Originally created 10/07/01

The Dogs' Day



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - If Mark Richt goes on to accomplish all that he hopes as the University of Georgia's football coach, there's no doubt he'll remember Oct. 6, 2001, as the day it all began.

Down by 4 points at No. 6 Tennessee with 42 seconds left, the Bulldogs drove 59 yards and won 26-24 when quarterback David Greene found fullback Verron Haynes for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 5 seconds remaining.

It was Georgia's biggest victory in years and its first at Neyland Stadium since the Bulldogs' national championship season of 1980.

"My heart really hasn't started pumping yet," said Mr. Richt, who is in his first season as the Bulldogs' coach after taking over for the fired Jim Donnan in December. "I'm usually calm in the middle of these things."

Few others among the crowd of 107,592 were calm in the final moments. Georgia (3-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) was up 20-17 and appeared in control before running back Travis Stephens took a screen pass 62 yards for a touchdown that drew a deafening roar and put the Volunteers (3-1, 2-1) up 24-20 with 44 seconds left.

Then Georgia took over at its 41-yard line with 42 seconds remaining.

"It's just a great victory for our program, for the team, for coach Richt and the coaching staff," Bulldogs safety Jermaine Phillips said.

Reach Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645 or larrywill7@yahoo.com.