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DN Roundtable: UGA's best 'fireworks'

7/4/2012
DawgNation readers agree that the Bulldogs' first-quarter end zone dance in the 2007 win against Florida in Jacksonville was one of the most memorable 'fireworks' moments in UGA history. Palm Beach Post/ZUMA Press/Icon SMI

Today being the Fourth of July, we expect to see fireworks and parades. Georgia football has had its share of fireworks through the years, if we talk about individual performances and astonishing victories. With that in mind we asked the staff and DawgNation's readers:

“What is the biggest fireworks display, figuratively speaking, you have seen at a Georgia football game?"

David Ching: I'd have to say it was the 2007 Blackout game against Auburn. Because of the final score, people often forget that Georgia didn't play very well in that game until it flipped the switch midway through the third quarter. And when it did, holy cow. Touchdown after touchdown. Impromptu sideline dancing to "Soulja Boy" that got everyone on the home sideline and throughout the stadium hyped. I've never been in a stadium that was as electric as it was in Sanford that night in the fourth quarter. It was unforgettable.

Radi Nabulsi: My first response would be the Blackout, or the 1991 Georgia game against Clemson in Sanford Stadium. I was in the stands and not working. That game was special, as freshman quarterback Eric Zeier came off the bench to lead the unranked Bulldogs to an upset of the No. 6 Tigers. Clemson had the No. 1 defense in the land, and Georgia won 27-12 in a rollicking night game. As if that weren’t enough, at some point during the game the stadium announcer let everyone there know that the Atlanta Braves had just won the Nation League West for the first time in 22 years. People went crazy. After that my memory gets really fuzzy.

But I would say the greatest fireworks display was the 2006 Georgia vs. Auburn game at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Bulldogs had lost a heartbreaker to Kentucky the week before, and the 9-1 Tigers were ranked No. 5 in the nation. Georgia had lost four of its last five games, giving up 19 turnovers, and Auburn was looking to move up in the BCS rankings. Will Muschamp was Auburn’s defensive coordinator. The feeling going into the contest was that Auburn was going to make mincemeat of the reeling Bulldogs. And it was going to rain.

The fireworks came from both sides of the ball for Georgia. The defense picked off Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox four times. Safety Tra Battle had three of those interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Cox would only complete four passes to his teammates. Georgia freshman Matthew Stafford on the other hand, went 14-for-20 with a touchdown. The harder it rained, the better he played. At one point he ran for 39-yard gain, winding up with 83 yards rushing for the day. Unexpected fireworks are often the best.

Kipp Adams: To me, "Fireworks" brings thoughts of a big release and the game with the most release for most Georgia fans would have be the 1997 Georgia vs. Florida game. Since Vince Dooley had left the Georgia program and Steve Spurrier had begun his tenure at Florida, the Dogs had not found a way to notch a win versus the hated Gators.

Spurrier had a blast taunting Georgia fans with his verbal jabs about their program, from players to fans, even coaches. The Gators’ head coach had even gloated after a dominating performance in Sanford Stadium that he had “hung half a hundred” on the Bulldogs on their home field.

Under these conditions, the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party had become somewhat of a fait accompli in the eyes of the entire college football world, including fans of both programs and, most definitely, those that set the odds for college football in Vegas. What had once been a brutal rivalry with Georgia battling for hard-fought victories had become a one-sided affair. The talented 1997 Bulldogs -- the team would place many players in the NFL -- came in as a 20 point underdog.

The Bulldogs not only defeated the Gators that afternoon, they completely turned the tables on Florida in a 20-point victory, 37-17. With Hines Ward in what was a “Wild Dog” formation before the term was en vogue, and Robert Edwards racking up four touchdowns and 135 yards, the Bulldogs showed that they still had some bite left against one of the most talented teams of the era.

It might have been a huge sigh of relief for most of Bulldog Nation, but the performance of the entire team, and especially Robert Edwards, was explosive. It made enough of a noise that it caused the entire country to take notice of the program -- at least for a week.

Todd Miller: The beat-down of LSU in 2004. The stadium was shaking that day.

Jonathan Branch: Georgia vs. Florida in 2007. Watching that team, the whole team, rush the end zone was probably the most unexpected thing I've ever seen happen. And it was against Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Urban Meyer -- just an added bonus.

Dale Shedd: Hands down, the BLACKOUT vs. Auburn, when the Dawgs rushed onto the field! I get chill bumps now thinking about that!

Torrone Heard: In 2003, Sean Jones’ 95-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Knoxville, Tenn., seconds before halftime.

Aimee Howell Birdsong: The 2001 "Hobnail Boot" play in Tennessee is up there, too.

robddavis79 The 2007 Cocktail Party against Florida when Georgia danced in the end zone after taking the first score of the game! It is actually the first "memorable celebration" listed on Wikipedia under the definition of touchdown celebrations. Georgia took over from that moment, and Florida never had a shot. The energy created in that moment by the players was so strong and intense. You could see it on Mark Richt's face, in the way the fans cheered, hear it in Larry Munson's voice, and even feel it through the TV. It was this mesmerizing force that made it truly great to be a Georgia Bulldog on that day.

Dustin Newton: The Blackout vs. Auburn in 2007. I saw an 80-year-old doing the “Crank That Soulja Boy” dance in the seats next to us. Greatest noise Sanford Stadium has ever produced.

Want to see your opinion in the next DawgNation Roundtable? Visit The Pound every Tuesday for the Question of the Week and write a brief response. Each week we will choose one answer to be included. Responses that appear in the Roundtable will be edited for clarity. We look forward to hearing from you.