Archives for posts with tag: Citrus Bowl

Just as the Third Saturday in October post did a few weeks ago, let’s take a look at games from five, ten, 20 and 30 years ago in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. All were Georgia victories.

Auburn leads the series 54-53-8, but Georgia enters as a 15-point favorite tomorrow night on the Plains seeking to tie the overall record. The Tigers have led the series since 1988.

2007: #10 Georgia 45, #17 Auburn 20 (Athens)

Knowshon Moreno runs away from Auburn defenders in 2007.

Known as the Blackout Game on the Georgia side, the Bulldogs wore black jerseys for the first time in the modern era and jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the 2nd quarter. But Auburn responded and took a 20-17 lead in the 3rd quarter. A 24-yard touchdown run by RB Knowshon Moreno put the Bulldogs back on top for good as they ran off 28 consecutive points to end the game.

Georgia finished #2 after the bowl games behind fellow conference member and national champion LSU. They wore black jerseys again in the Sugar Bowl defeating Hawaii. Meanwhile, Auburn defeated Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, finishing 9-4 and #15.

Georgia’s “black magic” came to a screeching halt in 2008 against Alabama and in 2009 against Florida as they wore black helmets for the first time.

2002: #7 Georgia 24, #24 Auburn 21 (Auburn)

Georgia clinched its first SEC Eastern Division championship with its comeback win on the Plains. QB David Greene hit WR Michael Johnson in the back of the end zone on 4th-and-15 for the game winner. The Bulldogs defeated Arkansas 30-3 in the SEC Championship Game to secure Georgia’s first SEC Championship in 20 years. The Bulldogs beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, finishing 13-1 and #3 in the polls.

Auburn defeated Penn State in the Capital One Bowl, finishing 9-4 and #14.

Legendary Georgia Bulldog announcer Larry Munson on the call:

 

1992: #12 Georgia 14, Auburn 10 (Auburn)

Ray Goff’s best Georgia team (10-2) beat Pat Dye’s last Auburn team (5-6) as Georgia defenders laid on the pile as time expired on Auburn’s offense at the 1-yard line. Nine years later in 2001, Auburn defeated Georgia 24-17 in Athens in very similar fashion as Auburn defenders did the same thing at the 1-yard line.

After Georgia’s win in 1992, the Bulldogs defeated Ohio State (with QB Kirk Herbstreit and RB Robert Smith — yes, today’s ESPN analysts) in the Citrus (Capital One) Bowl and finished #8. Auburn lost to #1 Alabama and didn’t go bowling.

Two videos here — the first includes an image of Goff directing his players to lay down and the second includes Georgia announcer Larry Munson’s “Old Lady Luck” call of the play:

 

 

1982: #1 Georgia 19, Auburn 14 (Auburn)

In the days before an SEC Championship Game, many Auburn-Georgia games decided the fate of one’s chances to claim the conference crown. Such was the case in 1982 as Georgia was seeking its third consecutive SEC championship and was the #1 team in the country. Auburn was 7-2 in Pat Dye’s second year and trending up.

Auburn QB Randy Campbell and RB Lionel “Little Train” James led a late Auburn drive that ended as Georgia broke up a 4th down pass in the end zone.

#2 Penn State (with QB Todd Blackledge — another ESPN analyst) defeated #1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl 27-23 for the 1982 national championship. Meanwhile, Auburn beat Alabama for the first time in ten years as freshman RB Bo Jackson scored late, and the Tigers beat Boston College in the Tangerine Bowl to finish 9-3 and #14.

Another Larry Munson call and he looks back on the 1982 Auburn-Georgia game:

 

Advertisements

Expansion came to the SEC in 1992 in the form of two new teams — Arkansas and South Carolina — and a new SEC Championship Game, first played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., and then moved to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in 1994. While the first SEC Championship Game almost ruined #2 Alabama’s and the SEC’s chances at their first national championships since 1979 and 1980, respectively, the Crimson Tide eventually overcame Florida 28-21 and blasted #1 Miami (Fla.) 34-13 in the 1993 Sugar Bowl to claim it all.

Florida’s HC Steve Spurrier and QB Danny Wuerffel claim the program’s first national championship in the 1997 Sugar Bowl.

While Florida met Alabama in four of the first five SEC championship games (’92, ’93, ’94, ’96), it was the Gators’ new rivalry with the SEC East’s perennial 2nd-place team Tennessee that sparked so much interest nationally for the conference each September throughout the 1990s. Florida strung together four consecutive SEC championships from 1993-1996 that hadn’t been accomplished since Bear Bryant’s Alabama teams as Steve Spurrier brought a different winning style to the SEC through the air. Spurrier capped it off with the 1996 national championship, the first in Florida’s history.

Meanwhile, Philip Fulmer took over for Johnny Majors in east Tennessee in 1992 and promptly positioned the Vols as Florida’s main obstacle to the SEC East crown. His Vols beat Spurrier’s Gators in 1992, but wouldn’t again until 1998 on their way to Tennessee’s first national championship since 1951.

For 6 years, Fulmer dealt with blow after blow from Florida on the field and quip after quip from Spurrier off it.

Perhaps Spurrier’s best recognized shot at Tennessee during those years was his quote about the Volunteers regularly playing in the Citrus Bowl, the bowl season’s home to the SEC’s 2nd-place team.

“You can’t spell Citrus without the U and T,” jabbed Spurrier.

Heightening matters was the fact that Spurrier is originally from east Tennessee before playing his college football at Florida and winning the 1966 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback.

Not even top recruit and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who directed the Vols at quarterback from 1994-1997, could break through against the Gators. He led Tennessee to the 1997 SEC championship during his senior year, but took his 4th loss to Florida earlier that season.

Tennessee’s HC Philip Fulmer and QB Peyton Manning couldn’t get it done against Florida in four tries together.

Tee Martin took Tennessee’s quarterback reigns in 1998 as the Vols finally knocked off the Gators in overtime in Knoxville — a win, as stated earlier, that eventually led Tennessee to the 1998 national championship.

The Florida-Tennessee rivalry ushered in the SEC’s new expansion era in the 1990s as television coverage exploded across the country. Between highly touted recruits and lofty national rankings, the rivalry was annually pointed to as the biggest September game of the season.

While it’s not #2 versus #4, Florida and Tennessee meet in Knoxville this Saturday night with both ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in many years and ESPN College Gameday in tow. That ’90s feeling is back, if only slightly.