The 1980 Georgia-South Carolina game was young versus old, Heisman Trophy favorite senior George Rogers of South Carolina verses Heisman Trophy challenger freshman Herschel Walker of Georgia. It was two old-fashioned pound the rock offenses toe to toe in Sanford Stadium. It was also Herschel Walker’s national television debut and the kid out of Johnson County did not disappoint.
Throughout the first half, Walker was stymied, forcing Georgia to the air and imperiling the health of junior quarterback Buck Belue. But Walker, Mr. Novocain, finally took effect in the third quarter.
Taking a pitch from Belue, Walker sprinted untouched 80 yards behind perfect blocking for the decisive score. Revealing to America what the hamlet of Wrightsville had released on the world, the 220 pound Walker out ran three South Carolina defensive backs. Each had the angle to catch the freshman, or so it seemed, and the crowd’s roar rose with each defenders desperate reach.
The Georgia defense characteristically grabbed a fumble deep in Georgia territory to seal the win, the young gun Herschel won the duel, and Georgia finished the season National Champs.
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