10 greatest UGA wins of the Richt era

I find that compiling mental lists of things often makes the drive back from Athens go faster, so on Sunday I  was pondering what I see as the greatest Bulldog wins of the past eight seasons, a time that has seen Georgia win two SEC championships, three SEC East division titles and compile an 82-22 record under Mark Richt. Then I ran it by some of my family to see what they thought. 

What's the greatest win of the Richt era?

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Chronologically, here’s what I came up with:

1. The 2001 “hobnail boot” win over Tennessee in Knoxville with the late “P-44-Haynes” touchdown pass from David Greene to Verron Haynes. My brother Tim picks this as the greatest win of the Richt era because, he said, “That was a tough place to win for a freshman quarterback.”

2. The 2002 win over Alabama when the Dogs proved to Pat Dye and everyone else that they were “man enough” to beat the Tide, thanks to a cool Billy Bennett’s winning field goal. 

3. The 2002 SEC East-clinching win over Auburn with Greene’s fourth-and-19 “70-X-Takeoff” pass to a leaping Michael Johnson in the end zone. My son picks this as the greatest of the Richt era wins because it led to Georgia’s first SEC title in 20 years.

4. Also from 2002, the 51-7 complete butt-kicking of Tech, the most dominating win of Richt’s seven in a row over the Jackets and a very enjoyable day in Sanford Stadium.

5. The 2004 game in Athens against LSU and Nick Saban, won by the Dawgs 45-16 as Greene threw five TD passes.

6. The 34-14 win over a favored, No. 3-ranked LSU in the 2005 SEC Championship game, with D.J. Shockley quickly throwing two touchdown passes to Sean Bailey right in front of me to send the Bengal Tigers reeling.

7. The 37-15 upset win over No. 5-ranked Auburn in 2006, especially since it came after Georgia had lost four of its previous five games and Auburn was a two touchdown favorite. Tigers QB Brandon Cox spent much of the game flat on his back with a Bulldog on top of him. 

8. The 26-23 “one and done” win in Tuscaloosa over Alabama and Nick Saban in 2007, as Matthew Stafford threw a beautiful 25-yard pass to Mikey Henderson on Georgia’s first play in OT.  

9. The 42-30 “celebration” win over Florida in Jacksonville, easily the best game Knowshon Moreno played in a Georgia uniform as he racked up 188 yards and three touchdowns. Plus there was that magnificent 84-yard MoMass catch and run for a TD. 

10. The 45-20 “Blackout” win over Auburn in Athens, with the Dogs scoring 28 unanswered points after the Tigers had taken a 20-17 lead. Many consider this the best game in Sanford Stadium in many years and my brother Jon thinks this is the greatest win under Richt.

Looking back over the list, I think I’ll agree with my son and pick the 2002 Auburn game because it led to a conference title. My close runner-up would be the 2005 victory over LSU in the Georgia Dome, one of the greatest games I’ve attended. I give the edge to the 2002 game because of the exciting way in which the Dogs won.

What do you think? That’s our Question of the Day. Feel free to comment (naming another game if there’s one you like better that wasn’t mentioned), vote in the poll or do both.

171 comments Add your comment


June 22nd, 2009
7:21 am

Absolutely, the ‘02 game at Auburn. I was at that game and it brought tears to my eyes as I had waited 20 years for that to happen. Even some of the Tiger fans cogratulated me for a GREAT win. What a moment!!


June 22nd, 2009
7:37 am

How bout the butt kickin’ we gave Tech in th first half last year!!!


June 22nd, 2009
7:43 am

Auburn 07 was the most fun I’ve ever had at a ballgame, but given all the barbs — some good-natured, some not so much — from Tech fans, that 51-7 win becomes warmer and fuzzier all the time.


June 22nd, 2009
7:45 am

I would have to say the 2006 Chick fil-A Bowl win over VA-Tech should be on the list as well. That was the spring board for the dynamite 2007 season.


June 22nd, 2009
7:51 am

I wuz whoopin it up squeallin like a pig an gittin in little kids faces an barkin at haftime at las years Tech game. Man that wuz funn babee! Then ah guess I passed out frum that cheep likker


June 22nd, 2009
7:53 am

how about the 10 worst butt kickings suffered by the puppies–let’s start with 49 to 10


June 22nd, 2009
8:06 am

Tim, get a life. Go to your own team’s blog. Does your team get written about? Can your team fill up a 45,000 seat stadium? Can you get tickets to your team free with a fill up at BP? Does your team ever play on Thursday night and still not get on TV? Do you cook fries at work?


