The curse of Herschel

Great piece from the get go (you guys know I’m a sucker for puns, and the header is a good ‘un) about the Georgia running back situation by Matt Hinton.

This is a story about a star running back at Georgia, which means that it is also, on some intrinsic level, a story about Herschel Walker. It’s impossible to avoid: In his three years, Walker so thoroughly embodied the ideal college workhorse that in the three-plus decades since his last carry in a red-and-black uniform, his shadow over the position has only grown. At some point, possibly before he even left campus, that shadow became a permanent feature of the landscape, looming over aspiring recruits and proven commodities alike: The best of the post-Walker tailbacks in Athens include two consensus All-Americans,1 six first-round draft picks,2 and a future NFL MVP, all of whom register in the imagination as mere footnotes by comparison. No broad-shouldered, blue-chip prospect has ever been touted as The Next Rodney Hampton. No fan in the cheap seats has ever been moved by a great run to exclaim, “That kid looks like Tim Worley out there!” No TV producer has ever booked Garrison Hearst or Knowshon Moreno to grant his blessing to the latest heir apparent.

So the bar for what qualifies as a star running back at Georgia is relative, to put it mildly. And before we get around to parsing the bona fides of the current headliner, sophomore Nick Chubb, it has to be said that exultant expectations for UGA rushers over the past few years have tended to produce a lot of false prophets.

I’ll grant you that maybe Matt takes a little artistic license to make his point – I don’t think any of the Georgia faithful, at least when sober, saw Washaun Ealey as the next Herschel Walker – but there’s little question that in general we have a tendency to see if someone can step up and take a shot at filling the myth.  Kinda like back in the days of my misspent youth when we wondered who would emerge as the next Beatles, I suppose.

The most interesting part of Matt’s piece is this chart…

Goodness, gracious. If you look up “workhorse” in the dictionary, Knowshon’s 2008 season is there. (Musa Smith’s 2002 effort is nothing to sneer at either.)

All of which makes what Chubb did last year that much more remarkable.  And it’s a good example of how well Georgia has managed its running backs of late.

So how special can we expect Chubb’s 2015 season to be?  Aside from managing the workload, there’s also an issue of strategy in play.

That may be the case, but even if Chubb and his high-ceiling cohorts are all they’re cracked up to be, the broader question still remains: In an era of efficient, up-tempo offenses and rapidly accelerating scoreboards, is it still possible for a great back, or a group of great backs, to serve as the centerpiece for a championship? On the one hand, college football is not yet “a passing league” in the sense that the NFL is: Although college offenses throw more often than in the past, they still tend to run more than they throw, and ground games in general are as productive as ever. Unlike in the pros, where individual backs have been steadily devalued as short-lived, situational cogs, the every-down workhorse remains a prized commodity in the college game. Still, it’s also been clear for a while that the days of college offenses hitching their wagons to a transcendent talent like Walker or Gurley or Chubb and riding him to a title are long gone unless that type of back is accompanied by a quarterback who can generate some semblance of balance.

Eh, maybe.  Georgia, but for some unfortunate and untimely brain farts, came closer to pulling that off in 2014 than you’d think.  And you’d have to think that with the change at quarterback and offensive coordinator, along with depth questions at wideout, the program is going to try to ride the Chubb train as far as it can.

If that works, then I think Matt is spot on with his conclusion.

Regardless of the final numbers, if under those circumstances Chubb is able to uphold his end of the bargain as the engine of a sustained title run, his place in the most exalted tier of Bulldog greats will be secure.

In other words, we’d be naming the next generation of black Labrador retrievers after him.

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96 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

96 responses to “The curse of Herschel

  1. Charles

    “In other words, we’d be naming the next generation of black Labrador retrievers after him.”

    That’s awfully frat, Senator. But I support this nonetheless.

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    • In my case, its a Boston Terrier. I guess that’s still frat tho. Oh well.

