D.J. Shockley: ‘It sounds weird to hear Georgia called underdog’ vs. Boise State

Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley said the Bulldogs were motivated by being called the 'upset special' against Boise State in 2005. (UGA photo)

Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley said the Bulldogs were motivated by being called the 'upset special' against Boise State in 2005. (UGA photo)

D.J. Shockley couldn’t help but chuckle at the question.

“Yeah, I think I may remember that Boise game just a little bit,” he said sarcastically. “I think I might be able to recall a few things that happened that day. I don’t know. Let me think about it.”

Shockley was being asked about the last time Georgia and Boise State played. It was Sept. 3, 2005, and Shockley was a fifth-year senior making his debut as the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs. And there’s good reason he might be able remember a thing or two about that game.

Shockley accounted for six touchdowns that steamy afternoon in Athens. He ran for a 14-yard touchdown on Georgia’s first possession of the game, then passed for five more TDs as the Bulldogs rolled to a 48-13 victory.

Shockley finished as Georgia’s leading passer (16-24, 289 yards) and rusher (5-85) and the Bulldogs went on to win the SEC Championship that season. But he said his most profound memory came from the days leading up to the game.

The Bulldogs, ranked 13th and coming off a 10-win season, were the vogue pick to go down to 18th-ranked Boise in an upset that day.

“That was a big part of that game,” Shockley said. “Out of every college game that weekend, we were the only ones everyone was picking to be upset that day. They were calling it the ‘upset special.’ We were like, ‘why us? We’re a good team. We’re playing at home.’ We didn’t get it. That fired us up.”

Georgia certainly played as if it was motivated. Tony Taylor intercepted Jared Zabransky’s first pass of the game – the Boise quarterback would throw three more picks and fumbled twice before being benched at halftime – as the Bulldogs bolted out to a 24-0 first-half lead.

“You couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” said Shockley, who is currently playing quarterback for the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL. “That got the jitters out for everybody. I know it did for me.”

It was a nightmarish day for the Broncos, then led by head coach Dan Hawkins. They had just begun to forge their reputation as the little BCS Buster from out west. They had come to Georgia determined and confident they could record their first victory over an SEC opponent.

“I knew how that position needed to play that day and it just didn’t happen,” Zabransky told the Idaho Statesman this week. “I felt like I needed to almost have an out-of-body experience and be some unbelievable quarterback and make every play. . . . You’re tryng to make birdie when you should be thinking about hitting the next shot.”

Exactly exactly six years later, Georgia and Boise are set to do battle again and the the roles are practically inversed this time. The Broncos – who are 61-5 in the six seasons since – are coming in ranked No. 5 to Georgia’s 19 and a lot of national analysts are saying the Bulldogs have a decent shot at pulling off an upset.

“It sounds weird to hear Georgia called the underdog in this game,” Shockley said. “Georgia is one of the most prestigious programs in the country. I mean, I know they’re 5 and we’re 19. But Georgia is still Georgia.”

While that may be true, Boise is a vastly different team. The Broncos have won their last four against BCS opponents, knocking off Oklahoma, Oregon twice and Virginia Tech last year.

They also have one of the best quarterbacks in college football history. Fifth-year senior Kellen Moore, who has a career completion percentage of 68, needs eight victories to become the winningest college quarterback of all time.

“Nothing happens fast,” said Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, who was offensive coordinator when the broncos came to Athens. “I think slowly but surely we have just continued to build. And we’ve had good continuity on our staff, and maybe the recruiting has upgraded a little bit. Nothing seems dramatic. It just seems like it’s been going on for a while, and each year we’ve maybe made a little bit of progress.”

“Don’t expect the 2005 Boise State team to show up,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said during a Bulldog Club Tour stop this year. “They did not have the physical ability to hang with us on that day. They’re different. They’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re faster, they’re more physical, they’re more confident, they’re tougher. What they do, they do extremely well on both sides of the ball.”

That will have to prove sufficient motivation for Georgia.

144 comments Add your comment

jake dawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:21 pm

Ready for toe to meet leather.

Frank Lane

September 2nd, 2011
12:22 pm

Cannot believe that I am first.

jake dawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:23 pm

I hope that dome is rocking tomorrow night. Enjoyed the braves games last night where the UGA fans were going back and forth.

