Georgia Tech: 17
After wrapping up just the second undefeated regular season in school history and earning a share of SEC Championship, 6th ranked Georgia Tech would face its toughest test of the year in the 8-1-1, 9th ranked Baylor Bears in the 1952 Orange Bowl. The Bears, led by All-American quarterback Larry Isbell, brought a high powered offense to Miami to put Georgia Tech’s famed defense to the test.
Baylor jumped out to an early lead after taking the ball 62 yards in 9 plays on their second possession. The highlight of the drive was a 22 yard pass from Isbell to Hal Riley that eventually setup a two yard touchdown run by Richard Parma for the game’s first score and a 7-0 lead.
Tech answered towards the end of the opening period with Darrell Crawford leading the attack. Crawford connected with Jake Martin on two passes for 34 yards and Leon Hardeman capped off the drive with a three yard touchdown run to knot the score at 7-all.
The Bears regained the lead in the second quarter when Isbell led his team 64 yards in 12 plays for their second touchdown of the contest. After a touchdown was called back for holding, Jerry Coody plowed into the end zone from the five yard line to make it 14-7.
The Jackets mounted a drive deep into Baylor territory before intermission, but had a touchdown pass from Crawford to Jeff Knox wiped out for holding. The penalty put an end to Tech’s scoring threat and left the Wreck behind by seven at the break.
Both defenses stepped up as the teams played a scoreless third quarter, and as the contest moved into the final stanza, Tech remained trailing by a touchdown.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Ramblin’ Wreck offense kicked into gear from its own 41 following a Baylor punt. Bill Teas got the drive started by taking a pitch 34 yards to the Baylor 25. The Jackets picked up a quick first down at the 14, but three plays gained just eight yards and left Crawford staring at 4th and 2 from the 6. The senior quarterback came through on the next play when he found Jake Martin in the end zone for the tying score to make it 14-14 with six minutes to play.
A short kickoff left Baylor with excellent field position near the 50, but the Yellow Jacket defense refused to stand down. It was Pete Ferris that came up big for Tech when he snatched an interception from Isbell and raced 41 yards to the Baylor 9 yard line.
On third down, Crawford threw to Jeff Knox in the end zone, but the big tackle was unable to hold on to the ball. Pepper Rodgers entered on fourth down and nailed a 20 yard field goal to give the Jackets their first lead of the game at 17-14 with three minutes remaining.
The Ramblin’ Wreck defense continued its solid play and eventually sealed the game by forcing a turnover on downs with 50 seconds to go.
The victory earned the Jackets a school record, 11th win for the season and improved Bobby Dodd’s Bowl record to 3-0.
GT – 9
BAY – 17
GT – 107
BAY – 206
GT – 6-14-84
BAY – 8-18-93
GT – 3
BAY – 1
GT – 1
BAY – 0
GT – 60
BAY – 85
Danforth, Ed. “Rodgers’ Field Goal Beats Wilted Baylor.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1952 Jan. 2