Greatest Dog wins of the Donnan years

OK, so we’ve established I’m not a big fan of Jim Donnan’s work at the University of Georgia. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t high points during those five years that remain worth celebrating.

What's the greatest UGA victory of the Donnan years?

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So here, in chronological order, are what I see as the greatest UGA wins of the Donnan era:

Georgia over Auburn, 56-49, in 1996. For the first three quarters, the only highlight of this game in Auburn was Uga V trying to take a bite out of the Tigers’ Robert Baker. Georgia trailed 28-7 at the start of the fourth quarter. Then they all of a sudden got on track and tied it up, forcing the SEC’s first overtime game. Robert Edwards ran wild through four OT periods and Donnan got his first big win.

Georgia over Florida, 37-17, in 1997. Florida came into the annual Jacksonville game with seven straight wins over the Dogs and they were favored to get another. Robert Edwards had other plans and his four touchdowns combined with an all-everything day for Hines Ward (catching, throwing and returning) to give Donnan a win over Steve Spurrier.

Georgia over Georgia Tech, 27-24, in 1997. The Jackets had scored late and were already celebrating a victory when Mike Bobo led the Dawgs down the field. GT fans still gripe about a defensive holding call, but that’s a slippery slope considering the controversial (read “bad”) calls on fumbles that went Tech’s way the next two years. Anyway, Bobo’s touchdown pass to Corey Allen capped a thrilling last-second win.

Georgia over LSU, 28-27, in 1998. The difference was a Quincy Carter TD pass to two-way player Champ Bailey and another first-down throw to Bailey that allowed the Dawgs to kill the clock. Carter began the game with 15 consecutive completions, tying a Georgia record held by Eric Zeier. And all of this in Baton Rouge. One of the best days for Carter and Donnan.

Georgia over Tennessee, 21-10, in 2000. Donnan’s Dawgs finally broke a string of nine consecutive losses to the Vols, with the highlight being a 10-play, 99-yard drive finished off by a Musa Smith touchdown. The Sanford Stadium goal posts came down in the ensuing tumult. An injury the next week would essentially end Quincy Carter’s playing career at Georgia.

And here’s a postseason bonus:

Georgia over Wisconsin, 33-6, on Jan. 1, 1998. Probably the peak of Donnan’s time at UGA. The Dawgs, looking great in special “black britches” to go with their road whites, were masterful on offense and defense. The Badgers’ supposedly unstoppable Ron Dayne was held to just 36 yards, Robert Edwards scored three TDs and Mike Bobo hit 26 of 28 passes, including 19 in a row (a UGA record), for 267 yards.

Some folks might also include Georgia’s 28-25 comeback overtime win over Purdue in the Jan. 1, 2000, Outback Bowl after trailing 25-0 in the second quarter, but the Dawgs looked so bad in the first half of that game that I can’t bring myself to include it on the list.  

Is there another Donnan win you’d include? Feel free to tell us in the comments as well as voting in the poll.

59 comments Add your comment

Otto

July 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

‘97 over Florida. UGA fans thought they had found a coach would could win the big games. As we later found out it was not to be.

Will

July 17th, 2009
2:33 pm

It was easily the 97′ UF game. I’ll never forget Robert Edwards running down the sideline to put the game away. Who would have ever thought that we would go on another horrid losing streak to UF??????

The 97′ Tech games was a damn good one too.

getthepicturenow

July 17th, 2009
2:35 pm

regardless of how he did in “big games” fact is he left the cupboard packed full. names like David Greene, David Pollack, Sean Jones, Tony Gilbert, Boss Bailey, Musa Smith, Terrance Edwards, Ben Watson, Verron Haynes, Randy Mcmichael, & Johnathon O’Sullivan quickly comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong, i love coach Richt, but that 2002 SEC Championship team was well stocked with Donnans Dawgs.

birddawg92

July 17th, 2009
2:45 pm

All the greatest hits, I agree. But I’m glad you pointed out the ‘98 Outback unis. I’ve always said that if we were going to wear something black, it should be the black pants with the road jersey just like that year (but minus that awful black stripe on the helmet). That looks sharp. We should ALWAYS wear the silver britches at home, and right now, I don’t care if I never see the black jerseys again. NO BLACK HELMETS.

http://www.saturdayinathens.com

Trouper

July 17th, 2009
2:45 pm

Any win that will “wipe the smiles off of Tech fans’ faces.” Right Bill.

Otto

July 17th, 2009
2:47 pm

Donnan’s 10-2 team was Goff talent. Ward, Bobo, Stincomb, Edwards etc.

Talent was never an issue for Donnan, Goff, or CMR.

