Will this year mark another game for the ages in Georgia-Auburn rivalry?

Michael Bennett makes a great touchdown grab last year against Auburn. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Michael Bennett makes a great touchdown grab last year against Auburn. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

As I note every year around this time, the Georgia-Auburn series is my favorite of UGA’s football rivalries.

While it’s been a rocky relationship at times, particularly when the Dawgs are playing at Auburn, the rivalry that Vince Dooley once called “feuding cousins” has always been very intertwined. Dooley went to Auburn. Legendary Tigers coach Pat Dye played at UGA. Even this year, the Dawgs face two former UGA defensive coordinators in Brian VanGorder and Willie Martinez.

But probably the biggest reason I’m partial to the Georgia-Auburn rivalry is the way the Dawgs have clinched so many SEC championships — or, in more recent times, SEC East titles — against the Tigers. And in keeping with the absurdly even nature of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry, many of those big wins for UGA have come at Auburn, as the visiting team frequently has the upper hand.

Once again this year Georgia has a chance to clinch a division title at Auburn, which set me to thinking about a listing of 10 greatest Bulldog wins over the former Alabama Polytechnic Institute that I compiled several years ago. I was debating whether last year’s big win over the Tigers Between the Hedges deserved consideration for a place on that list.

After all, the Dawgs absolutely demolished the Tigers in that game, racking up 528 yards of offense with two running backs topping 100 yards as Aaron Murray threw four touchdown passes (including a highlight reel snag by Michael Bennett) and Georgia converted on 12 of 15 third downs while holding the Tigers to just three of 11. The Dawgs defense also had 10 tackles for loss and five sacks, with Bacarri Rambo making a terrific return for a pick 6.

Even though last year’s victory over Auburn didn’t clinch the SEC East for Georgia, I think it was such a dominating game that it deserves a place in my top 10. So it’s going to supplant the 1962 Larry Rakestraw-led win at Auburn, which was the biggest victory of coach Johnny Griffith’s short tenure at UGA.

For the enjoyment of you longtime Dawgs fans and perhaps the edification of the younger ones, here’s the rest of my list of the 10 greatest games in the series since I’ve been following Georgia football:

1959: Georgia’s 14-13 win in Athens. After a key fumble recovery by the Dogs’ Dye, who would later become head coach and athletics director at Auburn, Fran Tarkenton threw a fourth-down 13-yard touchdown pass to Bill Heron to secure Wally Butts’ last SEC championship.

1966: Georgia’s 21-13 win at Auburn. The Dogs were down 13-0 midway through the third quarter, but quarterback Kirby Moore engineered three long scoring drives to clinch Dooley’s first SEC championship.

1968: Georgia’s 17-3 win at Auburn. With Mike Cavan having a sensational sophomore season at QB and Jake Scott and Bill Stanfill the defensive superstars, the No. 5 Dogs beat the No. 12 Tigers to secure Dooley’s second SEC title. This was the game where I clearly remember realizing for the first time that Larry Munson really cared whether the Dogs won.

1982: Georgia’s 19-14 win at Auburn. A classic Georgia defensive stand secured the win with Munson pleading for the Dogs to “hunker down” one more time. After which, of course, it was “Look at the sugar falling out of the sky.”

1986: Georgia’s 20-16 win at Auburn. With starting QB James Jackson attending his grandmother’s funeral, backup Wayne Johnson got the nod and led the Dogs to a major upset over the No. 8-ranked Tigers. An interception by Steve Boswell sealed the win. The game is most notable in UGA football history, though, for Auburn officials turning fire hoses not only on those Georgia fans who had stormed the field, but the ones still in the stands, too.

1996: Georgia’s 56-49 win at Auburn. This one started out sucky, with the Dogs down 28-7. But Mike Bobo led Georgia back to tie the game and send it into four overtime periods. Robert Edwards ran for three touchdowns and Hines Ward caught nine passes for 175 yards as Jim Donnan’s Dogs prevailed in the SEC’s first overtime game.

2002: Georgia’s 24-21 win at Auburn. Another one that started out with the Dogs not looking good, as the Tigers led 14-3 at the half. Everyone remembers how this one ended, but often overlooked is the defensive performance by Sean Jones, who snagged two interceptions and a fumble recovery in addition to returning punts. Then came that thrilling fourth-down pass from David Greene to Michael Johnson with 1:25 left on the clock, giving the Dogs the SEC East title and, eventually, Mark Richt’s first SEC championship. As Munson put it: “Touchdown! Oh, God, a touchdown!”

