Dogs’ bowl history includes some unforgettable games

Has a Georgia team ever looked better than the Dogs did against Colt Brennan and Hawaii? (Associated Press)

Has a Georgia team ever looked better than the Dogs did against Colt Brennan and Hawaii? (Associated Press)

Skipper’s Knights might consider Friday’s Liberty Bowl game against Georgia their “Super Bowl” and the biggest game in Central Florida history, but from a UGA perspective it’s the same sort of scenario as last season’s Independence Bowl. In other words, not likely to go down in UGA annals as one of the Dogs’ more celebrated postseason match-ups.

Last year, as Georgia prepared to cap off another mediocre season with a mediocre bowl trip that nobody could get excited about (but which actually saw UGA sell more tickets than this year’s game!), I reminisced about my favorite bowl wins by the Dogs besides the obvious choice of the national championship win over Notre Dame. I opted for the Jan. 2, 1984, upset of the undefeated, No. 2-ranked Texas Longhorns in the game that spawned the oft-used phrase, “it’s still 10 to 9 in Dallas.”

This year, I decided to let some other UGA fans share their favorite bowl memories.

“I liked the total destruction of Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl best,” my brother Tim said of the Jan. 1, 2008, demolishing of the Colt Brennan media myth. “I think the Hawaii game was probably one of the most complete games UGA has played under Mark Richt.”

But Tim is also quite fond of the the black-britches 33-6 win over Wisconsin in the Jan. 1, 1998, Outback Bowl featuring Mike Bobo, Hines Ward and Robert Edwards versus Ron Dayne, and Bobo setting a completion record by hitting 92.8 percent of his passes that day.

I have to agree with Tim that Georgia looked terrific that night against Hawaii — so good they entered the next season as the nation’s No. 1 team. Too bad it’s been mostly downhill since then. And that Outback Bowl was probably the high point of the Jim Donnan era.

My other brother, Jon, says his favorite is the Dec. 30, 2006, Chick-fil-A Bowl we all attended, “where we came back to beat the Hokies! Charles Johnson was tearing them up.” Indeed, Johnson forced a fumble, had a couple of sacks and broke up a pass that night.

Preston Ridlehuber led the Dogs in the Sun Bowl win over Texas Tech. (University of Georgia)

Preston Ridlehuber led the Dogs in the Sun Bowl win over Texas Tech. (University of Georgia)

My old friend Dan goes back a bit further with his favorite Georgia bowl game: the Dec. 26, 1964, Sun Bowl game against Donnie Anderson and Texas Tech, a 7-0 win for the Dogs in Vince Dooley’s first season. Dan’s second pick is the Cotton Bowl win over Texas. And he’s also quite fond of the Dec. 31, 1966, Cotton Bowl, “where Kent Lawrence (later police chief, law school classmate at UGA and last I checked state court judge) ran all over SMU,” with 149 yards for the day, including a 74-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game.

But Dan adds: “Any bowl UGA wins is a good bowl. Also any bowl that GTU loses goes on my favorites list. As I’ve told you before, if al-Qaida had a football team and they played Tech, I’d pull for AQ.”

So this year’s Independence Bowl made Dan very happy. For the sixth year in a row.

My high school buddy Johnny also opts for the 10-9 win over Texas in the Cotton. “I loved that game,” he said. “We did everything we could to both win and lose that game.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Johnny remembers the Jan. 1, 1969, 16-2 loss by a supremely talented Georgia team to Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl, which “taught me that there is a whole lot more to coaching then playing the game. Coach Dooley really upset the team when he picked the Sugar Bowl. Hence the lack of enthusiasm by the UGA players in that game. What an ugly loss!”

Kent Lawrence's long touchdown run in the Cotton Bowl is fondly remembered. (Cotton Bowl)

Kent Lawrence's long touchdown run in the Cotton Bowl is fondly remembered. (Cotton Bowl)

My childhood pal Carl says his pick is “by far the ’66 Cotton Bowl. No. 34 notwithstanding, that ’66 team was, in my opinion, Dooley’s best. They had some studs on that team; George Patton, Bill Stanfill, Lynn Hughes, Ronnie Jenkins, Kent Lawrence. I think the ’66 team was better overall than the ’80 team. If the ’66 bunch hadn’t stubbed their toe at Miami on a Friday night, they’d have gone undefeated.”