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      • AthensHomerDawg

        Terriers are great dogs! We’ve had an Airedale, Staffy, and two Jacks. Bandit (Jack) was arrested from her back yard fenced in enclose after being accused of chasing Mr. “T”s Tennessee hound through the neighborhood. We sprung her from the pound but my youngest son has a held a grudge against the Vols ever since. I probably am of no help with that. 😉

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  2. sectionzalum

    Curschel?

    the stat that makes Chubb’s 2014 even freakier i heard Stinch mention yesterday: Chubb only touched the ball 31 times in the first 5 games.

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  3. Nick Chubb didn’t lead us to an undefeated season, an sec championship, a natty, nor was he a Heisman runner up or a 1st team all-American, as a freshman. He will not end his career undefeated in sec play.

    Dude was the best college football player at any position ever, hands down. If anything, Herschel is under appreciated.

    To replicate Herschel today you’d have to find someone who was 6’5″, 260 lbs., runs a 4.1 40 a 10 flat 100 meters and is stronger, more fit and meaner than anybody on the field.

    Comparisons are unavoidable. Finding a comparable player is not possible and will never happen. I hope Chubb becomes the second best player to ever play college football. That’s the ceiling for him and everyone else. The No. 1 position is and will remain occupied.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Your third paragraph sort of sums up my comment. When Herschel played; there was Herschel, and then there was everyone else on the field.

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    • Gastr1

      I agree. The way the coaching staff handled him, too, was surely unique; no matter how good, no great player today would run the ball 35 times per game. The defenses are too big and too strong, the offense too predictable for it. When I watch those old games it still surprises me how many times Walker ran the ball into a pile for two yards…more times than you’d think for someone of his legend, but it sure didn’t bother Dooley, and we sure didn’t much other offensive talent to give the ball too.

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      • JCDAWG83

        It really is amazing to go back and watch those games. People forget how many carries Herschel had for one, two, four yards before he would break one for 40. They also forget that every defense we played keyed on Hershcel on every single play so every yard he got was with the defense running to him as soon as the ball was snapped.

        There’s a reason people still talk about how great he was and why all Georgia running backs are compared to him.

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          “There’s a reason people still talk about how great he was and why all Georgia running backs are compared to him.

          If I may inject, JC, ALL college running backs are, or should be compared to him, not just ours.

          When I look back on things, having seen every game Herschel played in, live and screaming is right up there at the top of the list.

          Another Herschel? Not happening. But I will take what I can get.

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        • PTC DAWG

          I’ll say it, I think Chubb has better vision, and may be the better overall RB at this point in his career.

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          • Derek

            Well, then you’ll say anything…
            If you think that we could run the table with a qb turning around and handing it to Chubb all season you’ve lost your damn mind.

            One of the things in my view that makes Herschel so awesome is that he was not a prototypical back in any sense. He did not have quick feet. He was not very good laterally. What he did was come downhill and run over whatever he hit and past whatever he didn’t. And, if need be, he’d jump over the top of everyone. He was not Tony Dorsett or Bo Jackson or anybody who oozed a natural, smooth athleticism. Hell, if he’d had that too he’d have gone for 8000 plus instead of 5000 plus. The guy was not touched by God with talent. He willed himself to greatness. Its probably why he has split personality issues. He created a monster that would destroy anything in his path, should the need arise, from the inside out. He is the fictional comic book superhero come to life.

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            • PTC DAWG

              AS others have said, HW was a freak of his time. He was usually in the biggest 20% of players on the field. Check out his YPC…I’ll wait, he was the biggest cat other than the linemen. Now check out Chubb’s YPC in his Freshman year. I think they are very comparable. Obviously, you disagree. The game has changed, I will forever be grateful for HW…just saying Chubb’s numbers stand up very well. We will see how it continues to pan out.

              And yeah, I am old enough to remember, I enrolled at UGA in the fall of 81.

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            • PTC DAWG

              HW had 1616 yards and 274 Carries his Freshman year..

              Chubb had 1547 and 219 Carries his Freshman year.

              IF you don’t think those numbers are comparable, then we don’t have much more to say.

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              • Derek

                I can say “stats are for losers. The final score is for winners.”

