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December 2, 2013

Just when I thought I had something to blog about...

Led by Gurley and Mason, Georgia's comeback
Saturday ranks as the 5th largest in UGA history.  
...from Saturday night—Georgia's ill-prepared team, lacking leadership, with a defense that couldn't make stops—the Bulldogs instantly appeared able, led by a quarterback and tailback who seemingly wouldn't be denied, with a defense that, well, started to make some stops.
 
Immediately following Georgia's 41-34 comeback, double-overtime victory over Tech, where the Bulldogs found themselves trailing by 20 points midway through the second quarter, I received an email from a reader asking where Georgia's historic rally at "Historic" Grant Field ranked as far as all-time comebacks in UGA football history.
 
And, with that email, I instantly had something else to blog about—games where, at some point, a Georgia victory seemed as probable as Missouri and Auburn playing in the SEC title game back in September, but somehow the Bulldogs fought back to overcome one of the largest deficits in their history: 

1.  25 points- Purdue, 2000 Outback Bowl (trailed 25-0 in 2Q)
After Drew Brees poured it on the Bulldogs early, Georgia struck for 28 unanswered points, including a long Terrence Edwards TD run before halftime and a Quincy Carter TD run and pass in the second half.  Hap Hines' second field goal broke a 25-25 tie in overtime, resulting in Georgia's biggest comeback in its history. 

2.  21 points- Auburn, 1996 (trailed 28-7 with less than one minute remaining in 2Q)
Trailing by three touchdowns, Mike Bobo came off the bench, and later Robert Edwards, to spark a stagnant Georgia offense.  Bobo passed for 360 yards after missing the first 1½ quarters of play, while Edwards was responsible for 134 rushing and receiving yards, including gaining 98 of Georgia’s 100 total yards in four overtime periods.  After the four overtimes, the Bulldogs had captured an unlikely 56-49 victory.  
 
3.  21 points- Virginia, 1998 Peach Bowl (trailed 21-0 with just over one minute remaining in 2Q)
After completing just 3 of 13 passes with 3 interceptions and having a hand in all of Virginia's first three touchdowns, freshman Quincy Carter completed 15 of 20 passes for 205 yards and two TDs, while adding a TD run to overcome an early three-touchdown deficit.  Down 35-27 late, Virginia scored a touchdown, missed the two-point conversion, but recovered an onside kick, only to miss a last-second game-winning field goal try to lose, 35-33. 
 
4.  20 points- Georgia Tech, 1978 (trailed 20-0 with 38 seconds remaining in 2Q)
After completing just 7 of 19 passes with three interceptions through 10 games of his freshman campaign, Buck Belue came off the bench to complete 7 of 9 passes, including one of the greatest touchdown passes in UGA history—a 42-yarder to Amp Arnold on fourth down that defeated Georgia Tech.  Arnold's two-point conversion run provided the winning margin in Georgia's 29-28 comeback victory.
  
5.  20 points- Georgia Tech, 2013 (trailed 20-0 midway through 2Q)
Down 20-0, Georgia struck quickly to score five touchdowns and two field goals in a 41-34 double-overtime win over Georgia Tech.  After slow starts, freshman Todd Gurley rushed for 122 yards and scored four touchdowns, while quarterback Hutson Mason, making his first career start, passed for 299 yards and two scores.  The comeback marked the first Georgia game in more than six seasons where the Bulldogs rallied to win after trailing by double digits in the second half (and, after six losses in five years where Georgia was defeated after having a double-digit second-half lead).
 
On Homecoming of 1970 vs. South Carolina,
backup Gilbert led the Dogs in a fury to a
comeback over the 'Cocks.
6.  18 points- Virginia Tech, 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl (trailed 21-3 early in 3Q)
After mustering a mere field goal through the first half and first possession of the third quarter, Georgia's offense tallied three touchdowns and two field goals on its next five possessions. The Bulldogs’ 28 second-half points all came in a span of only 13:40 while four of Georgia’s five scores were set up with an onside kick, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery.  In the 31-24 victory, the Bulldog offense gained just 200 total yards, however, the defense allowed a paltry 189 to the Hokies.

7.  18 points- South Carolina, 1970 (trailed 21-3 with 8 minutes left in 2Q)
Senior backup quarterback Paul Gilbert, an Athens native, replaced an injured Mike Cavan midway through the second quarter and as Georgia trailed by 18 points.  Gilbert jump-started a sputtering offense, completing 13 of 20 passes for 243 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown bomb to tight end Billy Brice, giving the Bulldogs a 32-31 second-half lead of an eventual 52-34 victory.  At the time, the 86 combined points were the most ever scored in Sanford Stadium, while the 18-point deficit Georgia overcame would rank as the biggest comeback in team history through the program's first 85 seasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If UGA would show up ready to play 20 point deficits would not happen. I still think we haven't learned to play 4 quarters of great football.