My friend Steve has two favorite bowl games, both of which he attended. The first is the Jan. 1, 1993, Citrus Bowl against against Kirk Herbstreit and Ohio State in Orlando. “Great win against a big-name school.” The other, Steve says, “would have to be the 1998 Outback Bowl in Tampa over Wisconsin. Mike Bobo was phenomenal. It was supposed to be very competitive, but we jumped on them early. Very fun win.”

And then there’s my old schoolmate Rusty, a lifelong Bulldogs fan, who goes against the grain by picking a Georgia loss as his favorite bowl.

“Although it was a total downer of a game, the [Jan. 1, 1977] Sugar Bowl when we played Pittsburgh is my favorite,” Rusty says, in part because the 1976 team is his favorite.

“We were underdogs in virtually every game and were behind by 14 points at the half in most (California, South Carolina, Florida come to mind), plus we shut out the Bear! We went to New Orleans arguably playing for the national championhip — we were certainly playing the #1 team. I think #2 USC and #3 Ohio State were in the Rose Bowl and we were #4.

“Anyway, we got the living stew beat out of us at a game that was so early (11 a.m. if I remember right) I didn’t even feel hungover until the half.”

As for the game ifself, Rusty recalls “we didn’t get beat so much by Tony Dor-SETT as by Matt Cavanaugh. One of few times we were totally outclassed in a bowl game. Despite all that, I have nothing but good memories. Went with good friends from law school (we were third-years). … Our first time in New Orleans and, as with most of my life experiences, the first is usually the best.”

Rusty remembers Pitt coach Johnny Majors and his entourage “coming into the piano bar at Pat O’Brien’s after the game. He didn’t realize that most of the people in the bar were Dogs fans but he figured it out when Mitch Delk got the pianists to play ‘Glory, Glory’ followed by ‘Rocky Top,’ then ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home.’ (Everybody knew he was going to [leave Pitt for] Tennessee.) He and his group quickly got up and left. So, we may have lost the game but we totally won the party. Woof!”

Yes, even a losing bowl trip can produce great memories.

Feel free to share your own memories of bowl trips and your own favorite Dogs bowl games.

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80 comments Add your comment


December 30th, 2010
10:38 am


December 30th, 2010
10:39 am


Will you be attending the Liberty Bowl?


December 30th, 2010
10:42 am


December 30th, 2010
10:42 am

How about the overtime win against Purdue in the Capital One Bowl? Go up big, then fall behind and finally win in OT

42-34 Dawgs STILL Run This State!

December 30th, 2010
10:47 am

Agree with TK re:Purdue in the Capital One Bowl, should be on the list.


December 30th, 2010
10:58 am

2003 Sugar Bowl vs. FSU is high on my lst.

John, the real UGA fan

December 30th, 2010
11:03 am

Sitting in the media hotel in Memphis, waiting for the coaches’ interview. Plenty of UCF fans here with obnoxious shirts about UGAly with the mutt that we brought with us. We are dressed in our UGA outfits and will pull for the Dawgs. GGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOO, Dawgs!!!!!!


December 30th, 2010
11:16 am

6 bowl losses in a row? That’s gotta sting… (pun intended)

What the Huck!

December 30th, 2010
11:16 am

This will be the first time since Richt’s first year that we won’t be making the bowl trip. The Sugar Bowl trip after the 1980 season was so much fun that I could write a book about it. My family says the 2007 Hawaii game was the most fun they’ve had at a bowl game. Hard to get excited about this year’s game for sure. 6-6 teams don’t belong in bowl games and money is too hard to come by to celebrate mediocrity in Memphis.


December 30th, 2010
11:21 am

First football game of the new Millenium-Outback Bowl 2000

True, True

December 30th, 2010
11:21 am

Huck is right. I love the Dawgs, but 6-6 teams don’t deserve to be in bowls. Perfect example of what is wrong with NCAA football these days… it’s all about money. More bowls = More money. Money is also the reason those kids from OSU are being allowed to play in Nola on NYD. The NCAA isn’t fooling anyone…


December 30th, 2010
11:22 am


Tell the the UCF fans :


every clock in texas says 9:50....

December 30th, 2010
11:31 am

best bowl game not attended:
- 10-9 win over texas in cotton bowl…in a year when larry munson had personally predicted to me “the blackest season in the history of georgia football.”

best bowl game attended:
- OT win versus Drew Brees’ Purdue boilermakers in Tampa. Told someone that if purdue scored again (after running up a 20 something point lead at the half) we were going to Mons Venus to watch the game. Purdue never scored again.

a side note:

Mike Bobo threw for 90% vs Wisconsin. 90% of those passes were 3 step drop timing routes and bubble screens.

