D.J. Shockley says similarities are uncanny to ‘05 SEC game

Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley thinks the 2011 SEC Championship game against LSU is setting up much like the 2005 title game did. (AJC photo)

Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley thinks the 2011 SEC Championship game against LSU is setting up much like the 2005 title game did. (AJC photo)

Former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley looks at this year’s SEC Championship matchup and between the Bulldogs and No. 1 LSU and can’t help but think back to six years ago when he was getting ready for a similar game.

In 2005, as now, the Bulldogs were the SEC East champs and the underdog team (though not by two touchdowns like they are this year). Georgia was ranked No. 13 and the Tigers were No. 3 and everybody was talking about how an SEC championship victory might get LSU into the BCS national championship game against Southern Cal or Texas.

“It’s kind of strange it’s so much alike,” said Shockley, who’s living in Atlanta and still playing football. “LSU is so highly ranked right now; they’re supposed to be so much better than Georgia; Georgia’s not supposed to have a chance. It’s the same scenario, the same story we heard in ‘05. It’s very similar, and I think the outcome could be very similar, too.”

That would be quite the shocker. Thanks in no small part to Shockley — who came away with MVP honors — the Bulldogs hit LSU with two long touchdown passes early and never looked back en route to a 34-14 victory.

“We didn’t have much to lose at the time, but we had a lot to prove to ourselves,” Shockley said of the Bulldogs, who came into the ‘05 game 9-2. “We wanted to go out and play well and I think this Georgia team now is feeling the same way. Nobody is giving them any respect for winning the last 10 games and being in this game, period.”

LSU was led by quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who came into the game banged up, and a bevy of fleet-footed wide receivers. But the hallmark of that Tigers’ team was the defense, which was known for stuffing the run and playing facemask-to-facemask in the secondary.

Shockley said the Bulldogs’ plan coming into the game was to use LSU’s defensive aggressiveness against it.

“We were going to take a couple of shots deep to let them know that we weren’t afraid and we were going to push it down the field,” Shockley said. “We weren’t going to play a conservative game. All year long, whenever they saw us audible, we always audibled to a quick game. In this game, when we audibled we did the exact same thing except we sent somebody long, too. And they did exactly what we thought. They jumped our quick slants and quick outs and Sean Bailey ended up running free down the sideline.”

Shockley hit Bailey on touchdown passes of 45 and 29 yards in the first quarter to stake them to a 14-0 lead six minutes in and the Bulldogs never looked back. Russell was out of the game and Georgia was ahead 34-7 by the time LSU scored its last touchdown with five miutes to play.

It was an unforgettable day for Shockley, who also ran for a seven-yard touchdown in the game.

“It was just so satisfying,” Shockley recalled. “I’d waited all that time and we’d been in the SEC Championship game and I was part of the team, but it was a different scenario until that year. We had a lot of guys on our team who were in the same boat, finally getting a chance to play and a lot of people not giving them a chance because we lost so many great players.

“Just being in that game was huge because we were picked to finish third in the SEC that year. So everybody thought it was a great year that year just to make it that game. But we wanted to go a step further and just win the game because all year long nobody thought we could do it. We thought, if we win this game, what else could anybody say. So personally it was very satisfying.”

Shockley hasn’t been able to recapture the magic since that game. After being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, injuries detoured his NFL career. He played last season with the Omaha Nighthawks of the AFL. He’s holding out hope for an opening to return to the NFL but doesn’t know if that’s going to happen.

“I know I can play; I know I’ve got the talent,” Shockley said. “It just depends on getting the chance. It’s all about getting the opportunity. But it’s not always about what you want to do. If it happens, I’ll put my best foot forward. If it doesn’t, hey, you’ve got to move on some day. I’ve got a 20-month old daughter [Milan] with my wife [Portia] and we’ve got a little boy on the way, so my priorities are different now.”

But that 2005 SEC Championship, it will always be with him.

– Chip Towers

158 comments Add your comment

WDE

December 2nd, 2011
3:44 pm

19

December 2nd, 2011
3:45 pm

Go Dawgs!
That’s for you Tampa!

BillS

December 2nd, 2011
3:45 pm

Hope he’s right. Good kid and it would be nice to see him get a break in the pros

UGAKev

December 2nd, 2011
3:45 pm

DILLIGAF

December 2nd, 2011
3:51 pm

What a game that was in 05′!

I agree, Shockley’s a good guy and a DGD.

Good luck in the future, D.J., here’s hoping that you can get back to the NFL.

UGA/85′
GATA!

81Dawg

December 2nd, 2011
3:52 pm

I would love to see a repeat of ‘05. Go Dawgs!!!

