Georgia Tech: 6
On a rainy Saturday in early December, 1929, Georgia Tech would do battle with the rival Georgia Bulldogs for the first time ever at the newly built Sanford Stadium. The Jackets had not played Georgia in Athens since 1916 when John Heisman’s squad shutout the Bulldogs 21-0. The game marked coach Heisman’s last contest against Georgia as the Jackets’ head coach, as the squads did not play each other from 1917 to 1924.
The Bulldogs entered the contest at 5-4, having shutout Auburn and Alabama in consecutive weeks after losing three straight games mid-season. Their last victory over the Jackets came in 1926 in a narrow 14-13 decision in Atlanta. Since then, Tech had taken two straight in the series, including a stunning 12-0 upset of then top-ranked Georgia in 1927 to dash their hopes of a national championship.
Georgia opened the game with a return to their own 30, and Jack Roberts quickly hit his right tackle for 20 yards to the Yellow Jacket 42 yard line. Armin Waugh followed with a scamper to the Ramblin’ Wreck 30 before Spurgeon Chandler found Herbert Maffett for a long touchdown pass to put Georgia on top 6-0 following a missed extra point.
Later in the period, Tech took over on downs at its own 29 and pushed to midfield on a collection of short runs. Warner Mizell then reeled off 24 yards to the Bulldog 26, and a committee of backs pushed the Jackets to the 10 yard line. But here the drive went awry when John “Stumpy” Thomason lost the ball to Roberts on a fumble, and the Yellow Jacket offense would come away empty after a promising drive.
Midway through the second period, Georgia returned a punt 10 yards to the Tech 45 and began a drive towards the Yellow Jacket goal line. A roughing penalty on the Jackets pushed the Bulldogs from the 12 to the 1, but an illegal shift pushed it back to the 16 shortly thereafter. Georgia eventually faced a 4th-and-11 near the 15 yard line and turned the ball over on downs when Marion Dickens’s pass to Maffett fell incomplete in the end zone.
A series of punts ensued that carried the game to halftime, but not without a bit of drama. The Bulldogs nearly increased their lead on the last play of the half when Austin Downes Jr. fielded Mizell’s punt and mounted a spectacular return before being downed by Thomason at the Tech 4 as time expired.
In the second half, the teams continued to spar around until midway through the third period when Georgia gained possession at its own 20 following a Tech punt. The Bulldogs elected to kick the ball back, but Chandler’s punt was blocked and Jim Brooke recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Thomason missed the ensuing extra point, however, and the score remained tied at 6-all.
A stalemate ensued as the third quarter ticked away and the Jackets took over at their own 43 early in the final period. The Tech slowly pushed into Bulldog territory, but eventually stalled and was forced to punt. The Bulldogs then caught a break when Mizell’s attempted punt was blocked and recovered by Vernon Bryant, who scooped up the ball and raced to the Ramblin’ Wreck end zone for the score. Another botched extra point by Bennie Rothstein left Tech trailing by a score of 12-6.
The Jackets would push to within the Bulldog 30 later in the period, but eventually turned the ball over on downs before they could crack the red zone. The Bulldogs would eventually run out the clock to hang on for their sixth win of the season and their first over Tech in the previous three attempts.
Georgia finished the year at 6-4, overall and did not participate in a bowl game.
GT – 5
UGA – 7
GT – 142
UGA – 192
GT – 0-8-0
UGA – 1-6-30
GT – 2
UGA – 1
GT – 1
UGA – 0
GT – 65
UGA – 70
Unknown. “Tech-Georgia Detail.” The Atlanta Journal. 8 Dec. 1929
Unknown. “…[the statistics]…” The Atlanta Journal. 8 Dec. 1929