                Nobody gets a win or a championship or a trophy for a statistic. They are occasionally instructive, as of often misleading, and always ultimately irrelevant.

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            • Uglydawg

              Never say “Never”. Chubb could be…and what if he is! It boggles the imagination! If he’s even close, It’ll be super!

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      • Pantslesspatdye

        I agree with your overall sentiment, but Chubb was being run 30-35 times a game the second half of the year. The HUNH is generating more running plays a game than was run in the 1980s.

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        • Gastr1

          Chubb did have three games with 30+ carries, yes. However, for point of reference, Walker carried the ball 410 times in 1981: 30, 35, 28, 111, 36, 41, 39, 33, 23, 47, 37, 36, 25. 410! And 47 times against Florida!

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    • 81Dog

      when you’re right, you’re right. I never felt like it was a slur against anyone to say “he’s not as good as Herschel was.” We’ve had a lot of great RBs since, and I’ve enjoyed, appreciated, and pulled for them all, but there has only ever been one Herschel. He’s still The Man.

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  4. JCDAWG83

    I hope we get to have years of heated arguments over whether Herschel was better than Chubb after Chubb wins a Heisman.

    I think one huge difference in the two is the difference in the other players on the field while they play. Herschel was 6′ 1″/225 lbs. The majority of linebackers at that time weighed less than 200lbs and dbs were in the 150-170 lb range. Only the defensive linemen on the other team were bigger than Herschel. Herschel was also generally faster than anyone on the field other than the fastest db on the other team. Herschel was truly a physical mismatch against all but a handful of players he faced in a season.

    Chubb is 5′ 11″/215 lbs which is good size and he has very good speed. Chubb is an excellent running back and a great player in general, but he is not physically superior to most of the players on the other team. In today’s game, some safeties and corners are as big or bigger than Chubb and pretty much all linebackers are. On top of that, Chubb is not faster than pretty much every other player on the field.

    With this in mind, it makes what Chubb did last season even more impressive to me.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Some basic truth there JC.

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    • PTC DAWG

      This…and more this. He’s a damn good RB that Chubb.

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      • JCDAWG83

        He’s the best I’ve seen since Herschel, including Gurley. Give him the 55 additional carries Herschel had and he’s right at 2000 for the season. Of course, Herschel did it in 12 games.

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        • Derek

          11 games. Post-season games were not counted in statistics then as they are now.

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          • PTC DAWG

            89 carries, 336 yards in 3 bowl games…ICYF. 150 was his high vs ND…on 36 carries.

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            • And that was after a month of prep knowing exactly where the ball was going AND Herschel never played a fucking Louisville in a bowl. Notre Dame, a Dan Marino led Pitt and and undefeated psu team.

              Here’s a stat for a stat boy like you. Herschel had 150 vs. ND. We had less than 140 in total offense. The rest of the team managed negative yards. Oh and btw we won.

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              • 81Dog

                dude, you are ROLLING today. I salute you.

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              • PTC DAWG

                You act like I’m dogging HW…I am not…I have met the guy, he’s a great dude, was probably the best ever for 3 full years.

                That said, I think Chubb can play.

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                • Derek

                  I’m not saying you’re “dogging” the man, I’m simply saying that everybody should give credit where it’s due. There have been certain guys in sports (and other areas too) that are just transcendent and ought to be acknowledged as such. Pele, Gretzky, Babe Ruth, Earnhardt, Jim Brown, Usain Bolt, Michael Jordan who were/are so much better at the game than everybody else, that you can’t ever say there will be another. I would put Tiger Woods’ 15 shot victory in the US Open at Pebble in that category. Secretariat’s Belmont victory to secure the Triple Crown also belongs despite his equestrian nature. Barry Sanders 1988 season at Ok State should be considered among the great performances ever. There are certain individual performances and performers that so exceed everything we’ve seen before or since that comparisons inevitably suggest a lack of appreciation. In college football its Herschel. Hell, recruiting matters BECAUSE of Herschel. Before nobody thought that your program could rise or fall on one freshman and Herschel showed up and said: you can go from .500 to champs with one guy. Best college football player ever and its not close and I defy anybody to make any comparison to another college football player that isn’t ultimately laughable. He gets diminished because of time, the fact that he didn’t finish his college career and because he did not replicate his dominance in the league, although he was pretty damn good player in the NFL. He is the greatest and he wore the red and black. Honor that man and his legacy and appreciate that by far the best college football player ever played between the hedges of Sanford Stadium….and, as Lewis said, God bless Mrs. Walker.

