Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Football Game Notes: Georgia


Tuesday, October 01, 2002


Following the first road victory of the season, a 30-12 win over Arkansas, Alabama returns home Saturday to face nationally-ranked Georgia in Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Alabama appeared in the AP rankings for the first time his season at No. 22.  This is the Tide's first national ranking since Sept. 1 of last year prior to the UCLA game.  The Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and No. 7 in the AP writers' poll.  Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. in the CBS nationally-televised game.  Alabama is  4-1 overall and 1-0 in SEC West play.  The Georgia Bulldogs, following a 41-10 win over New Mexico State, is 4-0 overall and 1-0 in SEC East action.   Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (color) and Jill Arrington (sidelines) will describe the action to a national audience.  The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Kenny Stabler (color analyst) describing the action.  Tom Roberts will once again work the sidelines for the network broadcasts. 


The University of Alabama is in its 108th football season and has compiled a 748-282-43 (.717) all-time record in 1,073 games. The Crimson Tide played its first football game on Nov. 11, 1892 with a 56-0 win over Birmingham High School in Birmingham. Alabama and Penn State are tied for fifth place on the all-time victory list for Division I leaders. The Crimson Tide football legacy includes 12 national championships and 21 Southeastern Conference championships.  Alabama has also logged 26,  10-win seasons, the most by any Division I school. The Crimson Tide also ranks among the best in post-season play, holding the NCAA record for most bowl appearances (51) and bowl victories (29).


Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in  his second season with the Crimson Tide and needs just one victory to join an elite college coaching group with 150 career wins.  Currently, there are only six active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione is one win shy of that mark with 149.   In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record, including a win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl.  He is 11-6 (.647) in his tenure with the Crimson Tide.  Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 149-71-2 (.676) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.  Mark Richt is in his second season at Georgia and  has compiled a 12-4 head coaching record.  Richt went 8-4 last season, including a 20-16 loss to Boston College in the Music City Bowl. 


Alabama leads the series with Georgia, 35-22-4, but this will mark only the eighth game played in Tuscaloosa.  The Tide is undefeated against the Bulldogs in Bryant-Denny Stadium, including a 29-28 thriller in 1994, the next-to-last meeting between these two teams.


Game captains for the Georgia game are Justin Smiley  (guard) on offense and Cornelius Wortham (linebacker), Brooks Daniels (linebacker) and Gerald Dixon (cornerback) on defense. 


Alabama will enjoy its only open date of the 2002 season next week.  The Crimson Tide football team returns to action Saturday, Oct. 19 when they host the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Alabama will host Georgia Military on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. in the school's first JV game since 1981. 


The famous bookends from Alabama's 1992 National Championship team will be on hand this weekend at the CTSM Legends Tent signing autographs prior to the Alabama-Georgia football game.  All-Americans Eric Curry and John Copeland, both first-round draft picks off on the school's most dominating defensive units, will return to campus this weekend as part of the Legends Series.  The duo help Alabama to a 13-0 record and its 12th national championship in the school's 100th year of football.  In addition, Alabama led the nation in rushing defense (55.0 ypg) and total defense (194.2 ypg) in 1992.


Both Alabama and Georgia enter Saturday's game ranked in the latest Associated Press poll.  Georgia is 7th in the latest rankings, while Alabama moved into the Top 25 for the first time this season with a No. 22 ranking.

*Georgia is ranked entering the Alabama game for the first time since 1991.

*Alabama is ranked for the third straight meeting with the Bulldogs.

*Georgia enters this weekend's game with its highest ranking against Alabama since the 1976 season.  On Oct. 2, No. 6 Georgia shutout No. 10 Alabama, 21-0,  en route to the SEC Championship.

*This year's Alabama-Georgia game marks only the fourth time in history that both teams were ranked.

1942 --     No. 2 Georgia 21
            No. 3 Alabama 10

1946 --     No. 6 Georgia 14
            No. 15 Alabama 0

1976 --     No. 6 Georgia 21
            No. 10 Alabama 0

2002 --     No. 7 Georgia (4-0)
            No. 22 Alabama (4-1)

*Alabama is ranked for the 15th time in history when playing the Georgia Bulldogs.  The Crimson Tide has compiled a 10-4 (.714) record in its previous 14 games when ranked playing the Bulldogs.

*Georgia is ranked for the ninth time when playing Alabama.  The Bulldogs are 6-2 (.750) against Alabama when ranked in the Top 25.


