Someone asked me a month or so ago to list my ten favorite home games that I attended. I had to think about it a little. Some games are special because of what happened on the field, some because of what they meant, some because of the crowd, but all resonate in a special way with me. Here they are, in chronological order:
1979: Virginia 31 Georgia 0. Yeah, I know. But you’ve got to understand that college football and I were in a bad place before that game. Four years of football in Charlottesville had completely soured me on the game. But one afternoon rekindled my interest. I followed that up with my first trip to Jacksonville, something I haven’t missed since.
1982: Georgia 17 BYU 14. The meeting of Herschel Walker vs. Steve Young turned out to be a defensive struggle. I remember it kept raining picks. And Walker was big on the winning drive.
1984: Georgia 26 Clemson 23. Perhaps the most iconic game I’ve witnessed in Sanford Stadium. It looked like the Dawgs were going to be run out of the stadium in the first half, but somehow they gained traction, wore the Tigers down and won on an incredible Kevin Butler field goal.
1991: Georgia 27 Clemson 12. Georgia steamrolled a ranked and favored Clemson team, which was nice. But what really sticks with me from this game was that it was the night the Atlanta Braves clinched their first division title in a decade. Upon hearing the news, the entire crowd, home and visitors alike, tomahawk chopped and chanted together in a real goosebump moment.
2002: Georgia 51 Georgia Tech 7. Total dominance in a way I’ve never seen again in that series. I’ve never seen a Tech team give up like that, either.
2004: Georgia 45 LSU 16. We may never see a Nick Saban defense humbled like that again, my friends. Five TDs passes for David Greene and some measure of revenge for what happened the year before.
2004: Georgia 19 Georgia Tech 13. I know the weather was lousy, but between David Greene’s fourth quarter heroics and Reggie Ball’s math shortcomings, how could a Dawg fan not love this game?
2007: Georgia 45 Auburn 20. Blackout game. I’m not sure the players and the crowd ever enjoyed themselves as much as we all did that night. And maybe learned a lesson that while jerseys can be copied, spontaneity can’t. Take it away, Uncle Verne.
2013: Georgia 41, South Carolina 30. Remember when these games used to be grind ’em out defensive struggles? The bomb to Scott-Wesley sent the crowd into a frenzy. But it’s what happened in the last eight and a half minutes that really made the game special. Spurrier eschewing the timeout at the end was the cherry on top of the sundae.
2013: Georgia 44 LSU 41. We didn’t want a defensive struggle in this one and we didn’t get one. In terms of sustained crowd loudness, this one surpassed every other one I’ve attended in Sanford Stadium (ironically, the second loudest was during the 1987 loss to LSU). Mettenberger’s miss on LSU’s last possession was cathartic. So much emotion.
So there you have mine. Let’s hear about yours.