Friday, October 30, 2015

Greatest Play in Tech History?

Was Saturday’s game-winning 78 yard touchdown return the greatest play in Georgia Tech’s storied football history? Surely not, though it has to be up there. Though I am far from an expert, here are some other great plays, mostly since 1976. Can you think of others I missed?
Roy Riegels’ wrong way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl. While Riegels played for Cal, his famous run helped Tech win the game and the 1928 national championship.
Jake “Mouse” Rudolph’s game-saving “$125,000 tackle” against Alabama on November 15, 1952, securing a Sugar Bowl bid and the national championship. Rudolph was knocked unconscious on the play.
Surely there were great plays in the 24 years between 1928 and 1952, as well as between 1952 and 1976. I’ll check Kim King’s book and maybe more. Can anyone share some of them?
Wishbone running back David Simms’ signature touchdown run to upset Notre Dame in the November 6, 1976 homecoming game.
Quarterback Mike Kelley’s 90 yard quick-kick in the 1979 season-opener against Alabama.
John Davis’ goal line block of William “The Refrigerator” Perry” in 1983. The offensive lineman was named the national offensive player of the week.
Gary Lee’s 95 yard kickoff return through the fog in the win over Georgia November 30, 1985.
William Bell’s 57 yard touchdown run against Nebraska in the 1991 Citrus Bowl – the signature moment in the game that secured Tech’s 1990 national championship (above).
Scott Sisson’s game-winning field goal as time expired against number one Virginia earlier in the 1990 season.
Bulldog Jasper Sank’s goal line fumble and Jacket Luke Manget’s game-winning field goal in the November 27, 1999 overtime win over Georgia.
Calvin Johnson’s leaping game-winning touchdown catch at Clemson in 2004 (above).  
Calvin Johnson’s often-replayed across-the-body catch against NC State on October 6, 2005. 
Roddy Jones’ 54 yard touchdown run against UGA to secure the road win in 2008.
Kicker Scott Blair’s 2009 borderline legal fake field goal / 40 yard touchdown pass to Bay Bay Thomas, to secure the win over Clemson (above).
Cornerback DJ White’s interception to secure the Jacket’s 30-24 overtime win over Georgia in 2014.
Lance Austin’s 78 yard “Miracle on Techwood” return of a blocked 56 yard field goal as time expired to beat #9 FSU on October 24, 2015. For his play Austin was named Tech’s co-special teams player of the game. The Jackets went from possibly losing the game on the last play (or a chance at overtime) to winning the game. A great play – possibly the greatest play in college football that week. Was it greater than the previous week’s great play, where Michigan State scooped up a mishandled Michigan punt to go from losing to winning the game? Both were mere regular season games.
Neither play was better Chris Davis’ “Kick Six” 109 yard return of a missed Alabama 57 yard field goal to win the Iron Bowl, sending Auburn to the SEC Championship Game and later the National Championship. Or “The Play” - the final play of the heated 1982 Stanford/Cal rivalry game when Kevin Moen took the fifth lateral of the play and ran through the Stanford marching band to score the game-winning touchdown. But perhaps on par with the statue of liberty two point conversion run by Boise State to beat the heavily favored Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Or the hook & ladder touchdown pass earlier in the same game.


Fred O. PItts said...

Jeff Ford's 108 yard interception return against Notre Dame, 1969. (Credited as 100 yards officially)

David said...

Thanks Fred O. I loved your Halloween costume!