Guess you had to be there.

Great write-up from Spencer/Orson about one of the iconic plays in Georgia football history:

Of course, if you’re soulless, you could take Bill Bates’ word for what happened.

“Let’s talk about that game,” Bates volunteers. “Sure, Herschel did well, ran me over, whatever, scored a touchdown…”

Whatever, indeed.



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football

30 responses to “Guess you had to be there.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Back when that happened, Bill Bates had a pretty good outlook. He said something like “I may the first guy he ran over but I sure won’t be the last.” I guess it can grind on you over the years.


  2. My cousin played baseball at Tennessee at the time and lived in the same dorm with Bates. He said after this game, guys would see Bates coming down the hall and would fall down in front of him and roll over backwards to taunt him. 🙂


  3. Farsider

    In some ways the excitement of that game exceeded even the pyrotechnics of the Florida game later. It set the template for the entire season. It looked like it was going to be the 1978 “wonder-dawgs” all over again, what with the heart-stopping finishes and close games. Another thing that made that game special was the fact that UT was a rotating team on the Georgia schedule in those days and it was the first time in years since they had played. Great memories.


  4. 81Dog

    Don’t blame Bates if he doesn’t have much to say about what happened on that play. He probably can’t remember much about it; they say those closed head injuries can wreak havoc on your memory.


  5. HVL Dawg

    Last night I watched the video summary of that game posted at Dawgbone.

    We lost and recovered a lot of fumbles in that game. It reminded me that the difference between greatness and 9-3 can be a couple of bounces.


  6. Bryant Denny

    Looks like Dooley pulled out some fake juice for that game – red pants!!! LOL


    • Puffdawg

      I know you were joking, but I’ve always wanted to see the red britches. I hated the black helmets more than anybody, but the red pants would be traditional. It was before my time (or at least when I can remember), but I think they used to wear those for all road games. Am I wrong about that?


      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Check Dan Magill about this, but I believe the silver britches were home and road until Vince’s first year. Vince put the white pants in for home and road.

        The red pants made occasional road appearances for a few years in the early 80’s. They got on a losing streak and Vince put the kibosh on them. I think the silver britches started back a little after the red pants made their debut.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The silver britches re-emerged in 1981 after the MNC campaign of 1980.


          • Vinings Dog

            Silver britches came out in 1980. They wore them every game except Tennessee because they wanted to debut them at home.


            • Bryant Denny

              Bama fan in Alabama, but loved the silver britches.

              Our high school team got some pants very similar to UGA’s around 1984. Great pants.


            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              I was at the home opener in 1980, Texas A&M vs. UGA. Dawgs won 42-0. Herschel snapped off a really long run for a TD outrunning DBs that had angles on him. Fastest big back I ever saw including up to now. The Dawgs wore white pants. The silver britches returned the following year in celebration of the National Championship.


              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                I have looked into the matter further and I now believe the silver britches did return in 1980. My mistake.


                • Russ

                  Yeah, I was there. The silver britches definitely (re) debuted in that A&M game.

                  And that run by Walker in that game was one of the most amazing runs I’ve ever seen.

                  BTW, wasn’t that the game that James Brown was on the sidelines singing “Dooley’s Junkyard Dawgs” as we were beating the crap outta A&M? I know it happened at one game.


      • Russ

        No, red pants weren’t used enough to be a tradition. Even that year, the “Silver Britches” made a comeback after being gone for many years (I think since the 40’s or 50’s).

        I really don’t like the red pants but I have friends that like them. I can live with them. However, please quit messing with the helmet!


  7. NRBQ

    A must-read piece on Herschel is Joe Posnanski’s sublime blog entry from a while back.

    Hard to believe that, on his way up, Joe was the columnist on the excuse for a newspaper we have in Augusta.


    • 81Dog

      one little mistake Joe made: Herschel’s freight training of Bill Bates wasn’t on Herschel’s first carry. HW got in late in the second quarter, after Carnie Norris and Donnie McMickens proved ineffective. Coach Dooley put Herschel back in in the 3rd quarter after we fell behind 15-0 on a long pass over the middle.