Quincy Carter

July 17th, 2009
2:53 pm

Man, I love these highlights Bill; keep them coming!!! Damn, my thumb hurts.

bigjunk

July 17th, 2009
2:56 pm

Talent means nothing if you can’t coach it…stop bringing up 02 and Donnan’s Dawgs. He had a much more talented team before that and fell on his face.

Huh?

July 17th, 2009
2:56 pm

Did you see Mark Bradley’s answer to your stupid question Trouper? This is a FAN blog. Scroll to the top of the page and you will find this:

“Lifelong Georgia Bulldog Bill King offers a fan’s perspective on UGA sports. Share your views, too!”

Bill King is no more of a journalist than you or I. He is a FAN. Were you born in a barn son? Good grief you are dense.

Huh?

July 17th, 2009
2:57 pm

Donnan would have went 8-4 with the 2002 team too. Richt would have won the SEC with the 2000 team.

Tony Romosexual

July 17th, 2009
2:57 pm

Hey, anyone got Jessica Simpson’s number? I think i goofed up.

Dawgdays

July 17th, 2009
3:11 pm

Can we get an update on Loran Smith? I heard he was in an accident.

Tony Romosexual

July 17th, 2009
3:13 pm

Smith needed 12 stitches to close a gash in the top of his head, broke two ribs and had concussion. After spending Sunday night in a French hospital, Smith flew to Atlanta on Wednesday and was at home in Athens when reached Friday morning.

“I’m sore as hell but I’m going to be OK,” he said. “If I hadn’t had my seatbelt on we might all be at a funeral today.”

Long Dawg

July 17th, 2009
3:15 pm

The Donnan years were torture. It was like I came out of the Ray Goff root canal and got on the Jim Donnan roller coaster. There were two embarrassing loses to Auburn and three loses to Tech in a row and a loss to an inferior South Carolina team. The teams he beat we always beat and are expected to beat. When you lose consistently to Tennessee, Florida, Auburn and Ga. Tech how can you possibly feel good about his tenure. He did have talent that was what made it so painful.

Jessica’s number is BR-549.

Otto

July 17th, 2009
3:17 pm

Tonny, Carrie Underwood was hotter anyways.

Trouper

July 17th, 2009
3:18 pm

Dear Huh?
Yes saw that – just wonder why Tech doesn’t get equal time. Don’t mind me – I still have my smile.
Born in a barn but don’t work in a barn son – muck on!

UGADawg83

July 17th, 2009
3:19 pm

In addition to the ones you’ve named I include the Peach Bowl win over Virginia in ‘98.

DirtyDawg

July 17th, 2009
3:35 pm

‘97 Florida, no doubt about it…of course if the officials had had their heads screwed on straight, he’d have had at least two more wins over Tech. I do wish to take exception to the Quincy Carter injury bit. Carter played the entire Florida game and only after did the mystery thumb/hand/wrist thing surface. What was never told was the he, Carter, hadn’t attended a single class virtually the entire Semester/Quarter (whatever) and had no intention of playing again. Don’t know whose decision it was to bench him for the remainder of the season, and whether or not it was for the MaryJane thing, but he and his momma were bad actors that we never should have gotten ourselves associated with.

OZZFEST

July 17th, 2009
3:37 pm

37-17 in Jacksonville…just ask Ann Sullivan.

Mikey

July 17th, 2009
3:38 pm

I might be in the minority, but I actually liked Donnan.
Don’t get me wrong- I’m glad Richt is here, but he sure tested us in 01 with the Gamecock and Auburn games….

uuugh.

July 17th, 2009
3:51 pm

Quincy got worse each year he played. He was our Reggie Ball…it is no wonder we had to work so hard to wrest his services away from Tech–the control the market on bad QB’s. I think aside from the pot problem, Quincy might be the dumbest player to ever line up for the dawgs. Couple that with the Sanks debacle, add a few losses to Tech and you get canned. He did stock the cubbard and watching R. Edwards was well worth the ticket price everytime I saw him play. Thanks for the memories mentioned above Coach D!!

Fools Gold

July 17th, 2009
3:56 pm

Bill King since you are not high on Donnan the I guess you would have been fine with bolting Glen Mason huh? You and others should thank and give Donnan a liitle more respect. Did Donnan step on your toes Bill? Did you ask him a stupid question then get your feelings hurt like many others did? Donnan did WIN 4 Straight Bowl games, a feat no other coach in UGA history has done.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

July 17th, 2009
4:05 pm

I believe the 2000 UT game ended in a Jasper Sanks touchdown on 3rd and Goal…not M.Smith. Smith didn’t even come along until 01 I don’t think.

CHARLOTTE DAWG

July 17th, 2009
4:06 pm

“drive” I meant…not game. Jasper capped off the 99 yard drive. ONe of the final plays was Wansley intercepting a pass to seal the deal.

toccoa

July 17th, 2009
4:08 pm

Alot of Richt’s early success can be attributed to Donnan.And no one was beating fla or tenn back then and the officials gave tech a few games.Donnan never got out coached in a bowl game like Richt at BC WVa.