Frank Lane

September 2nd, 2011
12:24 pm

I have great friends who are broncos. They are thinking domination of the dogs. Go thru our defense like a knife through butter. Hopefully, they will be disappointed in a major fashion.

TopperCat

September 2nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Good article, Chip! I forgot all about Shockley’s 6 touchdowns. That’s an awful lot of offense. Hopefully the offense comes out shooting tomorrow.

KOOL

September 2nd, 2011
12:27 pm

Dang… those white cleats look sharp…

UGA BABY

September 2nd, 2011
12:27 pm

4th haha lol lets go dawgs!

UGA BABY

September 2nd, 2011
12:28 pm

Travis Peck

September 2nd, 2011
12:32 pm

Dannell Ellerbe, not Tony Taylor, intercepted the 1st Boise St pass of the game.
Dawgs roll tomorrow 38- 24

TampaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:34 pm

Dylan

September 2nd, 2011
12:34 pm

I’m so glad that football season is finally back!! UGA having an opening game of this magnitude has made the off-season that much longer!! Can’t wait to finally be in the Dome tomorrow night!!

GOOOOOO DAWGS!!! BEAT BOISE STATE!!

Trojan

September 2nd, 2011
12:35 pm

Shockley was a GREAT QB at UGA.

TampaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:35 pm

errr .. 10th? Ahh, who cares, I still think our D will be the deciding factor. Their O-Line won’t be able to handle the 3-4

still a dawg fan

September 2nd, 2011
12:36 pm

Heard on the radio today that Boise St will have 35,000 fans from Boise in the dome tomorrow night. The only question I have is if we are are the home team how did Boise get that many tickets. Does anyone know if this is true.

schmeckdawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:37 pm

Travis Peck

September 2nd, 2011
12:32 pm
Dannell Ellerbe, not Tony Taylor, intercepted the 1st Boise St pass of the game.
Dawgs roll tomorrow 38- 24

******************************************************************************************

100% correct on Dannell Ellerbe! I am going 34-20 DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dean

September 2nd, 2011
12:38 pm

Dawgs by 11. If not there goes my wife’s anniversary present.

schmeckdawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:39 pm

still a dawg fan

September 2nd, 2011
12:36 pm
Heard on the radio today that Boise St will have 35,000 fans from Boise in the dome tomorrow night. The only question I have is if we are are the home team how did Boise get that many tickets. Does anyone know if this is true.

******************************************************************************************************

No way. MAYBE a third of that! I think UGA has over 50,000 seats and The Dome only holds a little over 72,000 I think!

jake dawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:42 pm

Shockley epitomized everything you want out of a football player. Put his time in, but always put his team first. worked out well for him in 05 didn’t it?

iago's yoda

September 2nd, 2011
12:43 pm

“Toe meets leather”? Not in this thread, Jake!
Get the picture, man! :D

UGA What What

September 2nd, 2011
12:44 pm

Boise St WR Boldewijn, S Febis and DT Tjoe wont play. Eligibility issues

BG

September 2nd, 2011
12:47 pm

UGA will crush the smurfs!!!

WDE

September 2nd, 2011
12:48 pm

@still a dawg fan the Dogs have sold over 53,000 tickets Boise’s allotment was around 7,500 tickets.

YoungDawg

September 2nd, 2011
12:51 pm

Georgia has not been Georgia the last two seasons! It’s time that we get back to being who we are! Hopefully all the changes this off season will lead to that. We start to find out tomorrow night! GATA! GO DAWGS! BEAT BOISE ST!

still a dawg fan

September 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

schmeckdawg,

Tony Taylor intercepted the 1st pass & Ellerbe intercepted the 2nd pass & you can take that to the bank

Truth

September 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

UCF 10
UGA 6

Tobias Funke

September 2nd, 2011
12:59 pm

Starting to get nervous.

Tobias Funke

September 2nd, 2011
1:02 pm

KOOL

I agree. The white cleats look much better than the black cleats. I had a coach that made the whole team wear white cleats because it made you look faster.

jarvis

September 2nd, 2011
1:16 pm

Those cleats look red to me.

