Remembering when Dawgs were fit to be tied

Back in the days before overtime, ties weren't just Vince Dooley's wardrobe of choice on game days. (AJC file)

Back in the days before overtime, ties weren't just Vince Dooley's wardrobe of choice on game days. (AJC file)

Inspired by all the tie scores in soccer’s World Cup, Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com recently paid tribute to the days when college football wasn’t afraid to let a game end deadlocked.

As Maisel noted, “Ties brought a different kind of strategy to the field. Ties brought controversy. They may have ended games, but they started debates that endure to this day. … You want to get an argument restarted? Wander over to a tailgate outside Notre Dame Stadium and criticize Ara Parseghian for the 10-10 tie with Michigan State that secured the Irish the 1966 national championship.”

Which prompted my son to ask me about famous (or infamous) ties in Georgia football history. He’s 25 and thus “I only remember the last one against undefeated Auburn in 1994,” when he was 9 years old. “But I’m sure there were others of note.”

Indeed, there were, and as Vince Dooley put it in his memoir a few years ago, “Some ties feel like a win; some ties feel like a loss.”

Going back before my time, the “good” ties —  the so-called moral victories — include Georgia’s 1941 meeting with former UGA coach Harry Mehre’s Ole Miss team in Athens when the Dogs’ Frankie Sinkwich had his broken jaw wired shut and played with a protective metal chin strap and still managed to ramble for 98 yards in a 14-14 game, and the 1948 Gator Bowl when quarterback Johnny Rauch led a fourth quarter comeback from a 20-7 deficit to tie Maryland 20-20.

Easily the worst tie, at least as far as my old friend Dan and I are concerned, was the nationally televised season-opening1968 game in Knoxville. On the one hand, you’d think Georgia would have been pleased with the result since it was nearly a touchdown underdog to the previous season’s No. 2 Vols, but the Dooley team that went on to win the SEC title led the game 17-9 with second left. On the last play of regulation time the refs awarded Tennessee a touchdown catch, despite the fact that video replays showed the ball bounced off the infamous artificial Tartan Turf and into the receiver’s hands. Dooley said that was one that “definitely felt like a loss because we outplayed them. … It was a lousy way to let a game slip away.”

Interestingly, Tennessee wasn’t the Dogs’ only deadlocked game that season. (That was one of 10 seasons where the Dogs had two or more ties, and in three seasons they had three ties, including the 1950 team that had a soccer-like 0-0 game with UNC.)

The other tie in 1968, as the Dogs went 8-0-2 in the regular season, was a 10-10 result with Houston in Athens, which gets Dan’s vote as Georgia’s “best” tie and which Dooley recalled “felt like a win.” Houston had the nation’s top-ranked offense and racked up 532 yards against Erk Russell’s defense that day, with All American fullback Paul Gipson rushing for 230 of them. And yet the Cougars only scored one touchdown and led 10-7 when Georgia got the ball on its own 9 with 1:59 left. Sophomore QB Mike Cavan nearly gave the game away with an interception, but the Houston defender dropped the ball. Then Cavan led the Dogs to the Cougars’ 22, where placekicker Jim McCullough kicked a field goal to end the game even.

One of the ties that left Georgia unhappy was the 1973 opening game in Athens against Pittsburgh, which up to then had been pretty awful. The Dogs were a 17-point favorite, but the Panthers had a running back making his collegiate debut that day named Tony Dorsett, and he rushed for 101 yards as the two teams played to a 7-7 tie.

I’d been managing editor of The Red and Black that summer and all the student newspaper staff wasn’t back yet since school hadn’t started, so the sports editor asked me to help out with the coverage. It was the only regular season game I’ve ever watched from the press box, an experience I didn’t particularly enjoy since you weren’t supposed to cheer, plus a sportswriter sitting near me provided a running racist commentary on Dorsett’s exploits. My assignment was to do the UGA locker room reaction story after the game, and believe me, Andy Johnson and the guys definitely weren’t feeling lucky to have come out of that game tied. Maybe in retrospect, after losing to Heisman-winning Dorsett and Pitt in the regular season in 1975 and the Sugar Bowl in 1976, they should have.

