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Ghosts of Bowl Games Past, Part II: UGA vs Brutus in the 1993 Citrus Bowl

Still bitter? - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1992 was a good year for the Dawgs. It could have easily been a great one. Georgia’s two losses, to Tennessee and Florida, were by a combined total of five points. It was the classic "what might have been" season. Still, it would turn out to be Georgia’s first ten win season in a decade, and it came with a consolation prize: a chance to knock off "THE" Ohio State University.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that I can’t stand Ohio State. Ever since the Buckeyes "won" the national championship following the 2002 season, my dislike for them has grown even stronger. That being said, I’m proud to say that Georgia has an all time record of 1-0 vs the Buckeyes.

The 1993 Citrus bowl would end up as the swan song for one of my personal favorite Bulldogs, Garrison Hearst. After a remarkable junior season, in which he finished third in Heisman Trophy balloting, Hearst completed his Georgia career by rushing for 163 yards.

Also making his last appearance in red and black was wide receiver Andre Hastings, who caught eight passes for 113 yards in the game. The final member of Georgia’s power offensive trio, Eric Zeier, had a good day as well, finding nine different receivers while passing for 242 yards.

But it was the Georgia defense that made the difference. With the score tied 14-14, Ohio State had driven into Bulldog territory. Buckeye quarterback Kirk Herbstreit (yep, ESPN’s favorite talking head) collided with his fullback and fumbled. Travis Jones recovered at the twenty yard line, setting the stage for Zeier and the offense.

The Dawgs put together a drive, with the key play coming on Zeier’s 21 yard pass to Shannon Mitchell. Frank Harvey scored on a one yard run to put Georgia ahead 21-14. It was a lead the Bulldogs would not relinquish.

The win represented the high water mark of the Ray Goff era of Georgia football. The next three seasons would result in records of 5-6,6-4-1, and 6-6, culminating in a coaching change. But 1992 will always be a memorable year in UGA history. Esecially the win over Ohio State . Oh, and by the way, Herbstreit’s final stats for the game: 8-24 for 113 yards. Somewhere in Ohio, Brutus the Buckeye cried himself to sleep.

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