Georgia football: Flashback to the first blackout game in 2007
For the first time since 2008, and the fourth time in the modern era, Georgia football will take the field wearing black jerseys this afternoon versus Louisiana Lafayette.
A lot of us remember that week in the 2007 season. Georgia football had just beaten Troy just few days earlier.
This was the week of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. The Auburn Tigers were coming to town for revenge. In 2006, a 6-4 Georgia team upset a 9-1 no. 5 Auburn team on the plains. Georgia was in the top 10 after beating Florida two weeks earlier, Auburn wanted to return the favor.
And on this random day of the week the school called for blackout of Sanford Stadium. Every Georgia fan in attendance was asked to wear black. Considering Auburn was in town, the headline if Georgia won practically wrote itself; Georgia blacks-out Auburn. That made the blackout easy for fans to go along with.
Plus, a change of scenery sounded like a neat idea. Fans normally wear whatever they want to Sanford Stadium, but the dominant color has always been red.
Very quickly however, fans began to wonder if they were asked to where black were the players going to as well. And for the rest of that week, all speculation was on whether or not the Bulldogs would wear something other than the traditional red jerseys.
And fans questioning about whether or not Georgia would wear black on the field against Auburn was met with a resounding no. But still, many fans had hopes. Almost everyone around Georgia has worn some kind of alternate uniform at this point except for Alabama and Auburn. Maybe it was Georgia’s turn.
But those hopes were immediately dashed on game day. The players got off the bus for the Dawg Walk with red jerseys. They took the field for pre-game warm ups and walk through’s in red jerseys.
At this point, even the players thought that they were going to be wearing traditional red. Georgia’s director of athletic equipment John Meshad had to sneak these uniforms in a giant bin with the unknowing assistance of Auburn’s equipment manager Jim Vanzandt. Meshad passed this bin on as just a heavy box of towels.
As the team was warming up, the uniforms made their way into the locker room. The players didn’t see them until they returned from the field.
As the Redcoat Marching Band was playing their pre-game routine, the four captains took the field wearing red jerseys. For the 92,746 plus in attendance, that was final confirmation that the Georgia Bulldogs were not going to wear anything black.
Then, the band took their final formation, clearing a route for players. Female cheerleaders lifted the banner and the males grabbed the flags. The band played Krypton as they always do before the players run through the banner.
At this point on any other game day, the players would have left the tunnel and lined up behind the banner and around the Uga statue. But for some reason they weren’t, they weren’t seen at all.
Then, as Krypton ended and Glory, Glory to Ole’ Georgia began, the players sprinted out of the tunnel and through the banner wearing black jerseys.
The team denied the black jerseys existence all the way up to last possible moment. And all though they had led fans down all week-long with denying that the team would wear black, it only made the surprise that much more enjoyable.
Eyes shifted to the four team captains who revealed that they were wearing the black jerseys under their red jerseys. It was a quite awkward and funny scene to see them try to take off the top jersey.
But Georgia still had a game to play against one of their biggest rival who was still focused on revenge from the upset in 2006. The Bulldogs dominated the first 20 minutes. A field goal by Brandon Coutu and a two touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford gave Georgia a 17-3 lead.
But Auburn came back and with 6:47 left in the third quarter, Georgia trailed 20-17. Then Knowson Moreno happened. He ended a quick 4-play drive with a 24-yard touchdown run that featured one of the hardest, most devastating jukes you’ll ever see.
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Moreno scored again from three yards out as time expired in the third quarter. That put the Bulldogs ahead 31-20. During the break, the stadium played Souja Boy which got much of the people in the stadium dancing, including CBS announcers Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.
Brannan Southerland and Thomas Brown added a touchdown each in the fourth quarter as Georgia blacked-out Auburn 45-20. Georgia’s first blackout was a major success.