Alabama is playing in Athens for the first time since 1995, when the No. 20 Crimson Tide scored two defensive TDs en route to a 31-0 win.
Bama head coach Mike Shula engineered one of the school's greatest comebacks here at Sanford Stadium, leading the Crimson Tide to a 20-16 win over the Bulldogs on Sept. 2, 1985. Georgia trailed the entire game before a blocked punt covered in the end zone gave the Bulldogs a 16-13 lead with 51 seconds left in the game. Shula marched the Crimson Tide down the field and hit Al Bell with an 21-yard game-winning TD pass with 16 seconds left in the game.
The Head CoachesAlabama head coach Mike Shula (2-3, .400) is making his head coaching debut during the 2003 season. Shula previously served as an assistant coach in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Chicago and Miami. A three-year letterman at Alabama (1984-86), Shula was a two-time All-SEC selection and threw for over 2,000 yards as a junior (1985), leading Alabama to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt (24-6, .800) is in his third season with the Bulldogs. The 2002 SEC Coach of the Year led the Bulldogs to the SEC title, the first for Georgia since 1982. Richt led the Bulldogs to a school-record 13 wins last season, capped by a dominating win over Florida State in the Nokia Sugar Bowl. Prior to being named Georgia's head coach, Richt was on Bobby Bowden's staff at FSU (1990-2000), where he served as offensive coordinator the last seven years.
The Alabama-Georgia SeriesAlabama holds a 34-22-4 lead with Georgia in a series that dates back to 1895. This will be the 63rd meeting between these two Southern football powers.
- Alabama and Georgia first met on Nov. 2, 1895 with the Bulldogs claiming a 30-6 win over the Crimson Tide in Columbus, Ga.
- The Georgia series is the third-oldest series in the Alabama record books. Only Auburn (1893) and Ole Miss (1894) are older.
- Alabama did not register its first series win until a 16-5 victory in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5, 1904.
- Alabama and Georgia played each other 51 times from 1895-1965. The two teams met every year from 1941-65, with the exception of 1943.
- Alabama and Georgia did not play from 1966-72, the longest hiatus in the series. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs also did not play from 1996-2001.
- This year's game will be just the 12th meeting between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs since 1966.
- Alabama has compiled a 7-4 (.636) record in those previous 11 meetings with Georgia.
- The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are meeting in Athens for the first time since Sept. 30, 1995 when Alabama scored two defensive touchdowns en route to a 31-0 win.
- Georgia posted a 27-25 win last year (Oct. 5) in Tuscaloosa for its first win over Alabama since 1990. Billy Bennett's 32-yard field goal with 38 seconds left in the game provided the winning margin for the Bulldogs.
- The win was also Georgia's first-ever win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa in eight meetings.
- Alabama has won six of the last nine meetings with Georgia, dating back to 1977.
- 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.
Record by SitesAlabama and Georgia have met in six different cities in the series 62-game history. The record breakdown at various sites includes:
Birmingham, Ala. UA leads 12-11-2
Athens, Ga. UA leads 11-6
Tuscaloosa, Ala. UA leads 7-1
Atlanta, Ga., GA leads 2-0
Montgomery, Ala. UA leads, 2-0-2
Columbus, Ga. GA leads, 2-0
Bama & the Bulldogs have played in 13 different stadia
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2)
Birmingham, Alabama (4)
West End Park
Montgomery, Alabama (2)
Athens, Georgia (1)
Atlanta, Georgia (2)
Ponce De Leon Park
Columbus, Georgia (2)
- Alabama holds a 21-12-4 lead in games played in the state of Alabama.
- Alabama holds a 13-11 lead in games played in the state of Georgia.
- Of the seven people who have played and coached at Alabama, Coach Shula becomes the fifth to play and coach against the Georgia Bulldogs. Mike DuBose played against Georgia, but did not face the Bulldogs as a head coach. Allen McCants only coached one game at UA and it was against Georgia.
- The 1901 Alabama-Georgia game was the first scoreless tie in school history.
