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It’s Auburn–Georgia Week On The Plains … Let the Buildup Begin!

By on November 7th, 2017 in Football, Memories, News 36 Comments »
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USA TODAY Sports

It’s Auburn–Georgia week on The Plains! Those words stir up the emotions of all Auburn faithful. While the Iron Bowl is usually more important, the heritage of college football in the south belongs to this November classic.

The first game played in the Deep South was between these two like-minded programs. Auburn won that one 10–0 in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. For the most part the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” has always been close. Only two games separate the series with the Dogs holding a narrow lead at 57–55–8.

With 124 years of history, usually a fourth of Auburn’s roster made up of players from Georgia, and championship implications often on the line for one or both teams; the game has more often than not been a high-stakes event. And this year is no different with No. 10 Auburn set to host No. 1 Georgia Saturday in the CBS Game of The Week.

There are so many great memories of Auburn–Georgia.

My earliest memory of the series dates back to 1958 when Auburn beat the Dogs 21–6 in the last game played in Columbus, Goergia’s Memorial Stadium. The city still holds the record for the most games (44) played in the series.

I can remember the 1963 game led by Auburn’s overall number 1 first-round draft pick and Player of the Century, Tucker Frederickson. The Tigers beat the Dogs that day 14–0.

I can remember the running back duo of Joe Cribbs and James Brooks running all over Georgia in 1977 and 1979. I can also remember being equally disappointed in the 22–22 tie in 1978. Those two legends never got a win in the Iron Bowl, but they feasted on Georgia most years.

I can remember Pat Sullivan’s Heisman signature game against Georgia in 1971. He finished the day 14 of 24 for 248 yards and four touchdowns. Afterwards, Georgia coach Vince Dooly said, “We were beaten by the best quarterback I’ve ever seen. Sullivan was a super player having a super day and if Sullivan is Superman then Terry Beasley is Boy Wonder.”

I vividly remember watching in 1983 as a young Pat Dye led Auburn to claim its first SEC title since 1957 with a 13–7 win in Athens. It marked a changing of the guard in the SEC with Dye’s Tigers taking the reins for the next decade.

For Auburn fans of my generation, it’s hard to not think about Coach Dye during Georgia week. As a child I saw Dye playing for the Bulldogs in Columbus. As an adult I saw him own his alma mater as Auburn’s coach. In fact besides owning Alabama, he made his name by whipping his old school.

Who can forget Tommy Tuberville’s improbable win in Athens over 14th ranked Georgia in 1999? It marked his first win over the Dawgs, and the fifth and final victory of the season for Auburn’s new coach.

Before his time on the Plains was finished, Tuberville would post a 5–5 record against Georgia, including a memorable 24–6 victory over the eighth-ranked Dawgs in 2004.

And who could forget ‘The Prayer in Jordan-Hare” when Auburn faced 4th down and 18 with 36 seconds to go in the game, and  Nick Marshall threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Ricardo Louis to break the Dog’s heart and keep the Tigers’ SEC Championship hopes alive.

While the series has a history of championships being on the line, it also has a history of the underdog scoring upsets.

Take for example that 1999 contest when the underdog Auburn Tigers came into the game having lost five of their previous six games yet led 31-0 at halftime and went on to take a 38–21 victory.

Then there was the 100th meeting of the two foes in 1996. The two played in the first Southeastern Conference football game to go into overtime. A 5–6 Georgia team was down 28–7 at halftime, but came back to tie it up at 28–28 and then went on to win 56–49 in four overtimes.

As is the norm, Saturday’s contest will have a lot riding on the outcome. For Georgia, it’s a chance to keep its hopes alive for its first national championship since 1981. Auburn is probably the last team on the Georgia schedule that has a chance at derailing the dream.

And Auburn will be looking for its eighth win of the year. A victory could push the No. 10 Tigers closer to the magic top four of the college football rankings and set up another Mother of All Iron Bowls on November 25th.

Most importantly, this game promises to add another chapter to the most unique rivalry in all of college sports. It’s a week to savor and enjoy. Let the build-up begin.

See you in Jordan-Hare!

36 Comments

  1. meathead530 says:

    After last year’s flop, this one needs to be special. Let’s go tigers. Make the 2017 game memorable and crush the bulldogs.

