SF-7x

December 24, 2012

Final Game Footage

'Tis the season, so my posts have been somewhat limited of late.  However, I did find time to discover some historic Bulldog-related videos, none of which I had ever seen, including rare color footage from the Orange Bowl of more than 60 years ago. 

With Georgia's final game of the 2012 season looming, I cut the footage a bit to display some Bulldogs at their best in the final games of their respective years:

1949 ORANGE BOWL vs. TEXAS

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Georgia entered the 1949 Orange Bowl losers of just one game during its regular season en route to capturing an SEC championship.  On the contrary, Texas had finished its '48 campaign with only six wins in 10 games, were called a "third-rate team" by some Miami sports writers, and entered the bowl as heavy underdogs to the Bulldogs.

The silent coaches film displays the game's opening kickoff, which was fumbled by Georgia's first-string fullback, John Tillitski, and recovered by Texas' Randall Clay.  After the Longhorns ran a play and then committed a penalty, quarterback Paul Campbell was intercepted in the flat by the Bulldogs' second-string fullback, Al Bodine.  Bodine, a senior playing in his final game, lumbered for a 73-yard touchdown, causing the 1949 Orange Bowl to begin with quite a bang for the Bulldogs.

Alas, led by the rushing of eventual NFL coaching legend Tom Landry, Texas would soon take command of the game and upset the Bulldogs in the end, 41-28.  For what it's worth and for Bodine, whose only other interception at Georgia was returned for a 39-yard touchdown against Furman in 1947, the lumbering fullback remains the only Bulldog in history to tally touchdowns for each one of his interceptions with a minimum of two career picks.

1957: "THE DROUGHT BREAKER" vs. TECH

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What is often lost in recalling fullback Theron Sapp's drought-breaking touchdown against Georgia Tech in 1957 is that it was Sapp, who not only capped the historic scoring drive, but playing linebacker on defense, started it, as well.

Following Sapp's third-quarter fumble recovery at the 50-yard line in a scoreless tie, Georgia ran the ball five consecutive times for just 11 yards.  Facing 3rd and 12 and the fact that the Bulldogs had completed just 40 passes all year, including NONE thus far in the game, Charley Britt connected with Jimmy Orr for an improbable and critical first down to the Jackets' 26-yard line.  From there, Sapp carried six straight times for 25 yards.  After Britt was stopped for no gain, Sapp crashed off his right side into the end zone for the celebrated touchdown and immortality.

Sapp's game-changing fumble recovery, nine carries for 34 hard-earned yards on the game-winning drive, and 1-yard drought-breaking touchdown snapped Tech's eight-game winning streak over Georgia with a 7-0 Bulldogs' victory.  In addition, it represents likely the only time in the history of college football that an individual jersey number was retired (Sapp's No. 40) primarily based on merely a six- or seven-minute performance in a single game.

1982: "BOCA" vs. FSU

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Who knew Coach Richt could escape a sack a la Randall Cunningham?  As evident by his minus-42 career rushing yards on 72 rushes while at Miami, the Hurricane quarterback was far from mobile; however, at least against 14th-ranked Florida State in late-October of 1982, the Boca Raton native had all the right moves.

Richt has said that one of his goals upon signing with Miami out of high school was to be "the Heisman Trophy winner my third year."  Instead, by his third year at Miami, the once highly-recruited Richt, who had been nicknamed "Boca" by this time, had yet to start even a single collegiate game.  Nevertheless, once future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly went down with an injury in the third game of the '82 season, the Hurricane starting job was Richt's to lose. 

With Richt under center, Miami won three of four games and entered its game against the Seminoles ranked 16th in the nation.  Unfortunately, despite 273 passing yards from Richt, the 'Canes fell to the 'Noles, 24-7.  A couple days later, Richt lost the starting job when he was issued a one-game suspension for a dorm violation. When he returned to the team with two games remaining, the senior had been placed behind freshmen quarterbacks Kyle Vanderwende and Vinny Testaverde. 

Richt would never take another snap from center, establishing that Boca's performance against FSU in '82 was the final game for the Bulldog-to-be.

1 comment:

Dawg19 said...

Great stuff! Thanks for posting this.