Georgia Tech: 7
The Ramblin’ Wreck headed up to Athens on Thanksgiving weekend, 1954 for the 49th installment of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.” Tech had won five straight over Georgia and held a two game advantage in the series at 20-18-5. At 6-3 on the season, the Jackets needed a victory to improve their chances of landing in a bowl game on New Year’s Day. The Dawgs entered at 6-2-1, having dropped their previous contest 35-0 to Auburn one week earlier between the hedges.
The Bulldogs mounted the only threat of the opening period after recovering a Yellow Jacket fumble at the Tech 42 yard line. But after stalling at the 14, Joe Graff missed a field goal attempt and the Jackets took over deep in their own territory.
With the loss of quarterback Bill Brigman on the third play of the game, the Yellow Jacket offense, led by Wade Mitchell, played much of the first half backed up deep in its own territory. Things got dicey early in the second period when Johnny Menger lost a second down fumble to Robert Garrand at the Ramblin’ Wreck 11 yard line, but the Tech defense kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone and forced a 20 yard field goal by Graff that gave Georgia a 3-0 lead.
Georgia mounted another drive late in the second quarter, but advanced no farther than the Yellow Jacket 17 yard line before intermission. Tech’s offense had struggled mightily, gaining just 18 first half yards and failing to gain a first down.
On the first play of the second half, Tech caught a break when James Harper fumbled and Franklin Brooks recovered at Georgia’s 19 yard line. Mitchell hooked up with Henry Hair on a 19 yard scoring strike one play later to give the Jackets the lead at 7-3 just 17 seconds into the third quarter.
After this, the game saw little notable action. Georgia recovered a fumble at Tech’s 25 late in the third, but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. In the fourth quarter, they mounted another drive to Tech’s 21, but eventually turned the ball over on downs, solidifying Tech’s sixth straight victory in the series.
While the Jackets earned the win, the statistics heavily favored the Bulldogs. Tech gained just 73 total yards of offense to Georgia’s 237 and turned the ball over 6 times to Georgia’s 1. Furthermore, the touchdown pass by Mitchell was the only completed pass in five attempts for the Jackets, who relied heavily on solid red zone defense to pull out the win.
The victory improved Tech to 7-3 on the season and earned them an invitation to face the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day. Georgia fell to 6-3-1 with the loss and would not play in a bowl game.
GT – 3
UGA – 12
GT – 54
UGA – 213
GT – 1-5-19
UGA – 3-7-24
GT – 3
UGA – 0
GT – 3
UGA – 1
GT – 15
UGA – 35
Danforth, Ed. “Jacket Pass Crumples Fighting Bulldogs, 7-3.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1954 Nov. 28