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November 6, 2012

Famed PBU on the Plains

...and the Dawgs broke it up!  They broke it up!
Ronnie Harris and Jeff Sanchez got up in the air!
Thirty years ago, the Georgia football team journey to Auburn under similar circumstances as this Saturday, facing the Tigers on the Plains with the possibility of an SEC championship at stake.  The end result for the Bulldogs in 1982 was a 19-14 victory over the Tigers and a third consecutive conference title courtesy of the greatest PBU, or pass broken up in UGA football history.
Trailing 14-13, Herschel Walker had scored a touchdown with 8:42 left in the game, giving the Bulldogs a lead.  After Georgia couldn't convert a two-point conversion and a touchback resulted on the ensuing kickoff, Auburn took over on its own 20-yard line trailing by five points.
The Tigers slowly but steadily drove down the field, covering 66 yards in 12 plays (only one of which was a pass attempt a 13-yard completion) while burning nearly six minutes of game clock.  With just under three minutes left, Auburn had a 1st and 10 on the Bulldogs' 14-yard line. 

But then, as it had done all season, the Georgia defense stiffened.
The Tigers committed a five-yard penalty and Bo Jackson was dropped for a two-yard loss by cornerback Tony Flack on first down.  On second down, quarterback Randy Campbell was sacked by Dale Carver back on the 30-yard line.  On 3rd and 26, Campbell completed a pass to Ed West, who slipped on the grass following a nine-yard gain.  Many say if West hadn't slipped on the Plains, he might still be running.   There wasn't a single Bulldog defender near the tight end after he made his catch.
Prior to Campbell's last-ditch throw into the end zone on fourth down, he had remarkably completed 12 of 15 passes, running out of the wishbone offense, and against an outstanding Georgia pass defense that yielded a mere 50.6 completion percentage all season.

Nevertheless, Campbell couldn't connect on his most important pass attempt of the year.
The intended receiver, Mike Edwards, said after the game he never even saw the pass in the end zone, only two Bulldogs leaping in front of him, knocking it down. One of those Bulldogs, cornerback Ronnie Harris, would say following the victory, "We had our backs to the wall, and we had to stand up and fight."

And fight they did... to the team's third SEC title in as many years.
Although the television call by Bill Hartman isn't quite as celebrated or moving as the great Larry Munson's radio call, one thing both play-by-play men agreed on: it was Sugar time!


Anonymous said...

Was at that game as a youngster---maybe 5 or 6 years old. Patrick, appreciate the memorys and all that u provide as far as history, where no one else comes close. Thank you!!!!!

Dawg19 said...


Here is the full game:



Dawg19 said...


Here's the hi-lites with Larry Munson call and comments...


Anonymous said...

Hoage's tip against Vandy in '83 might have a good argument as greatest PBU in Dawg history. Davey