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Friday August 18th, 2017 4:03PM

25 days until kickoff

By Brian Stewart Reporter

We're almost there, guys.

Just 25 days until we can once again walk through the gates into Sanford Stadium.

If you're like me, you're like a kid on the last day of school before a long break, constantly checking the clock. Hoping the next time you look, it'll be a little closer to leavin' time.

Tick.

Tock.

Tick.

Tock.

Is it time yet?

Almost.

We'll get there soon, friends, and until then, let's have a look at some Georgia trivia tidbits related to the number 25.

1) Capital One Bowl victory over Michigan State: This 24-12 Georgia win on New Year's Day 2009 was the 25th bowl victory in the prorgam's history. Matt Stafford tossed three touchdown passes in his final game before becoming the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.

2) Nick Chubb: In the 2014 Missouri game, the freshman tailback, in his first game taking over as the full-time starter, rushed for 143 yards and one touchdown on 38 carries. He earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors, becoming the 25th Bulldog to win the award, which has been given out weekly since 2006. For the record, he was also the school's 24th (Vandy), 26th (Kentucky), 27th (Auburn) and 28th (Charleston Southerm) frosh of the week.

3) 1989 win over Vanderbilt: The Bulldogs beat the Commodores 35-16 in Nashville, notching their 25th win on artificial turf. Since then, Georgia has notched 17 more wins on the faux grass, the most recent being the 2014 wins over Missouri and Arkansas. The Bulldogs are 42-25-3 all-time on turf.

4) Todd Gurley 3-yd rush with 2:33 to play in the first half against Florida Atlantic in 2012: What is otherwise a rather unassuming stat, this was Gurley's 25th carry as a Bulldog runningback. The next play, the Owls committed a facemask penalty, and on the ensuing first down, Aaron Murray found Michael Bennett for a 67 yard touchdown.

5) 1973 Peach Bowl: This 17-16 Georgia win over Maryland was the 25th time the Bulldogs appeared on television. (Kids, ask your parents; there once was a time when only the biggest games were on TV.) The game was televised on the Mizlou Network, which is now based in Tampa, Fl. It remains the only victory the Dogs have ever had on the network in four attempts.

6) Current player wearing No. 25: There are actually two players who snagged the ol' 2-5 jersey, and one of them's a local product (at least for the people reading this in WDUN's coverage area. If you're not from North Ga., welcome, and thanks for reading!). Sr. WR Ben Souther, a Chestatee High School graduate and Airforce Academy transfer, has appeared in eight games on special teams. R-Fr. WR Steven Van Tiflin earned a spot on the roster through the team's open tryouts, and took a redshirt in 2014.

7) Georgia 26, Alabama 23 (2007): This nail-biting win against the Crimson Tide was the 25th victory in the series for the Bulldogs, who trail 25-37-4 all-time. After missing a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation, the Georgia defense held Bama to a field goal of their own on the first possession of overtime. The very next play, Matt Stafford lobbed the game-winning touchdown pass to Mikey Henderson.

8) C Fernando Velasco, RB Thomas Brown: One of these two is the 25th Georgia player to appear in the East-West Shrine game in 2008. The post-season all-star game first featured a Bulldog in 1952, and most recently had four Georgia players in the 2015 game (QB Hutson Mason, DB Damian Swann, LB Amarlo Herrera and C David Andrews).

9) 2000 Outback Bowl win over Purdue: The Boilermakers became the victims of (at the time) the largest comback in bowl game history, as they successfully blew a 25-0 lead to the Quincy Carter-led Bulldogs. Carter led Georgia to 25 straight points in regulation, then the game-winning fieldgoal off the foot of Hap Hines to win it 28-25 in OT. That record has seen been beaten twice: Marshall overcame a 38-8 defecit in the 2001 GMAC bowl against East Carolina to win 64-61 in double-OT, and the Texas Tech overcame a 38-7 defecit against Minnesota in the 2006 Insight Bowl to win 44-41 in OT.

10) 100 yard games (rushing): There's only one player in Georgia history who's rushed for 100 yards in more than 25 games. Shockingly, it isn't Jasper Sanks. It is, in fact, that kid outta Wrightsville as Larry Munson put it. Herschel Walker broke the century mark 28 times in his three-year career. Next on the list? Todd Gurley with 18.

11) Aaron Murray and Matt Stafford: No. 11 and No. 7 are the only players in Georgia history to throw at least 25 touchdowns in a single season. Stafford threw exactly 25 in 2008, and Murray shattered Stafford's record by throwing 35 in 2011, 36 in 2012 and 26 in an injury-shortened 2013 season. Just missing the cut were Joe Cox (Yes he made the list, tossing 24 in 2009), D.J. Shockley (24 in 2005) and Eric Zeier (24 in 1993, 1994).

12) 25 years ago: In 1990, the Bulldogs had a less-than-memorable year under second year head coach Ray Goff. Georgia notched two one-point victories in their first three games, defeating Southern Miss 18-17 and Alabama 17-16. Wins over East Carolina and Vanderbilt were the only other wins of the year, as the Dogs finished 4-7.

13) Blocked punts under Mark Richt: Thus far, the Bulldogs have blocked 24 punts in the Mark Richt era, so whoever gets a hand on a punt next will be No. 25. The most recent punt block came from Shawn Williams in the Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska in 2013. The Dogs blocked a staggering five punts in the 2002 SEC Championship season.

14) 21 field goals: Staying on this kicking trend for a moment, Georgia has blocked 21 field goals over the last 25 seasons. The most recent was Ray Drew's block against Georgia Tech in 2014.

15) Georgia 41, South Carolina 30: Believe it or not, ladies and gentlemen, this was 25 games ago, when Aaron Murray had one of his finest performances between the hedges. The senior finished 17 of 23 for 309 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, finally shaking the monkey of Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks off his back. Gosh, that sure doesn't feel like it was all that long ago.

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Speaking of South Carolina, we're only 23 days away from their opening game when they take on North Carolina in Charlotte on a Thursday night.

I can't wait, and I know you can't either.

***

And now, here's the top pick for folks who submitted their "Dream SEC" in reference to a blog last week.

This is from Jason Gee:

SEC East:
Clemson
Florida
Florida State
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Missouri
South Carolina
Tennessee

SEC West:
Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Kansas
LSU
Louisville
Nebraska
Oklahoma

I gotta agree, bringing in former rivals Oklahoma and Nebraska would be pretty cool. Thanks for submitting!

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