Sunday, June 19, 2011

76 Days: Dawgs 1976 Season Rewind

For those of you out there not keeping track, this is day 24 of our countdown, which means that we are a mere 76 short days away from finally having something sports related to do on the weekend. I would say that the Braves give us a respite from the doldrums that are summer sports weekends, but I've watched them the past 5 days. "Wasn't pretty" doesn't do those days at the Ted justice.

There's no player to preview today, so I thought I'd share an overview of one of the Dawgs' most memorable seasons to date - the '76 squad. Had there not been a Sugar Bowl beatdown via the Pitt Panthers, we'd have one more of those nice national championship banners flying high above the majestic confines of Sanford Stadium.

Here's how the schedule played out for the Dawgs that season (courtesy of Fanbase.com):



And here are a few guys that you might recognize from that team:
  • Dicky Clark
  • Ray Goff
  • Ben Zambiasi
  • Mike Wilson
  • Willie McClendon
  • Joel Parrish
  • Kevin McLee
  • George Collins
  • Matt Robinson
  • Ulysses Norris
  • Gene Washington

The only SEC game that we lost that year was a tough one at Ole Miss, who finished the season with a losing record at 5-6. It was the infamous "Fourth and Dumb" play that probably won us the Cocktail Party that year, as Florida head coach Doug Dickey elected to go for a fourth down inside their own 30 with a 7-point lead. Check the video below:



As you can see, that call certainly didn't endear him to the Reptile faithful.

With a stat line that looked more like a Tech QB than a current Georgia one, Ray Goff led the Dawgs to the SEC championship, which also netted him a SEC Most Valuable Player award at the end of the season. His line went like this:
  • 18/29 / 322 yds. / 4 TD - 1 INT / 193.96 RATING
  • 128 RA - 724 yds. / 65.8 YPG/ 10 TD
Our leading rusher that season was Kevin McLee, who ran for 1058 yards and scored 6 TD. Al Pollard also accounted for 680 yards rushing and 4 TD. The leading receiver was, you guessed it, Gene Washington with 20 catches for 489 yards (that's an OK average, I guess) and 4 TD(his longest was 89 yards).***

All of that wonderful play in conference went for naught, however, as the Pitt Panthers completely obliterated the Dawgs. Tony Dorsett had one hell of a game, going for over 200 yards in the NC. I've heard a lot of stories about how much larger that Pitt team was versus their counterparts in the Red and Black - and how their front line just swallowed our guys up. In case you needed video proof...


Nonetheless, it was one of the storied seasons in the history of the program and it just so happened that it fit very nicely into our little countdown. Second place just means you're the first to lose, but this team was heckuva bunch.

GATA



Next up: 75 Days

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