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                  • +34 – well said, Derek

                    I think he gets Dawgraded by the media because he didn’t deliver a championship to Minnesota after the Vikings pretty much gave away the future of the franchise to get him. He had a very solid career and pretty much anyone not named Herschel gets into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with his statistics.

                    Herschel averaged almost 160 yards per game over a 3-year period. Gurley (the 2nd best ever running back to wear the Red & Black) only had 4 games of 150+ over 3 years. There’s no comparison between anyone and the Goal Line Stalker.

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        • A10Penny

          How quickly people forget how great players were. Chubb is no Gurley. Go back and watch the Mizzou tape.

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          • I agree with 10penny. Chubb is a beast but being too young to remember HW I would say that Gurley at his best is the best RB I’ve ever seen at UGA. And he’s in my pantheon along with Pollack and a few others as the best players I’ve seen in person.

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  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Knowshon was 72% of our rushing yards in 2008? If my memory serves, he was frequently taking himself out for minor injuries. Maybe had an eye on his draft status.

    That’s also the year the offensive line coach told his charges (roughly): “don’t worry about blocking technique, Knowshon will take care of it.”

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  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    It’s funny how three freaks of nature came along at the same time: Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, and Marcus Dupree.

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    • Irishdawg

      Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier, and Roger Craig were in that 5-6 year window, too.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Maybe the air was cleaner or something. Here’s a thought, maybe Global Warming has slowed down running backs.

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    • 81Dog

      No AU fan wants to hear this, but Bo cant compare to Herschel. Some of the local stump jumpers sneer at the idea that anyone but Bo was the best RB EVER, but he was as fragile as a China doll. HW averaged more yards versus Florida than Bo gained in his whole career against them. Bo was indeed a freakishly talented athlete, and a very good college RB, but he wouldn’t have lasted a season under HW’s workload.

      I always tell them, look, I will give you this about Bo: he was a lot better baseball player than Herschel.

      Dupree? Another freakishly talented athlete who couldn’t stay healthy (and perhaps lacked the focus of HW).

      Tony Dorsett was the only college RB I’ve ever seen who had a career that deserved to be spoken of in the same breath as HW’s. Hated that guy, HATED him, but give him his due. That said, HW was bigger, faster, and even more unstoppable. I give him the nod over TD, but I would admit TD’s career was almost as awesome.

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      • Mayor

        I agree that Herschel Walker is the greatest college running back and likely the greatest college football player of all time. That said, after Walker the best collegiate RB I ever saw was OJ Simpson. Tony Dorsett of Pitt was great also as were a series of other USC backs (Mike Garrett won the Heisman, too and remember Anthony Davis?) but for my money the best of the whole “other than Herschel” bunch is OJ–a shame he did what he did.

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        • Macallanlover

          Even before he murdered two people, Bo Jackson moved onto 2nd place. OJ is probably in the Top 20 but not as high as you remember him. Excelled more in the pros than college, course he didn’t play a full career at USC.

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    • Gastr1

      Agree. Those three were of a kind, weren’t they?

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  7. AthensHomerDawg

    Mentioning the lab makes me think of Lewis’ dog Catfish. A bit of a thread jack- sorry. My youngest while doing research for a law group this summer came across a ruling by a judge that included a Lewis piece. It had to do with the difference between naked and nekkid. I thought that was hilarious. I guess a judge can have a sense of humor.