2006: Georgia’s 37-15 win at Auburn. Nobody gave the Dogs much of a chance against the No. 5-ranked Tigers, but in perhaps Martinez’s finest hour the Georgia defense smacked AU quarterback Brandon Cox in the mouth from the get-go. Tra Battle wound up with three interceptions and the Dogs held Auburn to 171 yards of offense (all but 35 on the ground) while Georgia’s Kregg Lumpkin ran for 105 yards.

2007: Georgia’s 45-20 win in Athens. The “Blackout” game was back and forth for a while, with Auburn taking the lead midway through the third quarter before Georgia ripped off 28 unanswered points. One of the greatest games ever held Between the Hedges.

I get goosebumps just thinking about those games. Are there other Georgia wins over Auburn that stick in your memory? Meanwhile, to help get you in the mood, here’s the official trailer for this year’s game.

Got something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics? Or maybe a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

101 comments Add your comment

SBC Pastor

November 7th, 2012
10:58 am

Should be a good game this year, unless we get caught napping.

ARdawg

November 7th, 2012
11:10 am

jablonski

November 7th, 2012
11:11 am

Beat them senseless….do not stop scoring

jablonski

November 7th, 2012
11:14 am

UGA should never forget Troopah “the bag man” Taylor out there waving that stupid towel acting like a complete ghetto tool with Fairley.

Do not stop scoring.

ARdawg

November 7th, 2012
11:16 am

If Auburn was a better team, a nail biter to the end would be a good game. Face it, AU suxcks the big one. Anything less than total domination would be another disappointment.

Bill, I fear this game going down in the annuls of history. If it does, the end result isn’t good for Georgia

Patched Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

November 7th, 2012
11:17 am

I dont see us losing this game

but if we do it will rank as one of the worst losses in UGA history right next to UCF

WDE

November 7th, 2012
11:27 am

Come out of the gate and play hard,fast and smart from the first snap get them down early and keep them there…Go Dogs !

gomdawg

November 7th, 2012
11:28 am

it’s going to be a hard fought game. Georgia has to much talent to let this one get away.

GO DAWGS ONE GAME A TIME

Old Dawg

November 7th, 2012
11:36 am

I vividly remember the 1976 game at Auburn. It was a terribly cold day, with a hot-air ballon sailing over the stadium. UGA won 28-0 to claim the SEC championship. I sat with my older brother who was a student at Auburn. We didn’t talk about the game that much, just enjoyed each other as brothers and sharing the UGA-Auburn experience.

As for this year’s game, it may be tight early but UGA’s talent and depth will come through and the Dawgs will enjoy the sweet taste of victory!

Go Dawgs!

GR

November 7th, 2012
11:50 am

OLD DAWG,

I was there- the great years of the original JUNKYARD DAWG. It was about 10 degrees. For all you youngsters reading this, the QB was Ray Goff. His passing stats had to be a record. 0 for 0. Dawgs never tried a pass.

Times have changed.

GO DAWGS!!

SSIgator

November 7th, 2012
11:51 am

“Will this year mark another game for the ages in Georgia-Auburn rivalry?”
_________________

Get real – Auburn is 2-7. If this is a challenging game, the entire UGA coaching staff should resign and hang their heads in shame.

Desert Fox

November 7th, 2012
11:55 am

Ignore AU’s record. It’ll be a hard hitting game and T/O’s might play a huge role in winning this game. GA should win just hope they come out of it injury free. Can’t afford anymore losses anywhere w/so much at stake. Would give a nut for an open date before the SECCG vs AL. Been a long season and it wears players down. Good luck dawgs and GATA!

SSIgator

November 7th, 2012
11:56 am

“turning fire hoses not only on those Georgia fans who had stormed the field”
_______________________

If Auburn wins, the UGA fans should turn the fire hoses on the UGA coaching staff.

UGA Realist

November 7th, 2012
12:00 pm

I finally agree with both “SSITator” and “Sticky Piece of chewed Mike Bobo gum on his tire” with their posts above. You both finally got something correct.

Nice to see SSITator show up after that impressive performance against Missouri. Who should have been on upset alert after a battle in Jax? Not the Dawgs.

MA English 1975

November 7th, 2012
12:06 pm

I read in the Macon Telegraph this morning that Auburn’s Chris Slade said about Jarvis Jones: “He’s a good player, but you can stop him. It’s not that hard.”

I bet this serves as our D’s motivation this week!

markricht4eva

November 7th, 2012
12:17 pm

auburn may not be ‘man-enough’ to defeat the dawgs. but the dawgs are undisciplined enough to beat themselves!

waaaaaaaaaaaaar eagke – 2010 BCS National Champs

NCDawg

November 7th, 2012
12:35 pm

This one could join last year’s game as one of the all time great beat downs. I said could. The key is the D. We need to smack them in the mouth and impress upon them that they have NO CHANCE to win. If we do that it is name your score time. Please Coach… do not take your foot off the gas. The impression we make or don’t make could be the difference between Miami and the also ran bowl. There is no such thing as running up the score… there is only doing your job for the full 60 minutes. Sure we can put in scrubs but don’t change the play calls. Run the offense as if it is 3-3 in the first quarter.

swimdawg68

November 7th, 2012
12:35 pm

I attended that 1986 game at Auburn and clearly remember Auburn turning on the water cannons on the UGA fans as they rushed the field after the victory. One thing I witnessed was the funniest thing I have ever seen. They turned the cannons on the UGA fans in the end zone (we were seated in the stands on about the 10 yard line) One UGA student in the end zone turned his back to the field and water cannons, bent over pulled his pants down and “mooned” the entire stadium. My wife and I could not stop laughing for about 30 minutes.

TN Dawg

November 7th, 2012
1:12 pm

Bill,
Greatly enjoy your blawgs – good stuff. I am also interested in the other side of the fence. Seems I can remember of number of times where the Dawgs needed the win to claim the conference title. Any chance you might be willing to share some of those from your list?
Go Dawgs.

Aloysius

November 7th, 2012
1:27 pm

Aubarn wins it by a touchdown on a day of celebration!

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

November 7th, 2012
1:29 pm

I remember seeing Fran throw that td pass, then beating Missouri 14-0 in The Orange Bowl.
Let’s hope and pray UGA doesn’t come out flat over at the Barn…

joe jenkins

November 7th, 2012
1:46 pm

We have not played well on the road this year……auburn and kent are about even…..you have to punch weak teams in the mouth….we can destroy aub…i just dont think we will…we always play down to the compeition

Bulldogs for Muschamp Lifetime Contract

November 7th, 2012
1:54 pm

Geo P

You don’t remember crap about UGA you Tech nerd.

Ed

November 7th, 2012
2:04 pm

I’m excited about the prospect of Georgia finally tieing up the all-time series record. We held the overall lead for awhile in the 80s but the series slipped away from us until fairly recently. I’ve been hard on Richt at times but he doesn’t get enough credit for turning this series around in Georgia’s favor.

Island Dawg

November 7th, 2012
2:08 pm

Auburn has also broken our hearts many times when we had the chance to clinch a SEC title. We have to be ready regardless of the season the Tigers have experienced so far!

joe jenkins

November 7th, 2012
2:13 pm

I wish we would have won at sc….oh hell no though!! we let those yard birds run all over us…..Now we have to do it the hard way against a bad aub team who is due for a sec win!!! Just like all uga teams under richt….we love to do it the hard way…..If richt cant beat chizk…and that thug trooper….how can we have any confidence in richt beating ga southeren or tech….they about on the same level as aub is

McDawg

November 7th, 2012
2:40 pm

hoping for a sleeper–42-6

Dawg4Life

November 7th, 2012
3:11 pm

Yes I remember being at the Hose Game as it was callled. An AU fan asked us if we could still bark before the game. Troy Sadowski being wide open in the endzone for a score. Wayne Johnson did a great job for never getting playing time. That was a sweet ride back to Atlanta and a game I will never forget. Let’s even up the series Dawgs!!!

evillurks

November 7th, 2012
3:29 pm

We’ll be waiting………..

Bulldogs for Muschamp Lifetime Contract

November 7th, 2012
3:59 pm

SSIgator

November 7th, 2012
11:56 am
“turning fire hoses not only on those Georgia fans who had stormed the field”
_______________________

If Auburn wins, the UGA fans should turn the fire hoses on the UGA coaching staff.

**********************************

Having spent time around a lot of gators, it would be a blessing to have the fire hoses turned on them and a bar of soap passed around……………………………

robodawg

November 7th, 2012
4:05 pm

I really liked the 23-23 tie in ‘94. Considering what an underdog we were and how many games in a row Terry Bowden had won, that was just as good as a win.

Nash

November 7th, 2012
4:08 pm

nothing will EVER come close to that Blackout game…EVER *cranks Soulja boy off into the sunset*

robodawg

November 7th, 2012
4:09 pm

Personally I hope this year’s game is just a boring old win. Auburn’s got to have some talent, and they found a way to score lots of points last week. As bad a season that they’ve had, I still worry that they’re capable of rising to the occasion.

joe jenkins

November 7th, 2012
4:10 pm

I would love to see rhett mcgowan to have 10 catches for 180 yards sat….we sure do need someone to step up…….

Roswell DAWG

November 7th, 2012
4:18 pm

Bill,

A memorable one for me was the 1980 game in Auburn. With the Belue to Scott play still ringing in our ears from the previous week, my friend and I took off on a whim to Auburn with no ticket and no rain gear. We picked up two tickets in the Auburn section just after kick-off and spent a rainy day arguing with the obnoxious Auburn fans (I know, that’s redundant) around us and cheering on the Dawgs to the SEC title. I remember a great punt block from Freddie Gilbert that helped out the cause. After the game, we drove like crazy to get back to Athens and greet the players as they got of the buses at McWorter. Great senior year moment to go with wins over Tech and ND for the NC.

UGA Realist

November 7th, 2012
5:09 pm

Hey SSITator TOT it looks like Muschamp and company really know what they are doing with that great offense you are sporting. Awesome game against Missouri buddy and ole Willey will never beat UGA. ha ha ha ha

Richt and Bobo own coach Boomer the always sweating forehead blood vessel popping overdramatic loser. ah ha ha ha ha

GaTruth

November 7th, 2012
5:36 pm

LawDawg

November 7th, 2012
6:01 pm

That 2002 game is one of my favorite UGA memories. Sitting in the stands while the Auburn fans went into stunned silence and the student section roared was a good, good time.

PNWDawg

November 7th, 2012
6:01 pm

One of my favorites was the 1992 game in Auburn when the Dawgs won 14-10 by stopping Auburn on the goalline. On third down with no time outs and 25 seconds left, Auburn tries a dive over the top and was stuffed … and couldn’t reset in time to get another play off. Seeing 80,000 gaping mouths in that stadium was pure pleasure that day.

PNWDawg

November 7th, 2012
6:05 pm

markricht4eva

November 7th, 2012
12:17 pm

auburn may not be ‘man-enough’ to defeat the dawgs. but the dawgs are undisciplined enough to beat themselves!

waaaaaaaaaaaaar eagke – 2010 BCS National Champs

____

Who are the War Eagkes? … I guess you Auburn fans can say, “We’ll always have 2010″, every year after you lose to Vanderbilt. :) … Good luck against Alabama A&M in a couple of weeks and hope you survive the NCAA’s wrath just enough for us to kick you around some more.

wolfman

November 7th, 2012
6:07 pm

Just another soft game on UGA’s soft schedule.

teeitup

November 7th, 2012
6:08 pm

uga should win. Auburn still has more wins in the series, with far less banners to fly. uga has less has proven that Auburn can step up to a challenge, when it’s indicated we have no chance. Yes, I think that my Tigers will lose, and by a large scale of points, there remains hope that this team will maintain the above all win/lose margin in this game of cousins.

Class of '98

November 7th, 2012
6:16 pm

A very interesting side note…. the Auburn official who made the decision to turn the hoses on us was a UGA grad. Goes to show how intertwined the programs are.

I have a special hate for them since Nick Fairley cheap-shotted Murray a couple years ago.

Marie

November 7th, 2012
6:17 pm

DROP 60!!!
GO DAWGS!

teeitup

November 7th, 2012
6:21 pm

Class of ‘98…cheap shots(?) have been by both teams in so many games for both teams, both against each other and the lesser games forever. It’s only a low light, when it negatively upon your (our) team.

NCDawg

November 7th, 2012
6:39 pm

teeitup – please name a cheapshot by a UGA player in oh..the past 40 years? Good luck. Have the Dawgs committed personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties..yes. But have our players intentionally drilled a QB’s knee? Or speared him in the back? Again, good luck. Mark Richt would have suspended Fairley on his own. Did your coach have the guts to do it? No.
Fairley is a cheapshot artist and the SEC should have suspended him for his actions. Good, clean, hard hits are a part of football… plays like the above are cheapshots and not a part of football.

AU fan

November 7th, 2012
6:41 pm

I’ll be there to see a major upset. Auburn is due. Watch and see. Rivalries are made by these kind of upsets and GA fans, get ready.

It is our house!

DawgNole

November 7th, 2012
6:44 pm

Overconfidence. Complacency.

Overcome those formidable opponents and the Dawgs will return to Athens as SEC East Champs.

Ted Striker

November 7th, 2012
6:47 pm

I agree with Class of ‘98. Coach Taylors behavior after Fairley’s repeated cheap shots, and the inaction of Coach Chizik put a sour taste to my mouth. When Chiz and Taylor are gone from Auburn, the rivalry will heal.

It’s one thing to play the game, it’s another to try and intentionally injure players on the other team.

I hope for a good clean game and may the best team win.

Jborodawg

November 7th, 2012
6:53 pm

Some great games, Bill. And nice game story, Roswell DAWG!

My choice is the ‘86 Hose Game; turning hoses on fans in the stands was the most classless act by them, ever. Before that game, it was “feuding cousins” for me too. After that, it became just plain hate for me. Besides, they don’t even know how to pronounce “Jordan”, or “Shug”.

Yes, this is Georgia-Awbun and anything can happen. Let’s just go over there and GATA!