CHDawg

December 2nd, 2011
3:53 pm

Shockley was one of my favorite Dawgs. He never stopped improving. I felt like one more season and he could have won the Heisman. He hasn’t played much after college either. He might be one of those Warner type stories….just needs the opportunity. I hope he is right.

pj

December 2nd, 2011
3:55 pm

Murray = shockley. Malcolm mitchell = sean bailey. Lsu tries to prove a point and play agressive bump and run and mitchell burns em deep in the first half. If we can keep up with their grinding rushing attack, we have a chance to be in it in the 4th quarter – then, as larry would say – “ol lady luck” has to shine on us. Go dawgs.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 2nd, 2011
4:00 pm

That was a fun team to watch! Sean Bailey was one of my favorite Dawgs to watch. Hope it turns out to be a repeat of ‘05!

ol' seadawg

December 2nd, 2011
4:02 pm

I think Jacksonville ought to take a look at him. He’s as good or better then anybody else they’ve had down there. Hopefully we have some of his 2005 magic tommorrow. GATA

Bama Mike

December 2nd, 2011
4:03 pm

Shockley was a much more dangerous runner than Murray. This years front seven for LSU is light years above that LSU front

dawggirl

December 2nd, 2011
4:05 pm

Shockley’s always been one of my favorite Dawgs. Best of luck to him, and hope he’s right about the comparison to 2005!

DawgFan (The Original)

December 2nd, 2011
4:06 pm

That was one special night at the Dome. Just got my tickets for they game and right now I am ready to GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GTBob

December 2nd, 2011
4:07 pm

How did UGA do against Boise St that year vs. this year?

Evansdawg

December 2nd, 2011
4:08 pm

As long as I live, I will never forget the roar of the crowd when DJ hit that early 45-yard bomb to the endzone. The LSU fans went almost completely silent. Maybe lightning can strike twice. I think its funny that people think that we are the same team that opened 0-2. They point to those losses to make up their minds that we are going to get destroyed. A lot has happened since, and the Dawgs could be extremely dangerous. If anything, everyone that hates the BCS should pull for the Dawgs. A UGA victory would cause smoke to come from those computers.

tell me again

December 2nd, 2011
4:09 pm

Why are Bama people on here naysaying the Dawgs? Hey guys, you had your shot. Go find yourselves a kicker!

DawgFan (The Original)

December 2nd, 2011
4:10 pm

Give it rest Bama Mike, the current LSU players are just like eveyone elses….they did not go to some special high school for Bionic men..they can be beat.

slydog

December 2nd, 2011
4:10 pm

I say again: If Shock could have had 3 years, we would have our first crystal trophy. I know. I know. The other 3 are not crystal footballs though…lol. On another note, I just want this game to be tough and competitive. If the defense can pressure Jefferson and Lee all night, Alabama’s missed field goals will be our touchdowns.

UgaAllTheWay

December 2nd, 2011
4:11 pm

GTBob:

How did GTU do against UGA that year vs. this year?

DawgFan (The Original)

December 2nd, 2011
4:11 pm

GTBooB, get of our blog

JB

December 2nd, 2011
4:11 pm

Hope the Dawgs play lights out…..and I hope the rumors about Richt being on the short list at Penn St are just crazy talk. Word is they need more than a football coach up there, and our guy fits the bill.

slydog

December 2nd, 2011
4:11 pm

I see GT Bob still has to throw those weak jabs.

JB

December 2nd, 2011
4:12 pm

GTBob has no life. none. Obsessed with the Dawgs.

dawgerbrown

December 2nd, 2011
4:14 pm

How does Ga. Tech ever do against UGA? GTBob, you and fellow bumble bees would be better served worrying about and trying to fix your own program. We’re just fine. GO DAWGS! GATA!

robodawg

December 2nd, 2011
4:14 pm

No disrespect to Shockley, one of my favorite Dawgs of all time, but that ‘05 team had no glaring weaknesses (and Shockley had a lot to do with that). This year we’re going to have to overcome our own weaknesses in a major way to win. Our current OL is a patchwork job without a lot of depth, depth at RB is a major concern, and our special teams are not the most reliable. I’m hoping to pull out the win, but in ‘05 I fully expected to win.

Best wishes DJ. Go Dawgs!

JB

December 2nd, 2011
4:14 pm

Murray can pass really well and numbers 31 and 28 for us can fly and catch the ball. Watch 83 also.

slydog

December 2nd, 2011
4:16 pm

Richt nor any other good coach is going to Penn St. They need more of a ‘good’ person than a football coach focused on winning. I know that sounds a lot like CMR, but the man is used to winning football games and he is a competitor (Urban are you listening?). Maybe a guy like Jim Grobe of Wake Forest is a better fit. Who the heck wants to be the man who follows the man? Now add on the scandal. UUGGHH

Texas Dawg

December 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

Damn right – Shockley is a damn good Dawg. Richt should invite him into the locker room to give a pep talk before the game.

