Sunday, October 9, 2011

9 October 1897: Georgia Plays Clemson for the First Time

On this day in 1897, Clemson College came to town for their first ever game against the University of Georgia "Footballists:"

Clemson had started their football program the previous year, and came to Athens to play at the newly seeded and renovated Herty Field. This first meeting featured a 75-yard run for a touchdown by Georgia halfback J. T. Moore, and Georgia won the game, 24-0. 

Over the next 24 years, Clemson and Georgia would meet annually, with the exception of 1917-1918, when Georgia did not field a team due to World War I. Though the teams played one another only sporadically from the 1920s through the 1950s, the rivalry intensified during the 1960s and 1970s, with near-annual meetings. In the early 1980s the rivalry became even more fierce as both teams were often vying for the National Championship. The two teams have met a total of 62 times, with Georgia holding the advantage, 41-17-4. 

Since Southeastern Conference expansion in 1992, Clemson and Georgia have not met as regularly. However, the closeness of the two campuses, less than 75 miles apart, and decades of tradition have meant that the rivalry has only continued to simmer despite episodic play. 

Their next two meetings will be in Clemson in 2013 and in Athens in 2014 to start the football seasons.

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