This will be the 20th season on Georgia’s radio broadcast team for both Scott Howard and Neil Williamson. In 1993, they joined the team as color analyst and pregame show co-host, respectively. Howard succeeded the legendary Larry Munson as play-by-play voice in 2008, and Williamson has maintained his spot alongside Loran Smith on the “Tailgate Show.” On the cusp of their 20th season, which opens Saturday against Buffalo in Sanford Stadium, Howard and Williamson chatted with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about past and present. (Answers were edited for length.)
AJC: What, to you, is the most memorable moment in the past two decades of UGA football?
Howard: “I get asked that a lot. The one that always jumps out to me is the Tennessee game in 2001, the ‘Hobnail Boot’ game as it became known [because of Munson’s famous call of Georgia’s game-winning play: ‘We just stepped on their face with a hobnail boot and broke their nose. We just crushed their face.’] It was just one helluva moment –- not only for the football program and its new head coach but for our radio guy, for Larry, because he had to me a second Belue-to-Scott call. It was like for a new generation. And to be able to witness that firsthand and be a part of that was an amazing moment.”
Williamson: “And it was so cathartic for the Bulldog Nation. I’m in full agreement – that game and winning the SEC championship in 2002. One of the funny stories from that Tennessee game is Larry and I are walking to the bus together after the game, and Larry looks at me and goes, ‘I think I said something stupid.’ I was, like, ‘No, you sounded great.’ He said, ‘Are you sure I didn’t say anything stupid?’”
AJC: What’s your forecast for the 2012 team?
Howard: “I’m terrible at predictions, and no one can predict injuries and suspensions and all of that kind of stuff. But given the guys we have right now, I have a lot of confidence in them and a lot of confidence from listening to the coaches talk about what they have seen in the practices to this point. There are a couple of road blocks on the schedule but not too many, which I think certainly plays in our favor. I think the outlook is very good. I think this is a top 10 team at least. I like the prospect of two freshmen running backs making a name for themselves and being here for a while. The defense, I think, is going to be outstanding, even with the suspensions we know about and maybe some pending ones we don’t know at this point. Concerns? I guess offensive line is probably the biggest one.”
Williamson: “Fourteen and O, baby! I’ll tell you what excites me is 29 [Jarvis Jones] coming off the edge. They always talk about [David] Pollack’s motor. Same type of motor with the quickness and size that [Jones] has, that’s what excites me.”
AJC: What do you think Larry Munson would be saying about this team right now?
Howard: “’We’ve got no linemen. We’ve got no backs. There’s no experience.’ That kind of thing, on and on and on.”
Williamson: “‘You know what’s going to happen if we get late in the game and have to worry about one of these pups, one of these youngsters, one of these kickers, having to come through? We have no chance.’ And he’d just stop. ‘We have no chance.’”
Howard: “He would be worrying about everything.”
Williamson: “And that was not an act, folks. That was at dinner, sitting around the fireplace, riding home in the car. … What a joy for the two of us, though. We both went to Georgia. To be doing this for your own school for 20 years, what a dream come true.”
LOTS MORE UGA FOOTBALL COVERAGE: