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|1920 Georgia Bulldogs football|
National champion (QPRS)
|Conference||Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association|
|1920 record||8–0–1 (7–0 SIAA)|
|Head coach||Herman Stegeman (1st season)|
|Home stadium||Sanford Field|
|1920 SIAA football standings|
|Georgia Tech +||4||–||0||–||0||8||–||1||–||0|
The 1920 Georgia Bulldogs football team represented the Georgia Bulldogs of the University of Georgia during the 1920 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The Bulldogs had an 8–0–1 record, outscored opponents 250–17, and were also co-champion of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, with in-state rival Georgia Tech as well as Tulane, which were also undefeated in conference play.
Georgia gave Furman the team's only loss, and did the same to Alabama in the year's biggest win. This was the Georgia Bulldogs' first season under the guidance of head coach Herman Stegeman and the team's second undefeated season in its history (first since 1896 under Pop Warner). The Bulldogs were retroactively awarded a national championship by Clyde Berryman.
The Bulldogs were led by first-year head coach Herman Stegeman, who attended the University of Chicago and learned football from the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg. During the end of World War I, the United States Army stationed Stegeman in Athens to create physical training courses for the UGA Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. Last season, Stegeman was hired by head coach Alex Cunningham as an assistant. Cunningham then went into the Army, and Stegeman was promoted to head coach. Stegeman was assisted by backfield coach and Warner disciple Jimmy DeHart.
Georgia became known for its line during the early 1920s, this season returning All-Southerns in end Owen Reynolds, tackle Artie Pew, and center and captain Bum Day; as well as guard Hugh Whelchel and a young Joe Bennett. In 1920, the Bulldogs line was complemented with a strong backfield, led by Buck Cheves and known as the "Ten Second Backfield."
|October 2||The Citadel||Sanford Field • Athens, GA||W 40–0|
|October 9||at South Carolina||Columbia, SC (Rivalry)||W 37–0|
|October 13||at Furman||Manly Field • Greenville, SC||W 7–0|
|October 23||at Oglethorpe*||Atlanta, GA||W 27–3|
|October 30||vs. Auburn||A. J. McClung Memorial Stadium • Columbus, GA||W 7–0||7,000|
|November 6||at Virginia*||Lambeth Field • Charlottesville, VA||T 0–0||5,000|
|November 13||Florida||Sanford Field • Athens, GA (Rivalry)||W 56–0|
|November 20||Alabama||Ponce de Leon Park • Atlanta, GA||W 21–14||11,000|
|November 25||Clemson||Sanford Field • Athens, GA (Rivalry)||W 55–0||5,000|
In the second week of play, Georgia easily defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 37–0, "principally through the ability of Hartley and Cheves to advance the ball by long runs". Hartley returned the second-half kickoff back 95 yards for a touchdown, and had another 75-yard touchdown run two minutes later.
The starting lineup was: Reynolds (left end), J. Bennett (left tackle), Anthony (left guard), Day (center), Murray (right guard), Pew (right tackle), Owens (right end), Cheves (quarterback), Echols (left halfback), Hartley (right halfback), Collings (fullback).
A close-fought game with coach Billy Laval's Speedy Speer-led Furman Purple Hurricane brought the Bulldogs a 7–0 win and Furman's only loss on the year. Georgia scored thanks to a pass from Buck Cheves to Sheldon Fitts. A punting duel with Milton McManaway and Dave Collings featured throughout.
The Bulldogs upset the Auburn Tigers 7–0, getting revenge for last year's loss. The only touchdown of the game was a 20-yard pass from Buck Cheves to Dick Hartley. Frank Stubbs starred for Auburn. Artie Pew was ejected for slugging, and thus missed his chance to go out with an Auburn victory.
The starting lineup was: Reynolds (left end), Pew (left tackle), Whelchel (left guard), Day (center), Vandiver (right guard), J. Bennett (right tackle), P. Bennett (right end), Cheves (quarterback), Hartley (left halfback), Collings (right halfback), Echols (fullback).
The starting lineup was: Reynolds (left end), Pew (left tackle), Whelchel (left guard), Day (center), Vandiver (right guard), Anthony (right tackle), P. Bennett (right end), Cheves (quarterback), Collins (left halfback), Hartley (right halfback), Tanner (fullback).
Georgia rolled up a large 56–0 score on the Florida Gators. Florida put up a hard fight until Georgia got its first touchdown across, pouring it on from there. Quarterback Sheldon Fitts was the star of the contest. Fitts and Bohren scored two touchdowns. Paige Bennett, Hartley, Echols, and Collings had one each. Owen Reynolds starred again.
The starting lineup was: Reynolds (left end), J. Bennett (left tackle), Whelchel (left guard), Day (center), Vandiver (right guard), Pew (right tackle), P. Bennett (right end), Pitts (quarterback), Collins (left halfback), Hartley (right halfback), Echols (fullback).
Paige Bennett recovered a Mullie Lenoir fumble and ran 40 yards for a touchdown. Artie Pew kicked goal. On the next possession, Hugh Whelchel blocked a Riggs Stephenson punt , and Pew picked up the ball running 24 yards to score, kicking his own goal. On the next drive, Lenoir scored. In the third quarter, Al Clemens caught a tipped ball, and ran down the sidelines with a wall of blockers for the tying score. Late in the final period, Georgia's O'Connor tried a drop kick which was blocked by Whelchel. Buck Cheves recovered the ball and ran 87 yards for the touchdown Again Pew converted goal. The recovery by Cheves ranked fourth in The 50 Greatest Plays In Georgia Bulldogs Football History.
The starting lineup was: Reynolds (left end), J. Bennett (left tackle), Vandiver (left guard), Day (center), Whelchel (right guard), Pew (right tackle), P. Bennett (Right end), Pitts (quarterback), Collins (left halfback), Hartley (right halfback), Echols (fullback).
Cheves and Hartley starred again in a 55–0 romp over Clemson to end the season. Dave Collings was the star of the contest scoring two touchdowns. The starting lineup was Reynolds (left end), J. Bennett (left tackle), Whelchel (left guard), Day (center), Anthony (right guard), Pew (right tackle), P. Bennett (Right end), Cheves (quarterback), Hartley (left halfback), Collings (right halfback), Echols (fullback).
Rooters on either side of Georgia were happy as both the Bulldogs and Georgia Tech claimed SIAA titles. The Bulldogs were retroactively named the national champion for 1920 under the Berryman QPRS methodology.
|11||Joe Bennett||Tackle||Statesboro, Georgia||180||19|
|1||Bum Day||Center||Nashville, Georgia||Porter Military Academy||5'10"||190||22|
|W. Mercer Murray||Guard|
|3||Owen Reynolds||End||Douglasville, Georgia||6'3"||170|
|9||Artie Pew||Tackle||Damascus, Georgia||195||22|
|Jim Taylor||Tackle||Hazlehurst, Georgia|
|45||Hugh Whelchel||Guard||Dahlonega, Georgia||200||20|
|29||Roy Echols||Fullback||Darlington Academy|
|31||Sheldon Fitts||Halfback||Georgia Military College|
|23||Dick Hartley||Halfback||Fort Valley, Georgia|
The following is an incomplete list of statistics and scores, largely dependent on newspaper summaries.
|Player||Touchdowns||Extra points||Field goals||Points|