GT Vault: It's Been Awhile

Oct. 23, 2014

By Chris Yandle
Communications & Public Relations

The year was 1920 and the Golden Tornado was three years removed from its first national title. It was also the first year under new head coach William Alexander, who had replaced John Heisman after returning to his alma mater, Penn. That was also the year of Georgia Tech’s last visit to Pittsburgh to play the Panthers.

When Tech last visited Pitt, the Panthers called the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Forbes Field home. The Jackets and Panthers met three times at Forbes Field – 1918, 1919 and 1920. Georgia Tech lost all three meetings at Pitt, which was Tech’s lone road game in both 1918 and 1919.

The last time the two schools met in Pittsburgh, Hall of Fame coaches William Alexander and Glenn “Pop” Warner prowled the sidelines for their respective schools.

Tech’s 1918 loss snapped its 33-game unbeaten streak – the Golden Tornado’s first loss since 1914.

Georgia Tech and Pitt are also a part of college football history. In 1956, the two teams met in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, which became the first integrated Sugar Bowl and first integrated bowl game in the Deep South with Pitt’s Bobby Grier breaking the color-barrier. The Jackets shut out the Panthers 7-0 in the Sugar Bowl and defeated Pitt the following season 21-14 in the 1956 Gator Bowl.

So who’s in the picture on this page? That would be the 1920 Georgia Tech football team that finished 8-1. The only blemish was a 10-3 loss at Pitt. Left to right in the right row are: Georgie Ratterman, end; Al Stanton, tackle; Oscar Davis, guard; T.B. Amis, center; C.D. LeBay, guard; Bill Fincher, tackle; John Staton, end. In the back row are Jack McDonough, quarterback; Red Barron, halfback; Judy Harlan, fullback; and Buck Flowers, halfback and team captain.

Georgia Tech (5-2, 2-2 ACC) travels to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers in a pivotal ACC Coastal Division game. Saturday will mark Tech’s first trip to Pennsylvania since 1931 and its first to the Steel City since 1920. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

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