A Record I’d Like to See Fall

My Great Uncle Griff – Dad’s dad’s brother – dominated the Southwest Conference as a running back in the late 1910’s. He graduated from Rice University in 1920, is a member of their school’s Hall of Fame and held nearly every school record and some national records by the time he was finished. My eldest son’s middle name is Griffith, in honor of Uncle Griff.

I met him well past his heyday, when he was blind and residing in assisted living in Houston, Texas. He was jovial and gracious then. In a 1916 game versus SMU, he was plainly dominant. Griff Vance scored six touchdowns that day – a school record that stood until 2007.

The University of Georgia single game touchdown record is five. In his rushing debut, converted defensive back Robert Edwards lit South Carolina up and seemed to suggest a huge year for the Ray Goff coached DAWGS. Injuries proved too much for the team to overcome, as Edwards went down in the next game – a heartbreaking loss at UT. Mike Bobo had a promising early season at QB before he succumbed to injury as well. By the end of the season, Hines Ward was literally forced into playing QB (a move that had him consider transferring to Nebraska in the offseason). Hines had a great performance in the Peach Bowl that year versus UVa and brought us all the way back from a big deficit to tie the score late. We were in bad position on the ensuing kickoff and the Cavaliers ran it all the way back; Goff was shown the door. I crowd surfed at that game and after felt the sting of a defeat snatched from the jaws of victory – a phenomena that has been too evident at UGA throughout my years as a fan/alumni. We paid UVa back in two subsequent bowl wins, but I never forget a tough loss like that…never.

If say Arkansas and their dominant passing game push us to the brink as they did last season, I’d like to see that record fall in Athens this year. Caleb King came on late last season, but I believe Washaun Ealey must be fed the ball regularly for us to have the type of year that we are capable of having. We can’t lose home games if we are to be SEC champs. Only Ealey can dominate ballgames on a consistent basis, and all the other running game tools are in place. I want to see smash mouth football in Athens from now on, because running the football is the surest way to win games, when it works. And it will if Ealey totes the rock as much as I’d like him to.

Sure, defense wins championships, and AJ is the greatest receiver in UGA history. But I am calling for Washaun Ealey to potentially be SEC MVP and lead us to the promised land…Atlanta, Georgia for another SEC ring for Richt.

Nothing less than an SEC East Title will be considered a success by me this season, and we match up well when comparing returning talent with any team in the SEC, East or West. Bama you may ask? I say, they have two returning starters on defense. Florida you may ask? I say, expect an identity crisis with stud defensive coach Charlie Strong and shutdown corner Joe Haden gone and Tebow now handing off to Moreno in Denver. Tennessee? Down year. LSU, Auburn, Arkansas? Bring it on.