'Dogs Win 10 Or More For Fourth Straight Season; Finish In Top 10 Again
With a 10-3 season, the 'Dogs registered 10 or more wins for the fourth straight year--only the second time that has happened in Bulldog history. Georgia's season ended with a number ten national ranking--the fourth consecutive year in the top ten.
The four straight 10-win seasons under Mark Richt has been accomplished by only four other coaches in SEC history: Alabama's Bear Bryant Georgia's Vince Dooley, Florida's Steve Spurrier, and Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer.
Richt is also now one of only nine head coaches in NCAA Division 1-A history to record 50 or more victories in their first five seasons as a head coach.
Georgia's Attendance Average Ranks Fifth Nationally
Georgia's average home football attendance of 92,746 ranked fifth best in the country for the 2005 season according to NCAA statistics.
The 92,746 figure represents a sellout in all six Bulldog home games. The fifth-place finish marks the 19th time in the last 24 years that Georgia has ranked among the nation's top six teams in average home attendance. It's also the 23nd time in the last 24 years the Bulldogs have finished among the top seven (twice).
'Dogs Suffer Heartbreaking Loss in Sugar Bowl Against Moutaineers
Atlanta, Ga. --- The Georgia Bulldogs were unable to overcome a 28-0 deficit and fell to West Virginia 38-35 in the Nokia Sugar Bowl in front of 74,458 fans at the Georgia Dome and an ABC national television audience. The Bulldogs finished the season with their fourth 10-win campaign in as many years.
Despite three touchdowns and a 277-yard passing performance by quarterback D.J. Shockley in his final collegiate game, the Bulldogs' late rally fell short after they outscored the Mountaineers 35-10 to finish the game. Tailback Thomas Brown led Georgia with 78 yards rushing, including a 52-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs managed to close the gap to 38-35 after Shockley connected with fellow senior Bryan McClendon for a 43-yard touchdown with 5:13 left in the fourth quarter. But after West Virginia punter Phil Brady shot up the middle to convert a fake punt on 4th-and-6 in the game's final drive, the Mountaineers converted yet another first down and let the clock run out.
West Virginia jump-started the game's scoring with three touchdowns in the first quarter - two by Darius Reynaud and one by Steve Slaton - and went up 28-0 with 14:10 remaining in the second quarter. The Bulldogs managed to register their first points at the 12:58 mark in the second quarter on Kregg Lumpkin's career-long 34-yard touchdown run. Just more than four minutes later, Brown, the Bulldogs' starting tailback, flew past West Virginia's defense for a 52-yard touchdown to cut the Mountaineers lead to 28-14.
Following a West Virginia field goal, Shockley hit Leonard Pope for a 4-yard touchdown after the Bulldogs' 76-yard drive. Georgia crept even closer to the Mountaineers in the third quarter on A.J. Bryant's 34-yard scoring catch and went into the final period down 31-28.
But with the lead in reach for the first time, Steve Slaton, who finished with 204 yards and three touchdowns for West Virginia, scored a touchdown on his second 52-yard run of the game to clinch the victory for the Mountaineers.
While junior tight end Leonard Pope led the Bulldogs with six catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, linebacker Jarvis Jackson recorded a game-high 11 tackles for Georgia's defense and Tony Taylor and Greg Blue each finished with eight tackles.
WV- Reynaud 13-yd. pass from P. White (P. McAfee kick), 06:27, 1st Q
WV- D. Reynaud 13-yd. run (P. McAfee kick), 04:27, 1st Q
WV- S. Slaton 18-yd. run (P. McAfee kick), 14:10, 2nd Q
GA- K. Lumpkin 34-yd. run (B. Coutu kick), 12:58, 2nd Q
GA- T. Brown 52-yd. run (B. Coutu kick), 08:52, 2nd Q
WV- P. McAfee 27-yd. field goal 05:37, 2nd Q
GA- L. Pope 4-yd. pass from Shockley (B. Coutu kick), 00:58, 2nd Q
GA- A.J. Bryant 34-yd. pass from Shockley (Coutu kick), 01:44, 3rd Q
WV- S. Slaton 52-yd. run (P. McAfee kick), 08:32, 4th Q
GA- B McClendon 43-yd. pass from Shockley (Coutu kick), 05:13, 4th Q