Georgia Tech: 30
After suffering the loss of quarterback Jimmy Southard in the 27-14 loss to Duke, Georgia Tech would head to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers at Shields Watkins Field. With the offense being led by inexperienced quarterback Darrell Crawford, the Jackets entered the game as a 12 ½ point underdog to the 4-1-1, 14th ranked Volunteers. Tennessee’s lone loss had also come against the Blue Devils, while their tie had come a few weeks prior against Alabama.
The first quarter saw little action until the Jackets took over at midfield late in the period. Robert McCoy and Robert North alternated carries on three runs to the Volunteer 36 before Buster Humphreys reeled off 22 yards to the 14 yard line. McCoy and North each ran again for a collective 5 yards, but Tech could not convert and was forced to settle for a 27 Bob North field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Jackets notched their first touchdown of the afternoon in the second period after Jimmy Jordan recovered a Bernie Sizemore fumble at the Volunteer 46 yard line. McCoy gained 24 yards on the first play and an added 15 yard penalty on Tennessee placed the ball at the 7 yard line. McCoy gained 6 more in two tries to get within the one yard line before Crawford snuck in for the score. North missed on the extra point attempt and the Yellow Jacket lead stood at 9-0.
The teams would remain scoreless for the remainder of the second period and the Ramblin’ Wreck would carry its nine point lead to the locker room at intermission.
Early in the third period, Tech took advantage of another Tennessee error when Dennis Doyal recovered Hal Littleford’s fumble at the Volunteer 47 yard line. North, Jordan, and Humphreys collectively ran to the 20 yard line and Crawford threw a strike to Colin Anderson at the 10. Four plays later, North scored on a one yard run to extend the Yellow Jacket lead to 15-0.
Tennessee finally got on the board on its next possession as the result of a 56 yard scoring drive. Hank Lauricella connected on three passes to the Tech 40 yard line and scrambled to the Yellow Jacket 6 a few plays later. Gordon Polofsky added the touchdown two plays later to make it 15-7 in favor of the Jackets.
The Vols regained possession after Tech’s next series, but gave it back in a hurry when Jack Griffin recovered a Bert Rechichar fumble. The exchange put the Jackets in favorable field position at the Tennessee 38 as the third quarter came to a close.
Tech gained small chunks of yards en route to the end zone, scoring after nine runs to extend its lead to 22-7 early in the final stanza.
But Tennessee bounced right back after the kickoff, marching 65 yards in five plays to get within a score at 22-13. Lauricella connected on three passes to move to the Yellow Jacket 9 and Polofsky ran twice thereafter for the score.
Midway through the period, the Jackets advanced 66 yards to the Tennessee one yard line but unfortunately turned it over on downs. On the Vols’ first play, Lauricella was ruled to have committed intentional grounding in the end zone and Tech was awarded a safety that made it 24-13.
The Jackets solidified the victory on following drive when the scored the game’s final points. After Griffin returned the ball 20 yards to the Tennessee 39, John O’Neill and Morris Harrison took over, gaining 15 and 14 yards respectively, en route to the two yard line. Harrison added the final two yards for the score to make it 30-13 after North missed the extra point.
With the loss to Tech, Tennessee fell from the rankings, but bounced back to win their final three games to finish at 7-2-1 as the 17th ranked team in the country.
GT – 23
TN – 9
GT – 369
TN – 84
GT – 3-7-36
TN – 11-19-130
GT – 0
TN – 4
GT – 2
TN – 2
GT – 55
TN – 29
Bradberry, John. “Vols’ Homecoming Becomes Dodd’s Day.” The Atlanta Constitution. 1949 Nov. 6