June 22nd, 2009
8:13 am

Living in the past….get used to it.

I agree with poster P...

June 22nd, 2009
8:31 am

…WHO CARES? None of them meant anything important – like a MNC!

Georgia Fan

June 22nd, 2009
8:39 am

I like the 51-7 game. When Tech has won just 3 in a row against Georgia, I’ll buy into Paul Johnson and the whole Tech System. I understand the Tech Fan’s glee and good for you about last year’s win. You won, plain and simple. Remember, all that really matters is the score, not how it came about. But, what you put down on paper, before the Season, means nothing. Georgia Fans have found that out many times, including last year. Too many factors come into play in a great emotional game:
Bone-headed players and plays
And don’t forget the Officials. They have cost Georgia and Tech victorys in this game.
I am basically saying, the fans onneither side should get too excited, until this next Game is over. If Georgia wins, it is back to normal. If Tech wins, the tide has turned. This is a very imporant game for a lot of reasons, including recruiting.


June 22nd, 2009
8:53 am

how about the worse beat down in UF history Timmy??? 75 – 0

Guys, please don't tell my mom I'm blogging and not studying for my Tech exam; she won't cut the crust off my sandwich

June 22nd, 2009
9:02 am

Hobnail Boot is the best; kicking tech 51-7 isn’t that big of a deal, should be that way every year; the “celebration” game was negated after the performance the next year; And shockley’s SEC game was a huge win.


June 22nd, 2009
9:08 am

any game where georgia beats tech is alright with me. i love to be spanked hard.


June 22nd, 2009
9:15 am

What about some of the most disappointing and unexpected losses of the Richt era. You could do a top 20 for those.

coachdawg 2000

June 22nd, 2009
9:15 am

This is easy for me. 2002 Tech Game. For 2 reasons- #1 I proposed to my Wife at the fountain on North campus just before kickoff. #2 And some pathetic nerds were Gator-chomping at me on my way to the stadium. The same dweebs were gone by half when it was 31-0. I guess they had to get to their D&D party at their housing project, i mean luxorious downtown Atlanta campus.


June 22nd, 2009
9:20 am

‘01 Tenn. set the tone for the early CMR that UGA was rising to be a power and that Donnan mediocrity was over.

‘02 Auburn was the biggest as it sent UGA to the SEC title game.

Nobody will be talking about GT once UGA wins again.

Helluva Engineer

June 22nd, 2009
9:21 am

It’s got to be Beating FLA in 07 they all said we could not beat them, especially the mighty Tebow! No one had us picked to win.


June 22nd, 2009
9:24 am

20 disappointing losses? Considering CMR only has 22 losses, and 4 of those came in his first year, I would think that the program is in good shape since UGA expected to win every game.

Richt= closet jerk

June 22nd, 2009
9:25 am

Probably the GA southern wins… wow, what a game.

Sanford Drive

June 22nd, 2009
9:28 am

what’s the word on landing more recruits? Anyone heard anything?


June 22nd, 2009
9:32 am

You take the past four years and compare to the last four years under Donnan and they are virtually identical. Not that I am taking up for Donnan, but there has been no improvement in the final tally. Its time to step it up a notch and take this program to another level. The losses last year to Alabama, Florida, and Tech are all pitiful. I can accept a close margin loss, like we used to have with Clemson, Auburn, etc. But these blow out games is purely from a lack of preparation and coaching.


June 22nd, 2009
9:40 am

I agree with kurupt – the 1942 75-0 butt-kicking the curdawgs gave the Gators made the curdawgs all time leaders in “running up the score” in the series, which makes the curdawgs whining about Spurrier or Urban running up the score, in any game between the two, mute and trivial.


June 22nd, 2009
9:42 am

I would rank the 05 SEC title game higher, and the Auburn blackout game should rank higher as well;not only a huge upset win over a highly ranked opponent but also because it was the most juiced crowd in about 15 or 20 years. . I dont think the 51-7 win over tech was that big..heck we beat them almost every year. Instead of that one, Id put the butt whipping we gave Clemson at Clemson on the list (02 I think).

as far as disappointing losses..they all are disappointing to me.