  2. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I still swear that William Andrews scored when he broke free on that long run just before halftime of the ‘78 game.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..I was a freshman in the Auburn Band, that year. Yes, Andrews scored. His torso (with the ball) was over up to the waist, before a knee went down. We were robbed several times in that game…

      • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

        I was sitting in the very end zone where it happened, right smack in the middle of a bunch of UGA fans. They were as shocked as the AU fans that the refs spotted him short. They also knew they were lucky to leave with a tie. That’s one Auburn game that I really felt was stolen by terrible officiating.

      • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

        "You are so right Carl" … Andrews Scored! Happened right in front of where we were sitting.

        I also remember that after the Tigers pre game warmups that they left the field and returned with Orange jerseys. The move pumped up the crowd and, I think gave Auburn the needed momentum to beat the Dogs – which they did. Unfortunately though they lost to the refs.

        • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

          Small world! We had to be sitting fairly close to one another! Was ‘78 also the season that the UGA football team started wearing silver pants? I seem to remember one particular dawg fan constantly complaining about “our shiny silver britches”.

          • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

            Yeah, how about that?

            From what I understand the silver britches have been used off and on since the 1930's. Vince Dooley chose white pants when he was hired but put the team back in silver britches in 1980.

            The old cheer, "How about them Dawgs?" supposedly started in 1977 or 78, so there's that. And I know they were calling the team, "Harry Dogs." a lot back then because I had a Ga. friend with me that kept yelling over and over, "Go you Harry Dogs!" ….. It was annoying.

  3. DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

    Great stuff Tigerman. Really want to beat those guys this year. We owe them after last year’s disappointment. I know I’ve got my game face on!

  4. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    Raise your hand if you thought Auburn would win last years game 7-6. [crickets]. It has been a year since the Sean White pick 6 killed our chance to beat an awful UGA team.

    An Auburn win this Saturday will get that bitter taste out of my mouth. We can stop UGAs run attack. The question is ; can Fromm pass UGA to a win? I see 2 ints. by the Auburn defense in this game. I see Carlson kick 2 field goals. I see the 3rd quarter being a difference in an Auburn win vs UGA on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

    • ATL_AU_FAN ATL_AU_FAN says:

      Oh, we were there!! Auburn allowed UGA to score two field goals with their offense. The pick-six was the game winner. Yet, they "boast" about how they beat Auburn yet again Crap, Auburn beat Auburn against UGA last year. Time to turn the tables. And, I mean, REALLY turn the tables, as in a total beat down…

  5. meathead530 says:

    I’m not going to lie. I have high hopes for Saturday. I’d love to see Auburn on the sports highlights for destroying the #1 team. Gus, lead this team to victory. You owe these men that and their fans too.

  6. AUglenn says:

    Look forward to reading your AU-Ga post every year ATM. I always learn something new. As a teenager, I still got a lot to learn about my favorite team and I can always find new stuff here at TET. Thanks to all the writers here for all you do.
    War Eagle & Beat Ga.!

  7. idnod idnod says:

    If Auburn comes out with anything less than “White Hot” intensity in this game, I am going to be very disappointed. Don’t even let them breathe !!!

  8. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    Funny how perspective affects memories. In 1978 Auburn was not a very good team, as I recall, and Georgia was heavily favored. My dad and I attended the game, and we both left feeling that Auburn had won a moral victory by denying a good Georgia team a win.

    • AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

      Appreciate your perspective but we were there too and we didn’t feel like Auburn got a moral victory. We left feeling like though Auburn was the underdog that Auburn should have won the game but was robbed by the refs.

  9. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..My feeling about Auburn in that era was “maddening inconsistency.” We were just flat bad for most of 1975-1976. There was a spark towards the end of 1977, with the emergence of stars like Fast Freddy Smith, William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, and James Brooks. 1978 had some big wins, usually followed by awful let-down losses.

    …..Tigers got out to a 3-0 start, with all wins on the road, at Manhattan Kansas, Blacksburg Virginia, and in Birmingham against Tennessee. The 29-10 win over UT had us hoping for big things! And this was a do-it-now situation, because a dreaded NCAA letter of inquiry was sitting on President Phillpot’s desk.

    …..In the first game at home, Auburn had a big let-down, and had to come from behind late against Miami to take the lead. Then Auburn let Miami drive the length of the field in 30 seconds and win 17-15 with a field goal.

