In Jax, it’s not so much about playing well as it is just well enough.

Bill Connelly reviews the 1980 Georgia-Florida game (kiss my ass, Will Muschamp) and has this observation:

Wow, did Georgia play terribly in this game. With so much on the line, the Bulldogs just couldn’t hold onto the ball. There were fumbles, and quarterback Buck Belue took some less-than-calculated risks at times; Belue was 6-for-15 with two picks before the miracle touchdown. Georgia began to clam up as Florida erased an early lead, and as a result, a freshman named Herschel Walker almost became secondary to the game’s overall story line despite 37 carries, 238 yards, and a 72-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game. He continued to churn out the yards, but mistakes ended drive after drive prematurely.

Georgia played poorly, but pulled the game out:  when things are right with the universe, that’s how things are supposed to go against Florida.  That is how they used to go during the Dooley era.

And that’s how they went last year, too.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

48 responses to “In Jax, it’s not so much about playing well as it is just well enough.

  1. The Bruce

    Bill Connelly is the man. I loved him on “Head of the Class.”


    The gameplan is to grind like hell until you beat them. Just keep pushing and fighting and grinding until they quit. That’s how you beat Florida and their athletes and arrogance. Never, ever quit.

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    It also helps when one of the two teams is not very good (an 8-4 Gaytor team in ’80 or an 7-6 2011 squad). During the Dooley era the Dawgs were simply better coached with better talent. Since then, the Dawgs have only had the better coach and more talent a few years here or there. If the Dawgs want to turn the tide, it has to start with a win in Jax this year. However, two losses in a row in Jax may be enough to cost Will his job.

    • Puffdawg

      Technically, wouldn’t turning the tide have started with last year’s win in Jax? You may not remember that, but Hilton Head Dawg does I’m sure…

      • AthensHomerDawg

        I think what Eeyore Dawg means is that we need two in a row to claim that a shift in the tide has begun.

    • During the Dooley era the Dawgs were simply better coached with better talent.

      With all due respect, you have no idea what you’re talking about if you believe Georgia out-talented Florida throughout that time.

      • Coweta Dawg

        The name Emmitt Smith comes to mind.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Conversely, anyone who thinks that Florida out-talented Georgia for that 20+ year bad stretch for UGA doesn’t know what he is talking about either.

        • Go Dawgs!


          That 1992 team outclassed them in every way, save for coaching. And there are many other examples of superior talent on Georgia’s side coming up empty. 1998. 2000. 2002. I’d go on, but it’s hurting my insides to think about it.

        • I didn’t see anyone making that argument, Mayor, but that’s correct.

      • eagledawg

        +1. I remember being at an early 80s game with my dad (a h.s. coach) and him telling me the Dawgs had no shot after watching Florida’s team get off the bus.

      • sniffer

        ’85 comes to mind. Wasn’t that the year of “The Great Wall of Florida”? Orlando Sentinel ran a story about how UF offensive line would do against the TB Buc’s defensive line. Sentinel said “not very well”, but that was the state of Gator hysteria and how talented they were that year. I think they were #1 nationally for the first time ever and we beat hell out of them five days after finding them atop the standings. Does my memory serve me?

    • James Stephenson

      And I remember a story Buck said, Dooley would tell them to not watch those players get off the bus. Because he knew that the talent swayed more to Florida’s way. And Buck saying, I would watch get off the bus and when we were leaving with win keep thinking, how did we win that one.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    The last two years in a row, Georgia had the demonstrably better team in Jacksonville and kept tripping over their own … er, feet… and making a lot of stupid mistakes that either gave Florida the lead or kept them in the game. Two years ago, the Bulldog rally came late and forced overtime, which was lost by the ‘Dawgs. Last year, the Bulldog rally came midway through the third quarter and gave the ‘Dawgs a win. But both times, I walked away thinking Georgia had the better team and should have won the game. Two years ago was an awful feeling, but it was also tinged with some hope that maybe Georgia’s fear of Florida was starting to subside. Last year was a great feeling, but it was tinged with the belief that Georgia should have won by two or three scores, save for the ‘Dawgs Florida mental block.

  5. timphd

    For those of us old enough to have actually been to Jacksonville in person a few times during the Dooley era, we know that many times the Dawgs were actually underdogs to a favored Florida team. However, the Dawgs just had it in their heads that they not only could but would beat Florida. Whether it was Applebee to Washington or “Fourth and Dumb” they found a way to beat he Gators. I know it well because my ex father in law was a Gator and I enjoyed so many years of kicking his ass in bets when Georgia upset them. It was a beautiful thing to, each year, not only hope but expect Georgia to win that game. The last two decades have been awful because the Dawgs lost that belief and it became painfully apparent that the Gators had the confidence. Let’s hope our boys get it back!

