We are closing in on just a week to go before the Bulldawgs kick off their season, and at No.8 in Bulldawg Illustrated’s Countdown to Kickoff 2016 is Buck Belue, the miracle maker.
A four-year starter for Valdosta High School out of south Georgia, Benjamin Franklin “Buck” Belue came to the University of Georgia in 1978. It didn’t take long for the true freshman to make miracles happen. Coming off the bench late in the game, Georgia was trailing in-state rival Tech 28-21 between the hedges. In what may have been a foreshadowing of things to come two year’s later during Georgia’s magical 1980 season, Belue hit Amp Arnold for a touchdown to pull the Dawgs to within one, 28-27. Coach Vince Dooley opted to go for two for the win, and Belue and Arnold would come through to give Georgia a dramatic 29-28 come-from-behind victory.
It was Buck Belue’s only TD pass as a freshman in limited action in 7 games and only his 28th pass attempt that season. He would see more games and more playing time as a sophomore in ’79, but he cemented his legacy in the anthems of Georgia lore and legend as a junior and senior. Which leads us to “The Play.”
Of course, “The Play” I am talking about is perhaps one of the most famous in University of Georgia football history. It is none other than Belue to Scott during the ninth game of the Dawg’s 1980 SEC and National Championship season. An unbeaten Georgia team was down to 20th ranked Florida 21-19 late in the 4th quarter, and they found themselves backed up near their own goal line starring down the field with what seemed like a million miles to go against the Gator’s defense with little time remaining on the clock. All seemed lost until Belue found Scott on a 3rd down play, which was immortalized by the late, great voice of the Dawgs, Larry Munson.
Buck Belue in his 4 years at Georgia would play in 39 games and was 27-3 as a starter. He helped lead the Bulldawgs to two back-to-back SEC Championships in 1980 and 1981 as well as a National Championship in 1980. He was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame in 1996.
And the countdown continues. Go Dawgs!