ATHENS, Ga. - Whether it's the world's largest cocktail party or one of the biggest SEC rivalry, the eyes of the football world are on Jacksonville this week as the Georgia Bulldogs get ready to face the Florida Gators.
Some are comparing this team to the 1980 team that won the National Championship. FOX 5 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist David Chandley has a special connection to that team. He had a sideline view for the whole season.
Just this week, he sat down with former Dawgs Coach Vince Dooley who thinks the old team is back.
Back in the day Coach Dooley always downplayed his Georgia teams and talked up the opponent, but even the ole coach is excited about what lies ahead for these Dawgs.
“Well, they certainly resemble a great team, they have those qualities and I think a good part of that is team morale and team unity,” said Dooley.
Being around Georgia football since 1964, Vince Dooley knows a special team when he sees it. In 1980, he coached the Dawgs to the National Championship. He said the miracle win against Florida that year was the key to the crown and key for this year's success was the decision by running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Micheal to return for their senior season.
“Not only has it been a big help physically, but I think it’s a tremendous help spiritually as a unification thing, in other words, the players looking at those guys to give up going pro, making a lot of money, they wanted to come back to be a part of something special,” said Dooley.
Chandley was part of that something special in 1980 as a student trainer and while most Georgia fans point to Herschel Walker as the reason the Dawgs reached number one, Coach Dooley recalled, along with Chandley, it was the leadership of the upperclassmen that made that team excel. He has that same feeling now.
“You’ve got great leadership on this football team, that is pretty obvious to me and everybody else,” said Dooley.
As for the Florida Gators in Jacksonville, Coach Dooley was 17-7 and one, and never lost two in a row.
“It’s Georgia's time to make the turn. I really believe that. This football team is very, very special and it’s been three in a row that we have lost down there. I don’t think it will be four in a row. I think we will start a new streak come Saturday,” said Dooley.
The Georgia-Florida game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. in Jacksonville.