      UGA got a drive going, first one of the season, and Herschel was eating up yards, mostly in 5-10 yard runs (if I recall correctly). We drove to UT’s 16, they gave HW the ball, and he left Bates for dead on the way to his first collegiate score. His second score was more of a gift to speed freaks. He went wide left and took it to the house from about 20 yards out without so much as a UT hand being laid on him.

      What a lot of people forget about that game is that UT was driving for the certain game winning TD or FG. They got down to our 2 with about a minute left, and gave the ball to their tailback, who got crushed by Nate Taylor, our freshman walkon LB from Ty Ty, ball comes loose, and Pat McShea falls on the fumble to save the win.

      Man, that was a great time to be a Bulldog!


    • meat

      I’m at uga now and have seen the Herschel Tennessee bulldoze clip hundreds of times. I had no idea that was the first carry of his career. Kind of puts a new perspective on it. Joe Posnanski is a great storyteller.


      • 81Dog

        it WASN’T the first carry of his career. I was there. I saw him get the ball a couple of times late in the second quarter. I saw him get the ball a few times on the drive before he bulldozed Bates.

        It’s still a great story, and one of the greatest runs ever.


  8. Aligator

    Ran him over is right …. what a douche…..


  9. CLTDawg

    Funniest part of the story often never gets told…

    Herschel is in his first walkthrough in Dallas years later, gets the ball handed to him, and Bates comes flying up and levels him. Herschel is on the ground laughing so hard he’s crying, the players are laughing, and the coaches are screaming at Bates like he shot his mother. Bates gets up, turns to the coaches, and says “but coach, you don’t understand…..there’s a lot of history between us…”.



  10. Thomas Brown

    “Fans of many schools believe it’s their right to win in The SEC: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Tennessee. 6 teams that have a right to win in The SEC.”

    That is complete hogwash.

    The Georgia Bulldogs are :

    25-36-4 vs Alabama

    52-53-8 vs Auburn

    3-17 last 2 decades vs Florida

    12-14-1 vs LSU

    16-21-2 vs Tennessee

    None of the teams you just listed are teams we have a winning record against all-time, except for Florida, which once stood at 44-22-2 and now is 47-39-2.

    We really do not beat the good teams, sorry. And, worse yet, we lose in just inexplicable losses to sorry teams once a year too.

    In the Coach Richt Era, we are 3-8 in the 11 games we have played against what ended up being Top 10 SEC Final AP Poll teams.

    In the Coach Richt Era, we are 17-19 vs the Top 25 Final AP Poll teams.

    In the Coach Richt Era, we have lost 8 times in 9 years against teams Unranked at all in the Final AP Poll Top 25.

    Get over yourself. We are not who you say we are.

    What we need is an 11-year NFL Veteran as Offensive Coordinator, which is painfully obvious from the failings of getting Offensive Recruits this year while we got all these great Defensive Coaches and just signed all these great defensive recruits.


    • Thomas, I would appreciate it if you would quit hijacking comment threads with the same point. This is obviously a cut-and-paste job from a comment you posted elsewhere.


    • DT

      Dear Thomas,

      There giving away blogs for free everyday buddy. Click here and you can get one just like the senators!!


    • John T

      We are not who YOU say we are either, TB.


    • The Realist

      Stats are like assholes… or something like that.

      Using Vince Dooley/Ray Goof’s failings to bury Mark Richt is absurd. Richt is 3-1 vs. Alabama, 3-3 vs. LSU, 6-3 vs. Auburn, 5-4 vs. Tennessee. The fact that Georgia has an overall losing record against those teams, yet Mark Richt has had much success against the very same teams is not helping your point.

      And which 11-year NFL veteran are you hoping to get at offensive coordinator?


    • B Man

      Thomas, what’s your point? Not your specific point in any one of these rambling missives, but your general point in being a fan? My god, going back to this original subject (Herschel’s run), I take it that your viewpoint would be something like: “Yeah, but on that run, Herschel did not run over one player — not one — that was a current All-SEC defender, and Tennessee would only finish the 1980 season 5-6…”

      In your world, the glass isn’t merely half-empty, but it’s half-empty and evaporating quickly. Good lord man, try to enjoy life a little. Otherwise, what’s your point in being a fan at all? Also, this advice from Abraham Lincoln seems fitting: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”