Georgia Tech: 48
On Thanksgiving weekend, 1951, Georgia Tech would place its 9-0-1 record on the line against the hated Georgia Bulldogs. A victory over her archrival would give Tech 10 wins in a season for just the third time in school history. The Bulldogs arrived on the flats carrying a 5-4 record after defeating Auburn 46-14 in Columbus one week prior. Tech had won the previous two meetings in the series while scoring just once on each occasion. The first victory came in a 7-6 thriller in Atlanta when James Patton’s third quarter extra point proved to be the difference in the contest. The Jackets followed up with a 7-0 shutout in in Athens in the 1950 installment after entering the game as a 13 point underdog.
The Bulldogs took the opening kick, but lost possession on the first play from scrimmage when Pete Ferris recovered Lauren Hargrove’s fumble at the UGA 24 yard line. Five runs advanced the Jackets to the 1 yard line before George Maloof punched it in for the game’s first score. Glenn Turner’s missed extra point left the Yellow Jacket lead at 6-0.
Later in the opening period, the Jackets took over at Georgia’s 46 following a punt. Leon Hardeman gained 10 yards to the 36 and followed up with a 36 yard sweep for Tech’s second score and a 13-0 lead.
George Morris gave the Jackets another chance at a score when he intercepted Zeke Bratkowski’s pass at the Bulldog 13 yard line. But Glenn Turner eventually missed a field goal that gave the ball back to the Dawgs.
A few plays later, Bratkowski lost a fumble to Ray Beck at Georgia’s 17 and the Jackets were threatening again. Leon Hardeman gained 14 yards on the first play to setup a 3 yard touchdown run by Maloof to increase Tech’s lead to 20-0.
Tech added two more touchdowns in the second quarter to jump ahead 34-0 at the break. The first score came late in the period after Hardeman caught a 20 yard pass from Darrell Crawford at the Bulldog 12 yard line. Maloof scored his third touchdown of the afternoon five plays later to make it 27-0. The Bulldogs then muffed the ensuing kickoff and the Jackets recovered at the UGA 48. Seven plays later, Jake Martin scored on a bit of an odd play. Crawford pitched to center Pete Brown while being tackled on a bootleg and Brown again pitched to Martin for the score.
Georgia added its lone touchdown of the game in the third quarter after it recovered a Hardeman fumble at Tech’s 40 yard line. Dick Raber would score five plays later, but Sam Mrvos’s PAT was blocked to leave it at 34-6.
The Jackets would not add to their lead until scoring twice in the final period of play. Bobby Moorhead setup the first touchdown after he picked off Bratkowski’s pass at Tech’s 28 and returned it 25 yards to the Bulldog 47. Crawford hit Pete Ferris for 37 yards on Tech’s first play to follow and George Maloof added his fourth touchdown of the game two plays later to make it 41-6. Then, with five minutes remaining, Larry Morris picked off another Bratkowski pass and raced 55 yards to reach the final of 48-6.
In all, the Bulldogs compiled 13 turnovers in the game. Bratkowski accounted for the majority of these with an SEC record 8 interceptions. Tech’s 48 points tied the most ever scored by the Jackets in a game against the Bulldogs (the other being a 48-0 victory in 1943).
With the victory, Tech earned a share of the 1951 SEC Championship, splitting the honors with the undefeated and untied Tennessee Volunteers. Furthermore, it capped off Tech’s second undefeated regular season in school history. The previous occurrence came in 1928 when William Alexander’s squad finished 9-0 and earned a trip to the 1929 Rose Bowl for Tech’s first ever bowl appearance.
While the game ended Georgia’s season at 5-5, the Jackets still faced one last challenge in the Baylor Bears in the 1952 Orange Bowl.
UGA – 16
GT – 16
UGA – 60
GT – 289
UGA – 17-25-195
GT – 7-17-117
UGA – 8
GT – 1
UGA – 5
GT – 4
UGA – 10
GT – 65
Danforth, Ed. “Tech Routes Georgia, 48-6, Shares Title.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1951 Dec. 2