On the other hand, a tie that felt like a win was in 1983 at Clemson. The Tigers led 16-6 in the fourth quarter when Todd Williams threw a touchdown pass to Clarence Kay, pulling Georgia within 3. Then, with 31 seconds left, Kevin Butler kicked a 31-yard field goal to tie it up. But the game wasn’t over. Clemson’s Donald Igwebuike tried a 68-yarder with 7 seconds left, but was short. So, just for the heck of it, Dooley had Butler try a 66-yarder with 1 second on the clock, but it also was no good, and the tie stuck.

The 1984 Citrus Bowl in Orlando (now the Capital One Bowl) against Florida State was another good tie. Georgia was unranked and the No. 15 Seminoles were favored by 4 points. Actually, the Dogs led 14-0 at the half, but FSU came back with two fourth quarter scores to tie the game at 17-17. Butler tried a 70-yard field goal as time expired and was just short.

Not so good were the two ties in 1985, both remarkably by the same score. Georgia came into Nashville ranked 16th in the country and a 19-point favorite, but was lucky to escape with a 13-13 score, as Vanderbilt kicker Alan Herline pushed what would have been a game-winning field goal attempt to the right at the end. The Commodores were tearful in the locker room over their missed opportunity for an upset. And in that season’s Sun Bowl the favored Dogs had to rally for 10 fourth quarter points to tie Arizona 13-13, and Wildcats substitute kicker Davis Jacobs missed a field goal that would have won it.

For my money, Georgia’s best-ever tie was its last one. That was the game my son remembers in 1994, when a mediocre Ray Goff team came back from a 23-9 deficit thanks to two Eric Zeier touchdown passes and tied the No. 3-ranked Tigers 23-23. The Auburn kicker missed a field goal try with 13 seconds left and so the Dogs denied Terry Bowden a 21st consecutive victory. That tie definitely felt like a win for those of us in red and black!

86 comments Add your comment

Dawg House

July 1st, 2010
11:43 am

The Ghost of Wally Butts

July 1st, 2010
11:46 am

It’s a wonderful article Bill, but you better put it back on the shelf, as it is going to be overwhelmed by Damon Evans’ DUI……at midnight….in Atlanta and not Athens…….and with a “passenger”…….hoo boy!

Dawg House

July 1st, 2010
11:48 am

I am as disappointed as anybody in Damon Evans.

But before you Tech “fans” come on here crapping at the mouth, just remember a couple things…..

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We. Run. This. State.

Delbert D.

July 1st, 2010
11:53 am

A source close to Prez Adams reported the sounds of furniture being thrown around in his office and glass breaking this morning. That’s how I imagined it, anyway.

The Situation

July 1st, 2010
11:54 am

I like Damon Evans even more now! UGA! UGA! That whole road is a DUI trap.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 1st, 2010
11:56 am

Dude, Evans was hammered! You see the pic? That is way out of line for an AD. Does not look good for the man in charge of Athletics at the state school busted for DUI. If the top man skates on this how can he or CMR take a hard line with any other student athlete. Sorry Damon, ya gotta go.

Bradley G

July 1st, 2010
11:56 am

If I remember correctly, didn’t Phillip Daniels block a field goal attempt in that game, too?

Coachdawg 2000

July 1st, 2010
11:57 am

Ties are terrible. They serve as only complete letdowns. I think they should have penalty kicked in the world cup first round and definatley like to have a definative ending to CFB games. 1994 was cool in that we dumped a little rain on Allbarn’s parade but nothing like a loss would have. There has to be winner and a loser and there no such things as “moral victories”.Would you have been satisfied in ‘07 if we had to take a tie at Bammer after twice leading by 10?