bill arp

December 2nd, 2011
4:18 pm

With all the issues at QB in the NFL, I can’t believe DJ hasn’t gotten a call to come in somewhere and show what he’s got…

JB

December 2nd, 2011
4:18 pm

Most Bee’s and Gators have left these blogs….Started happening early when they told us we weren’t man enough to beat Mississippi State. They’ve been leaving ever since. Go Dawgs. And to our friend Spurrier, He’ll watch tomorrow night having to buy a ticket…LOL

slydog

December 2nd, 2011
4:18 pm

Don’t forget about #82, Bennett, the baby Ed McCaffrey…lol

DawginLex

December 2nd, 2011
4:19 pm

Things are a mess in knoxville

Hearing our boy Da’rick might be on his way out

Anybody want to bash richt now for losing him?

:) :) :)

slydog

December 2nd, 2011
4:20 pm

The nerve of Dabo Swinney to snap on Steve Spurrier and S. Carolina. I was shocked but it was too funny.

bill arp

December 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

I think the coaches, players, cheerleaders, band members, AD, Pres Adams, professors and even the fans need to watch the movie ‘MIRACLE’ tonight……..

Heck, even Russ!

JB

December 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

Lex, I like Derek, but he may have more problems up there than he can solve. That fan base ought to back off and let him fix it. If he can’t in another 2 years, It’ll be 100% better than he found it and ready for the next guy.

Murphy

December 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

Its funny how we all find comparisons to this game from other years.While we are at it another tid bit to throw out thanks to the guys at CCS Talikng Football.In 2002 we won the SEC Championship and Tony Stewart was crowned the Winston Cup Champion.Now move to 2011-Tony Stewart wins the Championship again. Just saying!!!!! Go Dawgs

Russell Hall

December 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

Mark Richt isn’t interested in wading into the sewer Joe Pa left behind. Perhaps they should be talking to Tressel. He’s sanctimonious as hell, plus he’s unemployed.

DawginLex

December 2nd, 2011
4:21 pm

billarp

1 game

just 1 game

If we played them 10 times, they might win 9

1 game

JB

December 2nd, 2011
4:22 pm

Saturday depends on our OL and an attitude of smacking them back….hard.

GTBob

December 2nd, 2011
4:22 pm

How did GTU do against UGA that year vs. this year?

We did better that year. Didn’t play well, but better then we did this year.

The Commissioner

December 2nd, 2011
4:23 pm

GTBob:
- stays on UGA blogs because Tech blogs aren’t active until Bowl season
- a happy GA Tech fan because they did beat Georgia that 1 year in the last 11
- watching GA Tech play reminds him of Disney World…yes, Mickey Mouse lives there, Bob’s just amazed that he can call GA Tech’s offense from so far away.
- just might be unemployed, or if not, if he had a boss should be because he can’t think of anything good to say about any team that beats up on his team annually
- still thinks Tevin Washington is better than Reggie Ball; or Reggie Ball is better than Tevin Washington; or, never mind.
- believes in Paul Johnson because he was successful in division 2

Really, dude…? Give it up. Your IQ is clearly lower than what GA Tech scored last week. Regardless of whether LSU wins or not, bear in mind, we lost to South Carolina and they messed up their opportunity to get to play LSU. You lost to Clemson and they’re still playing in the Athletically Challenged Conference Championship game, against yet another team that made GA Tech look like my old high school back in the late ’80s.

DawginLex

December 2nd, 2011
4:23 pm

JB

I feel sorry for Derek Dooley for the mess he inherited.

Lane Kiffin should be castrated so his smoking hot wife would leave him

dean

December 2nd, 2011
4:24 pm

Me thinks the Dawgs also have a pretty good TE. If the OL can give Aaron that extra 1/2 second….

The Commissioner

December 2nd, 2011
4:24 pm

OK…you beat Clemson, but it really doesn’t matter, does it? :)

Mike da Tiger

December 2nd, 2011
4:24 pm

DJ I got nothing but love for you but you should’ve got the heck out of Athens when you saw greene was going to be the man. cmr did you no favors. you could’ve played elsewhere and maybe had a shot at the NC. But that’s water under the bridge now. As for now, DJ, it does my heart good to see you still have school spirit but you and buck and hershel and lindsey all know the deal. good luck and my both teams come away injury free.

Carew

December 2nd, 2011
4:24 pm

Enter your comments here

DawginLex

December 2nd, 2011
4:25 pm

mike

DJ has character and that is why he stayed and he was rewarded

The Commissioner

December 2nd, 2011
4:25 pm

And as much as you stay on all of our blogs, GTBob, your company must not get too much business…either that or you just don’t like to work.

DIT

December 2nd, 2011
4:26 pm

Goooooooooo Dawgs!

superDawg

December 2nd, 2011
4:27 pm

D.J. is a damn good dawg.Thanks D.J.!