Happy Hour: Herschel vs. Knowshon

I thought we’d head into the weekend with one of those imponderable but nevertheless fun discussions that come up so often over a few beers, matching up two great teams from different eras and arguing about who would win.

Part of the problem in doing this, of course, is that modern era players are much bigger and faster than those from decades ago. So the 1942 national champion Georgia team probably would get killed by an average team from today, despite having Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi in the backfield. 

Even the 1980 national championship Dogs technically would be at a weight and speed disadvantage against a 21st century team. But then they did have Herschel and a helluva defense, which might be the equalizer.

In this game for the ages, I’d put them up against the 2007 Dogs, a team that lost a couple of games (one badly) but finished the season as a juggernaut. 

Think about the possibilities: The 1980 SEC and national champs with Walker, Buck Belue, Lindsay Scott, Jimmy Payne, Eddie Weaver, Scott Woerner and company against a team that didn’t win its division but finished No. 2 in the nation, thanks to Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno, Mohamed Massaquoi, Marcus Howard, Jeff Owens,  Kelin Johnson and others.

The first inclination would be to favor the 2007 team just because you’d figure that even with Herschel, Vince Dooley’s 1980 offense couldn’t keep up with Mark Richt’s 2007 scoring machine. But then I start wondering whether the 2007 defense really could stop Walker. And whether that stout 1980 defense might not be able to shut down Stafford. 

It would be a great game either way. Who do you think would win?

187 comments Add your comment

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
4:02 pm

No doubt the 1980 team wins.

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
4:08 pm

And Freshman Terry Hoague blocks Brandon Coutou’s field goal as time runs out in the fourth quarter to send it into overtime. 1980-24 2007-21.

Gen Neyland

June 26th, 2009
4:15 pm

I agree with the bus driver…

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
4:16 pm

Herschel Walker seperates his collar bone on the first play of the 1980 teams opening drive and still manages to rush for 154 yards and three touchdowns. Knowshon makes some good runs into the red zone then takes himself out of the game for a breather.

bushwacker

June 26th, 2009
4:27 pm

Yes they would not be able to stop Herschel and yes it was the DEFENSE that won the National Championship.

I saw every game Herschel played in Athens and every road game was on tv, NOBODY could stop Herschel, he could go around you, thru you or over you.

People don’t realize he played the entire national champioship game with a seperated shoulder that happened on the first play.

But the biggest weapon they had was DC Erk Russell, one of those guys you’d literally run thru a brick wall for!!!

No comparison, I’d take that team with that defense against any national champion before or since!!!

southgadawg88

June 26th, 2009
4:28 pm

….Second that opinion.

jimmy

June 26th, 2009
4:37 pm

who covers green and mas

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
4:38 pm

Sorry. should have been seperated shoulder for Herschel.

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
4:44 pm

Green was not on the 2007 team.

Scott Woerner, Jeff Sanchez, Jeff Hipp-3 int in one game, Terry Hoague 3 interceptions in one game also. I think this is a pretty good cover group of DB’s.

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
4:56 pm

Whoops, I messed up again. Oldtimers has got me. Sanchez was not on the 1980 team. He came to us from junior college in 1982.

The DAWG

June 26th, 2009
4:59 pm

While Knowshon was terrific, there really is no comparison. Herschel literally ran over people rather than around them, and was much faster. Think about it – who would you rather tackle, Knowshon with his shiftiness or Herschel with those huge thighs running high coming straight at you. Which tackle would you prefer to try and make? Yea, me too!
Glad they both wore the “G”, and left us with many great memories. I just don’t think there will ever be another Herschel with that hard-as-a-rock build. GO DAWGS

The DAWG

June 26th, 2009
5:03 pm

I forgot to say that I would have to go with the ‘80 team.

Ben

June 26th, 2009
5:07 pm

It would be a good game, no doubt. I think the 2007 team wins barely. The speed of the game has gotten so much faster. That doesn’t mean Hershel wouldn’t still run for over 200 yds. I say 2007 wins it late in the air.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 26th, 2009
5:09 pm

Folks were different back then. People played hurt and with passion. Players played for the “G” not the NFL paycheck.

