GT Vault: Ramblin' Wreck Home Openers

Georgia Tech beat Georgia 3-0 at Grant Field in 1925

By Chris Yandle
Communications & Public Relations

“There’s no place like home.”

Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) uttered that now legendary phrase three times in The Wizard of Oz, which was released in 1939. By that time, Historic Grant Field had already cemented itself as one of the nation’s great college football venues.

Saturday will kick off Georgia Tech’s 102nd season of calling Grant Field home. More than 660 games have been played on The Flats and six more will be waged in 2014.

Georgia Tech has won 452 of 662 home games, posting an impressive .700 winning percentage. I don’t care how you slice it – that many wins with that high of a home winning percentage over 10+ decades is impressive.

Having entered its second millenium, Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field is the nation’s oldest FBS stadium. When you add in Penn, Harvard, and Yale, the Yellow Jackets’ play in the nation’s third-oldest stadium. It is also the winningest home football stadium in the FBS.

 Georgia Tech (Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field) 1913  Penn (Franklin Field) 1895
 Mississippi State (Scott Field) 1914  Harvard (Harvard) 1903
 Cincinnati (Nippert Stadium) 1916  Georgia Tech (Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field) 1913
 Wisconsin (Camp Randall) 1917  Yale (Yale Bowl) 1914
 Washington (Husky Stadium) 1920  Mississippi State (Scott Field) 1914

When it comes to winning at home, the Yellow Jackets have been dominant. Georgia Tech opened Grant Field with a 19-0 win Sept. 27, 1913, vs. Ft. McPherson. In fact, the Yellow Jackets posted 14 straight wins in home openers, including 10 straight shutouts.

It wasn’t until 1922 that a GT opponent was able to score on the Yellow Jackets in their home opener – a 31-6 win over Oglethorpe. As irony would have it, Oglethorpe would also be the team that handed Georgia Tech its first loss in a home opener – a 7-6 setback in 1926.

From 1913-71, Georgia Tech was 57-3 in home openers at Grant Field. During that same time, the Yellow Jackets posted home-opening win streaks of 18 games (1927-44) and 19 (1946-64).

Georgia Tech enters Saturday’s game vs. Wofford with an 83-18-1 mark (.819) in home openers and winners of six straight. Yes, GT has played 102 home openers in 101 seasons at Grant Field. The Yellow Jackets played a very rare home doubleheader to open their 1917 campaign – a 25-0 win over Furman, followed by a 33-0 shutout of Wake Forest.

Fast forward to the modern era, where the Yellow Jackets have won 21 of their last 24 home openers. Georgia Tech is 13-1 in the 2000s, and has won six straight home openers under head coach Paul Johnson.

Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field has been the site of many historic moments in program history. Now it’s time for toe to meet leather.

■ Opened Grant Field with 14 straight season-opening wins
■ Opened Grant Field with 10 straight season-opening shutouts
■ Oglethorpe (1922) was first home-opening opponent to score vs. GT at Grant Field 
■ 18-game home opener streak (1927-44)
■ 19-game home opener streak (1946-64)
■ Overall record in home openers at Grant Field = 83-18-1 
■ Since 1989 loss to Virginia, the Yellow Jackets are 21-3 in home openers (only losses: Arizona, 1994; Boston College, 1998; Notre Dame, 2006)


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