Georgia Bulldogs Bowl History Says Belk Bowl Could Be Tight Game


The Georgia Bulldogs will meet the Louisville Cardinals in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 30, and history says that could mean a very tight game.

Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs /

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia has played 22 bowl games in the month of December, but in nearly six and-a-half decades, the Bulldogs have played on December 30 just three times. The Bulldogs’ Belk Bowl battle this Tuesday, against the Bobby Petrino-led Louisville Cardinals, will be its fourth.

The Bulldogs first Dec. 30 encounter came in the 1989 Peach Bowl (now Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl) at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. It was not a day to remember. The Syracuse Orange(men) came calling against first-year head coach Ray Goff, and Georgia was attempting to end a difficult 6-5 regular season campaign on a high note.

A dreary season ended on a dreary day with a similar result as Syracuse scored nine fourth quarter points, including a field goal with 25 seconds remaining to win, 19-18.

Six years later, in 1995, circumstances for the Bulldogs were eerily similar. After posting another disappointing 6-5 mark, Georgia was again looking to cement a winning campaign, this time with a victory over the Virginia Cavaliers. Ironically, the Peach Bowl, which hosted Goff’s first bowl game in 1989, would also host his last.

Sophomore quarterback Hines Ward did all he could and more while setting Georgia bowl records for pass attempts (59), completions (31), yards passing (413) and total offense (469). It was not enough.

Georgia tied the game on defensive tackle Jason Ferguson’s 10-yard TD fumble recovery with 1:09 left in the game, but Virginia returned the ensuing kickoff for an 83-yard TD ensuring a 34-27 victory.

More than a decade later, the Bulldogs returned to Atlanta to face the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2006 Chick fil A Bowl (formerly Peach Bowl). Coach Mark Richt’s first, and only December 30 appearance to date, was a wild affair.

Trailing by 18 points at the half (21-3), the Bulldogs stormed back posting 28 points in the final two quarters for the 31-24 win.

Freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford was named Offensive MVP while linebacker Tony Taylor recorded two interceptions to garner the Defensive MVP award. Georgia’s 28 unanswered points was a Chick fil A Bowl record and the biggest come-from-behind victory under Richt.

These three games yielded a 1-2 record with all being decided by a mere 15 combined points. If the trend holds true, expect the Belk Bowl to be another December 30 nail-biter.

Next: 2014 Belk Bowl Tale of the Tape