I hope to hell that Joe Cox outshines Stafford this year. It would be a good lesson to America’s youth. Hard work, patience, and character still mean something! I hope Joe is the household name 10 years from now, not Stafford! We won’t see Joe in the NFL but I hope we remember him just like we remember Greene.

Cuz

June 26th, 2009
5:17 pm

I hope we remember Joe Cox like we remember DJ. Except without the injury.

turkey

June 26th, 2009
5:18 pm

The 1980 team played DEFENSE, the 2007 team did not. Buck Belue was by far a better leader than Stafford and would have found the holes in Martinez defense.

Mark

June 26th, 2009
5:28 pm

No comparison what-so-ever between Walker and Moreno…Walker is considered the best if not one of the best of all time? Hell I’d take Hearst and Hampton over Moreno any day….never saw them pull themselves out of a ball game! Seemed like UGA was a stepping stone for both Stafford and Moreno to the pro’s….I want to see the fire and heart…bleed UGA!

Georgia’s “D” under Erk left it all on the field…Fight to the death on every play….never saw poor fundamentals under Dooley and ERK….we didn’t have the talent back then like we do now but boy we did have heart! The 1980 D shuts down the 07 offense….our defense nowadays just isn’t the same….Martinez needs to go!

There Goes Herschel

June 26th, 2009
5:30 pm

I’ll take the young man from Wrightsville, GA over the contender from Belford, NJ, All Day Long. Might as well ask our GT brethern “Eddie Lee Ivory or Jonathan Dwyer?”. That’s not a dig; it’s a compliment so give it a rest with the 45-42 crap.

BJohnDawg

June 26th, 2009
5:33 pm

1980 nuff said.

RK

June 26th, 2009
5:35 pm

depends on which personality Herschel shows up with

Otto

June 26th, 2009
5:42 pm

Woerner picks off Stafford. 34 runs all over that battered DL and sorry Renne gets run over too.

Otto

June 26th, 2009
5:45 pm

Players also couldn’t leave early until the USFL changed that so there was no big early payday. 34 took the early payday and IMO for $16mil back then I would too.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 26th, 2009
5:47 pm

RK, freaking hilarious. I don’t even care if you are a Techie. That was great! I’m still laughing!

And good post Mark! Couldn’t agree with you more! Moreno and Staff came to Georgia b/c they knew our program would get them in the NFL. Staff considered Texas where he wouldn’t have been as much of a star and might have given way to Colt McCoy. Moreno considered Florida. Doubt he would have been the man there either.

Basically, both of them saw Georgia as a big time market where they knew they would be in the lime light and get noticed by NFL scouts.

And it showed people! Moreno taking himself out all the time. And Staff admitted to us all he knew he was going pro back in November. Think that effected his play against MSU in the bowl game? It took 3 quarters for homeboy to wake up! If MSU had any kind of offense whatsoever, UGA would have been down by two touchdowns b/c Staffy’s head was in the clouds the first two quarters thinking about what kind of car he’d buy first.

Freaking pi$$es me off! Yeah they were good, yeah they gave us some good times, yeah the OL was never that great when Staffy was there…I’ve heard them all. But how can you deny my point that they did not bleed red for UGA and were not good leaders?

I remember Moreno throwing temper tantrums at Tech in 07 when they were shutting him down but Brown was having a great day. It was all about him. The announcer at the recent bowl game said he was just pacing the sidelines swearing obscenities. How bout’ lead your team Knowshon instead of acting like a crazy homeless person?!

If Cox/Gray and RB by committee get it done this year, my point will be proven. We’ll see. God I hope so! And if they do, I hope Richt takes notice and starts recruiting character!

