 (Look at the Blocking)

Below is a wonderful video highlighting Herschel Walker in his debut against the Tennessee Volunteers in 1980.  Really well done, as I was thinking about Herschel after seeing him at the 2012 Tennessee game in Sanford Stadium.  Herschel was indeed impressive, but note the holes that open as the Georgia line pushes the UT defense around…a nice contrast to what happened in Columbia this past saturday night.

Georgia must have strong offensive line play.

Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation – Georgia Football Traditions

Larry Munson's voice will ring out from between the hedges forever. A video of the battle hymn can be found below.Sanford Stadium is the ideal place for members of Bulldog Nation to gather on a Saturday afternoon to cheer on our Georgia Bulldogs. There are many memorable moments that define one’s  experience between the hedges, and the Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation is a personal favorite of mine.

Led by iconic Georgia Bulldog football announcer Larry Munson, the anthem inspires “Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia” before paying homage to great Bulldog players from the past. The hymn is also accompanied by video highlights on the scoreboard of Sanford Stadium, showing great moments in UGA football history. Included in this Dawg retrospective are memories such as: Herschel Walker running over Bill Bates, the hob nail boot, and Lindsay Scott running for his life to overcome the Florida Gators in 1980.

The Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation is an important reminder of the tradition that comes with being a Georgia Bulldog. On a personal level, my heart swells with pride each time I hear Larry Munson encourage Bulldog Nation to cheer for the “new breed” of Bulldogs that are about to take the field on a given fall Saturday in Athens.

The best thing about this particular University of Georgia tradition is that it is timeless. As long as UGA has a football team, the Battle Hymn of The Bulldog Nation will be woven into the fabric of the University of Georgia during home football games. While some of the highlights may change with time, Larry Munson’s unforgettable voice will forever narrate the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation. Munson’s body may be gone, but his memory will live forever thanks to his unforgettable calls, and unbridled passion for the Georgia Bulldogs.



Georgia Football Memories – Herschel Walker and Bill Bates

herschel walker red pants

Dig the red pants! UGA vs. Tennessee, September 6, 1980

September 6, 1980. Herschel Walker introduces himself to Mr. Bill Bates and the rest of the Tennessee Volunteers.  I was a youngster, living in Dublin, Georgia.  To many people outside of Atlanta, especially those of us in small rural towns, Georgia football was everything.  I’ve lived in large cities (Chicago, Atlanta), travelled all over the world, and to this day, I just don’t think people who haven’t lived in a small town can truly understand friday night high school football or how deeply the love of college football is ingrained into the psyche of small town life.  In many communities across America football is everything.

Hershel Walker went to school in Johnson County, just a hop, jump, and skip from Dublin. Anyway, I don’t remember watching the game on television (perhaps it wasn’t televised)…what I remember is listening to Larry Munson announcing on the radio.  That 1980 season, I don’t know, it just seems now in hindsight that somebody somewhere (maybe even up there) decided this was Vince Dooley’s year.  So many important moments, but for most of us it started with the Tennessee game.  Down 15-2 at half-time (and by the way, the legendary Johnny Majors was still head coach at Tennessee, with a younger Phil Fulmer as an assistant coach by his side), Vince Dooley brought the young freshman into the game. What followed was stunning and a precursor to the career of the finest running back of the modern college era.