Undermanned Dogs Struggle in '04-'05
"Scratch" might have been an accurate starting point for the 2005 Georgia Bulldogs. Head coach Dennis Felton was indeed starting over in his second season, having lost four experienced, savvy seniors after 2004.
The Felton Era began in earnest in '05, and because that squad was so bereft of any veteran presence, its results were predictable. Georgia struggled to an 8-20 record, the fewest wins for the program in 30 years, and a 2-14 mark in the SEC.
As young and inexperienced as they were, the Bulldogs reflected the personality of their coach: competitive and determined to make life difficult for their opposition. Rarely did they bow out early in a competition and at times, their fighting spirit allowed them a successful comeback or two.
Frosh Starters Make History
The season opener against Western Kentucky marked just the second time at Georgia since freshmen became eligible in 1973 that three rookies started their first games together. Channing Toney, Sundiata Gaines and Dave Bliss all started against the Hilltoppers. Hugh Durham began his second season (1979-80) by starting three freshmen on Opening Night: Dominique Wilkins, Terry Fair and Derrick Floyd.
The very next year Durham started multiple freshmen again: James Banks and Vern Fleming. No Georgia team did it again until the 2004 season opener, when Levi Stukes and Steve Newman started against Western Carolina.
Odds & Ends
Walk-Ons Play Key Roles
Because the Bulldogs had just eight scholarship players on their roster, head coach Dennis Felton made frequent use of several walk-ons in the 2005 season. Most prominently: