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September 25, 2009

Dogs vs. Pac-10

This Saturday the Bulldogs play a current member of the Pac-10 conference for only the 15th time in Georgia football history (photo--GeorgiaDogs.com).
Light posting this week because I just recently got home from the hospital where my wife had our second child--a BIG baby girl. I've already had a friend say, "Man, she's big! She could suit up this Saturday and play linebacker for Georgia." Maybe she could be a cheerleader instead, I thought, for obvious reasons. Of course, if she could help the Bulldogs' secondary in pass coverage, I might reconsider.
On another note, since Georgia has played Arizona State only once before, instead of a "Look Back" feature this week on the Sun Devils, I thought I'd post on the Bulldogs' history against current Pac-10 teams. Georgia has played Pac-10 schools on 14 prior occasions entering Saturday's game, losing only four times. Disregard the 0-3 record against USC and the Bulldogs are 9-1-1 versus the rest of the Pac-10.
The following is a listing of Georgia's all-time results against the Pac-10 along with some comments/details on each of the 14 meetings. Indicated prior to the opponent are Georgia and the opponent's AP poll rankings entering the contest (since 1936). NR=not ranked. On the second line before the game's result, mentioned is the team who was favored and by how many points prior to kickoff (since 1973).
1931: SOUTHERN CAL (Los Angeles)

Lost 60-0

1933: SOUTHERN CAL (Los Angeles)

Lost 31-0

1943: #2/#13 UCLA (Rose Bowl)

Won 9-0
1960: NR/NR SOUTHERN CAL (Los Angeles)

Lost 10-3

1971: #18/NR OREGON STATE (Athens)

Won 56-25

1974: NR/NR OREGON STATE (Athens)

GA 16-pt favorite, Won 48-35

1976: #16/#15 CALIFORNIA (Athens)

GA 3-pt favorite, Won 36-24

1977: #19/NR OREGON (Athens)

GA 21-pt favorite, Won 27-16

1978: #11/NR STANFORD (Bluebonnet Bowl)

SU 7.5-pt favorite, Lost 25-22

1981: #6/NR CALIFORNIA (Athens)

GA 17.5-pt favorite, Won 27-13

1983: #15/#20 UCLA (Athens)

GA 2.5-pt favorite, Won 19-8

1985: NR/NR ARIZONA (Sun Bowl)

GA 5.5-pt favorite, Tie 13-13

1987: #20/NR OREGON STATE (Athens)

GA 18.5-pt favorite, Won 41-7

2008: #3/NR ARIZONA STATE (Tempe)

GA 7-pt favorite, Won 27-10

The Bulldogs' play against current Pac-10 schools began in 1931 when, like today, there were 10 members of the conference. However, Arizona and Arizona State were in the small, five-member "Border" conference in 1931; Montana and Idaho were part of the Pac-10 at the time.

Georgia had started playing "intersectional" games, or contests against schools outside of its conference or the southeast, in 1916 when the Red and Black traveled to face Navy in Annapolis, Maryland. But when the Bulldogs played Southern California in Los Angeles for their season finale of 1931, it was Georgia's first trip west of New Orleans. The '31 Bulldogs are considered one of the best squads in school history and were declared "best team in country" earlier that season by a newspaper reporter, ironically from Los Angeles. However, in the L.A. Coliseum, the Trojans drilled Georgia 60-0. In what still remains the biggest loss in school history, the Bulldogs turned the ball over six times (USC none) and allowed nearly 500 yards rushing in defeat.

Two years later, the end result wasn't much better when Georgia returned to play at USC in 1933. Reportedly, the Bulldogs played hard and trailed just 7-0 at halftime. Nevertheless, the mighty Trojans ran away with it in the second half and prevailed, 31-0.

Unlike most previous seasons, Georgia was not only one of the best teams in the south in 1942 but in all of college football and was invited to play in its first and only Rose Bowl to face Pac-10 champion UCLA. On their way to the first of two consensus national championships, the Bulldogs defeated the Bruins 9-0 with all scoring occurring in the final quarter. Heisman-Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich was hobbled with injuries to both ankles but scored the game's lone touchdown. However, sophomore Charley Trippi stole the show, rushing for 115 yards, passing for an additional 96, intercepting a pass, and punting for a 49.5 average.

Georgia revisited USC and Los Angeles in 1960 and its third time was not the charm as the Bulldogs were defeated by a touchdown. The game, played on a Friday night, attracted only a little over 28,000 spectators to the Coliseum. All-American Fran Tarkenton passed for a career-high 168 yards but threw four costly interceptions as the Dogs were upset on the road.