    Oh and it’s been 51+ years since the Beatles hit the Ed Sullivan show. Great band. Of course Led Zeppelin really spoiled us. 😉

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  8. Dawglt

    I’ve been reading this blog for a long time now Senator, but your line on black labs is one of the few times I’ve laughed out loud – and SO true.

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  9. We have 2 dogs named Todd and Marshall. I guess that means we’re ok with mediocrity because we named our dogs for players who didn’t win a championship. 🙂

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  10. UGA85

    When I think of the phrase “The Curse of Herschel Walker”, I think of the fact that UGA has won exactly two SEC titles since he bolted for the USFL, now over 30 years ago. Let that sink in, then look up how many titles UF, UT, Auburn, Bama, and LSU have won over that same period of time. The post-Herschel era at Georgia has been epically devoid of football excellence. I am glad for the off the field changes this year has brought, but I continue to believe that many more changes will be needed in basically every area of our program to “reverse the curse.”

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    • PTC DAWG

      Hard for me to hold the Goff and Donnan years against CMR..since we hired CMR, the numbers aren’t as skewed as they seem. LSU 4, AU and Bama 3, UGA and UF 2.

      Two things stand out, the East needs to get its act together, and by the East getting its act together, I mean UGA. Let CMR win another one soon and we are right there with them.

      I am glad we are making visible changes in the way things are done. A game or two here or there could easily mean another SEC Championship. Keep knocking on the door.

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      • UGA85

        CMR’s two championships have definitely been an improvement over Goff and Donnan, but 2005 is a while ago now, and we can’t afford to look back at those first five years and give him or anyone else a pass. It is past time for UGA to win the SEC. How about an undefeated season? Why not? Loyalty to a person, not a program, will not help CMR or UGA. Let’s get the job done this year.

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        • PTC DAWG

          Undefeated isn’t really a reasonable expectation in today’s SEC…How many times has it been done since we went to divisions? Winning it all, hell yeah…I think it needs to happen within 2-3 years or we will be looking to change, and I think CMR may agree.

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          • JCDAWG83

            His contract runs through 2019, if he doesn’t have a championship of some kind by the end of 2017, I think he might not have that contract renewed. I have no way of being certain but I would expect Richt and McGarity and the BM crowd probably had a conversation to that effect when they were negotiating the current contract. I have heard from a couple of people who claim to have “inside” knowledge that McGarity and some others in BM are pretty fed up with the annual face plant games and the “almost” seasons. Who knows how accurate their information is, but I can see it being at least somewhat true.

            I think that may be one reason they opened the checkbook up so wide after last season. They don’t want to have to fight the “lack of support” argument if they do have to invite Richt to move on to the next phase of his life.

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            • AusDawg85

              Yes…they are spending millions just to save face in eventually firing Richt. Any other coach would win it all just with what we’ve had but they just have to keep Richt AND spend all that money. Makes perfect sense and more obvious than the myth that they realize Richt is a pretty capable coach but the entire program was falling behind in the arms race that is the modern SEC.

              Thanks for sharing your “insider” information.

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  11. Irishdawg

    “In an era of efficient, up-tempo offenses and rapidly accelerating scoreboards, is it still possible for a great back, or a group of great backs, to serve as the centerpiece for a championship? ”

    Did Alabama not do exactly this two years in a row? Smothering defense and a grinding run game earned them two trophies and a decade of insufferable smugness from Tide fans, so I’m pretty sure it can be done.

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    • Sides

      Alabama also paired that running game with a current NFL QB (McCarron) and NFL Wide Receivers (Cooper, Norwood, Maze). Georgia did not have the passing game last year to win a national championship (or even the SEC East) even with Gurley and Chubb. If the new QB’s are not a huge upgrade this season then why would anyone expect any different results?

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      • PTC DAWG

        Considering we were literally one play away from winning the East,( the play action pass could have worked at Cola), I am not going to argue if it was the correct call or not. I disagree that UGA couldn’t have done it last year.

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      • JCDAWG83

        Tell me the game our lack of a passing game cost us. There isn’t one because we had a more than adequate passing game. Mason had 21 td passes and 4 ints and threw for over 2100 yards. While those aren’t Heisman numbers, they aren’t bad either.