Coachdawg 2000

July 1st, 2010
12:01 pm

I’m very disappointed in DE! What an embarrassment to the University. He is not some sophmore receiver from Gainesville he is an 40-something year old professional man and should understand that his actions are done under a microscope. I am not casting stones but come on he couldn’t afford a driver or a taxi?

FROMthebar"Tool"

July 1st, 2010
12:02 pm

A DUI is nothing to joke about.

On the other hand the Tech football is something to joke about. What a bunch on bed wetting nerds!

Devil Dawg

July 1st, 2010
12:06 pm

You can’t be more wrong on ties, rather kissing your sister. What’s the point of even playing a game that finishes in a tie? You start a game tied, you don’t end a game tied… That’s one reason I and America can’t get into soccer. We need to have a winner and a loser, that’s the American way.
Also, I agree with Dawg House. DE cannot put himself in that postion. What the hell was he thinking? Nothing I guess. Maybe now the administration can leave the Dawg Nation alone to crush our beers without their moralist rants against drinking in public.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

July 1st, 2010
12:18 pm

The tie I hated the worst was the 22-22 deal with Auburn back in the early 80’s. Yeesh!

Frankly, I miss the days (before the SEC division into East and West) when everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – always seemed to hang on the Auburn game.

Ric Flair

July 1st, 2010
12:21 pm

Damon Evans, I’d like to introduce you to my friend George Stein.

4th Place SEC East Dawg

July 1st, 2010
12:21 pm

Dawgs fit to be DUI’d

Ed Tolley

July 1st, 2010
12:22 pm

Uh, I’m gonna need another raise.

4th Place SEC East Dawg

July 1st, 2010
12:22 pm

Adams just reported that Evans is suspended for the University of Louisiana-Lafayette game.

4th Place SEC East Dawg

July 1st, 2010
12:25 pm

Ahhhhh summer time in Athens. Time to wash and put a nice fresh coat of wax on those police paddy wagons. They will get a lot of mileage and use this year as always.

The story never changes.

mcdawghna

July 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

Hope this is’nt true but by the looks of the pic, it probably is……..I really liked Damon a lot and thought he handled his business well…….it’s a dissappointing day in Dawgnation……AD’s are replacable though, just wonder who may be next in line?

1eyedJack

July 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

Not a big fan of ties…they have to be the most worthless accessory ever to bedevil man.

I am a fan of shootouts though…like the one with Auburn a few years back. Michael Johnson in the back of the end zone. 74X takeoff something or other.

Damon should demand a re-shoot. That mug shot sux. Why couldn’t it have been Adams?

Vince Dooley

July 1st, 2010
12:27 pm

How ya like me now Adams?

George Stein

July 1st, 2010
12:28 pm

Call me, Damon!!!

Dawggrl

July 1st, 2010
12:29 pm

That was a fantastic game in 1994 – it was my freshman year and I actually made the trek to Auburn. Great memories!

Vince Neil

July 1st, 2010
12:30 pm

Woo-hoo!! Rock on Damon!!

Milburn Drysdale

July 1st, 2010
12:32 pm

Stupid is as stupid does. Way to go Damon. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Gators!

July 1st, 2010
12:33 pm

He’ll never live that picture down.

SSIgator

July 1st, 2010
12:33 pm

Bigger question – who was the other person in the car?

Lindsay Lohan

July 1st, 2010
12:34 pm

Damon, give me a call.

We meet every other Wednesday.

dixie clear

July 1st, 2010
12:36 pm

Hey tards……how bout that Damon Evans!! Looks like the typical uga alum to me!!!

Mr.Bud Wiser

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

Was Damon pulled over at 2:00 am ? Looks like he was bobbin and a weavin in the mug shot. See ya Damon !!!!! Who will UGA hire now for A D ?

Milburn Drysdale

July 1st, 2010
12:37 pm

I heard Damon is already calling Charles Bannister’s lawyer. My guess is there were a lot of Tech people in that bar on Roswell RD using their cell phones as Damon was walking out.

Zack M.