Oregon State came to Athens in 1971 and were soundly defeated by 31 points. Actually, the Beavers trailed 56-7 in the fourth quarter but, aided by recovering two onside kicks, scored the game's final 18 points on three touchdown passes. Georgia's Buzy Rosenberg had 202 yards on punt returns, taking two back for scores. Quarterback Andy Johnson, playing in his first varsity game, rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Rosenberg's 202 yards remain a school record (one yard shy of the SEC record of 203) and his two touchdowns are the only time in Georgia history an individual has returned two or more kicks of any kind for touchdowns in a single game.

In 1974, Coach Dee Andros, nicknamed the "Great Pumpkin" because of his large size and the solid orange jacket he'd often wear on the sidelines, brought his Beavers to Georgia for the second time in four years. And for the second time, the Bulldogs and Oregon State were involved in a high-scoring game. Georgia's quarterbacks, Matt Robinson, Ray Goff, and Dicky Clark, all sophomores, all had a hand in the Bulldogs' 345 rushing yards and 119 passing. Notwithstanding, it was halfback Horace King who tossed the first of Georgia's three passing touchdowns. "[I] always wanted to be a quarterback anyway," said King following the victory.

In the first quarter of Georgia's game against Oregon in 1977, Bulldog quarterback Jeff Pyburn scored the contest's first points on a three-yard touchdown run. Freshman placekicker Rex Robinson came on and promptly missed his first collegiate point-after attempt. However, Robinson would never miss again as a Bulldog, converting 101 consecutive regular-season PATs through his senior year of 1980--the second most in NCAA history upon Robinson's departure from Georgia.

In the 1978 Bluebonnet Bowl, Georgia rolled up 504 total yards and held a 22-0 lead on Stanford in Houston's Astrodome. The Cardinals stormed back, however, and defeated the Bulldogs, 25-22. Five lost fumbles by Georgia was the difference in its heart-breaking loss. The Bulldogs got sweet bowl revenge later in the 1998 Peach, 2000 Outback, and 2006 Chick-fil-A bowls when Georgia faced 21, 25, and 18-point deficits but came back to win all three games.

Sophomore defensive lineman Stan Dooley was only playing against California in 1981 because of an injury to Freddie Gilbert. Dooley had not played at all the week prior against Tennessee in the season opener or as a freshman in 1980, appearing only on Georgia's junior varsity. Nevertheless, Dooley was Georgia's standout defender against Cal, recording three of the Bulldogs' eight sacks.

In 1983, UCLA had the ball on Georgia's 31-yard line with less than a minute remaining and trailing only 12-8. Rick Neuheisel was intercepted by Charlie Dean, who returned the errant throw "officially" for a 69-yard touchdown to seal a Bulldog victory. Two tidbits few know (and probably could care less to know) regarding Dean's return: Georgia had only 10 men on the field but yet Neuheisel still could not find an open man besides the opposing Dean. And Dean's return was actually 74 yards not 69. The line of scrimmage was the 31-yard line but the interception was made at the 26. The official statistician, for whatever reason, mistakenly gave Dean credit for his return from where the ball was snapped and not where the interception was corralled.
Entering the final quarter of the 1985 Sun Bowl, Georgia trailed Arizona 13-3 but rallied to score 10 unanswered points to tie the game. With 1:09 remaining, Georgia's David Jacobs, filling in for injured Steve Crumley, missed a 44-yard field goal that would have given the Bulldogs the lead. The Wildcats drove the field and their kicker, All-American Max Zendejas, missed a 39-yard field goal with four seconds left and the game ended in a tie. Zendejas was voted the bowl's MVP; the balloting had been completed prior to his failed field goal.
Against Oregon State in 1987, Lars Tate rushed for 132 yards and tied a modern school-record with four touchdowns; the fourth came with nearly 20 minutes still remaining to play in the game. Tate's record was shared by several others including himself, who scored four touchdowns the year before against Richmond.
After playing nine Pac-10 foes during a 17-season span (1971-1987), for the first time in more than 20 years, Georgia finally faced another when it met Arizona State in 2008. Also, the Bulldogs' trip to Tempe was their first outside the southeast for a regular-season contest in more than 40 years (1967 at Houston). Led by Knowshon Moreno, Matthew Stafford, and a stingy defense, Georgia played likely its best all-around game for the entire 2008 season (and also through the first three games of '09).

1 comment:

A Free Man said...

Congrats on your new addition and, hey, if she can help in the defensive secondary I have no problem with a co-ed team. My son was born earlier this month at a big 9 lb 7, and I was thinking the same thing.

Really enjoying the historical perspective of your site!