Alabama leads the all-time series, 35-22-4.  The first meeting between these two Southern football powers came in 1895, with Georgia posting a 30-6 win in Columbus, Ga. Alabama did not post its first series win until 1904, posting a 16-5 win in Tuscaloosa.

*Alabama and Georgia are meeting for the first time since 1995.  This is the first meeting in Tuscaloosa since Alabama's thrilling, last minute 29-28 win in 1994.

*Alabama has won the last three meetings and six of the last eight, dating back to 1977, including a pair of shutouts.  Alabama won 10-0 in 1991 at Bryant-Denny Stadium and added a 31-0 win in Athens in 1995.

*Dating back to 1977, Alabama has won six of the last eight meetings with Georgia.

*Alabama and Georgia have met only 11 times in the last 30 years.

*Alabama's longest winning streak over Georgia is six games from 1960-73.

*Georgia's longest winning streak over Alabama is five games from 1910-16.

*The Alabama roster lists eight players from the state of Georgia, including quick tackle Lannis Baxley (Waynesboro), strong safety Chris James (Albany), free safety Charles Jones (Waynesboro), snapper Nick Ridings (Marietta), defensive tackle Derrick Sanders (Sandersville), quick guard Justin Smiley (Ellabell), defensive end Leslie Williams (Stone Mountain) and kicker Michael Ziifle (Newnan).

*Georgia does not have any players from the state of Alabama.


Alabama and Georgia have met at six different sites in the series 61-game history.  The breakdown is as follows.

Birmingham, Ala.    UA leads 12-11-2
Athens, Ga.         UA leads 11-6
Tuscaloosa, Ala.    UA leads 7-0
Atlanta, Ga.,       GA leads 2-0
Montgomery, Ala.    UA leads, 2-0-2
Columbus, Ga.       GA leads, 2-0

*In games played in the state of Alabama, the Crimson Tide holds a 21-11-4 lead.

*In games played in the state of Georgia, the Crimson Tide holds a 13-11 lead.


Year    Result                      Site         
1895    Georgia 30, Alabama 6       Columbus, GA
1901    Alabama 0, Georgia 0        Montgomery
1902    Georgia 5, Alabama 0        Birmingham
1904    Alabama 16, Georgia 5       Tuscaloosa
1905    Alabama 36, Georgia 0       Birmingham
1907    Alabama 0, Georgia 0        Montgomery
1908    ALabama 6, Georgia 6        Birmingham
1909    ALabama 14, Georgia 0       Atlanta
1910    Georgia 22, Alabama 9       Birmingham
1911    Georgia 11, Alabama 3       Birmingham
1912    Georgia 13, Alabama 9       Columbus, GA
1913    Georgia 20, Alabama 0       Birmingham
1916    Georgia 3, Alabama 0        Birmingham
1919    Alabama 6, Georgia 0        Atlanta
1920    Georgia 21, Alabama 14      Atlanta
1921    Georgia 22, Alabama 0       Atlanta
1922    Alabama 10, Georgia 6       Montgomery
1923    Alabama 36, Georgia 0       Montgomery
1924    Alabama 33, Georgia 0       Birmingham
1925    Alabama 27, Georgia 0       Birmingham
1926    Alabama 33, Georgia 6       Birmingham
1927    Georgia 20, Alabama 6       Birmingham
1928    Alabama 19, Georgia 0       Birmingham
1929    Georgia 12, Alabama 0       Birmingham
1930    Alabama 13, Georgia 0       Birmingham
1934    Alabama 26, Georgia 6       Birmingham
1935    Alabama 17, Georgia 7       Athens
1941    Alabama 27, Georgia 14      Birmingham
1942    Georgia 21, Alabama 10      Atlanta
1944    Georgia 14, Alabama 7       Birmingham
1945    Alabama 28, Georgia 14      Birmingham
1946    Georgia 14, Alabama 0       Athens
1947    Alabama 17, Georgia 7       Athens
1948    Georgia 35, Alabama 0       Birmingham
1949    Alabama 14, Georgia 7       Athens
1950    Alabama 14, Georgia 7       Birmingham
1951    Alabama 16, Georgia 14      Athens
1952    Alabama 34, Georgia 19      Birmingham
1953    Alabama 33, Georgia 12      Athens
1954    Alabama 0, Georgia 0        Birmingham
1955    Georgia 35, Alabama 14      Athens
1956    Georgia 16, Alabama 13      Birmingham
1957    Alabama 14, Georgia 13      Athens
1958    Alabama 12, Georgia 0       Tuscaloosa
1959    Georgia 17, Alabama 3       Athens
1960    Alabama 21, Georgia 6       Birmingham
1961    Alabama 32, Georgia 6       Athens
1962    Alabama 35, Georgia 0       Birmingham
1963    Alabama 32, Georgia 7       Athens
1964    Alabama 31, Georgia 3       Tuscaloosa
1965    Georgia 18, Alabama 17      Athens
1972    Alabama 25, Georgia 7       Athens
1973    Alabama 28, Georgia 14      Tuscaloosa
1976    Georgia 21, Alabama 0       Athens
1977    Alabama 18, Georgia 10      Tuscaloosa
1984    Georgia 24, Alabama 14      Birmingham
1985    Alabama 20, Georgia 16      Athens
1990    Georgia 17, Alabama 16      Athens
1991    Alabama 10, Georgia 0       Tuscaloosa
1994    Alabama 29, Georgia 28      Tuscaloosa
1995    Alabama 31, Georgia 0       Athens