    ……The next week, Auburn smashed Vandy in Nashville, 49-7. Back at home, BIG let-down against Georgia Tech, who’s supposed to be one of our big rivals. We lost, 24-10. Auburn took care of Wake Forest for homecoming, then sleep-walked through a 31-7 loss to Florida at Gainesville.

    …..Well, by that time, we did not think Auburn was really any good. We made the trip to Starkville, and figured we’d have no chance to stop the high-flying MSU offense. Auburn shocked the league, winning 6-0. Were we good, or bad? Georgia followed, and which Auburn team would show up at Jordan Hare Stadium?

    …..The good team did, but we ended up tied. In the Iron Bowl in Birmingham, Auburn put up a fight, but this was the National Champion Bama team that would later deny Penn State on the goal line. Auburn lost that one, 34-16.

    ……At the end of the season, the way it was put in the Glomerata, Auburn was “all dressed up, and no place to go.” At 6-4-1, the bowls all passed on Auburn, and NCAA sanctions were looming. It would be 5 years later, before Auburn had a chance to go to the Tangerine Bowl.

  10. Tigers5711 says:

    My first GA game was 1963 when we won and went on to go the the Orange Bowl. My next time was in Athens when my buddy and I got to Athens around 2 in the morning and ended up sleeping in a cot in a dorm room. The next time was the game of the century in 1971 when no tix were available and we watched from the train trestle. The 1986 game GA upset us in Auburn and we turned the hoses on the GA students who rushed onto the field. We used to beat GA regularly but the last 13 years has seen only 4 wins. 04, 05, 10 and 13. But we won the SEC 3 of those years and a NC, an appearance in the NC game and a number 1 ranking for ’04 when USC had to vacate their NC due to violations.

    This year GA is good but has played no any good teams since Notre Dame and possibly a pretty good SC team. Same for us since Clemson we have not been tested except the embarrassing loss at LSU. So we really don’t know how good GA is. They can be beaten if we are in a special groove like we were in 2013. WDE.

  11. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane ATM. Good way to start off Auburn -Georgia week.
    My first game was the ’78 game, the missed call on Williams Andrews game, and yes he was in the end zone before his knee hit the ground.
    Living in Georgia, this is ‘the’ game I want to win the most every year. Here’s to hoping this week’s game will be added to the list as another great Tiger victory!

  12. easyedwin easyedwin says:

    Fromm vs Stidham……Stidham.
    Michelle vs KJ……………KJ
    Chubb vs Kam………….Chubb
    Offense……………………Auburn

  13. Tigers5711 says:

    This is a monster game for GA since it’s the first time they could win the SEC in 12 years after we’ve won 2! But it’s big for us too as we’ve only beaten them twice since then. They are good even though they’ve had a sissy schedule after ND but only favored by a field goal. We still have an outside chance of running the table just as we did in ’13. But our coaches will need to do a mind job on our team to instill a belief that we CAN win just as we did in 2013. The trend is that GA always (almost) beats us. Chip must call a perfect game and our guys must play their max game too. WDE.

    • jbellison56 says:

      What he said ^^^ !

    • audad says:

      A monster game for the Dawgs for sure, but more because of their # 1 ranking than their chances to win the SEC. They will get that chance regardless of Saturdays’ outcome. They will be playing for the conference championship against either Auburn or Alabama since they already have the east clinched. As a matter of fact, they can lose this week and then lose their final conference game and still play for the conference championship. The advantage of being in the SEC East this year where the second place team already has three losses.

  14. jbellison56 says:

    I live in Opelika now but I’m from Georgia and I so want to beat them dawgs. Getting damn tired of the ribbing from family and friends.

  15. almightytmc1 says:

    This is going to be a game for the ages. Auburn will have to play flawless, but again so will UGA. It will come down to the coaching. UGA is fast and physical and will be Auburns toughest game to date. The AU team has loads if talent….Does Gus have what it takes?

  16. GreenvilleAUfan GreenvilleAUfan says:

    This game is going to be big. It will be a war between Auburn’s hedges. But I’m hoping the Tigers can have a game changing moment like the two quick TD’s against TAMU last week just before the half and then jump on the dogs in the 2nd half & not let them up!

  17. […] CBS Game of the Week will broadcast the 121st meeting of Auburn versus Georgia. There have been so many thrilling and dramatic games over the 125-year history of the series, and this year’s edition will just add to the mystique that is the Deep South’s […]

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