The dawg

June 26th, 2009
5:51 pm

1980 would find a way to win like they did so many time that year..would never bet against the greatest player to put on the shoulder pads..late

Mark

June 26th, 2009
5:57 pm

Walker’s team won the SEC x3 and the NC x 1…..Moreno + Stafford didn’t even win the East??????

Bottom line is that CHAMPOINS have thier names put on the walls!
DJ = Champ Greene=Champ Bulue=Champ…..all leaders….might not have the greatest pro potential….but they WON FOR UGA!

Beware of the bite

June 26th, 2009
5:59 pm

Frank Ros would roll up knowshon..btw-tech: go back to the shallow end…

gatorman770

June 26th, 2009
6:03 pm

I saw both teams play in person and Herschel and the 1980 team wins hands down. Herschel was the best back in the country in 1980. There were a number of backs in the country as good or better than Knowshow in 2007 and 2008. Herschel always “showed up” and will’d the team to win!

Joe Reee

June 26th, 2009
6:05 pm

It would b a good kickers duel between Rex and coutu..two great kickers. Tech fan can go ahead and snatch ur purse now..

CHARLOTTE DAWG

June 26th, 2009
6:09 pm

Better yet Mark, one day you might be watching a bunch of Sunday Football on the NFL network with your buddies all day. You’ll see quite a few games that day. As the day comes to a close, you might see Staff, Moreno, and MoMass on the different games.

One of your buddies will say “gosh, UGA had Staff, Moreno, and MoMass at the same time? They must have been nasty.”

And you’ll reply…”actually no. We didn’t even win our sub-division while they were with us. Their last game in Athens was a loss to their in-state rival.”

Then your friend will say “wow, guess they didn’t care b/c it didn’t stop them from jetting and going to the NFL.”

Now you tell me this! Just hear me out and imagine this scenario. Greene and Pollack are considering going to the NFL after their Junior year. Their junior year’s they both have a horrible day against their biggest rival, the gators, and get trounced as a team. Then they lose to Tech, a team that hasn’t beaten them in 7 years that runs a high school offense and show-bouts after the victory by ripping out hedges and putting them in their mouth.

Think those two boys go to the NFL anyway? I think not! They had character and heart. Pollack would come back straight up commando style for his senior year and simply not allow anything but perfection.

Different people…different times.

DirtyDawg

June 26th, 2009
6:10 pm

Knowshon is a talented, extremely driven young man…Herschel was a freak of nature that should have won the Heisman three years in a row – and four if Jack Manton had kept his greedy mouth shut.

Larry

June 26th, 2009
6:10 pm

1980! Hershal would get the rock 52 times for 310 yards with 4 tds.

Minnesota Dawg

June 26th, 2009
6:23 pm

No GA defense stopped it’s opponents offense at clutch times like Dooley’s 1980-1983 dawgs. You would about have a heart attack when some opponent drove down inside our red zone, but never fail someone (Hoague, Woerner, Sanchez, Payne, etc.) would either intercept or cause a fumble! Then with Belue handing off to Hershel, we always could make the plays when we needed to. They controled the ball! Remember when they played Florida in 1981 and 1982? Haven’t seen a GA team since be able to do that consistently!

Kendawg

June 26th, 2009
7:01 pm

I’ve been a rabid fan of college football since 1959 and I’ve never seen anyone dominate a season like Herschel did. I know I’m biased, but I consider him the greatest college player I’ve ever seen.

Omar Schtankinfanger

June 26th, 2009
7:14 pm

My vote: 1980 Dawgs.

Herschel Talker

June 26th, 2009
7:17 pm

Whom do you think I’d vote for?

SECfan

June 26th, 2009
7:26 pm

I wasn’t even alive in 1980 but I pick Dooley’s Dawgs with the Junkyard Dawg Defense and Buck Belue leading the offense.

AC

June 26th, 2009
7:34 pm

STOP IT! No contest?

Listen, there is no way Herschel tears through the modern day athlete like he did back then. None. Would he be great today, certainly. But there is no way he could take the pounding and grind like he did back then. Defenses are much bigger, faster and stronger. Thus, his impact would be marginalized.