Coach BoBo

June 22nd, 2009
9:43 am



June 22nd, 2009
9:48 am

I am also going with the 2001 UT game (Richt’s first big win) followed by a close second 2002 Auburn. GREAT POST Junkyard Blawg!

Saint Simons

June 22nd, 2009
9:52 am

RUB RUB in your face!!!! 45-42!!!!!! hahahahahahhahahahaaahhahahaha


June 22nd, 2009
9:52 am

Chick-fil-A Bowl Against Virginia Tech has to be mentioned, just because of the huge comeback.

Sanford Drive

June 22nd, 2009
9:54 am

Hobnail Boot, for sure.


June 22nd, 2009
10:01 am

Saint Simons,

Still waiting on those chick-fil-a rings you LOSER :SMIRK:


June 22nd, 2009
10:03 am

St Simons I am so glad that game meant so much to you. As a Tech fan you don’t have a lot to be proud of so I am glad you got to experience that great 3 point victory. When your most recent Championship was back in 1998 and was shared with FSU even though you lost to them head-to-head that proves just how limited your success has been. Therefore, enjoy that rare win and maybe you can even get a ring commemorating it if you call the Athletic Department.

Lets be honest

June 22nd, 2009
10:04 am

Hey Saint Simons… You’re 1-7 against Richt!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

D.N. Nation

June 22nd, 2009
10:06 am

“You take the past four years and compare to the last four years under Donnan and they are virtually identical.”

Exactly! I mean, other than multiple 10+-win seasons, the SEC title, the Sugar Bowl appearances…they’re exactly the same!


June 22nd, 2009
10:12 am


Emotional victories go a long way in carrying a team – they build confidence and can set up a good run of victories.

With that said – and from a SEC fan that is not emotionally tied to UGA – I would say that the three (3) greatest wins in the Richt era are as follows:

1. 2002 Auburn Game – decisive game in an incredibly competitive year in the SEC. Launched UGA into the title game against an overwhelmed ARK team. This UGA team was good enough to play for a National Title – but was denied due to the Florida loss.

2. 2005 SEC Title game against #3 LSU. UGA a big underdog and dominated. 2nd SEC Title for UGA under Richt’s leadership.

3. Hobnail boot. This game gave the football team confidence and set the stage for double digit wins for many years to come. A fantastic game to build on. Not only was it surprising that UGA won the game in Neyland stadium – but HOW UGA won the game is what makes this game so special.

OTTO – Enjoy your post – and yes, many people think Donnan was mediocre. I beg to differ. Medicore means AVERAGE – Second Rate.

Donnan was a Big time Coach that just missed at a Big Time School. He inherited a team that was below average in talent as compared to the TOP 6 SEC schools – and had to build the program. At the same Time, TECH was having a great run, Florida and Tennessee were literally the best they had been in decades – both top 10 if not top 5 teams year in /year out.

Coach Donnan set the table for Coach Richt – the facilites and overall talent were in much better shape for Richt than for Donnan. Who is not to say that after rebuilding UGA’s foundation – Donnan would not have had similar success than Richt?

Unfortunately for Donnan – he was basically give one cycle to have immediate impact to be the next TN or Florida – while he raised the program to where UGA could compete – there was some inconsistent performance along the way – and it split the UGA Nation – not a good situation at all – and politcally – he and the Univ. President were at odds.

IN 4 years – he ammassed top talent – improved the facilities – and set firm footings make UGA competitive.

I think Donnan is prbably a little underappreciated for the work he did to move UGA football out of the bottom half to the SEC – the to the Top Third.


June 22nd, 2009
10:12 am

Georgia Fan, i concur with you on your 8:39 a.m. post. With the exception of the 51-7 game, of course! Seeing uga beat fla. is always a treat! At tech, we know how it feels! Anyone got the time….
is college football ready to get started?!


June 22nd, 2009
10:15 am

Come on people how can you vote for anything besides a Championship? The LSU game in the SEC Championship in 2005 should be the game everyone should be voting for in the survey. Yeah, we beat UT in 2001 but we still finished 8-4 that year.

Ramblin Rick

June 22nd, 2009
10:17 am

none of them matter because they werent for a national championship!


June 22nd, 2009
10:17 am

Donnan went 8-4 his last 2 years. CMR only went 8-4 his first year. CMR’s bad years were good years for Donnan.


