Picking Dogs’ greatest games of the decade

David Greene figures in quite a few of the games of the decade for the Dogs. (University of Georgia)

David Greene figures in quite a few of the games of the decade for the Dogs. (University of Georgia)

Having long ago accepted that the media is determined to mark the ending of millennia and decades a year early (remember, there was no year 0 A.D.), I decided to poll a few UGA friends as to what they view as the Dogs’ greatest games of the past 10 years.

Three games tied for the most support, and I’m pretty sure they’d top just about any fan’s list for this decade:

Georgia’s 26-24 win over Tennessee in Knoxville in 2001. The “hobnail boot” game from Mark Richt’s first season, capped by cool redshirt-freshman David Greene’s throw to Verron Haynes. Says my friend Rusty: “I remember thinking Richt was a genius. What play-calling! Plus it generated one of Larry’s classic calls.”

Georgia’s 24-21 win at Auburn in 2002. The Dogs took the SEC East with Greene’s fourth-down throw to Michael Johnson in the corner of the end zone on the famed “70-X Takeoff” play. One of Georgia’s most dramatic and important victories ever.

Georgia’s 34-14 win over LSU in the 2005 SEC Championship game in Atlanta. The No. 13 Dogs upset the No. 3 Tigers with big plays on offense, defense and special teams, including two early touchdown passes from D.J. Shockley to Sean Bailey right down in the corner where I was sitting.

Coming in right behind those three games was another classic:

Georgia’s 42-30 win over Florida in 2007. My brother Tim calls this the “Dance Fever” game because of the infamous end zone celebration. Summed up my friend Johnny: “This was fun.” Urban Meyer would later tell the world in the third person that Urban Meyer didn’t agree.

Rounding out the Top 10 games of the decade:

Georgia’s 45-20 win over Auburn in 2007 in Athens. The “Blackout” game. My son said it was the “home game of the decade, hands down.”  Rusty said it was “the most electric I can ever remember the stadium (including Bama in 1976).”

Georgia’s 51-7 demolishing of Georgia Tech in Athens in 2002. A number of us agreed this was one of the most enjoyable games we’ve ever seen in any decade.

Georgia’s 41-10 win over Hawaii in the Jan. 1, 2008, Sugar Bowl. The Rainbow Warriors came into this game as the media darling and the Dogs proceeded to dominate them in every phase of the game. As Johnny put it: “Not really a great game, but every once in a while it looks and feels good to pound someone in a nationally televised bowl game.” And remembering the TV shots of Hawaii QB Colt Brennan weeping on the sidelines, Tim adds: “Another example of ‘there’s no crying in football.’”

Georgia’s 45-16 win over LSU in Athens in 2004. The Dogs racked up 430 yards of offense against Nick Saban’s Tigers as David Greene threw five touchdown passes. Probably runner-up to the 2007 win over Auburn as best home game of the decade.

Georgia’s 21-10 win over Tennessee in 2000 in Athens. The only game from the Jim Donnan era to make the list, this broke the nine-loss drought against the Vols and gave Donnan his 100th career coaching victory. After Tim Wansley sealed the win with his second interception, the crowd surged onto the field with 1:13 still on the clock. The officials cleared the field, but not for long, and one set of goal posts came down.

Georgia’s 30-24 win over Georgia Tech in 2009 at Grant Field. Not many folks saw this coming, but as Johnny put it: “I just love surprises.”

Other games drawing honorable mention: The 2002 SEC Championship win over Arkansas, the 2006 comeback win over Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, The 2004 win over Florida, the 2002 win over South Carolina (with the emergence of David Pollack as a star), the Reggie Ball games, the 2006 upset of Auburn and the 2007 overtime win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Some great memories there. Any other games of the decade you’d add to the list?

160 comments Add your comment

xl.dawg

December 31st, 2009
10:54 am

First, Tech game this year goes down as one of the greatest but the 2007 Florida Game maybe the best.

jimmy

December 31st, 2009
11:06 am

hard to beat this years tech game,after a year of taking crap

UGA 2010

December 31st, 2009
11:11 am

That bout sums up alot of the great ones, there are plenty more but i cant remember cuz of all the ones you listed. Great memories Bill…

Buckhead Bulldog

December 31st, 2009
11:17 am

Georgia vs Alabama 2007-26 to 23- Matthew Stafford to Mikey Henderson in OT in Tuscaloosa was pretty darn sweet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjlYv1O-yDc

Out of Town

December 31st, 2009
11:19 am

41-14 at Tenn….05 AU at home was probably the best game to watch even though it was a loss.

