Georgia Tech: 17
In 2001 the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs met on Thanksgiving weekend with each squad carrying three losses. The Yellow Jackets had defeated their rival in each of the previous three seasons, most recently dominating the first half of a 27-15 decision in Athens in 2000. Each team desperately needed a victory to improve its bowl destination, so the game looked to be a hard fought battle.
Tech’s defense employed a “bend but don’t break” strategy in the first half, holding the Bulldogs to four field goals and no touchdowns. Billy Bennett connected from 40 and 44 yards in the opening period to give UGA a 6-0 lead as the game moved into the second quarter. Bennett was good again from 32 yards before Tech got on the board with a 13 yard pass from George Godsey to Kelly Campbell to make it 9-7 in favor of the Bulldogs. Tech would take a brief lead after a 28 yard Luke Manget field goal made it 10-9 with 4:29 remaining in the first half, but Georgia would regain the lead before halftime when Bennett hit from 28 yards with 2:04 to play. The kicking show gave the Bulldogs at 12-10 lead at intermission.
Midway through the third quarter, Bennett hit his fifth field goal from 37 yards out to extend the Bulldog lead to 15-10.
Joe Burns scored Tech’s second touchdown on a 37 yard dash to snatch the lead at 17-15 with 5:07 remaining in the third quarter, but Georgia would score just 2:34 later on a three yard touchdown run by Verron Haynes. The touchdown was setup by a 50 yard pass from David Greene to Fred Gibson, followed by a 20 yard run by Haynes to the Tech 3 yard line. The Bulldogs missed a two point conversion attempt, however, and the lead would stand at 21-17.
About six minutes into the final stanza, Godsey threw a short pass to the flats that was picked off by Tim Wansley and returned 28 yards for a Bulldog touchdown to make it 28-17.
Tech then fell apart when Joe Burns lost a fumble early in the ensuing drive at the Yellow Jacket 19 yard line. Bennett would add his sixth field goal of the game shortly thereafter to extend the Bulldog lead to 31-17 and snatch the UGA record for most field goals in a game.
The Yellow Jackets went on to lose to their rival for the first time in four tries and would not achieve another victory in the series until 2008.
Georgia went on to defeat Houston 35-7 in their final contest (delayed due to the 9/11 terror attacks), and would eventually drop the Boston College Eagles 20-16 in the Music City Bowl on December 28th to finish at 8-4 in Mark Richt’s first season as head coach.
UGA – 22
GT – 15
UGA – 232
GT – 63
UGA – 11-26-210
GT – 19-35-179
UGA – 2-1
GT – 1-1
UGA – 0
GT – 1
UGA – 14-134
GT – 5-43
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/112401aaa.html
USA Today Recap: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores101/101328/101328468.htm