Counting the Days – Day 95
Dave McMahon and Patrick Garbin
Welcome to our daily countdown! Our countdown to the Bulldogs’ opening game began recently and, today, we’re at 95. In 95 days, Georgia will be facing North Carolina at the Georgia Dome. Each day leading up to the season opener, Patrick Garbin and I will show three unique and creative ways that we hope will relive memories of why that particular number is special to the Dawgs. The number 95 makes me think of I-95 and going to Jacksonville for Georgia-Florida, and coming back. Those trips are some of my favorite memories, and some of my worst. We’re hoping these articles bring back nothing but good memories for you, and if there are others that you can think of, please mention them at The Dawgvent.
95 – by Dave McMahon
3 – One of my favorite wide receivers from the 1990s was Hason Graham. Graham played from 1992 through 1994 under Ray Goff, and was usually Eric Zeier’s second go-to receiver (after Brice Hunter). Graham put up some pretty good numbers of his own, like 95 receptions for 1,834 yards and 16 touchdown receptions in 33 games. His 16 touchdown receptions remain tied for eighth all time in Georgia history with Juan Daniels, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Malcolm Mitchell. Ten of his touchdown receptions covered 50 yards or more. And, 10 of his 95 catches came against Kentucky in 1994 with one resulting for a touchdown with 4:08 left to win the game for Georgia. Graham was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his ‘94 performance against the Wildcats.
2 – Speaking of people that were not leading stat players, quarterback Buck Belue was second on the Bulldogs’ 1980 national title team in rush attempts. In case you were wondering, Herschel Walker was first with 274 rush attempts, while tailback Carnie Norris was third with 56. Belue’s 95 rushes were the most in his four-season career (1978-1981). Of his 95, five went for touchdowns. More so, I think he made the right decision by handing the ball off to Herschel.
1 – One category that people keep mentioning when it comes to head coaches is their wins against ranked opponents. Since the stat started, Georgia has 95 wins against ranked opponents with the first resulting in 1941 against No. 20 Columbia in New York. The first time Georgia faced an AP-ranked team was in 1936 when the Bulldogs tangled with No. 3 Fordham. That was also played in New York, but that game ended in a tie. Georgia has defeated an AP-ranked No. 1 team once, occurring in 1985 when they down the Gators in Jacksonville:
95 – by Patrick Garbin
3 – 95 is fitting for the 9.5 rating Champ Bailey received following the ’95 football season of his senior year in high school… Before Rivals and its stars, there was Forrest Davis’ Recruiting Annual, which ranked prospects between 1 and 5, Jeff Whitaker’s Deep South Recruiting Football Guide, which apparently ranked prospects from 0 to 10 (although one usually wouldn’t even be mentioned in the guide without a rating of at least 8.0), and a number of other recruiting services. And, coming out of Charlton County High School, Bailey received a 9.5 rating from Whitaker which, as best as I can tell, would be equivalent today to a solid 4-star Rivals prospect. Of note, in Champ’s signing class of 1996, Whitaker rated running back Patrick Pass, and JUCO signees defensive lineman Cletidus Hunt and linebacker Rich Robich perfect 10s, while newcomers defensive lineman Marcus Stroud and defensive back Cory Robinson each were given a 9.75.
2 – 95 is for No. 95 Bill Goldberg (1986-1989), a two-time All-SEC defensive lineman for the Bulldogs, and a two-time world champion in wrastling. In four seasons at Georgia, three as a starter, he totaled 348 tackles, 12 sacks, 10 other tackles for loss, and seven passes broken up. There are many stories regarding Goldberg—some of which probably shouldn’t be published—but a clean, somewhat humorous story is one from when he was the Bulldogs’ player representative for SEC Media Days in 1989. Just prior to the outspoken defender speaking to the media, he was asked by both head coach Ray Goff and SID Claude Felton to not say "too much," especially considering Georgia returned just four starters from a defensive unit the season before which ranked 7th (out of 10) in the SEC in total defense and dead last in pass defense. Still, with the media, Goldberg was nothing but tight lipped: "Our defense is going to be awesome. We're going to be great...I want to scare people with our defense."
1 – 95 are the number of all-purpose yards sophomore Horace King—one of Georgia’s first five African-American signees in 1971—gained on September 30, 1972, against NC State (head coached by a 35-year-old Lou Holtz), resulting in a 28-22 victory for the Bulldogs. After playing sparingly the first two games of the ’72 season, King made his first collegiate varsity start at flanker for Georgia and absolutely shined, catching 6 passes for 70 yards, returning a kickoff for 17 yards and, when briefly being switched to wingback with the score tied 14-14, rushing 5 times for 8 hard-earned yards, including a two-yard touchdown. The score marked the first time a black player had scored for the Bulldogs. Finally, the versatile King threw a halfback pass, as well, completing it for 25 yards to tight end Bob Burns, also marking the first pass attempted, and obviously completed, by an African American in UGA football history.