Counting down the days until kickoff: Day 125
Welcome to our countdown! A few weeks ago, Patrick Garbin and I wrote our top three ways how number 150 represented Georgia Football. Now with 125 days left before Georgia kicks off the 2016 season, we decided to continue our countdown. We will each show three unique and creative ways that we hope will demonstrate why 125 is special to the Dawgs. Today is just a sneak preview that we hope you will enjoy. Starting on day 100 UGASports.com will have one article each day leading into kickoff.
125 – by Dave McMahon
Number 3 ---
If you remember Georgia’s 2013 Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska, you'll recall the Bulldogs had some big plays on defense and special teams, but the offense was dominate. Georgia racked up 589 total yards which is the most Georgia has had in a bowl game and won the game 45-31. Aaron Murray went nuts in the game throwing for 427 yards and five touchdowns. But don’t forget Todd Gurley. Gurley ran 23 times for 125 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown went for 24 yards early in the second quarter. The 125 was his highest total of the two bowl games he played in (both were against Nebraska).
Number 2 ---
Knowshon Moreno’s last game for the Red and Black happened in the 2009 Capital One Bowl game against Michigan State. He didn’t put up the best rushing numbers (62 yards and zero touchdowns) but if you add the 63 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, his day was not so bad. Twenty-one of the 125 total yards came on his fourth quarter touchdown reception with under four minutes left to give the Dawgs a little breathing room and the eventual win. This was the only time in Moreno’s Bulldog career that he had more receiving yards than rushing yards. This was one of two touchdown receptions he had in college and was also the touchdown teammate Matthew Stafford threw in college as well.
Number 1 ---
Only three head coaches have ever won 125 football games at Georgia. The first one was Wally Butts, who ended up with 140 wins from 1939 to 1960 (don’t forget most seasons were only ten games back then). Win number 125 came against Paul “Bear” Bryant and Alabama in 1959. Win 125 was the 1959 season opener and the Bear was on season number two at his alma mater. Georgia Head Coach Wally Butts was on what turned out to be his second to last season with the Bulldogs. The Dawgs won 17 to 3 and finished the season 10-1 including a perfect 7-0 in conference play. Georgia won their fourth SEC title and then shut out Missouri in the Orange Bowl.
The 125th wins by two other Georgia head coaches came against Kentucky. Vince Dooley won his 125th during the magical season of 1980 while Mark Richt won his in 2013.
125 by Patrick Garbin
Number 3 ---
125 was the lowly number of yards Georgia passed for in the 2003 Sugar Bowl (88 by David Greene and 37 by D.J. Shockley). Nevertheless, due in large part to Musa Smith’s 145 rushing yards, four field goals by Billy Bennett, and a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown by Bruce Thornton, the Bulldogs hardly needed any passing yardage in a 26-13 victory over Florida State. Beginning early in the 2002 season until towards the start of the 2005 campaign, the 125-yard passing total was the fewest for Georgia resulting in a single game for a stretch of 40 consecutive contests. The passing yardage is also the lowest total for the Bulldogs in their last 22 bowl games. However, it should be noted that the 125 throwing yards against the Seminoles resulted in only 15 pass attempts.
Number 2 ---
125 is the career number of PATs made by placekicker Allan Leavitt. Leavitt, who hailed from St. Petersburg, Fla., and actually was committed to Florida State before becoming Georgia’s first signee to receive a kicking scholarship, made his first PAT during the ’73 season opener against Pittsburgh, and his final attempt in the ’76 regular-season finale against Georgia Tech (back when bowl games weren’t included in statistics). Notably, the 125 made PATs by the “Bulldog Bigfoot,” as labeled by Lewis Grizzard, were the second-most ever at the time in SEC history, and a school record for 27 years until broken by Billy Bennett.
Number 1 ---
1:25 p.m. EST, in honor of the late Zippy Morocco, was when the game ball was dropped from an Air Force plane into the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium five minutes prior to kickoff of the 1950 Presidential Cup pitting Georgia against Texas A&M. Featuring a pregame of the so-called most spectacular military ceremonies ever exhibited at a college game, the Aggies jumped out to a 40-0 lead over the Bulldogs. Still, Morocco, who was the team’s second-string left halfback, would finish with 190 all-purpose yards (57 rushing, 19 receiving, 36 on kick returns, and 78 on punt returns) on just 16 touches, including two touchdowns—one rushing and another via a punt return. Morocco, as best he could, essentially rallied the Bulldogs by himself in a 40-20 defeat, while having perhaps the best individual bowl performance in UGA history resulting in a losing cause.