The Top 10 Georgia Bulldog Performances in the Mark Richt Era
Now, football is a team game. But just what do you think of when picturing your favorite game memory?
I bet it's a single receiver stretching out for a pass, a linebacker plastering the opposing team's quarterback in solo fashion, or your squad's signal-caller standing tall and alone as he launches a bomb.
To narrow down individual Georgia Bulldog football performances to 10 would have been impossible; good thing I have the convenient excuse of youth to get me out of looking at ALL of the games in the Dawgs' history.
I'll stick to what I know first-hand—those displays by individual players in the Mark Richt era in Athens. Let the countdown begin!
No. 10. A.J. Green on Sept. 20, 2008 (@ Arizona State)
At the beginning of the 2008 season, there wasn't a Dawg fan who wasn't excited about freshman receiver A.J. Green.
That being said, he wasn't exactly "electric" in the first few games of the season, but most of the Georgia nation was content to write it off to youth and Green's yet-to-be-grown-into body.
So imagine how nice a surprise it was to watch A.J. have his way across the nation against the Arizona State Sun Devils (especially in the first half). Though he cooled off a bit after halftime, the kid still finished with 159 yards receiving, and UGA made their longest road trip in some years worth the distance by winning 27-10.
No. 9. Rennie Curran on Nov. 8, 2008 (@ Kentucky)
It was a high-scoring affair that ended 42-38 in Georgia's favor, but the real story was how an undersized sophomore linebacker carried one team's defense.
The season before, Rennie Curran had earned five starts as a freshman, so he was expected to take a leadership role in his second season.
But to the tune of 15 tackles (seven solo)? Let's just say that if it wasn't clear before who'll be the captain on this side of the ball for the Bulldogs for the next couple years, it was right after this contest.
No. 8. David Pollack on January 1, 2005 (v. Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl)
When a man is as much of a defensive presence as David Pollack was on the Bulldogs, there's no way he could be left off a list like this.
Thing was, it was tough to single out a single game of Pollack's UGA career to include; he was a disruptive force in every game he played.
Still, against Wisconsin, in a 24-21 New Year's Day victory, David was darn near dominant and really did set himself apart with three solo sacks and a forced fumble.
No. 7. Terrence Edwards on Oct. 26, 2002 (@ Kentucky)
Edwards is yet another player who contributed mightily in practically every contest he appeared in, but his domination of the Wildcats' secondary back in '02 was something to behold.
The dude ended up with 127 receiving yards, but what's more, he tied the Georgia single-game record with three TD catches.
Terrence was always a calming presence on the field, and his leadership in this 52-24 domination and others made the '02 Dawgs SEC Champions.
No. 6. Boss Bailey on Sept. 14, 2002 (@ South Carolina)
A ruthless headhunter out of the secondary in all his years at Georgia, Boss' performance in this 13-7 win against the Gamecocks sticks out because of just how much his 14 (!) tackles impacted the game.
Bailey had 14 in a contest with Clemson two weeks before this one in Columbia, but whereas that one ended with both teams' scores near 30, this one very much came down to the wire and a few key plays on which—
You guessed it: Boss made the big hits.
No. 5. Michael Johnson on Nov. 16, 2002 (@ Auburn)
Who will stand up and take credit for the breathtaking defeat of Auburn in 2002, the 24-21 win by the Bulldogs that kept them alive in the SEC Title race?
Will it be you, Mr. Johnson?
You did, after all, catch David Greene's pass in the corner of the end zone with less than two minutes remaining, giving your team the lead for good.
And you caught for a better-than-impressive 141 yards on 13 receptions.
Come on, you deserve the recognition.
No. 4. Fred Gibson on Oct. 20, 2001 (v. Kentucky)
So, what is it with great shows put on for the poor fellas from the Bluegrass state?
Who knows, but there's no denying that Gibson's second-all-time-for-UGA mark of 285 all-purpose yards is one of said amazing displays. Fred caught for 201 and had 84 return yards in this 43-29 homecoming romp.
This freak of an athlete is currently on the NBA D-League's Albuquerque Thunderbirds, interestingly enough.
No. 3. Knowshon Moreno on Oct. 27, 2007 (v. Florida)
It all started with Moreno's Superman-esque dive over the line in the first. Next thing we knew, Trinton Sturdivant was "walking it out," and the Dawgs were drawing an excessive celebration penalty for their impromptu team dance.
Don't let all that overblown drama between Urban Meyer and Coach Richt cloud your judgment here. The real "big deal" was Knowshon's 188 yards on the ground and three TD.
It was just further proof that Georgia had struck gold with the boy from N.J.
No. 2. Billy Bennett on Nov. 25, 2001 (@ Georgia Tech)
Too often do kickers get ignored, despite their massive contributions to their teams' scores throughout the season. Well, Billy guaranteed that he wouldn't be overlooked in this showdown with the little-brother Yellow Jackets.
I'll put it simply for you: six-of-six. That's what Bennett kicked on his field goal attempts on the day. Three were from 40 yards or more!
Guys, if it accounted for more than half of the Dawgs' points in a 31-17 decision, I think we oughta give the man some respect.
No. 1. David Greene on Oct. 6, 2001 (@ Tennessee)
What, you didn't think that David Greene would be left off this, did you?
Yes, he is the quarterback who threw the "Hobnail Boot" pass to Verron Hayes in this more-than-dramatic bout with the Volunteers.
Yep, it was his flip over the top in the waning seconds that gave the Bulldogs a 26-24 victory in the pivotal game of Richt's first season.
But don't forget that he racked up 303 passing yards throughout this contest. That's what David was like; maddeningly consistent AND clutch.