In honor of Mark Richt’s 50th birthday today, here are the five games from his nine seasons at Georgia that I think are the Georgia coach at his very best.
Georgia’s 26-24 win over Tennessee in 2001. Forever hailed by Dogs fans as the “hobnail boot” game, it was Richt’s first signature victory and set the template for Richt at his most successful: Cool on the sideline, explosive offense moving the ball quickly downfield, superb call for the touchdown, beating the other guy on the road.
Georgia’s 24-21 win in Auburn in 2002. Perhaps the most important win of the Richt era in that it put the Dogs into their first SEC championship game. Another classic come-from-behind effort and another great call with the fourth-and-19 “70-X-Takeoff” pass to Michael Johnson in the end zone.
Georgia’s 37-15 upset win over Auburn in 2006. Richt later said that he was worried before this game that he had a terrible game plan. Not exactly. Georgia hit the No. 5 Tigers in the mouth from the first snap and never looked back.
Georgia’s 42-30 win over Florida in 2007. Was the dancing in the end zone call a brilliant gamble or Richt giving in to his dark side? Either way, this was a marvelous coaching job.
Georgia’s 30-24 win over Georgia Tech in 2009. Nobody expected the Dogs to have much of a chance in this game, but that’s when Richt is at his most dangerous. A great game plan running the ball down the Jackets’ throats.
Feel free to share your own favorite games under Richt. And happy birthday, Coach!
IN PRAISE OF BOBO
Senator Blutarsky of Get the Picture offers some praise for oft-criticized offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. He notes that despite the Dogs losing their star QB and running back in 2009, running fewer offensive plays than the year before, having way too many turnovers and playing a killer schedule, Georgia’s point production dropped only about two and a half points per game this past season.
The obvious conclusion is that while Bobo’s playcalling might not always be a thing of beauty, he generally knows what he’s doing.
HALF-FULL BETTER THAN EMPTY
T Kyle King of Dawg Sports has been one of the more pessimistic Georgia basketball fans this season, not letting a few big wins go to his head. After Mark Fox’s Dogs again let a lead slip away last night against Tennessee and remain winless on the road, King offers a downbeat but fair assessment of the state of UGA basketball: “Coach Fox deserves time to remake this program into one that can win, but, in the meantime, while we are forced to wait patiently with our teeth gritted, what we have is a team that cannot emerge triumphant twice consecutively and cannot do anything other than lose on the road. The best that can be said is that the glass is half-full because the glass was completely empty when it was handed to Mark Fox. Only half-empty represents real progress for the program with the weakest roundball tradition in the SEC.”