1980 Flashback: Dawgs use miracle to beat Gators

JACKSONVILLE, FL-The 1980 Georgia-Florida game was truly one for the ages.<br> <br> A win for second-ranked Georgia appeared hopeless, but the Bulldogs managed to pull out a 26-21 verdict in this Southeastern Conference tilt November 8 before 68,528 at the Gator Bowl and millions more watching on ABC Television.

Be sure to watch a replay of this game on ESPN Classic on Friday, October 26th from 5-7 PM EST.

1980 Season Home | Scoring Summary | Game Statistics | Larry Munson Audio Clips

With just 1:35 left in the game, the Bulldogs took over the ball at their own 8-yard line, trailing the Gators 21-20. To make matters worse, Georgia had only one timeout remaining.

One pass play lost a yard and another was incomplete, setting up a third-and-eleven from the Georgia 7. It was then that quarterback Buck Belue rolled back into his own end zone under pressure, got a key block from guard Nat Hudson and fired a strike to flanker Lindsay Scott, who appeared to be surrounded by Gators near his own 25-yard line. But Scott took advantage of Florida safety Tim Groves falling down, cut toward the Georgia bench and outraced the Gator pursuers down the sidelines for a miraculous 93-yard touchdown. Belue's two-point conversion pass to Scott was incomplete, but Georgia led 26-21.  (Watch this play - from GeorgiaDogs.com)

Lindsay Scott scores on a 93 yard touchdown 
and runs into the Georgia history books
Click for larger image
Courtesy of UGA Sports Communications

Cornerback and Jacksonville native Mike Fisher intercepted a pass by Peace on the Gators' next possession to seal the win for the Bulldogs.

Georgia (9-0 overall; 5-0 SEC) scored on its first possession when tailback Herschel Walker broke loose for a 72-yard touchdown run. Robinson added the conversion kick to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

Walker finished with 238 yards on 37 carries giving him 1,334 yards rushing for the season, breaking the Georgia season rushing record of 1,312 set by running back Willie McClendon in 1978.

Brian Clark kicked a 40-yard field goal at the 7:07 mark of the first period to cut Florida's deficit to 7-3.

Fullback Ronnie Stewart caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Belue and Rex Robinson kicked the point-after to put Georgia up 14-3 at the 13:29 mark of the second quarter.

After recovering a fumble by Walker at the Georgia 46-yard line, Florida closed the gap to 14-10 with 7:10 left in the half when quarterback Wayne Peace tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to split end Chris Collinsworth and Clark added the PAT.

Robinson padded the Bulldogs' cushion to 20-10 in the third quarter with field goals of 24 and 20 yards at the 9:38 and 3:58 marks respectively. 

The Gators then answered with some points of their own to slice into the deficit and eventually take the lead. Peace passed 54 yards from his own 19 to split end Tyrone Young who carried the ball all the way to the Georgia 11. On the next play, tailback James Jones made a touchdown run. Peace then fired a two-point conversion pass to Young in the corner of the end zone pulling Florida within 20-18 with 14:14 remaining to play.

Florida went ahead for the first time at 21-20 with 6:52 left when Clark kicked a 40-yard field goal to cap an 11-play drive.

Georgia couldn't make a first down on its next possession, but the Bulldogs got the ball back again and made the most of the possession with the Belue to Scott miracle play.

With their win and top-ranked Notre Dame's 3-3 tie with 1-8 Georgia Tech on the same Saturday, the Bulldogs moved to number one in the national polls.

Game Statistics

First Downs-Georgia 17, Florida 20
Rushes-Yards-Georgia 53-286, Florida 42-123
Passing-Georgia 7-16-2, Florida 20-37-2 
Passing Yards-Georgia 145, Florida 286
Fumbles-Lost-Georgia 3-2, Florida 2-1
Punts-Average-Georgia 5-46, Florida 7-35
Penalties-Yards-Georgia 5-45, Florida 8-99


Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Georgia 7 7 6 6 13
Florida 3 7 0 11 10
Scoring Summary
First Quarter
Georgia-Herschel Walker 72-yard touchdown run (Rex Robinson PAT) 13:09 7-0, GA

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