Jamie C.

July 17th, 2009
4:12 pm

1997 Tech game was easily the most satisfying. It was hilarious watching the little nerds with their little pee-yellow pompoms celebrating…only to have their little hopes shattered. So what did they do then? Started talking about how we would report to work on monday and call them “boss.” So in addition to being poor sports, they’re also delusional liars.

Class, sheer class. You stay classy GATEch.

R. Randall

July 17th, 2009
4:15 pm

I remember the nerds insults regarding socio-economic affairs as well. It happens every time. My question is, what unfounded accusations do they hurl at Wake, Duke, UNC, BC, and UVA fans? All those are superior schools to Tech. In fact, after listing those schools, it seems as though Tech is near the bottom of its conference in academics. Hmmm. Interesting.

SimpleDawg

July 17th, 2009
4:35 pm

What got Donnan fired was all of those 8-3 seasons with teams stacked with NFL talent…..that and Quimpcey Carter. The only QB at UGA that got worse the more he played.

The other thing that greased the skids for his release was his endearing personality and kind interactions with fans….and the way he used to bite Loran’s head off when asked a stupid or retorical question.

Tom

July 17th, 2009
4:40 pm

There are reasons Donnan hasn’t coached since 2000.

SuperB

July 17th, 2009
4:42 pm

Donnan had some huge wins– including all you listed. In the Outback Bowl win over Purdue, the game started very early. Around noon and trailing 25-0, we were talking about going home to St. Pete and having lunch at The Vinoy. We decided to stick it out until the half. Hell’s Bells– we danced out of the stadium around 5 o’clock!

SickandTired

July 17th, 2009
4:48 pm

Mark Richt cannot tote Jim Donnan’s jockstrap when it comes to recruiting. Donnan’s downfall was his assistants and ultimately that’s what cost him his job, but, one thing that cannot be denied is the talent he recruited for UGA. Show me the Witherspoons, the Stinchcombes, the Baileys that Rodney and Mark have recruited and I’ll call you a liar. They are just not there and I don’t understand it. The recruiting classes are always rated top notch but where is the crystal football DawgNation? Fact is it will never be there as long as Mark Richt is head coach. Chew on that.

atlien052

July 17th, 2009
5:05 pm

SickandTired

July 17th, 2009
4:48 pm

“Show me the Witherspoons, the Stinchcombes, the Baileys that Rodney and Mark have recruited and I’ll call you a liar.”

How ’bout Stafford and Moreno??? The #1 overall pick and the first runningback selected. I’d say they were pretty good recruits for CMR.

Rob

July 17th, 2009
5:08 pm

I graduated in 1999, so my feelings are somewhat mixed. I entered college just as Goff was on his way out. Donnan was the promise of a new tomorrow, and the 1997 season (sans Auburn) appeared to be the turning point. Then his teams regressed every year. I believe all of his highs were in 1997, and that is sad really.

Weneedarealcoach

July 17th, 2009
5:09 pm

i agree with sickandtired Donnan was so much better a recruiter and an overall better football mind than Pastor Richt will ever be,give Donnan BVG and Searals (sp?) and he is still the coach in athens today,if mark richt will not grow him a set and fire limp willie then we dont need him anymore,we need a coach that will light a fire up under the teams arses…whos with me?

Iceman

July 17th, 2009
5:27 pm

He didn’t have many, but I’d say 2000 over Tennessee…storming the field. Oh baby.

mcdavid

July 17th, 2009
5:32 pm

The Tenn game was the loudest most into game I have ever witnesses in Athens. I think that has to be the greatest moment of that error. Everything else was awful including the awful losses to Auburn.

BruffDawg

July 17th, 2009
5:42 pm

How about the Staffords, Currans, Greens (AJ), Morenos, Vances, Strudivants, Owens, Atkins, Howards, Allens, and prob some more im forgetting. They don;t fit the bill?

chazzo

July 17th, 2009
5:55 pm

At the time, even though he obviously wasn’t the greatest coach, I think Goff got the shaft. He did put together a great team. I often wondered what if he had one more season. That might not be a popular opinion. I always thought Donnon was a bit of a sandlot coach, but the main thing is Donnan simply hooked his wagon to a star with a coke/gambling habit (or so I hear). There was something about QC that I just never liked. Great talent, but something just never seemed right about him. Then I heard the rumors and of course the ensuing battles in the NFL. Probably the greatest could-have-been in UGA history. Richt has managed well, and I think all the naysayers are absolutely nuts. You can make your little lists of things gone wrong, but the list of things that have gone right is infinitely longer. He also seems to have learned from his mistakes. It would be truly sad to see him go. He’s been real darn close to getting it all. It will happen. But, I personally don’t like all the obsession with #1. Most of you will just want to fire him the next season if he doesn’t win two in a row.

