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July 31, 2012

Rare Northeastern Exposure

Over the weekend, my young nephew and I were discussing the Bulldogs' upcoming season opener.  "Where is Buffalo at anyway, Pat?" he asked.  Admittedly, Uncle Pat had to think for a moment before my answer of it being located in New York State, near Canada.  "Man, Buffalo is going to have to travel from way up there to get to Athens!" my nephew declared.

Way up there is the northeastern portion of the United States a section of our country where few schools have traveled south to face Georgia in Sanford Stadium.  The Bulldogs' first encounter with a northeastern team in Athens was the very first game ever played at Sanford Stadium and one of the most celebrated affairs in Georgia history the 15-0 victory over visiting Yale in 1929.  Given to me by Coach Dooley, I once had video from this momentous game posted here at my blog before the "powers that be" took it down, along with more than 40 other of my videos.  But don't get me started...

Here's a second attempt to post, and not lose, more than 8 minutes of rather rare video:

The Buffalo game one month from tomorrow will mark only the second occasion a visitor from New York and just the 12th time a team from the Northeast has played the Bulldogs in Athens.  If you exclude schools from Pennsylvania –  and it's personally difficult for me to think of Pennsylvania as a northeastern state, but it is, according to the Census Bureau Buffalo is just the sixth college football program from the Northeast to venture to UGA.

The losers of the first five Georgia-Northeast meetings in Athens were all held scoreless.  However, in the Bulldogs' sixth game ever at home against a northeastern squad, the host and Boston College squared off in 1951 in what would result in an intersectional shootout.  The Eagles, who entered with a 14-game winless streak, found themselves trailing 14-0 early on.  Nevertheless, freshman quarterback Jim Kane directed BC to three consecutive touchdowns against Georgia, who had been ranked 13th in the nation just three weeks beforehand.

The Bulldogs had their own young standout under center sophomore Zeke Bratkowski.  "The Brat" would rally the team to a thrilling 35-28 come-from-behind victory, throwing for 245 yards on 14-of-27 passing, including two scoring bombs of 76 and 54 yards to Harry Babcock, occurring within three minutes of one another.

In 1970, the NCAA voted to increase most teams' regular-season schedules from facing 10 foes to 11 beginning the following year.  In a scramble to find extra opposition, Georgia scheduled a lowly Pittsburgh program for the 1973 season opener and again two years later.  However, by the time the Panthers came to town, they were on the verge of more than a decade of prosperity, and their successful era all began by tying the Bulldogs in a 7-7 shocker as a 17-point underdog.  In 1975, Pittsburgh pulled another upset in Athens, defeating Georgia 19-9 in Sanford Stadium.

During the decade of the 1980s, the Bulldogs got their revenge against schools from the Northeast, specifically those from Pennsylvania, by beating Temple three times in a nine-season span by a scoring margin of 30 points.  Since the rout of the Owls in 1989, it will have been nearly a quarter-century entering the 2012 campaign that Georgia hosted an opponent from way up there.

Prior to Buffalo, the Bulldogs are 8-2-1 all time versus northeastern teams at home:
Defenders (L to R) Jimmy Payne, Landy Ewings,
Tommy Thurson, and Will Forts celebrate during
one of Georgia's three routs of Temple in the '80s.
1989- Temple (Won, 37-10)
1983- Temple (Won, 31-14)
1981- Temple (Won, 49-3)
1975- Pittsburgh (Lost, 19-9)
1973- Pittsburgh (Tied, 7-7)
1951- Boston College (Won, 35-28)
1949- Duquesne (Won, 40-0)
1941- Dartmouth (Won, 35-0)
1939- Holy Cross (Lost, 13-0)
1933- New York Univ. (Won, 25-0)
1929- Yale (Won, 15-0)

Come September 1st, Buffalo will travel to Athens, collect a fat check, and depart like nine of the previous 11 northeastern squads that have entered Sanford Stadium –  without a win.  The Bulls are no Beast of the East like Pitt of the '70s, but more like Temple from a decade later.  Following the probable victory, the Bulldogs will most likely wait another 20+ years until another northeastern football foe comes calling for a rare visit to the Classic City. 


Deanna said...

Is the audio with that Yale/Georgia video actually recorded at the game, or is that something that was added in later for atmosphere?

Patrick Garbin said...

Hey, Deanna. My guess is yes, since the crowd noise seems to "follow" the action, and notice the faint playing of "Glory, Glory" early on in the clip. If it was fake noise, I would think whomever put the video together would have put background noise throughout the video. However, I might be totally wrong... Thanks for reading and your comments.

Deanna said...

It was the "Glory, Glory" that really intrigued me. I didn't know how long we'd been using that as a fight song!