And everyone please stopping knocking on Moreno. Moreno would break the ankles of all the greats that everyone has mentioned on defense from the 1980’s team. There are not many backs that have the unique quickness of Moreno.

I am on of the biggest 1980’s UGA team and Herschel fans of all. If we are comparing the a teams impact in their era, 1980’s hands down, not even close. However, if we are asking what if the 1980’s team played the 2007 team, my heart says 1980’s but I am going to say the 2007 team wins by a large margin.

pricedawg

June 26th, 2009
7:38 pm

1980 would win 10-9. Great D on the 1980 team, while the 2007 team was inconsistant.

Billy Bob

June 26th, 2009
7:38 pm

Who Cares!!!!!!!!!

pricedawg

June 26th, 2009
7:46 pm

AC, you said “no way he could take the pounding and grind”. You have lost your mind. He was the ONLY option UGA had in 1980 and the ONLY offense UGA had in the Sugar Bowl agains Notre Lame. He was bigger, faster, and stronger than Knowshon. For that matter, Hearst was the #2 back of all time at UGA. Knowshon would at least be #4. 1. Herschel, 2. Hearst, 3. Hampton, 4. Worley (if not for playing time at fullback, 5. Knowshon.

eBuzz

June 26th, 2009
7:56 pm

Apologize for butting into a totally UGA blog, but with tribute to 4 outstanding athletes, my money would be on the 1980 Belue and Walker team that had an outstanding defense (I would have given my left nad – or better yet, someone else’s – to have had Erk as the Tech coach)that deservedly won the NC with a TEAM effort.

j.cassell

June 26th, 2009
7:57 pm

07 dogs- third and 7 on their 35 -Staffor drops back and connects to a wide open Woerner at the 48 — Worner scampers down the left sideline just like Florida and Ga.Tech did. Game Over.

AltamahaDawg

June 26th, 2009
8:13 pm

dude, that such a like, freaky question.
thats like. our entire universe could be like, inside a molecule in the pin of a needle……..

Rasheed Willis

June 26th, 2009
8:25 pm

Mike Vick was better than both of these teams.
Obama is my Black President!!!!

Jon

June 26th, 2009
8:33 pm

I’m all about nostalgia, but I think the 07 team wins by 10. By the end of the season Knowshon and Thomas Brown were as good as any two backs in the same backfield that I’ve seen in a while. Including Cadillac and Ronnie. Couple that with Stafford and how well he played after the Florida game and we have ourselves a double digit win folks. Not to mention that 07 defense. It was pretty nasty in its own right. Remember, it led the SEC in sacks with 42 I think, six of them coming against Tebag.

Denver Dog

June 26th, 2009
8:35 pm

68 dogs were pretty good. 76 dogs were great, but that 80 team was majical. The teams that they beat were outstanding, and then they beat Notre Dame to win it all. This was a great team. I actually think the 1982 team was better, but they couldn’t win the last one. I’ll never forget the dropped Clarence Kay TD pass in the endzone.

The thing that the Dooley era teams had that no one else had was Erk. The man flat out could coach. The teams were never quite the same after he left.

1980 wins out based on what it achieved.

Denver Dog

June 26th, 2009
8:39 pm

I remember the Hershel runs, but the one against SC when he beat the tackler with the angle was the greatest long run in UGA history I think. He lined up and ran over people. He could put the whole team on his back and carry them down the field. Knowshon was great, for that matter so was Rodney, Garrison, Tim W. and a lot of other great UGA backs. There was only one Herschel. He is in a class by himself.

W

June 26th, 2009
8:39 pm

RASHEED YOU ARE THE KING IDIOTS.

Rasheed Willis

June 26th, 2009
8:43 pm

“W”???? Are you a follower of our last racist President? The man who single handedly destroyed New Orleans and killed our ecomomy? I see.
Obama is my Black President!

LizDawg

June 26th, 2009
8:44 pm

1980, Herschel would run wild over Slick Willie’s D.