Why, in god’s name, does he continue with the play action 7 step drop passing game?

Jim Donnan made Mike Bobo look like Joe Montana.
Mike Bobo complains about how his qbs cant execute the game plan.
Think about it………

Happy New Year everyone and go dawgs.


December 30th, 2010
11:33 am


I was at the 2003 game. I didn’t find it to be that great of a game. N.O. was lotsa fun but the game was pretty limp. FSU had fallen mightily and the Dawgs were never in the hunt for a NC. That game was kind’a like a date with a sister


December 30th, 2010
11:33 am


[...] Original post by "colt brennan" – Bing News [...]

Skitty Fritty

December 30th, 2010
11:51 am

I attended the 76, 80, 81 & 82 Sugar Bowls and even though we lost 3 of the 4, they were all a lot of fun and great memories. Even the Liberty Bowl in I think 87 was a good time, just extremely cold!


December 30th, 2010
11:56 am

I remember when the Dawgs were in the 1900 Bucky Pillow bowl and Sammy the sleeper ran for 179 yards against blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…who cares.


December 30th, 2010
12:10 pm

Ha! Great story about Johnny Majors.

I’ll throw in another great bowl game. I was hungover new years day for the new millineum year 2000. UGA went way down to Perdue, I think Drew Brees was the QB. Anyways, it looked bad and then we mounted a record breaking come back for bowl games. Way to start off the new century.


December 30th, 2010
12:21 pm

The proper phrase is “ITS ALWAYS 10 TA 9 IN TEXAS”


December 30th, 2010
12:40 pm

I like the 1969 Sun Bowl, where Nebraska punked Georgia 45-6.

Great Season

December 30th, 2010
12:48 pm

6-6, the cesspool at its best

Bryan G.

December 30th, 2010
12:48 pm

Although we lost, I enjoyed the 2006 Sugar Bowl. If WVU doesn’t make a first down at the end of the game on a fake punt, I think Shock would have taken us down the field. 38-35…tough loss but a fun game.


December 30th, 2010
12:54 pm

So, we may have lost the game but we totally won the party. Woof!”

That pretty much sums up the UGA football strategy the past decade or so…


December 30th, 2010
12:56 pm

I think Quincy Carter has some of the bowls…..if you know what I mean. Puff, puff…give.


December 30th, 2010
1:00 pm


Paul H

December 30th, 2010
1:03 pm

FSU beatdown and Hawaii beatdown

- Also the fact that Tech has lost 6 bowl games in a row hahahaha

Dean Tate

December 30th, 2010
1:04 pm

The 1980 Sugar Bowl wasn’t anybody’s favorite bowl? Really? I’d say all others are vying for No. 2.

Dean Tate

December 30th, 2010
1:05 pm

Actually, that would be 1981.

Forever a Dawg

December 30th, 2010
1:05 pm

I was in the 6th grade when we played Texas in the Cotton. I remember one of my teachers telling me how Texas was going to demolish UGA. My dad told me to tell him that there wouldnt be 20 points scored between the 2 teams… nice prediction, Daddy.


December 30th, 2010
1:08 pm

The Bowl games now are useless ans silly!!!!


December 30th, 2010
1:09 pm

Whats the time in Texas? 10-9

The Sun vs Nebraksa

December 30th, 2010
1:15 pm

UGA was slaughtered by Bob Devaney and Nebraska in the Sun Bowl in 69. That game was a big ouch. UGA that year was awful anyway. We did not deserve that bowl at 5-4 -1.

Nebraska in the following three or four years won the NC about three times in a row and had Johnny Rodgers as their Heisman, before cocaine got to him. Kinney ( KC Chiefs for years ) was their QB.

That UGA vs PItt Sugar Bowl game in 76 was just awful. The 76 UGA team and really the 75 UGA team were two of my most favorite, as I had graduated in prior years and frankly, to this day I thought UGA in 76 with Kevin McLee, Mike Moonpie Wilson and Joel Cowboy Parrish and Ray Goff and Helms and tons of D players just went to N.O. and got stinking drunk. They just out muscled UGA’s D and their D line whupped our HUGE O line ……………..they were all drunk, incl Goff in his pre born again days.

We played Pitt prior to that Bowl in that early 70s era about two or three times with one tie and two losses with Dorsett.

