We all know the big implications of the looming game versus Auburn: Take care of business, and it'll be the first time since 1981 that we will have beaten UT, UF and AU all in one season (plus one more step toward an SEC Championship berth, our first since the Shockley-led Championship team of 2005). And that's not even mentioning the opportunity to get back to a 1-game difference in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.
In an attempt to ignore some of the revenge-buzz that will likely percolate after last year's blatant lack of sportsmanship, here's a quick flashback to an earlier Bulldawg generation's controversy, the 1986 "Between the Hoses" game at Jordan-Hare.
As the R&B article notes, Auburn itself, in an official statement, acknowledged turning the "spray into the stands on the north end of the field," with 400 UGA fans on the field and more trying to partake in the celebration.
The article notes 2 Redcoat Band members were injured by a thrown beer bottle and interviews a flag corps member who received stitches and a drill team member also cut by flying glass; it does not have further details on the extent of any other injuries suffered during the melee. 38 people were ultimately arrested.
The scary footnote to the article, though, happens to be that UGA at that time also had a similar policy for crowd control (quoting then-AA administrative assistant Greg McGarity). I can't imagine a modern Athletic Association ever executing such a policy again, even if it was still on the books, with the swift and immediate repercussions the school would deal with. Can you imagine ESPN's coverage in the 21st century over something like that?
The game itself carried such a strong reaction with the unranked 6-3 Bulldogs facing the No.8-ranked Tigers, 8-1 on the season, on the Plains. With starting QB James Jackson out with an ankle injury while also dealing with his grandmother’s death, backup Wayne Johnson got his first start of the season and led the Dogs to a major upset, 20-16.
Wayne Johnson came into the game 1 for 4 on the season with an INT, yet was able to manage the Dawgs down the field in the 2nd quarter to tie it up, with a TD pass to Troy Sadowski on a quick play action rollout. Johnson ultimately had little to show for it in the box score, going 6-7 with only 59 yards passing; the UGA running game saved the day, running all over the top-ranked defense in the SEC for 236 yards. The Dawg defense had a decent day, with LBs Steve Boswell and John Brantley sharing the AP's Southeastern Defensive Player of the Week award.
A late 4th quarter INT by Boswell ultimately iced the game for the Dawgs, 20-16, and then the chaos ensued.
The 1986 game, with a mediocre UGA team winning over the then-#8 War Eagles, is pretty symptomatic of the Rivalry's swings; the team in a relative down year can and has knocked the stronger team off its pedestal (for a more modern example, look to the 2006 game and Tra Battle's 3 INTs on the rain-soaked Plains against the No. 5 Tigers).
Sporadic highlights from the 1986 game (sadly no 'hoses' footage).