Georgia vs. Alabama Series History
Last week, Georgia football played a relatively new rival in Tennessee. This week, the Bulldogs engage in a rivalry that has only recently been rekindled.
Georgia and Alabama meet for the 70th time this Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide aren't usually considered rivals, but they were once upon a time. Georgia and Alabama met every year between 1941 and 1965 and played each other 50 times from 1901-to-1965. Alabama's fight song "Yea Alabama!" even mentions Georgia; "go teach the Bulldogs to behave."
After 1965, meetings became scarce. Georgia didn't play Alabama again in the 60s, only four times in the 70s, 90s, and 2000s and only twice in the 80s.
The recent rise of the Georgia program, coupled with Alabama's seemingly permanent spot at the top of the college football world, has raised all Georgia/Alabama games' stakes. The last four meetings were top-15 matchups, and three of those games (2012, 2017, and 2018) had national title implications. 2020 is no different. The Bulldogs enter the game ranked No. 3 in the nation, one spot behind the Crimson Tide.
1942: If "Heisman performances" were a thing in 1942, Frank Sinkwich had his in a comeback win over Alabama. Georgia and Alabama entered the matchup at Grant Field undefeated, with both ranked in the top three. The Crimson Tide controlled the first three quarters, taking a 10-0 lead.
The Bulldogs passing attack went to work in the fourth quarter. Sinkwich led drives of 78 and 69 yards, capping off both with passes to George Poschner to take a 14-10 lead. Andy Dudish extended the lead with a fumble return into the end zone. Georgia defeated Alabama 21-10 and went on to win the Rose Bowl and a share of the 1942 National Championship.
1965: Georgia's infamous "flea flicker" against Alabama wasn't supposed to happen. The play reportedly never worked in practice and featured a quarterback who wasn't supposed to be on the field. Yet, with backup quarterback Kirby Moore leading the team, and the Bulldogs trailing the defending national champs 17-10, young head coach Vince Dooley needed some magic to upset the Tide.
The team thought the play was just a fun way to end practices. When a substitute delivered the play call to the huddle, Moore thought he was joking. The play that never worked, connected when it mattered most. Moore found Pat Hodgson wide open, and Hodgson delivered an easy pitch to Bob Taylor, who ran unimpeded to the end zone for a 73-yard-score. With nothing really to lose, Georgia attempted a two-point conversion. Moore found Hodgson wide open again for the game-winning score. Georgia beat Alabama 18-17.
2002: Georgia wasn't man enough to beat Alabama. That's at least what former Georgia player and Auburn head coach Pat Dye said in the week before. Maybe he thought that, or perhaps he just wanted Georgia to play with more of a chip on its shoulder. Regardless, the Bulldogs outlasted Alabama in a 27-25 slugfest.
The Bulldogs nearly proved Dye right, however. Georgia led 24-12 early in the fourth quarter, bolstered by a blocked field goal by David Pollack early in the game. The Crimson Tide stole a 25-24 lead in just 63 seconds. Quarterback Brody Croyle scored a touchdown on a keeper, then Alabama scored on a David Greene interception.
Georgia manned up just in time to set up a game-winning field goal for Billy Bennett. The former all-time leading scorer sent the ball through the uprights to beat Alabama.
2007: Back in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2002, Georgia found itself in eerily a similar football game. Led by a sophomore quarterback and a solid rushing attack, Georgia jumped out to a 20-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. Alabama scored 10 points in the final seven minutes to tie the score at 20-20, sending the game into overtime.
Alabama took its first lead of the game with a field goal on its first possession. Matthew Stafford wasted no time in taking back the lead. On Georgia's first play, Stafford dropped a 25-yard-pass right in Mikey Henderson's basket for the score. Georgia beat Alabama 26-23.
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