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A look at Georgia’s long history at the Sugar Bowl | Football

Georgia will play in its 22nd consecutive bowl game on Jan. 1, 2019, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation. Georgia’s destination, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, holds many memories for the Bulldogs. 

Before Georgia competes in its 10th Sugar Bowl, The Red & Black looks back at the top team’s top appearances in the game. 

1981 vs. Notre Dame 


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Herschel Walker

As a freshman, Herschel Walker led the Georgia team to a win over Notre Dame in the national championship game. Walker rushed for more than 1,600 yards in his first season.



Georgia quarterback Buck Belue completed one pass all game, but it didn’t matter. Running back Herschel Walker’s two touchdowns powered No. 1 Georgia to a 17-10 win over No. 7 Notre Dame. The win clinched a national championship for the Bulldogs, their most recent to date. It marked the first of three consecutive trips to appearances by Vince Dooley’s Bulldogs. 

1983 vs. Penn State 

Dooley and the top-ranked Bulldogs had a chance to win a second national title in three years. No. 2 Penn State had other ideas. The Nittany Lions blew the game open when they turned a three-point lead into a 10-point advantage in the third quarter. In play reflective of the 2012 SEC Championship Game and the 2018 national title game, Penn State covered a 49-yard touchdown pass. Georgia scored but could not come back to win the game. 

2003 vs. Florida State 

In head coach Mark Richt’s second season in Athens, Georgia narrowly missed a spot in the national championship game after being ranked No. 3 in the BCS rankings. The Bulldogs avoided a let down against fourteenth-ranked Florida State, as kicker Billy Bennett hit four field goals en route to a 23-16 Georgia win. The game marked the first of Richt’s three eventual Sugar Bowl appearances. 

2008 vs. Hawaii 


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Mark Richt at the Sugar Bowl

Mark Richt lifts the Sugar Bowl trophy on Jan. 1, 2008. 

This game is not included on the list because it was an engaging contest. The Bulldogs obliterated Hawaii, 41-0. The game mattered because it enabled Georgia to finish ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25, its highest final ranking between 1983 and the end of the 2017 season. Had Georgia not lost to Tennessee in October, it could have competed for a national championship. Instead, the Bulldogs settled for a Sugar Bowl trophy. 

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