July 1st, 2010
12:42 pm

Gosh Damon you could have partied with me during spring break. What a waste……

OEJ

July 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

This sucks but oh well it is what it is, he #### up, and he has to go. I don’t think someone in that kind of leadership position should act like this. As a UGA fan i wouldn’t want to hear him go but bye. I mean look at that picture, he didnt even try to at least look or act sober. Looks like he was about to pass out any second. This is a crazy situation for himself and UGA.

Willie Martinez

July 1st, 2010
12:44 pm

Fire Damon Evans !!!!!

OEJ

July 1st, 2010
12:45 pm

i meant see him go

Rick Pitino

July 1st, 2010
12:48 pm

Dont worry Damon…. I was drunk too…….

Adams Drunk Puppet

July 1st, 2010
12:51 pm

Gosh…. hope they wont show the police cam on Tru TV……….

Errrrrbody get Tipsy

July 1st, 2010
12:56 pm

BoY ole boY Damon was wasted !!!!!!! He better ask CMR for a prayer request !!!!!

Barack Dawg

July 1st, 2010
12:58 pm

Willie Martinez – you still suck. You should have been drinking during the game and after and maybe you would have had an excuse.

Everyone else – why you want to put the black man down. He was having an issue with Foley and they had been at the White house to have a beer and discus the situation civilly. Guess the cops in Gainesville know who to pull over and who to just escort home.

He does not need to be cut loose – he needs to apologize and prove through actions that this was an exception and won’t happen again. That is exactly what we have been doing with Athletes. If it happens again then kick him to the curb…..

Bryan G.

July 1st, 2010
1:02 pm

Big brother Bradley G – I want to say that Phillip Daniels blocked a PAT in the 1994 game and not a Field goal. I think auburn had 3 TDs and a FG and UGA had 2 TDs and 3 FGs to get to the 23-23 score.

Saint Simons

July 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

Man at least now our leader is a drunk convicted fellon too. HAHAHA we should be ashamed to be puppy fans!!! SWEEP!!!

JaxDawg

July 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

Don’t forget the 1978 tie against Auburn, at Auburn. James Brooks and Joe Cribbs had huge days but Willie McClendon kept us in the thing. I can still recall sitting in the stands watching those tear-away jerseys shred to pieces.

Bryan G.

July 1st, 2010
1:41 pm

“Saint Simons” – DUI isn’t a felony. Idiot. Thanks for playing.

Budwieser Bob

July 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

Bill

Seriously, come on, I mean really, this is what your writing for us today

Write this when we are feeling good about ourselves

Evans needs to step down if true should be your article today my friend

Sandman053

July 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

You’d think with that raise kicking in, he might could spring for a taxi?

shane#1

July 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

Any student with two arrest for alcohol relayed offenses is suspended for two semisters, neither of which may be summer semister, and many players have been kicked off the team for alcohol related arrests? Evans and Adams instituted these tough policys. Evans is head of the athletic department, an example for all young black players. Evans has to go, if not, Adams is a hypocrite.

Don "Vito" Leeburn

July 1st, 2010
2:08 pm

You people shut up talking about my employee and stay on topic in this blog or you will sleep with the fishes.

jd

July 1st, 2010
2:11 pm

georgia tied auburn at jordan hare stadium in auburn,al.we kicked a field goal with seconds left and it felt like a win because auburn had run up and down the field all day long.they had william andrews,james brooks,and cribbs.the score might have been 20-20.this was in nov.1978 all the auburn fans just looked around at each other after the game in amazement that it was a tie nobody was leaving the stadium and it was quiet.

Odell Thurman

July 1st, 2010
2:13 pm

Daman is gonna tie me in arrests

Holla

Jeff

July 1st, 2010
2:17 pm

Clearly, no matter what team you support- this is nothing to laugh, joke or make tasteless comments about….it really isnt very funny.

UT96

July 1st, 2010
2:22 pm

Bill, about the ‘68 UT game. It’s my understanding UGA athletics director Joel Eaves strenuously objected to playing us on the tartan turf installed before the season. Are you aware of that?