        If our coaches don’t have a brain fart on the 4 yd line and call a cutesy roll out pass play and simply hand the ball to the best rb in college football, we win that game. If the team shows up at all for Florida, we win that game. If our coach doesn’t call a bonehead pooch kick with 18 seconds to play, we beat tech. If one of those things happen in a conference game, we win the East and go to Atlanta with a chance to make the playoff. Not one of those losses can be connected to any perceived lack of a passing game.

        The thing that could derail us from winning the East this season will be our defensive line or continued coaching blunders, not our QB or passing game.

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        • Sides

          The thread started by comparing the offense on Alabama’s 2 national championship teams to the current Georgia team. The question posed was “Did Alabama not do exactly this two years in a row?” I answered they did not because Alabama had a NFL QB and NFL WR’s to go along with their running game. I don’t think Georgia has this.

          I also believe it held Georgia back last year considering they lost to two 7 win teams and an ACC school. Georgia did not win the SEC East. As an SC fan I can’t believe Mizzou won it twice before we did. I don’t know how you replace Gurley, a Senior game managing QB that minimized turnovers, and your OC and suddenly turn into a contender for a national championship. The dots just don’t connect for me.

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          • PTC DAWG

            Anyone thinking UGA is a legit national title contender right now is not thinking straight IMHO. SEC East and possibly SEC Champ, yeah, I get that. The Gurley replacement is clear in my eyes. The QB, not so much. We shall see.

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            • UGA85

              The expectation should be SEC champions, then let the chips fall where they may. If we win the SEC, but not the national title, then CMR, CJP, and all the changes would have worked, and we would have great hope for the future, IMO. If we don’t win the SEC, then we need to again evaluate and decide where more changes need to be made.

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              • JCDAWG83

                ^^this^^ I want to win SEC championships, those count more in my book than getting into a playoff that is basically a beauty contest because the SEC is won on the field. If we can start winning the SEC more than once a decade, the national championship will take care of itself.

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            • Irishdawg

              If one of the young pup QBs grows up fast and can stretch the field or spread passes out to the TEs, we could be a title contender. The defense will have to continue to improve like we saw last year, but UGA has as high a ceiling as any other team out there

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            • 81Dog

              are you saying Hutson Mason is irreplaceable? I admired the job he did, but it isn’t like we’re trying to replace a Manning brother, is it?

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              • PTC DAWG

                Hutson didn’t make too many mistakes….that is his biggest plus. But yeah, I see your point. Just saying we don’t have a QB in the wings that we know is the go to guy….

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  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    Boss, you have made many cogent observations/posts over the decades…this might be the best….made even us nutjobs thoughtful.

    Thanks.

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  13. Scorpio Jones, III

    Involved in this discussion of the only meaningful things in life…great running backs vis a vis Herschel etc is my only real bitch about Mark Richt as a football coach.

    He was a quarterback. He just has to have his quarterback throw the football down the field or he’s not happy.

    Clearly, he missed the bible chapter that says the most beautiful pass, the most effective pass the quarterback can or should make is the one on the toss sweep to Herschel.

    Maybe if Mark Richt had had Herschel, things woulda been different.

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  14. Macallanlover

    I think we all agree that Herschel was a talent that any team will see the likes of again without minimizing how truly blessed we are to have Nick Chubb. I am in awe of what Chubb did last year but feel that will be his high-water mark as a UGA running back. He may have more yards simply due to having full seasons ahead of him, but I don’t see him as being the workhorse he had to be with Gurley and Michel not available last year.

    I think Schotty will not overuse him when he has Sony and Turman there to keep fresh legs hammering at the defenses, and I also feel we will use Chubb as a decoy threat more than we did last year. The strategy for this is not only a tribute to not using Chubb up or risking his health but letting future running back recruits know that UGA not only wants depth at this key position, but will feature and showcase multiple runners while developing them for the NFL. It is increasingly more important to top talent to make noise early in their careers while not being drained before their payday arrives.

