Georgia Tech: 0
In late October 1933, the 2-1 Yellow Jackets would square off with the 1-2 Tulane Green Wave at Grant Field. Tulane had dropped its first two contests to Texas A&M and Georgia before rebounding with a 20-0 shutout over Maryland in week three. Just before the game began a hard rain hit the flats, muddying up the field and setting the stage for a hard fought defensive battle.
The Yellow Jackets kicked off to start the contest and the squads exchanged punts throughout the entire first quarter. With the wet conditions playing a major factor, neither team gained a first down, let alone threaten to score. The Ramblin’ Wreck won the battle for field position, however, keeping the ball in Green Wave territory for most of the period.
Midway through the second quarter, Tech caught a bit of a lucky break. On an attempted punt, Jack Phillips muffed the wet ball on the snap. Rather than attempt the kick, Phillips broke around the left side of the line and took off towards the Green Wave end zone. But Howard Bryan made a great play for Tulane in stopping Phillips 10 yards shy of the goal line. Bryan’s effort proved to have saved a score when the Jackets turned the ball over on downs after gaining just three yards in four plays.
The first half came to a close as Tulane recovered a Yellow Jacket fumble in Tech territory and the teams would head to the locker rooms tied at 0 with two quarters to play.
The deciding play of the game came on the opening kickoff of the second half. Bryan took Dave Wilcox’s kick one yard into his own end zone and raced 101 yards for a Green Wave touchdown. Bernard Mintz made a key block on Tommy Spradling at the Tulane 30 yard line to setup the return that ended with a 7-0 Green Wave lead.
A few possessions later, Tulane was lining up to punt from its own 18. Spradling and B.W. Williams broke through to block Ryan’s punt, the latter recovering at the Green Wave 9 yard line. But three straight runs then left the Jackets with 4th and goal from the 2, and Phillips came up half a yard short of the end zone on fourth down, ending another solid chance at a score.
Later in the period, Williams partially blocked another Tulane punt and Phillips recovered at the Green Wave 13 yard line. But the Jackets squandered another opportunity when Joe Lofton intercepted a Ramblin’ Wreck pass on the first play of the drive.
The majority of the fourth quarter passed with very little action, as neither team really threatened to score. Then, with the final seconds ticking off the clock, W.B. Peterson broke loose on a punt return. But fate would not favor the Jackets, and Peterson was tacked at the Green Wave 30 with no time remaining.
While Tech had played a better game than Tulane in just about every aspect, the spectacular Green Wave kick return could not be overcome, as three failed scoring attempts left the Jackets on the losing end of the 7-0 contest.
Tulane dropped a 13-7 contest to Auburn one week later before winning four straight games. The Green Wave then tied the Louisiana State Tigers in their final game of the season to finish at 6-3-1 overall.
McGill, Ralph. “Bucky Bryan’s 101-Yard Run Wins For Wave.” The Atlanta Constitution. 1933 Oct. 22