By Joe Vitale:
Georgia opens the much anticipated 2016 college football season against a team in which the Dawgs have a long and eventful past, albeit not a recent history.
The University of North Carolina Tar Heels venture to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. It’s the second time Carolina has appeared in the game, the first being a 30-24 loss to LSU in 2010. This will be Georgia’s second appearance as well. The Bulldogs were defeated by a No. 5-ranked Boise State, 35-21 in 2011.
Georgia and UNC have met 30 times on the gridiron, with the Bulldogs holding a 16-12-2 advantage. The first game was played in Atlanta (the site of six matchups between the teams) in 1895. Fifteen hundred fans witnessed the first forward pass in football history, when out of desperation, the ball was thrown by the Tar Heel quarterback instead of punted and caught by a UNC player for the games lone score.
The first seven games of the series were played at neutral sites in Atlanta, Macon and Raleigh, NC. UGA and UNC were charter members of the Southern Conference in 1921.
In 1895, Carolina played four games in the span of six days, including two games against Georgia. UNC beat the Bulldogs 6-0 in Atlanta on October 26, traveled to Nashville for a victory over Vanderbilt two days later, followed by a tie at Sewanee the next day, and finally another win over Georgia October 31 in Atlanta by a score of 10-6.
The 2016 meeting in the Georgia Dome will be the first between the border state universities in 44 years. The last meeting was a 7-3 Georgia victory in the 1971 Gator Bowl. That game was a battle of the Dooley brothers, pitting UGA’s Vince Dooley vs. UNC’s Bill Dooley.
From 1946 to 1971, the Tar Heels and Bulldogs played 15 times, including nine times from 1946-56. Carolina’s first bowl game was against Georgia in 1947 with the Bulldogs scoring a 20-10 victory in the Sugar Bowl. The game featured a pair of legendary collegiate running backs, UNC freshman Charlie “Choo-Choo” Justice and Georgia senior Charlie Trippi.
Georgia will attempt to add to it’s current 4-game winning streak over North Carolina in a probable top 25 match-up of the historic programs in Atlanta on September 3.