June 22nd, 2009
10:18 am

Bama Stan you hit the nail on the head about Donnan…he left the program better than he found it.


June 22nd, 2009
10:20 am

I love how the nerds always say 45-42. Big deal you beat one of the worst D’s we’ve had in the past decade, and could only do it by 3 points. You’re still a joke of a program. Maybe this year if you guys beat Wake Forest you can get rings made too. Heck why not get rings made for all 6-8 wins you get every year? You nerds are delusional thinking that you’re on your way to being a top program. But please keep putting 45-42 in every one of your post that you make on the UGA blogs. It only reminds us of how sad and big of losers you actually are.


June 22nd, 2009
10:22 am

This is easy. For me it was the catch by Michael Johnson in Auburn (2004?) to give UGA the lead in the SEC east. We went on to win the SEC and than beat the crap out of an overwelmed FSU team in the Sugar bowl. If memory serves me right.

I rember it was a fairly nice day down in Auburn so we went dressed with light clothes. Well, something happend and it got cold. Cold and windy. I’ve never been so cold at a football game, and since then I always take a heavier jacket unless it’s completely obvious it wont be needed. Throughout the whole game I was miserable. Surrouned by Auburn fans and students none the less because I was with a handicaped friend of mine that was an AU fan. The wheelchair section was in the student section of the endzone. It was an aweful, ugly game. Auburn was pretty much in the lead the entire time. Some of the fans were starting to make their way out. There were some UGA fans walking out but standing behind us to catch the last seconds. When he made that catch I went nuts, turned around and started screaming with the Ga fans behind me. Well, the stranger GA fan started screaming with me, then picked me up and held me up high. I found myself cheering like a mad man and staring over a bunch of pissed off Auburn students hehe. I realized what was happening and told my new UGA friend to let me down before I got smaked with an empty liquor bottle.


June 22nd, 2009
10:24 am

But most definitely Auburn 02. I kicked the arm of my chair off when they made that play. Greene was the man.


June 22nd, 2009
10:26 am

Bama Stan, great post. I am one Dawg that appreciates your commentary. You generally, not you General Neyland, stick to the topic at hand and say what you think. Sometimes that rubs some fans the wrong way, so be it.

Next blog post. top five moments by Bulldawg mascots.

Tomorrow, top seven weather stories from Athens.

Wednesday, favorite eateries from Athens history.

Thursday, what is your favorite item at the UGA bookstore.

Friday, memories of Effie’s.


June 22nd, 2009
10:27 am

Oh yeh, I also had a huge final that monday am. So I drove back to Athens immediately after the game. Once I crossed over the GA border, the first overpass on the interstate had a huge homemade sign hanging from the bridge congratulating the dawgs on winning the SEC east. I knew I had just been a part of something special.


June 22nd, 2009
10:30 am

Close RXdawg. I was watching the game at my brother’s house and when Johnson made the catch in the endzone, that former Marine picked me up and jumped in the air. It would have been fine if the ceiling fan wasn’t on. I got smacked by the rotating blades and had one heck of a bruise and headache.


June 22nd, 2009
10:33 am

The original black out game is the best game in Sanford stadium I’ve ever been to. I’m pretty sure I wont see that kind of electricity in the stands again.


June 22nd, 2009
10:34 am

Take away a great and very exciting game against Bama in 2002 and Auburn is a moot point.And what ever happened to Pat Dye? He must not be “man enough” to stick his head out of one of the “pot holes” near the Auburn campus.


June 22nd, 2009
10:37 am

Cuz, it seems that BamaStan has a new lease on life as of lately.

I actually find his post informative & enjoyable.

Big difference from a few months ago.

Big Bee

June 22nd, 2009
10:44 am

LETS BE HONEST: CMR is 0-1 agains’t CPJ, that is what we have to look at for awhile. As for next game, we won’t know who wins until the game is over. Anything can happen, remember last November?

George O'Leary

June 22nd, 2009
10:46 am

I love my 45-42 Chick Fil A Bowl score ring.

Gator Fan

June 22nd, 2009
10:48 am

ALL GREAT GAMES, but in the long run, they didn’t do anything more than help the Dawgs get to a nice bowl,reach a ten eleven win season, or just feel good about themselves. Winning those games probably feels pretty good, but its not SEC or National Championship Good.