Georgia Tech: 30
Having won five straight games to start the season, the 5th ranked Yellow Jackets would play host to the Vanderbilt Commodores for their homecoming game in late November, 1952. Vanderbilt was fresh off of its first win of the season after defeating the Florida Gators 20-13 in Nashville to move to 1-2-2 on the year. The Jackets, on the other hand, had laid down ten straight opponents since tying the Duke Blue Devils 14-14 on November 3, 1951. Their last loss came at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide in a 46-14 contest in mid-November, 1950.
The Yellow Jacket offense moved the ball very well in the opening period, but was unable to come away with any points. On three occasions, Tech neared the Vanderbilt 30 but lost the ball twice on downs and once on a Bill Brigman interception. The Jackets also lost possession deep in their own territory when Andrew Novak fell on a Jack Patterson fumble at the Ramblin’ Wreck 31 yard line. Fortunately enough, however, coach Dodd’s defense was up to the challenge and held Bill Edwards’s Commodores scoreless for the quarter.
But as the second quarter opened, Tech rid itself of its bad breaks after taking over at the Vanderbilt 41 yard line following a punt. On the first play of the drive, Leon Hardeman exploded down the sideline for a 41 yard touchdown. Pepper Rodgers’s extra point attempt was blocked, however, and the Ramblin’ Wreck lead stood at just 6-0.
The remainder of the second quarter passed with little action and the margin stood at a touchdown with one half to play.
Shortly after the opening kick of the third quarter, Vanderbilt’s William Krietemeyer fumbled while trying to make a pitch on third down. Roger Frey fell on the ball for the Jackets at the Commodore 9 yard line and the Ramblin’ Wreck was presented with a golden opportunity. Hardeman ran twice to move to the 2 yard line before Billy Teas notched the touchdown for a 13-0 advantage.
After the teams exchanged punts for the remainder of the third quarter, Vanderbilt found itself in a tough situation, punting from deep within its own territory early in the final stanza. Buddy Jones gave Tech another highlight when he broke through and blocked Billy Holmes’s punt to give the Jackets possession at the Commodore 7 yard line. But three plays left the offense one yard short of the end zone and a failed fourth down run by Jimmy Johnson gave the ball right back to Vandy.
A quick punt put the ball back into Tech’s hands and the offense got right to work. The Jackets moved 28 yards in 7 plays to extend their lead to 20-0, scoring on a two yard run by Hardeman.
As the game wound down, Dodd’s Jackets began to pour it on. Charlie Brannon picked off Krietemeyer at the Ramblin’ Wreck 45 and returned to the Commodore 34 to setup Tech’s fourth score. Rodgers then took over for Brigman and led his offense to the end zone with Jimmy Johnson scoring on a 3 yard run with 8:30 remaining for a 27-0 advantage.
Shortly thereafter, Edward Carithers recovered Richard Foster’s fumble at Vanderbilt’s 31 to set the stage for Tech’s final points. Rodgers marched his team to the nine before the drive stalled and Glenn Turner nailed a field goal to reach the 30-0 final.
Tech improved to 6-0 with the victory and moved up to 4th in the AP poll on the following Monday. Vanderbilt fell to 1-3-2 and would split their remaining four contests to finish at 3-5-2 on the season.
VAN – 6
GT – 20
VAN – 62
GT – 233
VAN – 5-13-76
GT – 8-18-92
VAN – 1
GT – 1
VAN – 2
GT – 1
VAN – 90
GT – 35
Bisher, Furman. “Tech Drubs Vandy, 30-0.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1952 Oct. 26