I simply cannot tolerate Georgia Tech in any season or under any circumstances, so every win over the Jackets is precious, but especially in the marquee sport of football.
I’ve been fortunate to have followed the Dogs through a wonderful era beginning with Vince Dooley’s first team that has seen Georgia dominate Tech 33-12, with the Dogs twice running off seven wins in a row while the Jackets have three times won two in a row and had one streak of three in a row over Jim Donnan. So there have been a lot more great days for the Red and Black in the in-state rivalry than there have been bad ones.
But some wins over the insects have a special place in my heart. So here are my 10 favorite UGA wins over Georgia Tech. …
1964: Georgia wins 7-0 in Athens. The first of Dooley’s 19 wins over the Jackets in 25 seasons was played on a cold, rainy day at Sanford Stadium. A Tech fumble was recovered by the Dogs at the 22, leading to a winning score by Preston Ridlehuber. The Dogs went on to the Sun Bowl while the loss to Georgia kept the Jackets out of the Gator Bowl.
1971: Georgia wins 28-24 in Atlanta. This nationally televised game on Thanksgiving night was highlighted by one of the greatest Bulldog comebacks ever. Tech had jumped out to a 14-0 lead and led 17-14 at halftime. Led by my junior high and Athens High classmate Andy Johnson, the Dogs roared back in the second half to take a 21-17 lead, only to see Tech regain the upper hand, 24-21. The Dogs got the ball at their own 30 with 1:29 on the clock and Andy’s running and passing moved them downfield, with Jimmy Poulos going over for the winning TD.
1975: Georgia wins 42-26 in Atlanta. Another nationally telecast Thanksgiving night game on ABC saw Ray Goff, Glynn Harrison and Co. run wild over Pepper Rodgers’ Jackets in freezing weather. I was watching this at my future mother-in-law’s house just two days before my wedding, and her next-door neighbor was a big Tech fan. We promised to touch base after the game. I got to make the victory call. After the miserable day the Dogs had suffered in the cold rain and mud a year earlier, this one was especially sweet.
1978: Georgia wins 29-28 in Athens. The game that made Buck Belue a UGA legend long before he’d ever even met Herschel Walker. Tech was up 20-0 when the freshman quarterback got put into the game late in the first half. Helped by a great Scott Woerner punt return, Belue brought the Dogs back and threw a fourth-quarter scoring pass to Amp Arnold that gave Dooley the choice of kicking the PAT for a tie or going for two points and the win. Who said Vince was a conservative coach?
1981: Georgia wins 44-7 in Atlanta. The Dogs were riding high with No. 34 in the backfield, but somehow that week the Atlanta sports media latched onto the idea that Georgia was ripe for an upset. Belue put an end to that nonsense on the first play from scrimmage with an 80-yard scoring strike to Lindsay Scott. Oh, and Herschel scored four touchdowns.
1993: Georgia wins 43-10 in Atlanta. Another Thanksgiving Day game on TV. This is the one where a brawl between the two teams broke out late in the game. The other night at the Touchdown Club of Athens meeting, Eric Zeier told a great story about that. He was in the middle of the brawl when it erupted and his helmet was yanked off. Then a big Tech defensive lineman wrapped his arms around Zeier and lifted him off the ground. The Tech player carried Zeier through the end zone and then put him down, saying, “You’ll be safer here.” Not the punch line the audience was expecting.
1995: Georgia wins 18-17 in Atlanta. My brother Tim was at this game, Ray Goff’s last against Tech as head coach, and it’s his favorite. Hines Ward was still at QB and led the Dogs back from 14 points down. A 16-play drive culminated in the winning kick by Kanon Parkman. Say what you will about Goff, he still managed to win five straight over the Jackets.
1997: Georgia wins 27-24 in Atlanta. Tech took a 24-21 lead and thought it had won the game, but Mike Bobo, who threw four touchdown passes that day, led the Dogs downfield, with four pass plays in 40 seconds. The folks in yellow and white still gripe about the interference flag that helped the Dogs along. Corey Allen’s winning catch was the first video clip I ever had on a computer.
2002: Georgia wins 51-7 in Athens. A total butt-kicking from beginning to end for Mark Richt’s SEC champions. Probably the most dominating performance by a Georgia team against Tech ever. Certainly, one of the best days I can ever recall in Sanford Stadium.
2006: Georgia wins 15-12 in Athens. Tech was the ACC Coastal Division champion and No. 16 in the country while Georgia was unranked and had bounced back from losses to Vandy and Kentucky by beating Auburn. You would have expected Tech to be the overwhelming favorite, but the oddsmakers liked the Dogs by 2. Probably because Reggie Ball was Tech’s QB and no team could get in Ball’s head and mess him around like Georgia. I remember having no doubt the Dogs would win this game simply because the Jackets still had our favorite QB. It didn’t hurt, though, that Paul Oliver owned Tech’s celebrated receiver, Calvin Johnson, and never let him be a factor. My daughter says this is the most exciting game she’s ever seen. One of the Dogs’ sweetest wins over Tech.
How about you, what are your favorite Dog wins over the Jackets?