Go Dogs.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

December 30th, 2010
1:24 pm

1987 Liberty Bowl- Why? 1st game I remember sitting down with my Dad, Grandfather and Uncles and watching the game together. I remember them having 3 TV’s in the room so they could watch all the games on that day.


December 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

Skipper’s Knights boy you sure have become very chippy during thet STELLAR SEACON in UGA athletics. 6-6, arrests, not beating a team with a winning record has really brought your class to the Surface to say the least.


December 30th, 2010
2:11 pm

1960 Orange Bowl: Dawgs 14 Mizzou-0


December 30th, 2010
2:15 pm

Moonpie: The millenium didn’t start until Jan. 1, 2001

1980 Sugar Bowl, hands down! The greatest college football player ever defeats hated ND with a dislocated shoulder…a win for the ages!

Pago Pago Dawg

December 30th, 2010
2:21 pm

Why do some of you people complain about having more than 7 bowls?!
Guess you’ve never been to a bowl game. It’s a fun time for the team, band and fans. It also helps the local economy.

Dixie Redcoat Band

December 30th, 2010
2:23 pm

We were at the 1960 Orange Bowl…even though we won, it was a boring game but a beautiful day in Miami.


December 30th, 2010
2:40 pm

1. Crushing Hawaii in Sugar. 2. OT win against Purdue. 3. Comeback win to beat VA Tech

just a fan

December 30th, 2010
2:41 pm

My Grandparents, mom, and uncle were also at the 1960’s Orange Bowl. My favorite bowl game are all 3 Sugar’s CMR went to the one in Atlanta was the most fun but being there to see UGA beat FSU in 2003 was great also.

Marry Lunson

December 30th, 2010
2:42 pm

Hey, there were a lot of things for the dawgs to celebrate this year. Let’s see…

1. A drunken, whoring athletic director.

2. Twelve players arrested.

3. A player suspended for violating NCAA rules.

4. Winning the Fulmer Cup for the most players arrested.

5. Winning the title of #1 party school (i.e., the most drunken student body in the USA).

6. A sleazy assistant coach who razzes opposing players, unethical coaching conduct in violation of NCAA rules.

7. A super sleazy head coach who thinks he’s a saint, but recruits thug wannabes, gangbangers, and illiterate morons.

8. A 6-6 record despite having a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits.

Really something to be proud of, isn’t it?


December 30th, 2010
2:49 pm

I will take 1980 and look for a repeat before I am 80 and in the grave.
So Dawgs have another 30 years.But they dont have to use all of them.

Tom Strickland

December 30th, 2010
3:21 pm


December 30th, 2010
3:48 pm

Just for the record, I penned the “If Osama Bin Laden had a football team and played tech, I would yell, “Go you hairy damn arabs” 6 years ago. Glad to see it still makes the rounds. Bless you, Dan, Keep ‘er goin’ !!!!!! And would someone please ask Mark Bradley to repeat the “Paul Johnson is a genious” column again?? Great laughs. 1980 in the Sugar Bowl is my best. I was first on the goal post after,no wait, 6 seconds before the clock ran down. GREAT MEMORIES.


December 30th, 2010
3:55 pm

dont remember the bowl….think it was againest mich or mich state…they had that great all american linebacker…cant remember his name either…but what i remember was that it was Vinces last bowl…and we were picked to lose but they went out and won it for the Coach…congrats to the Dooley Dawg

Dorsey Hill

December 30th, 2010
3:57 pm

A couple of comments:

1) the sugar bowl vs. ND will always be the best bowl game

2) beating who would have been the NC’s in the cotton bowl was and remains huge

3) the current century began with UGA down 25-0 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. Never been so miserable at a uga game. Most people don’t realize it but we’ve not lost to a big ten team since 1957. That streak may end one day but not to purdue for heavens sake.

4). As for favorite losses, Hines wards performance in the 1995 peach bowl should never be forgottten.

Beeeeg Boy

December 30th, 2010
4:07 pm

Watched the 87 Liberty Bowl on the old VHS tape last night. Held my breath again.


December 30th, 2010
4:12 pm

Tech fans, this blog is about memorable bowl games. You are not qualified to pop off at the mouth on this subject. If we need a tutorial on how a program can embarass itself in the post-season, like say, by losing 6 bowl games in a row, we will certainly let you know. Otherwise, please go talk trash to Wake Forest fans, help your mom bring in the groceries, or look at Kim Kardashian pictures on the internet like you do for 4 to 6 hours per day in the basement. Thanks.

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