Chip Towers

September 2nd, 2011
1:17 pm

schmeckdawg, Travis Peck: From the UGA Media Guide, “2005 Game Summaries,” “Following Tony Taylor’s interception on the first play of the contest, Shockley scored . . .” And if that doesn’t convince you, click this link to footage, which shows #43 Tony Taylor picking it off..

Also, from a Boise State official, “around 10,000″ Broncos fans are expected to make the trip to Atlanta.

DawgInMemphis

September 2nd, 2011
1:18 pm

@jake dawg,
re: Braves game. Were dawg fans doing the alternating, GEEOOORGIA ! ……. BULLLLDAWWWGS ! stadium cheer ? If so, that is bad-a_ _ !

JDawg1785

September 2nd, 2011
1:21 pm

Man, I had a blast at that game! Hoping all Dawgs fans Dome-bound on Saturday will be able to say the same thing on Sunday.

Sic ‘em, Dawgs!

TampaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
1:30 pm

Let’s remember though, when DJ platooned with Greene, it was many times an adventure when he came in. That being said, once he got the start, he was a very solid QB

The Dude Abides

September 2nd, 2011
1:30 pm

@DawgInMemphis yes they were lol I heard it when i was watching the game on TV.

The Dude Abides

September 2nd, 2011
1:32 pm

If Shockley were starting in 2002 we wouldn’t even be talking about Richt’s hot seat.

JB

September 2nd, 2011
1:33 pm

That was then.This is Now. The last two years have been painful. I’m one who’s hoping that the out of shape, unmotivated Dawgs are gone. We have a lot of things going for us this year. Tomorrow night is the coming out party….I hope.

kerryb

September 2nd, 2011
1:33 pm

Boise lost their starting senior safety to academic problems and is starting a true Freshman at Safety. Anyone still think they have a chance. Murray is going to light them up.

kerryb

September 2nd, 2011
1:35 pm

ESPN reported they left him including a WR (and they are thin already), the backup DT because of academic problems.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

September 2nd, 2011
1:44 pm

Yep two starters and a defense line backup out for BSU tomorrow night. Also the Z-Man wanted no part of UGA after that first quarter. I remember the camera shots of him on the sidelines and he looked like a whipped puppy. Those shots of him where priceless.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

TampaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
1:45 pm

The Boise State Broncos will be without receiver Geraldo Boldewijn, safety Cedric Febis, and defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe for their game against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday pending a review of their NCAA eligibility.

TampaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
1:45 pm

Courtesy of ESPN

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

September 2nd, 2011
1:49 pm

Enter your comments here

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

September 2nd, 2011
1:50 pm

It’s an insult for Georgia to ever be an underdog!

BullDawg Rick

September 2nd, 2011
1:51 pm

The lights will go out on the Broncos in the Dome!!

Dawgs “upset” (my arss) BSu 31 – 17..

Moore has never felt the pressure this early in the season that the DawgPound is going to bring on him.. Hit him early & often & Zimbr*&^%$ all over again…

Size & Speed KILLS!!

Go Dawgs!!

AltamahaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
1:52 pm

My advice: just plan on walking that true freshman safety up to the line and selling out in run support.

DawginLex

September 2nd, 2011
1:52 pm

Dude abides

If Shockley had started in 2002?

Shockley was absolutely not ready to start in 2002 and we would have lost multiple games if he was the starter.

I hope that’s what you meant about no hot seat for Richt now.(Because Richt would have never won the 2002 title and he would have already been fired?)

WDE

September 2nd, 2011
1:54 pm

http://www.cbssports.com/#!/collegefootball/story/15516839/three-boise-state-players-under-ncaa-review-out-of-opener

BullDawg Rick

September 2nd, 2011
1:56 pm

Dawg Lex –

If Shock had not relieved DG in the Clemson game, forget the 4th & 3, that’d been a L for us..

kerryb

September 2nd, 2011
1:56 pm

That Freshman Safety is going to look like a deer in the headlights in that atmosphere. I’m sure when Murray reads this he is going to quickly find out what his number is.

TampaDawg

September 2nd, 2011
1:57 pm

Agree with that DawginLex .. I liked Shockley, but too often in 03 and 04 he would come in for a set of downs to sit DG and you would find yourself covering your eyes. Like I said, in 05, he was ready and to his credit, he took in all those platoon experiences with a great attitude.