With Georgia’s 2010 debut less than 48 hours away, let’s go over some memorable game-one triumphs from yesteryear.
•Georgia 18, Alabama 17 (1965): You youngsters remember this one right? Georgia used the never-to-be forgotten flea flicker play to upset Bear Bryant and the defending national champs 45 years ago. Good thing replay didn’t exist then. The knee of Pat Hodgson – the middle man in the hook-and-ladder who caught and pitched the ball – was down.
•Georgia 16, Tennessee 15 (1980): For those who haven’t seen this highlight 92,000 times on the Sanford Stadium jumbotron during pre-game, a guy who we all know ran over Bill Bates for his first collegiate touchdown.
•Georgia 13, Clemson 7 (1982): Herschel Walker played sparingly on Labor Day night as the rest of the Bulldogs rallied to defeat the reigning national champions.
•Georgia 19, UCLA 8 (1983): The Bulldogs drew the defending Pac 10 and Rose Bowl champions for the 1983 opener and never had to return the trip.
•Georgia 42, South Carolina 23 (1995): Robert Edwards, a converted defensive back, scored five touchdowns to toast the Gamecocks 15 years ago. The headline the next day? “No jive, Edwards scores five.”
Jefferson High School alum Chris Davis, shown here in 2007, begins his senior season at UGA Saturday when the Bulldogs open up against UL-Lafayette.
•Georgia 31, Clemson 28 (2002): One of the most underrated nights in Athens ever. In front of an ESPN audience and a rowdy Sanford Stadium crowd, Georgia rallied from a 28-21 deficit late and put the game away thanks to one of Mark Richt’s gutsiest calls. The Bulldogs went for it on fourth and one on Georgia’s own 39 to run out the clock. Georgia went on to win the SEC that season — it’s first title in 20 years.
•Georgia 30, Clemson 0 (2003): Having eight players suspended for the opener that year mattered little. Shorthanded Georgia manhandled Clemson, starting with Fred Gibson’s wide-open, 56-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter.
•Georgia 48, Boise St. 13 (2005): The Bulldogs heard all week about how the blue-turf crew from Boise State was going to roll through Athens and upset the Dogs. Georgia’s defense had other plans, forcing six turnovers — most of them off Jared Zabransky passes. D.J. Shockley didn’t have a bad night either with 289 yards and five touchdown passes in his starting debut.
•Georgia 35, Oklahoma State 14 (2007): The world got its first glimpse of Knowshon Moreno as he ran for 70 yards in his NCAA debut, starting a very bizarre 2007. He wound up with 1,336 yards that year as the Bulldogs finished no. 2 after a pedestrian 4-2 start.
•Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 21 (2008): Not really a good opener, but noteworthy as Bulldogs began 2008 ranked no. 1. Georgia turned out to be a counterfeit no. 1, of course, dropping from that perch shortly after the GSU game and getting absolutely bombed by Alabama in week five. But for a few hours in late August, Georgia was the nation’s no. 1 team -- in theory.