*Alabama 21, Georgia 6
(Sept. 17, 1960) -- Legion Field

Alabama defeated Georgia in the first-ever televised college football game by ABC Sports.  The win was the first of 11 in a row by Alabama, who captured its first of six national championships under legendary coach Paul Bryant.

*Alabama 35, Georgia 0
(Sept.; 22, 1962) -- Legion Field

Alabama sophomore quarterback Joe Namath makes his Crimson Tide debut, leading Alabama to 35-0 win over Georgia.  After two running plays to open the game, Namath dropped back and hit Richard Williamson with 51-yard TD pass on his first collegiate attempt for the Crimson Tide.  The Namath era of Alabama football was underway.

*Alabama 31,  Georgia 3
(Sept. 19, 1964) -- Denny Stadium

Namath completed 16 of 21 passes for 167 yards and added 55 more yards rushing to lead Alabama to an easy win over Georgia.  Namath accounted for three TDs in the Bama win, earning him Associated Press Back of the Week honors.  Namath's 222 yards of total offense was 57 more yards than the entire Georgia offense (165 yards).  The game also marked the head coaching debut of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley.

*Georgia 18, Alabama 17
(Sept. 18, 1965) -- Athens, Ga.

Georgia upset the defending national champions in the 1962 opener 18-17.  A controversial lateral play provided the Bulldogs with winning points in the final quarter.  TV replays showed that the Georgia players knee was down and the lateral should not have counted.

*Georgia 21, Alabama 0
(Oct. 2, 1976) -- Athens, Ga.

The famed Junkyard Dogs pitched a shutout over the No. 10 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.  Sixth-ranked Georgia got a solid game from QB Ray Goff, who led the Bulldogs to the shutout win en route to the SEC Championship.

*Alabama 20, Georgia 16
(Sept. 2, 1985) -- Athens, Ga.

After a blocked punt that led to a Georgia touchdown, Alabama rallied in the final 50 seconds of the game to beat the Bulldogs 20-16 on Labor Day night in Athens.  Mike Shula's 21-yard pass to Al Bell with 16 seconds to play provided the Crimson Tide the game winning points.

*Alabama 29, Georgia 28
(Oct. 1, 1994) -- Bryant-Denny Stadium

In the most electrifying night game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama rallied from an nine-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs, 29-28.  Michael Proctor's 32-yard field goal with just over one minute remaining in the game, provided the Crimson Tide with the winning margin.

The shootout featured Alabama quarterback Jay Barker and Georgia signal-caller Eric Zeier.  Barker led the Crimson Tide to victory, completing 26 of 34 passes for a career-high 396 yards and two TDs.  His 49-yard TD pass to a wide-open Toderick Malone pulled UA to within two points at 28-26 with just over 11 minutes to play.

For his efforts, Barker was named SEC Player of the Week.

Zeier was equally impressive, hitting 25 of 33 passes for 263 yards and four TDs.  The Georgia phenom had three TD passes in the first half as the Bulldogs built a 21-7 lead with less than one minute to play in the second quarter. 

Georgia opened the scoring as Zeier fired a nine-yard TD pass to James Warner, giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the opening quarter.

Alabama tied the game with over 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter as Tarrant Lynch scored on a six-yard run. 

Zeier then put the Dogs up by two touchdowns with two more TD passes.  He hit Hason Graham with a 23-yard TD strike with just over four minutes to play in the half and then capped the Georgia scoring with a 5-yard TD pass to Brice Hunter.

Proctor connected on his first of three field goals, a 33-yarder, on the final play of the first half as UA cut the deficit to 21-10.

Barker responded on the Crimson Tide's opening drive of the third quarter with a 35-yard TD pass to Malone, cutting the Bulldogs lead to 21-16.  The two-point conversion failed.

