Georgia Tech: 51
On Thanksgiving weekend the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Georgia Bulldogs would face off at Bobby Dodd Stadium in the annual “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” rivalry game. Both teams entered the game at 7-3 with Tech dropping contests to FSU, Virginia, and Wake Forest and Georgia losing to Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn. Tech had won the 1998 installment 21-19 to break a seven game losing streak to the Bulldogs, and a victory in Atlanta would almost certainly earn the Jackets a repeat invitation to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville on New Year’s Day.
Tech put up the game’s first points after taking over at its own 46. Hamilton first hit Dez White on a 22 yard pass to the Bulldog 32 yard line before the drive stalled a few plays later at the 27. Manget put Tech on the board with a 45 yard field goal, giving the Jackets a 3-0 lead midway through the opening stanza.
Tech’s defense held the Bulldogs on their next drive and luckily avoided disaster when Jamara Clark recovered Marvious Hester’s fumbled punt at the Ramblin’ Wreck one yard line. Tech’s offense got nothing going however, and the Bulldogs would take over at the Yellow Jacket 34 after a poor punt by Dan Dyke.
The UGA drive didn’t amount to much though, stalling at the 13 yard line after excellent defensive play by the Jackets. James Hines then entered the game to hit a 30 yard field goal that tied the game at three with just under a minute remaining in the first quarter.
The Ramblin’ Wreck offense answered in a fury on the ensuing drive, scoring in just 47 seconds to regain the lead near the end of the opening period. The Wreck first picked up 8 on a pass from Hamilton to Campbell, then gained 13 on runs by Ed Wilder and Kerry Watkins. With just second remaining in the period, Hamilton hit Kelly Campbell for a 47 yard touchdown pass to give Tech the lead at 10-3.
Tech’s defense held on Georgia’s first possession of the second quarter and the Yellow Jackets would take over at their own 31 yard line. Hamilton again led the offense down the field, marching 69 yards in 9 plays to extend the lead to 17-3. Tech’s senior quarterback accounted for 64 yards on the drive while Sean Gregory scored the touchdown on a one yard run with a little more than 10 minutes to play in the half.
Georgia finally found a hole in the Tech defense on the following drive when Quincy Carter connected with Randy McMichael for a 71 yard touchdown pass after holding the ball for just 27 seconds. The Tech lead now stood at just 17-10.
Tech’s lead disappeared on Georgia’s next drive after Carter led the Bulldogs on a nine play, 77 yard drive to tie the game at 17. Robert Arnaud scored the Bulldog touchdown on a 19 yard run with four minutes to play in the half.
But scoring in a short amount of time was a specialty of the Tech offense, and Hamilton led his team 80 yards in 9 plays to regain the lead before half time. Gregory scored his second touchdown to give Tech a 24-17 advantage at intermission.
Tech looked to have taken control of the game during the first five minutes of the third quarter. Their opening drive went 68 yards to the UGA 12 before Manget was called upon for a 29 yard field goal, extending the lead to 27-17. Travaris Tillman then intercepted Carter’s pass on the ensuing drive and returned to the Bulldog 17 yard line. Hamilton came on to hit White for a 17 yard touchdown pass on Tech’s first play to push the lead to 37-17 with 10 minutes left in the quarter.
Georgia finally answered with an 8 plays, 69 yard drive that was capped off with a 2 yard touchdown run by Arnaud that cut the Tech lead to 34-24 midway through the third quarter.
But Tech’s offense quickly responded as Hamilton took them 72 yards in 7 plays to extend the lead back to 17 with 3:20 left in the period. The score came on a five yard touchdown pass from Hamilton to Conrad Andrejewski and Tech led 41-24.
The Ramblin’ Wreck defense continued its impressive play as Felipe Claybrooks sacked Carter for an 11 yard loss on third down. But just as it looked like Tech would solidify the victory, Hester fumbled the Bulldog punt and Georgia’s Jermaine Phillips recovered at the Yellow Jacket 10 yard line. The Bulldogs quickly got back into the game when Carter scored on a 10 yard run on the next play to bring Georgia within ten at 41-31.
Having recently lost Kerry Watkins to an ejection for fighting, Tech’s offense could not get anything going, and the Bulldogs took over after a quick three and out. Carter again led Georgia down the field on an 8 play, 65 yard drive with Jasper Sanks scoring on a 15 yard run. Just like that, UGA had pulled within 3 at 41-38 with thirteen minutes to play in regulation.
Tech appeared snake bit, and quickly surrendered its lead to the Bulldogs on the next several drives. Georgia first moved 69 yards in 10 plays before stalling at the Yellow Jackets 6 and settling for a 23 yard field goal to tie the game at 41. Hamilton then threw an interception on Tech’s next play and Carter added a Bulldog touchdown just five plays later, connecting with Jevaris Johnson for a 30 yard score and a 48-41 lead with five minutes remaining.
But just as he had done so many times, Hamilton refused to let his Yellow Jackets down. The Heisman candidate marched the offense 68 yards in 7 plays to tie the game at 48 with 2:37 to play. The highlight of the drive was a 32 yard pass to Will Glover to move to the Bulldog seven. Hamilton went back to Glove three plays later for the score from six yards out to tie the game at 48.
Unfortunately, the Jackets left a little too much time on the clock for their rival. Carter took the field and again led the Bulldogs towards the Yellow Jacket end zone, advancing to the Tech two yard line with just 20 seconds to play. Needing just a field goal to win, Bulldog coach Jim Donnan elected to go for the touchdown. On the next play, Jasper Sanks took the ball on a dive and fumbled at the Ramblin’ Wreck one yard line. In the chaos that ensued, Chris Young was ruled to have recovered the ball for Tech, and the Jackets took over with just five seconds to play. Hamilton would down the ball on the last play of regulation to send the game into overtime.
The Jackets won the toss and elected to play defense first. Beginning at the Tech 25, the Bulldogs quickly gained a first down at the 14 yard line. But Tech found an unlikely hero on the next play when Marvious Hester stepped up to intercept Carter’s pass in the end zone, ending the Bulldogs’ chance at a score.
Tech would now begin at the 25 yard line needing just a field goal to triumph over their rival from Athens. Gregory ran twice to move the Jackets to the 19 yard line and O’Leary elected to kick on third down for the win. Manget’s kick came out low, however, and Kenrdell Bell blocked the kick for Georgia. Backup quarterback George Godsey quickly popped up, recovered the ball, and advanced back to the 21 yard line. O’Leary’s decision to kick early proved valuable, as the Jackets now had a second attempt at a game winning kick. Manget’s second attempt from 38 was perfect and the Jackets earned a second consecutive victory over the hated Bulldogs. The student sections instantly cleared the stands to raze the goal posts in celebration, and it was announced that the Ramblin’ Wreck had received a bid to play in its second consecutive Gator Bowl.
The 99 points scored in the game were the most ever scored in a Tech/Georgia game, and Georgia’s 48 points were the most ever surrendered in a Yellow Jackets victory.
Georgia would go on to defeat Purdue 28-25 in the Outback Bowl to finish at 8-4 on the season.
UGA – 33
GT – 29
UGA – 171
GT – 209
UGA – 30-56-376
GT – 22-32-341
UGA – 3-2
GT – 3-1
UGA – 2
GT – 1
UGA – 3-35
GT – 6-50
Notable individual statistics:
Joe Hamilton: 15 for 94 yards rushing; 22-32 for 341 yards passing, 4 TD, 1 INT
Dez White: 9 receptions for 165 yards
Kelly Campbell: 6 receptions for 92 yards, 1 TD
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112799aab.html