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 Bulldog Memories: David Pollack

Three Days Remaining
ESPN College GameDay emanates from Clemson, South Carolina this weekend to spotlight the match-up between the Dawgs and the Tigers.  As a result, it is fitting to pay tribute to the decorated career of University of Georgia alum and current ESPN college football analyst, David Pollack.

David Pollack was a Three-Time All-American at UGA
Pollack was a defensive end at Georgia from 2001-2004. He was selected as a first-team  All-SEC player, and recognized as a first-team All-American each year from 2002-2004. David Pollack was the recipient of many other awards during his time between the hedges.  A leader on and off of the football field, Pollack graduated The University of Georgia, and left Athens for the National Football League.
david_pollack_awardSadly, David Pollack’s professional football career was cut short due to injury.  After being selected 17th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2005 NFL Draft, Pollack suffered what was diagnosed as a broken sixth cervical vertebrae on September 17, 2006.  Fortunately he did not suffer paralysis as a result of the incident.

Personal Favorite David Pollack Moment
My personal favorite David Pollack moment came at the expense of the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2002.  At the time, the Dawgs were on a two-game losing streak against South Carolina.   Entering the fourth quarter of the game, Georgia found themselves up 3-0 on the fighting Lou Holtzes.

UGA had South Carolina pinned deep in their own territory with 14:05 left in the football game.  As Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins dropped back to pass, David Pollack broke free of the Gamecocks’ offensive line.  Wikipedia describes what happened next as “David Pollack battered down and intercepted a pass from South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins in the end zone.” The play is characterized by the site as “memorable.”

Pollack’s Play Against the Gamecocks Changed the Course of UGA Football History
Georgia won the 2002 meeting against South Carolina by a final score of 13-7. Without David Pollack’s heroic effort, the Bulldogs may not have won that game.  Though the contest occurred in early September, Pollack’s interception helped secure UGA’s first SEC title in two decades.  David Pollack is a Damn Good Dawg.



Howard’s Rock – College Football Traditions

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Gameday Approaches
As the Georgia Bulldogs prepare to descend upon death valley, we thought it would be interesting to discover the origin of Clemson’s Howard’s Rock.  Our previous experience exploring college football traditions includes a look at why the Wisconsin Badgers jump around, the history of the hedges in Sanford Stadium, and the holding up of four fingers to signify the start of the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely this post will be as interesting as the aforementioned ones, because it is about a two-and- a-half-pound rock.

The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football?
College Football About notes that Clemson’s 25 second entrance complete with the Tiger players charging down “The Hill” into Memorial Stadium has been called “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.”  What could possibly be so exciting about charging down a hill?  It would certainly be entertaining if a player fell and rolled down said hill as long as no one gets hurt.

“Get This Rock Out of my Office”
According to Wikipedia, Howard’s Rock was named after former Clemson head football coach Frank Howard.  Howard received the rock from a friend named Samuel Columbus Jones.  Jones bestowed this gift upon Frank Howard because he found it in Death Valley California, and he thought that Coach Howard may find it useful.  Indeed, Howard found the rock to be a perfect doorstop.

Clemson lore tells that Frank Howard was tidying up his office one day afterward when he found the rock. Coach Howard took the rock to a booster named Gene Williamson and stated, “Take this rock and throw it over the fence or out in a ditch.  Do something with it, but get it out of my office.”

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What is Dabo doing in this picture?

As a result of this instruction, Gene Williamson chose to place the rock near the entrance to the stadium, at a location where Clemson Tiger players would have to pass by the rock  to enter the field of play. When Clemson erased an 18 point deficit to defeat Virginia 40-35 in the 1966 season opener a couple of weeks later, Coach Frank Howard and company decided that the rock was exactly where it belonged.

Gamecocks Better Not Touch That Rock
Howard’s Rock is closely guarded by ROTC members when the South Carolina Gamecocks visit every other year to renew the annual rivalry in The Palmetto State.  The article on About notes that South Carolina fans are particularly disrespectful to this Tiger tradition.

Some College Football Fans Need to Grow up
A Google search of Howard’s Rock brings up a myriad of articles regarding its recent vandalism, including an update yesterday by Greenville News regarding the arrests made as a result. No matter where your college football loyalty lies, defacing the rock only serves to give college football rivalries a bad reputation. The extension of one’s dislike for another school should never translate to criminal activity.