Malone finished the game with eight catches for 173 yards and two TDs, all career highs for the Attalla, Ala., native.

Proctor's 35-yard field goal with four minutes left in the third quarter, cut the lead to 21-19.  Georgia upped its lead to nine points as Zeier hit Marisa Simpson on a five-yard TD pass to give the Bulldogs a 28-19 lead entering the final 15 minutes.

The Alabama defense shutout out the Bulldogs in the final stanza, setting the stage for Barker's heroics.

*Alabama 31, Georgia 0
(Oct. , 1995) -- Athens

In a defensive tussle, Alabama's pitched a 31-0 shutout against Georgia, holding the homestanding Bulldogs to 213 total yards.

Alabama managed only 227 yards offense, but scored three defensive touchdowns to post its first-ever shutout over Georgia in Athens.

The Crimson Tide defense limited the Bulldogs to just 71 passing yards (10-for-22) and forced six turnovers, converting two into touchdowns.

Proctor's 21-yard field goal with seven minutes left in the first quarter gave Alabama a 3-0 lead.

The defense extended the lead to 17-0 at halftime with a pair of second quarter touchdowns. 

Cedric Samuel's 25-yard fumble return with seven minutes left in the half gave the Crimson Tide a 10-0 lead.  DeShea Townsend's 90-yard blocked field goal return with three minutes left in the half made it 17-0.

After a scoreless third quarter, Dennis Riddle scored the only offensive touchdown of the game, running 12-yards, one play after another Georgia turnover. 

Kevin Jackson's 26-yard interception return with less than two minutes in the game capped the scoring for the Crimson Tide.  Jackson finished the game with a team-high 10 tackles and set the UA single-game record with three interceptions. 

Alabama was penalized 16 times in the game, setting the school record for most penalties.  That mark was equalled in the 2002 season opener against Middle Tennessee.


From 1971-82, Alabama and Georgia won every Southeastern Conference championship, totaling 12 SEC titles. The two teams were co-champions in 1981.

*Alabama won SEC titles in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1981.

*Georgia won SEC titles in 1976, 1980, 1981 and 1982. 

*Since 1982, Alabama and Georgia have won only three SEC Championships, with all three titles belonging to Alabama (1989, 1992 and 1999).


This Saturday's SEC matchup between Alabama and Georgia will be nationally televised by CBS Sports.  This will be the ninth Alabama-Georgia game shown on television.  The Crimson Tide holds a 5-3 (.625) lead in televised games in the series.

Year    Result                    Network   
1960    Alabama 21, Georgia 6     ABC Sports
1965    Georgia 18, Alabama 17    ABC Sports
1984    Georgia 24, Alabama 14    ABC Sports
1985    Alabama 20, Georgia 16    ABC Sports
1990    Georgia 17, Alabama 16    CBS Sports
1991    Alabama 10, Georgia 0     ABC Sports
1994    Alabama 29, Georgia 28    ESPN
1995    Alabama 31, Georgia 0     ABC Sports


A historical look at Alabama and Georgia football.

Category          Alabama      Georgia
National Titles        12            5

SEC Titles             21           10
SEC Ranking           1st          3rd

All-Time Wins         749          653
NCAA Ranking          5th         11th

SEC Wins              319          246

Winning Pct.         .717         .633
NCAA Ranking          3rd         14th

Bowl Games             51           37
owl Wins              29           19


Here is a statistical comparison of Alabama and Georgia entering Saturday's SEC clash at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The current SEC rankings are in parentheses.

Category            Alabama           Georgia
Scoring Offense     29.8 (8th)        32.5 (5th)
Rushing Offense     248.8 (1st)       112.0 (11th)
Passing Offense     186.4 (8th)       221.8 (5th)
Total Offense       435.2 (2nd)       333.8 (12th)
Time Of Poss.       34:41 (1st)       24:55  (12th)
Red Zone Offense    69.6 (11th)       72.2 (8th)
Scoring Defense     19.4 (6th)        13.0 (1st)
Rushing Defense     83.4 (1st)        90.5 (3rd)
Passing Defense     167.2 (5th)       195.8 (7th)
Total Defense       250.6 (2nd)       286.2 (4th)
Red Zone Defense    68.8 (T3rd)       50.0 (1st)
TO Margin           +1 (6th)          0 (T7th) 

*Georgia is the best punt return team in the SEC, averaging 18.9 yards per return in four games this season.  The Bulldogs also lead the SEC with two punt return TDs this season.