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  15. We couldn’t even win a title with Moreno..Stafford…Murray…Gurley…AJ Green. We waste more talent than any team in cfb…nothing but wasted years folks

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  16. Any time I see the name Garrison Hearst, I believe that he should have won the Heisman. In my opinion he is still the closest thing to Herschell that has been a Dawg during my time as a fan of the Dawgs.
    I do hope & think that it is possible that Chubb can & will surpass Hearst.,
    but not # 34..

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    • PTC DAWG

      Wouldn’t bother me at all to see Chubb break HW’s yardage record at UGA. Not sure it will happen due to the absolute depth we have at RB though.

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    • Irishdawg

      Hearst didn’t win it because Heisman voters are lazy, and don’t look at players objectively, preferring to give it the the featured offensive player on the #1 team. The idea of Gino Torretta being better than Hearst or Marshall Faulk is absurd

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    • Derek

      Love me some Garrison. I saw his last HS game live. His team won and scored 21 points. Hearst ran for a TD. Passed for a TD. Intercepted a pass for a TD and he kicked all three extra points. He was also Lincoln Co.’s punter.

      However, he did not emerge as a freshman. His sophomore season was good not great. As a senior he was awesome in a loss at home vs. UT and failed to perform in the Cocktail Party when we should have won and played in the first SECCG in Birmingham vs the eventual national champ. Had he been the man in Jax like Herschel was, he would have won the Heisman. Instead, he was basically a non-factor. Frank Harvey led us in rushing that day on what was one carry I think. Anyone remember that 80 opening play? 6.5 points favorites, up 7 and then shit the bed. Why do I have to relive this?

      Anyway, Hearst is no Herschel and not the second best we’ve had IMHO. You might argue that his 1992 season was as close to a Herschel-esque performance as we’ve had for a single season, but I think I’d go with Knowshon in 2007 or Musa in 2002 given that both played in the Sugar Bowl due to their efforts. Stretch it to a career and Hearst starts to suffer in comparisons to Worley, Hampton, Tate, Knowshon, Gurley, Smith etc…

      If you want to identify the closest we’ve seen to Herschel look at the last two quarters of the 1995 South Carolina game and the first two quarters of the UT game the next week and watch Edwards. He had 7 TD’s in less than 4 quarters and averaged over 10 yards a touch, then reality hit, broke foot… Again with the misery!!!!

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      • Good point about Robert Edwards … I still wonder what would have happened if Edwards didn’t get hurt on that damned rug in Knoxville and Bobo didn’t get hurt in Oxford. Would Ray Goff been able to show enough significant improvement to keep his job?

        Hearst was a hell of a football player. That team he played on as a freshman in ’90 was terrible and was the result of the empty cupboard Dooley left whoever was going to be his successor. I believe he was on the All-SEC freshman team at the end of the year. He came close to a 1,000 yard season in ’91 with Zeier at QB. He was the best player in the country as a junior in ’92, a team that was 5 points away from being unbeaten.

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        • Derek

          My answer is that Goff most definitely would have been the coach to open the 1996 season had Edwards and Bobo stayed healthy. The main reason was McDuffie’s OL had gotten salty by then. That OL got Robert Arnaud and Torin Kirtsey games of over 150 yards that year. Yeah, those guys. I’d love to write a book about that season. We went 6-6 and its my favorite as a dawg fan. Never been prouder of a group a guys than the ones that went through that miserable season and fought like hell each and every week. More drama, adversity and futility than any team deserves. A lot of fans wants wins and trophies. I want my guys to fight like hell for 60 minutes and we’ll look up at the scoreboard and have to live with whatever it says. We got that pretty much every week in 1995. I can’t say that for very many seasons since.

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          • The 31-0 pasting at home by Alabama and then the absolute embarrassment at the hands of Florida really gave Dooley and the administration no choice even with the injuries.

            Ray “One Play Away” Goff – DGD as a player, in over his head as a coach …

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            • Derek

              Can’t disagree. If anything you’d have to admit Dooley was a year late given how bad 1993 and 1994 were. However, that 1995 team had potential if it had stayed healthy.