Oh yeah, on topic: Sandlot Donnan flat out-coached the musty ball coach. that UF victory was stellar.

HH

July 17th, 2009
8:31 pm

That’s the problem. “Real darn close” does not win eastern division titles, nor SEC championships. This is Richt’s ninth year. Old Urban has done a lot more in half the time.

TW

July 17th, 2009
8:52 pm

Urban has a Defensive Coordinator.

TDone

July 17th, 2009
9:21 pm

In the 1998 Tech-Georgia game, Joe Hamilton’s foot was out of bounds. That is why it was not a fumble.

In the 1999 Tech-Georgia game, the SEC refs called it a fumble. I admit it was not. But neither was Jon Meuyres fumble earlier in the game. But Donnan lost the game by not kicking the field goal. He got greedy. He lost. And moreso, Donnan got outcoached that game by O’Leary that day.

Poetic Justice if you ask me.

dawgstephen

July 17th, 2009
10:20 pm

While I attended and the 2000 TN win was the most memorable for me, I will still say 1997 win over GLA was the best.

UGA was loyal enough to Donnan. Even though bad calls caused 2 of them, Donnan lost 3 in a row to Tech, with the 2000 loss to Tech being embarassingly the worst one. (IN the same weather as the 2008 loss) HMMMMMM.

http://www.dawgstephen.blogspot.com

founddog

July 17th, 2009
10:38 pm

CMR does well at recruiting. How do you not compete for the MNC with the #1 and #15 pick in the NFL draft when these picks are th QB and RB??? CMR, Donnan, Dooley, and everybody else associated with uga should be arrested. It has to be a crime to waste that much talent. On the other hand, CPJ takes the 3* recruits and embarases St. Richt and his mentor Bobby Bowden.

dan

July 17th, 2009
11:09 pm

I think Donnan will be remembered as a great recruiter with a less than ethical style of coaching. Donnan more than any other coach brought “thug ball” to campus. Sure Richt won with Donnan talent, but he was able to focus that talent better than Donnan ever could and held players accountable.

I do agree to some extent that Richt’s squads haven’t been as talented as some of Donnan’s , especially on defense. But on the flipside, those Donnan teams underachieved and had a mercenary mentality as a whole. A guy like Quincy Carter didn’t give a damn about UGA. I thought this past season reminded me a little too much of a Donnan team, with guys like Stafford and Knowshon using the school to elevate their draft status. It wasn’t a team at all, just a bunch of individuals. Personally, I’d rather have my alma mater be known for winning championships instead of how high individual players go in the draft. A focus on the NFL draft will just bring more mercenary recruits to campus,and that’s the last thing UGA needs.

Jeremy

July 17th, 2009
11:24 pm

The Auburn 96 game was fantastic. I still have my ticket stub from this and all the games mentione above. The game was actually 28-14 entering the 4th. It was 28-7 in the 2nd and UGA scored right before the half. Scoreless third. Long TD to Ward in early fourth. Hail mary to Corey Allen at the buzzer, and then defense largely went out the window for 4 OT’s until a nice 4th down stop of Dameyune Craig to end it.

Matt

July 18th, 2009
12:07 am

UGA has really passed it’s pinnacle in the SEC, the word is sound.

Get used to the Outback and Peach Bowls, clowns.

At least why Urban and Saban are in town!

Mac

July 18th, 2009
8:14 am

Dan hit the nail on the head. This past year was a throw back to the Donnan years with Stafford and Moreno’s lack of respect for UGA and their teammates. Something is wrong when our guys leave early but the gators, horns and sooners have players who give up a paycheck to bring home a championship.

jerry

July 18th, 2009
9:03 am

I liked it when he bit Loran’s head off when he asked a stupid question. A worse interviewer I have never heard. It’s like he never knew what the hell to say.

Yeller Skeeters are Peter Eaters!

July 18th, 2009
9:08 am

Donnan sucked, pure and simple. One win over UF, one win over UT, 3 losses in a row to Tech, a losing record against Auburn, and a 3-2 record over USC (east)….3-2 against South Cackalacky, for Chrissakes! He took the most talented team he had, the 2000 edition, and bravely guided them to an Aloha Bowl appearance. Oh, yeah…..That’s a REAL fine coaching job.

UnderDog

July 18th, 2009
9:16 am

I liked it when he bit Loran’s head off for asking a stupid question, I liked it when he treated Munson like crap on and off the air, and I liked it when he showed his a$$ on his call-in show by telling angry fans that the GT game didn’t matter, because it wasn’t a conference game. The reason I liked it? Because I knew these shenanigans would all contribute to getting him sh*t-canned……and on the following Monday after he made an a$$ of himself on the call-in show, I was right!