    • paul

      True that. We didn’t just BELIEVE that we could win or even that we were going to win, we KNEW we were going to win.

  6. paul

    Okay, so I admitted yesterday that I’m dang near fifty five. For most of my life one of the primary characteristics of Georgia football has been our heart. We fielded teams that just were not going to quit. They left everything they had out on the field. Even in a loss, you knew our players gave all they had. The other team knew they were in for a fight, that’s for sure. I love Mark Richt and I hope he is allowed to coach at UGA as long as he so desires. But we seem to have lost that personality in the last few years. I believe Grantham is getting our defensive philosophy back where it belongs. But we aren’t there or seemingly anywhere near there offensively. It’s been a while since we’ve fielded a punishing back. You know, they guy who LOVES contact, who gives as good as he gets and only gets stronger in the fourth quarter. We used to be able to find those guys pretty routinely. That’s what beats Florida and their like. Make them wish they weren’t on the field.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I think the “recruiting by number of stars” approach has hurt UGA. When somebody who runs a rating service but who never even played the game gives a potential recruit 4 stars or 5 stars because he can run a 4.3 40 or jump a certain height, and coaches buy into that sort of nonsense……….

      • Puffdawg

        Mayor, just curious if you have anything whatsoever to substantiate your assertion the UGA coaches rely on rating services in their recruiting approach…?

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          To answer your direct question directly, no I do not have a signed confession from CMR that the UGA coaches are using or to make decisions on what kids to recruit–it just looks that way. And don’t give me that Blutarsky BS: “Prove it.” Ain’t no way to prove it and we are not in court.

          • Puffdawg

            Mayor, not trying to be dickish but I’ve never seen anything anywhere ever that would indicate Richt and the boys are even remotely considering rating services in their recruiting process. Just thought your assertation kind of came out of left field. Are you basing that on something you heard somewhere or what? As a true Disney Dawg, I feel the need to stick up for my guys, particularly when there doesn’t seem to be any basis in the criticism. Maybe I missed an article somewhere on this. Please enlighten me.

      • Dawgfan Will

        Not that I don’t disagree with your sentiment, but recruiting by number of stars seems to have worked out pretty well for Alabama, LSU, USC, et al.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          What makes you think those schools are recruiting only by numbers of stars? It is at least as likely that they are making their own assessments of the quality of the recruit, starting the contacting process and once the services find out the services jump on the bandwagon for that recruit and assign him lots of stars precisely because of Bama’s, USC’s and/or LSU’s interest.


      Verron Haynes, Musa, Knowshon come to mind. But haven’t had a real mean-streak kind of guy in a long time.

  7. charlottedawg

    The key stat in the series the last few games has been turnovers and it’s pretty reflective of how in many years Georgia would simply beat themselves in Jacksonville. Last year in our win, you will notice we scored 14 points off of I wanna say 2 gator turnovers and they score zero off our 1 turnover. Contrast that to 2008 where we actually out gained the gators but due to one colossal turnover after another we get completely embarrassed or 2010 where we have one back breaking turnover after another despite battling the whole game. Returning parity to the series may be as simple as making sure that Florida wins only because Florida beat Georgia, not because Georgia beat Georgia.

  8. gayters, gayters… how’d you like to bite my a$$. With your bright blue shirts and your orange britches, go to hell you sons of b*tches… gayters, gayters… how’d you like to bite my a$$

  9. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Not wanting to hijack the thread but on Talkin’ Football tonight they interviewed Derek Dooley. One of the reasons he says that he is optimistic about his team this season is that “for the first time we (UT) will have a full 85.” He went on to talk about how in his first season the Vols were at a tremendous disadvantage because they “had fewer than 70 players on scholarship.” Hmmm…….

  10. gatriguy

    Dooley always got Florida after a bye anf after Florida had just played Pat Dye’s physical as hell Auburn teams. The series turned once that arrangement ended. Dooley’s success against Florida really, truly, isnt a whole lot more complicated than that.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      And under SOS Florida always got Georgia after an bye when Georgia had to play a game the week before. SOS’ success against Georgia really, truly, isn’t a whole lot more complicated than that.

    • And here I thought it was something when Brother Bill left Bama for hated rival Auburn. Apparently that’s nothing compared to Pat Dye. You mean to tell me he was coaching at Bama as an assistant AND Auburn HC at the same time? Talk about your divided loyalties. How else could he have had those tough teams going back to the mid sixties?
      81-88 is a really a small sample size don’t you think.