              As for that 31-0 game vs. Bama you do have to watch how that played out as the final score does not do it justice. They throw Hines in to start at QB and he looks terrible, just lost. By the time they pull him we’re down 10-0 as I recall. Then they line up in the I and pound Anniston, AL’s very own Larry Bowie (our previous starting FB now TB) for 6, 7, 8, 7, 8, just ramming it down their throats. We get to the 1. Bowie over the top for a TD. But no, Marisa Simpson who went in motion moves towards the line of scrimmage a moment before the ball was snapped. Now its first and goal at the 6. BTW: Bowie pulled his groin muscle went he hit the end zone so we don’t see him again. Torrin Kirtsey comes in and all a 155 lbs. of him gets stuffed and after 4 unsuccessful plays we get no points and we lose 31-0.

              Sometimes I think it’d be better to be a Cubs fan…

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              • Agree about Goff in ’94. The substantial improvement mandate should have never been given. Man, that’s some pain right there. I also remember they blocked a FG and ran it back for a TD in that game.

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  17. We’ve only won the sec twice since Herschel left. I wish walker could use the rest of his eligibility. Only way we will ever win the thing again. Any who Ramsey will be another joe cox. Pressure him and he will turn it over. No sir no qb this year and a fragile WR core

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  18. Why didn’t mike bobo Evers brung da ice tweem twuk to da UGA pwackdace? So glad he is gone…that goal line debacle will probably set us back for years

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  19. 69Dawg

    As mentioned above HW was a freak of nature and self conditioning playing against boys. HW in an interview on Georgia.com admitted that Chubb has it a lot harder than he did. He pointed out the size difference between himself and the LB’s and DB’s. He said that Chubb had to run against 300 lb DL’s and 240 lb LB’s yet still ran great. I watched a DVD of the Arkansas game and the most telling stat of that game was of the 200+ yards he gained 160+ yards were gained after he had been touched. He gained those yards in spite of the fact that he did not have a clean open hole in the line.
    I don’t think that Chubb will come close to HW’s records, not because he is not capable of it, but because the coaches, barring injury, will not allow him to run the ball more than 20 times per game.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      And the great thing is, 69, that barring a slew of injuries, the coaching staff won’t have to give him more than 20 or so carries per game.

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  20. W Cobb Dawg

    The hard part is knowing we’ve had RBs pass through like Hearst, Hampton, Davis, Worley, Moreno, Gurley, Edwards, Gary, Ware, etc, etc. and have no championships to show for it! Not even a stinkin heisman! What a disgusting waste of talent.

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  21. blunderbuss

    I’ll always be a bit leery of football writers and fans comparing young black men to horses.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Geez, either you are a professional victim who is always looking to get their feelings hurt or that was a weak attempt at some sort of humor. You really need to work on getting thicker skin if you weren’t trying to be funny.

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      • blunderbuss

        Chill out man. The metaphor is literally dehumanizing. So is the rest of this: “the assembly line of hyped UGA backs”, “a legitimately Walker-esque specimen”, “college workhorse”, “stable of backs”.

        Couple those words with the fact that a lot of these kids are going to be at least slightly cognitively impaired in the future, depressed, suicidal, and lonely, with pretty much nothing to show for it, except ‘great memories’, and it makes for sad reading.

        The good is we’ve got a coach that knows this stuff, treats his players like people, doesn’t overburden his running backs, and helps them even after they graduate.

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  22. Sanford222view

    I am enjoying all the Herschel talk but what jumped out at me was how good the running game was last year. Chubb achieved the highest single season rushing total during the Richt era with over 1500 yards yet that was not even half of the teams rushing yards for the season. All the other seasons with a back over 1000 yards accounted for a minimum of 54% of the teams total rushing yards and in Moreno’s second best effort during the Richt era (1400 yards) it was 72% of the team’s rushing output for the season.

    The team combining for over 3000 yards in 2014? That is good stuff.

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