Jadeveon Clowney: Aaron Murray is Scared

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Clowney is one of the most explosive players in college football.

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Gamecock?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that South Carolina defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, thinks Georgia starting quarterback Aaron Murray is scared of him. Clowney also included Clemson starting quarterback Tajh Boyd, as well as former Arkansas signal caller Tyler Wilson on the list of quarterbacks he claims share the same fear. Aaron Murray is a decorated fifth-year senior who has faced tough competition in the Southeastern Conference throughout his time in Athens.  It is hard to believe that a college athlete as accomplished as Aaron Murray would be afraid of any opponent.

Jadeveon Clowney has Earned the Respect of the Opposition
Jadeveon Clowney is roundly regarded as a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, assuming he decides to turn pro, of course. Clownery has put together a highlight reel of hitting the opposition, and he possesses an extraordinary ability to shift the momentum of a game with one snap of the football. Minimizing this dangerous defensive ends’ effectiveness at getting to the quarterback will be crucial to Georgia’s success against the South Carolina Gamecocks this season.

Numbers Never Lie
Jadeveon Clowney has faced the Bulldogs twice in his South Carolina Gamecock career. He has sacked Aaron Murray three times in those two games, including twice in 2011. Clowney’s presence has wreaked havoc on the Dawgs, who have not been able to avoid critical errors against the Steve Spurrier led squad, leading to three straight signature losses against a bitter SEC rival.



Georgia is The Team to Beat in the SEC East
Despite one Gamecock crowing about Aaron Murray being scared, Georgia is looking to win the SEC East for the third straight season. Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution believes that the Bulldogs will accomplish that goal.

Closing With an Observation From the Head Rooster
The Ole’ Ball Coach seems to get his jollies from using his quick wit to insult the opposing team.  However, sometimes his verbal jabs may leave even his own players wondering about how strongly their head football coach believes in them.  After soundly defeating the Clemson Tigers by a final score of 34-13 in 2011, Steve Spurrier quipped, “We aren’t LSU, and we aren’t Alabama. But we sure ain’t Clemson.”

Fair Weather Fans and Georgia Football

Bulldog Nation Should Never Lose Faith in the Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia football makes fall Saturdays in Athens come alive with throngs of people wearing red and black while shouting “Go Dawgs” at the top of their lungs. The passion for college football in Dixie is undeniable, at least until Georgia loses a game or three. Disappointment when the Bulldogs come up short is only natural, but to give up on a season or the team is a cardinal sin I will never commit.

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Somebody made this poor child watch our last two games against South Carolina.

College Football Season is Short and Sweet
One of the reasons I love college football so much is because every college football Saturday is crucial in shaping the season. I would rather have an arm lopped off than to miss a UGA football game. Conversely, if one were to miss the tenth Braves game of the year, who cares? You have over 140 more opportunities to enjoy America’s pastime.

The Atlanta Braves Spoiled Fans Who in the ’90s
At this point I must admit that I am a fair weather baseball fan. My only defense (and I do not claim it to be a good one) is that the Atlanta Braves’ streak of 14 consecutive division titles started in 1991 and lasted through my freshman year of college. Seeing Atlanta win the NL East so many times in my childhood spoiled me. However, following the horrible infield fly call that ended the Braves’ season in 2012 and adding both Justin and B.J. Upton to the roster, I am excited about the possibilities for 2013. Early fair weather forecast for the Braves: Sunny, with a 75% chance of a National League pennant this fall.



I’m a Georgia Bulldog Football Fan For Life
I could never jump on and off of the bandwagon as it relates to my beloved Georgia Bulldogs. When the Dawgs lost to Colorado in 2010 by a final score of 29-27 thereby extending their losing streak to four games I was disgusted. Still, I was in front of the television the very next Saturday irrationally yelling in support of Georgia football.

Just because I find fair weather Georgia football fandom appalling does not make me a better fan than anyone else who roots on the Bulldogs. My devotion means it will be much more significant for me when the Bulldogs finally do break through and win a national championship (preferably several) in my lifetime. Georgia winning a national championship has been discussed frequently on this blog because it is something that we have always wanted to see and I will be a devoted Dawg fan for as long as I live.