Hampton Roads Dawg

December 31st, 2009
11:20 am

If we’re talking strictly best games UGA played in, then the 2005 home loss to Auburn when the concussed Tra Battle cost the Dawgs the game by giving up a long pass on 4th and 20 when he went the wrong way in a 3-deep zone has to be considered as well. UGA outplayed the Tigers that day, but Battle’s miscue and Brannan Southeland’s fumble returned for 6 cost the Dawgs the W.

The previous game, when Joe Tereshinski started in place of Shockley down in Jacksonville, also deserves mention. The Dawgs lost that day too, shattering their national title hopes, but it was a valiant effort by the defense that kept the Dawgs in the game. The final score was 14-10 and if Coutu would have been perfect on field goals, instead of 1 for 3, or if Martrez Milner hadn’t dropped Joe-T’s first pass that would have gone for a deep TD, or Bryan McClendon hadn’t pulled a Terrance Edwards on the Dawgs final drive, the Dawgs would have had a chance to make it 2 years in a row that the BCS snubbed an SEC team for a shot at the NC.

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
11:27 am

The 2002 auburn game is definitely #1 on the list. Everything after that is a distant second because without the Auburn win, Richt probably doesn’t win any SEC titles and he loses the positive momentum gained from that win.

The 2003 41-14 beatdown in toothless hillbilly land was the most pleasant thing to watch in person ever.

Wow, Hampton Roads...

December 31st, 2009
11:28 am

…if, if, if!!!!!

HamDawg11

December 31st, 2009
11:29 am

Great list of games, brings back some warm, fuzzy memories. I usually only go to 1-2 games per year, and was fortunate enough to be @ 2 of them listed above. I’ll never forget being in Neyland in ‘01. We controlled pretty much the entire game, it was late in the 4th and the UT faithful were headin’ for the door. Then Travis Stephens catches that screen pass and goes 70+ yds for a TD to give Tenn a lead (I believe their first of the game). The folks clad in ugly urnge began to file back into the smelly stadium…most made it back to their seats in time to see David Greene and Randy McMichael march it down the field to set up one of the greatest plays in UGA history.

I had an inebriated old man with a white beard get in my face after UT’s late TD….for some reason I couldn’t locate him after Haynes’, go figure.

Good times, man…good times!!

DCJohn

December 31st, 2009
11:40 am

2002 Ole Mississippi needs to be mentioned as well. Our defense made a number one draft pick look mediocre to poor, and our offense also kept him off the field for the final 10 minutes of the game.

guy

December 31st, 2009
11:42 am

bama ‘08 hands down. the crowd reaction shots in that one were pure gold. UF for that past two years was also pretty memorable. i kept waiting for the dawgs to rush the field in 08 after they finally scored a TD in the 4th against the scout team…

guy

December 31st, 2009
11:43 am

also TN this year was great. i almost felt bad for the dawgs, looking so lost and helpless. almost…

Fair and Balanced

December 31st, 2009
11:43 am

Good choices and you gotta think that it is only a good game when GA wins. Some of the “could have beens” and “what if’s” are cool. Here is another: What if GA beat LSU this season? What if we held on to beat KY? Chances are that the loss to LSU caused a loss to TN ’cause they were not that good at that time in the season. If we beat LSU + TN then we would have held on to beat KY for sure and then demolish Tech as we did. The season ends up pretty good – another 10+ win season and no trip to Shreveport. BUT, we didn’t beat LSU and the good thing about that is that the loss exposed inadequate coaching so that UGA can make needed changes now!

Uncle Jessie

December 31st, 2009
11:51 am

Sally Jesse Raphael,

Haven’t you already run this article, Cooter? I’m having deja vu and you’re obviously having a case of dementia… Keep on reliving the good ole days! I would too if I were a Georgia fan.

Cuz

December 31st, 2009
11:58 am

The Hobnail boot game. We found out what Mark Richt and David Greene were made of. And Munson had not lost anything on his fastballs. Great game, great memories.

