Belue brings back memories of Georgia championship

mlough@macon.comNovember 19, 2012 

The timing was pretty good.

Georgia is likely two wins away from playing for college football’s BCS national championship, and the quarterback who led the Bulldogs to their last national championship was in town to speak Monday night at the Macon Touchdown Club.

For the SEC championship game to be the play-in for the BCS title game, Georgia has to first get past Georgia Tech this weekend, and Buck Belue said that adds just a little more to the game.

“The Jackets want to ruin this for Georgia,” he said. “They’re not thinking about their good luck with Miami self-imposing (NCAA penalties), pulling out of the ACC title game. They’re worried about one thing, and that’s ruining it for the Georgia Bulldogs.

“Motivation is always a great thing in athletics. And let me tell you, as a former Bulldog, the motivation of not allowing Tech to ruin it is exactly the kind of motivation you need to go out there and take care of business.”

Belue’s alma mater is playing well, and the question mark of the offensive line has been more answered than not, although it’ll be a career test for that unit against Alabama in the SEC title game.

The offensive line has fairly dictated the performance of quarterback Aaron Murray, as well.

“He’s need a clean pocket; the guy’s 5-foot-11,” said Belue, noting that Murray rises to legitimate Heisman contention with two good performances. “Have you taken a look at these guys out there playing these days? He can’t see over the line of scrimmage.

“With a clean pocket, Aaron Murray can have a big day.”

Belue also noted injuries to Alabama’s secondary, as well as the playmaking ability of Georgia receivers Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell.

The talk of a national championship was fitting with Belue on hand, although the Atlanta radio talk show host touched on scores of subjects before bringing up his Georgia career.

The married father of three talked of his early years in Macon and pictures of his father playing at Lanier, defended Murray and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, threw out the thought of Tennessee hiring Kirby Smart as head coach and Macon native Chris Hatcher as offensive coordinator, the Heisman race, and working with the Atlanta Braves.

But 1980 is a topic he doesn’t tire of, whether talking about just being around coaching legend Erk Russell, the pass to Lindsay Scott against Florida, playing baseball and football at Georgia, or trying to recruit Herschel Walker.

Some memories, especially those regarding Russell, inspire emotion, while other memories, and their banquet-circuit interpretations, inspired laughter.

Like the 20-yard pass that Scott caught and carried 75 yards against Florida in 1980.

“I don’t get tired of speaking about it,” Belue said wryly. “I mean, I must have thrown that thing 70 yards. Lindsay caught that thing and just fell into the end zone.”

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