Well, I am pulling a "Happy Gilmore."
In the great words of Chubs, "It is time go to my happy place." So off I go to a place sure to bring a smile, Memorial Stadium Sept. 19, 1987.
Georgia vs. Clemson - tell me that doesn't bring a smile to your face?
Vince Dooley vs. Danny Ford - tell me just the mention of those two gets your blood flowing?
The home-standing Tigers were ranked eighth and the visiting Bulldogs came in No. 18 that day. The style of play for both teams was hard, gritty, and defensive. Simply put, you hated one team and you loved the other - there was no fence-sitting.
Clemson had started the season with a 43-0 romp over Western Carolina and followed that with a convincing 22-10 win in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech.
Meanwhile Georgia had opened the season at home with a 30-22 victory over Virginia and had two weeks to prepare for the Tigers. UGA also had memories of David Treadwell's 46-yard field goal beating them 31-28 from just a year earlier. Little did the Dawgs know it was a nightmare they were about to relive.
The weather that afternoon was made for two teams that hit hard and ran between the tackles. It was raining and the 82,000 plus braced for a mudder. The first 30 minutes lived up to the hype, two field goals by each team and a big play for a touchdown brought the teams to the locker room tied at 13.
In the thirdquarter, Treadwell's 29-yard field goal at the 5:51 mark gave the Tigers a brief 16-13 lead.
Early on in the fourth the Bulldogs started to put together an offensive drive. It was capped off by an eight yard run by Rodney Hampton with 8:59 to go. It was the first offensive touchdown against the Tiger defense that season.
Georgia led 20-16 and the Tiger offense had to respond, but the Georgia defense wasn't going to let that happen, forcing Clemson to punt on the ensuing possesion.
The punt was downed at the Bulldog 1-yard line and now, QB James Jackson had to get UGA out of the shadow of their end zone.
Of course, the Tiger faithful was in full throat. They wanted a defensive stand because they knew a three-and-out would give Clemson great field position and a chance to drive for the winning score. On first down, Georgia barely got out of the end zone. On second down, Jackson took the snap and rolled left. The Tiger D swarmed to him and he could find no escape. James Lott and Gene Beasley wrapped Jackson up behind the goal line for a safety.
5:48 was left in the game, Georgia still led 20-18, but it was Clemson that had the momentum.
The free kick by Georgia gave Clemson great field position at their 43 yard line, and Danny Ford turned to his running game and Terry Allen responded, driving all the way to the Georgia 4-yard line. Allen rushed for 35 yards on the drive.
With the clock ticking away the final few seconds, the Tiger field goal team trotted out on the field. Treadwell again delivered the final blow, splitting the uprights from 21 yards with just two seconds left.
Clemson 21 Georgia 20 was the final and Tiger Nation was happy.
Sometimes you just have to go to your happy place.
My Happy Place: UGA vs. Clemson
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