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
11:58 am

don’t worry, Guy, we always feel sorry for you.

pjgreiss

December 31st, 2009
12:06 pm

You left off the 2002 Alabama game where our manhood was questioned by Pat Dye. Late FG by Billy Bennet wins it. Fred Gibson had an acrobatic catch in the end zone. Great road win…among the many of the CMR era!

athensdawg

December 31st, 2009
12:09 pm

the season’s not even over, and it’s time for bill to fire up the “top ten” lists……….

Roddy Jones

December 31st, 2009
12:15 pm

Our butt-whippin of the DAWGS in Athens in 2008…..I’m still running!!!

Joe Schmo from Idaho

December 31st, 2009
12:19 pm

Hey “Fair and Balanced” -

You know, you are right. If only we had beaten UT, Kentucky, and LSU, and then also managed to have gotten by Oklahoma State, then our only loss would have been to Florida. But since we are the Dogs, the voters would have overlooked that loss because we are so good and we would have been in the national title game regardless. Man, we surely ought to be national champs.

And before you give me the {{{{{{30-24}}}}}}} crap … what is with the {{{{{{}}}}}} anyway?

MyBigOldHairy

December 31st, 2009
12:19 pm

None…………………………………………………………….

Rod

December 31st, 2009
12:22 pm

Chavis is the new UGA DC

HWS

December 31st, 2009
12:29 pm

pjgreiss, You are absolutely right. That game is one of my top 5 of the decade. We gave up lead late only to seal it with Billy’s kick… then an INT to finish off the game. That put UGA in the spotlight for the rest of the season.

nwizzle dawg

December 31st, 2009
12:29 pm

Georgia’s 42-30 win over Florida in 2007…never been that proud to be a Dawg fan before or after

Baton Rouge Dawg

December 31st, 2009
12:33 pm

I wonder if Tech can put together a top ten for the last 30 Years?

Worm

December 31st, 2009
12:37 pm

Sorry, The Auburn blackout game was tremendous,but I camped out on the tracks all nite for Bama!..Not Close!

G is for G.E.D.

December 31st, 2009
12:38 pm

The “Grambling” loss to Florida.

The making of the “Crompton for Hesiman” video.

The 2008 “Blackout Knockout” vs. Bama.

3 of the All-Time classic beatdowns !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roddy Jones

December 31st, 2009
12:40 pm

How about this year’s Tenn game? That was great!!!

Dr M

December 31st, 2009
12:45 pm

I’m with you, Bill, on the error in how we talk about decades…the tenth year of a decade should end in 10…e.g., 10 , 1910, 2010, etc… Anyway, those are all great games…what about the road game at Auburn, Nov 11, 2006, Georgia 37, #5 Auburn 15. Tre Battle picked off 3 of Brandon Cox’s first 8 pases and Matthew Stafford had his break-out game. This was the beginning of the run featuring Stafford, Moreno, Massaquoi, Green et al culminating in beating Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. Here’s a link to the recap: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recap?gid=200611110075

Minnesota Dawg

December 31st, 2009
12:52 pm

Georgia’s 24-21 win over Auburn in 2002. Just hearing Larry Munson was great!

ozzfest

December 31st, 2009
1:00 pm

I ATTENDED EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE GAMES….AND I MIGHT ADD IN THE “LIGHTNING-DELAYED, DAVID POLLOCK-STRIP, LATE CAROLINA FUMBLE” 2002 WAR IN COLUMBIA.

BJohnDawg

December 31st, 2009
1:10 pm

30-24….most important. Control the state.

GatorBite

December 31st, 2009
1:11 pm

Without doubt this years win over Georgia Tech was really UGA’s best win. If GT maintains a ranking over 18th in the polls this will be Richt’s greatest non-conference win. He has yet to beat a team that finished higher than 18th out of conference (Hawaii and Michigan State both finished 18th). It would be nice if he could start winning against quality out of conference teams and this years win against GT is arguably his first. Of course if they go on to lose to Iowa even that win would be greatly diminished.

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
1:13 pm

I dont have to be “classy.” I just expect OTHER PEOPLE to be “classy.”