- Alabama has had 13 scoreless ties in its 109 year history and three of them have come against Georgia (1901, 1907 and 1954).
- Georgia was Alabama's first-ever opponent at Birmingham Fairgrounds (1905), Crampton Bowl (1922) and Legion Field (1927).
- Georgia's 1920 win over Alabama snapped the Crimson Tide's then school-record 12-game winning streak.
- Three of the five longest winning streaks in Alabama history began with a win over Georgia, including 1924 (20 game-winning streak), 1961 (19-game winning streak) and 1965 (25-game unbeaten streak).
- Alabama has not lost back-to-back games to Georgia since 1955-56. The Crimson Tide also lost back-to-back games to the Bulldogs in 1920-21 and 1942-44 (UA did not have a team in 1943). Georgia also won five straight games against Alabama from 1910-13 and 1916.
- Alabama has shutout Georgia 15 times in the series with the last coming in 1995 here in Athens. That game is also the last time Georgia has been shutout.
- Georgia has shutout Alabama 12 times, with the last coming in 1976 here in Athens.
- In 1942, Alabama and Georgia played its game at Grant Field in Atlanta. Two weeks later, Alabama returned to Grant Field to play Georgia Tech.
- The 1942 Georgia and Georgia Tech games were the first time Alabama has played two different opponents on the road in the same stadium during the same season.
- Three times both games were played in the regular season and the other four times the second game was a bowl game.
- The Crimson Tide dress roster lists five players from the state of Georgia, including strong safety Chris James (Albany), free safety Charles Jones (Waynesboro), snapper Nick Ridings (Marietta), quick guard Justin Smiley (Ellabell) and defensive end Leslie Williams (Stone Mountain).
- Georgia does not list any players from the state of Alabama.
- Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Georgia from 1995-99.
- Kines and Georgia head coach Mark Richt were on the same coaching staff at Florida State during the 2000 season. Kines was the Seminoles linebacker coach, while Richt was FSU's offensive coordinator under Bobby Bowden.
- In 2000, the Seminoles were ACC Champions and played in the BCS National Championship Game, losing to Oklahoma (13-2) in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
- Kines was linebackers coach last year at Florida State and lost to Georgia 26-13 in the Jan. 1, 2003 Nokia Sugar Bowl.
- Former Alabama center Paul Hogan, now a graduate assistant coach on Mike Shula's staff, served as a volunteer coach at Georgia during the 2001 season, assisting Callaway with the offense. Callaway was also Hogan's position coach at Alabama from 1997-2000. Hogan is a native of Valdosta.
- Alabama defensive ends coach Paul Randolph is a native of Gainesville, Ga. and attended Johnson High School.
- Georgia offensive coordinator and line coach Neil Callaway is a former Alabama player and assistant coach. Callaway played linebacker, defensive end and offensive tackle for Coach Paul Bryant from 1975-77. He spent four years as o-line coach and offensive coordinator under Mike DuBose from 1997-2000. He won two SEC championships as a player and one as a coach with the Crimson Tide.
- Callaway and Tide assistant strength coach Terry Jones appeared on the cover of the Alabama-Georgia football program in 1977. The Crimson Tide won that game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, 18-10.
- Former Alabama offensive lineman Will Friend is a first-year graduate assistant coach under Mark Richt. Friend assists coach Neil Callaway with the Georgia offense. Friend played for coach Gene Stallings (1994-96) and Mike DuBose (1997) before joining the staff as a graduate assistant coach. Friend also worked at West Alabama and served as an assistant coach under his father, Chuck, at Central-Tuscaloosa High School.
- Georgia running backs coach Ken Rucker spent a very brief time on Dennis Franchione's staff at Alabama. In Dec., 2000, Rucker was hired by Franchione to coach the running backs at Alabama, but opted after only three months to take the same position under R.C. Slocum at Texas A&M (Feb. 2001).
Some of the Memorable Alabama-Georgia matchups
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.
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.
Clash of the TitansFrom 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 four SEC Championships, with three titles belonging to Alabama (1989, 1992 and 1999) and one to Georgia (2002).