That’s why I can refeer to “others” as hillbillies, but I get my panties bunched up when other teams criticize me or my dawggies.

I like being a total A-HOLE. It just comes natural.

CPJ's Sportsbra

December 31st, 2009
1:16 pm

What’s the difference between a GT fan and a carp?

One’s a bottom feeding, scum sucker and the other is a fish.

11Dawg

December 31st, 2009
1:17 pm

I’m surprised the 2006 Tech game isn’t even mentioned. Upset win, exciting finish…Munson yelling “MASSAQUOIIIIIIII!”

Kingfisher Dawg

December 31st, 2009
1:29 pm

Why not the Man-Enough game? Bama 2002

Mark

December 31st, 2009
1:34 pm

2006 @ Auburn is another good one. AU was ranked #5 in the country and UGA was a huge underdog. Three interceptions by Brandon Cox later (by Tra Battle), the Dawgs led Auburn 30-0 in the second quarter and won the game 37-15. Cox threw for 30 yards on 4 completions and 4 picks, and the game ended with Richt’s offense taking a knee inside the Auburn 5. Just a complete beatdown all around.

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
1:38 pm

To my impostor,

Since I have a college education and know how to spell, it makes you pretty east to spot “Steamer”.

When you spell “refer” as the word “refeer”, it kinda gives you away.

Maybe you were enjoying one while you were typing. You are probably too stupid to get the joke.

Decade Dawg

December 31st, 2009
1:42 pm

2000 – Florida 34 Georgia 23
2001 – Florida 24 Georgia 10
2002 – Florida 20 Georgia 13
2003 – Florida 16 Georgia 13
2004 – Georgia 31 Florida 24
2005 – Florida 14 Georgia 10
2006 – Florida 21 Georgia 14 * Florida National Champions
2007 – Georgia 42 Florida 30
2008 – Florida 49 Georgia 10 * Florida National Champions
2009 – Florida 41 Georgia 17

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
1:55 pm

I dont have to be “classy.” I just expect OTHER PEOPLE to be “classy.”

That’s why I can REFER to “others” as hillbillies, but I get my panties bunched up when other teams criticize me or my dawggies.

I like being a total A-HOLE. It just comes natural.

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
1:57 pm

Nice try “Steamer”.

Happy New Year moron.

I’m out for the rest of the day. Enjoy posting under my handle loser.

Ben Dover

December 31st, 2009
1:58 pm

My favorites were the 2001 Auburn game running the great Jasper Sanks inside the 5 with no time outs & getting STUFFED & the Music City Bowl when Saint Richt PUNTED with under 2 minutes to go. Reminds me of Bob Davie & Les Miles with such wonderful clock management.

Montgomery Burns

December 31st, 2009
2:02 pm

My favorite game this decade? Tough call. Home loss to UK in 2009? Road loss to UK in 2006? Home loss to Vandy in 2006? Getting blasted in Knox in 2007 or 2009? No wait….I’ve got it:

Home loss to Vandy in 2006.

How 'Bout Them DAWGS? Woof Woof

December 31st, 2009
2:12 pm

I do LOVE that UGA is the center of the football universe for everyone in the S.E..

Be it a Tech, UT, UF or AU fan. We(UGA)do appreciate your acknowledgement of UGA being THE premier University in the ATL area and the Southeast. We thank you for interest in the DAWGS!
Here is to another decade of the DOGS dominating the headlines. Cheers! Happy New Year!!!!!!

Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof

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Trip

December 31st, 2009
2:19 pm

Who gives a rip

guy

December 31st, 2009
2:19 pm

or it could be that atlanta is a major metropolitan area where people from all over the southeast work/read the paper. uga is the center of the football universe in athens, and thats about it. heres to another decade of uga getting whipped by uf 80% of the time, and ut 70% of the time.

guyisgay

December 31st, 2009
2:22 pm

UT 70% of the time

This decade UGA 6 UT 4

DawginLex

December 31st, 2009
2:24 pm

one more thing before I’m off;

How do we know that Adam was GT man?

He sat next to a naked lady and ate an apple.

Happy New Year

Clembo

December 31st, 2009
2:26 pm

How about the 30 – 0 whippin of Clemson at Death Valley in 2003. Many pundits favored Clemson that day.