July 29, 2013
THE FLATS – The home of Georgia Tech football for a century, Historic Grant Field will celebrate its 100th anniversary this fall.
The centerpiece of the season-long celebration comes Sept. 26 when Georgia Tech hosts Virginia Tech in an ESPN nationally-televised Thursday night game. Every Yellow Jacket Football All-American and Football Academic All-American will be invited back to campus and will be honored at halftime.
For the game against Virginia Tech, the Yellow Jackets will wear throw-back uniforms, which will be unveiled at a later date.
A 100th Anniversary logo, which will be displayed on Tech’s uniforms, on the field and on merchandise, has been created.
“One hundred years later, Grant Field continues to be one of the best venues in the country to watch college football,” Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski said. “We cherish our history and tradition.”
The All-Americans and Academic All-Americans who are able to return to Tech for the Virginia Tech game will be a part of the Yellow Jacket Alley festivities at 5 p.m. From 5:30-6:30 p.m., the All-Americans will sign autographs on top of the south end of Peters Parking Deck.
Originally built in 1913 by members of the Georgia Tech student body, Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field is the oldest on-campus stadium in NCAA Division I-A (FBS). Mississippi State’s Scott Stadium, which was erected two years later in 1915, is the second-oldest. Georgia Tech’s football facility was known as Grant Field until April of 1988, when the Georgia State Board of Regents voted to add the name Bobby Dodd Stadium in honor of the legendary coach who guided the Rambling Wreck to its most illustrious football era.
The name change was the first for the facility since it was named Hugh Inman Grant Field after a gift from John W. Grant, a member of the Tech Board of Trustees and a well-known Atlanta merchant. The Grant family did not give the land on which Grant Field is built. However, they did give the initial $15,000 used in 1913 to build the first permanent concrete stands on the west side of the field. In gratitude for the gift, the Board of Trustees named the field Hugh Inman Grant Field in memory of Grant’s deceased son. The students who built Grant Field more than 100 years ago wouldn’t recognize the home of Georgia Tech football if they saw it now. Not only has the skyline around the stadium changed dramatically, but the facility has steadily grown and improved during its rich history.
Since its beginning, Historic Grant Field has been the home for events other than Georgia Tech football.
The Peach Bowl, now known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl, began in 1968 and played its December postseason game on Historic Grant Field in 1968, 1969 and 1970. In the early years of the franchise, the Atlanta Falcons played home games there.
Atlanta’s professional women’s soccer team, the Atlanta Beat, played home games on Historic Grant Field in 2001, and the Atlanta Apollos of the NASL played home games there in 2003.
The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Pink Floyd and Jimmy Buffet all played concerts in the facility.
In 1935, a standing-room only crowd of more than 50,000 packed Historic Grant Field to listen to a speech from Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Nelson Mandela gave a speech in the stadium in 1990 after being released from prison.
While the Olympics were held in Atlanta in 1996, the movie premier for “Eraser” was held in the stadium. Vanessa Williams and Arnold Schwarzenegger were on hand.
KEY MOMENTS IN HISTORIC GRANT FIELD HISTORY
Georgia Tech is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Historic Grant Field this fall. Below are some memorable football moments from Grant Field
The First Game (September 27, 1913)
Georgia Tech 19, Ft. McPherson 0 – Not much is known about this game or the opponent, except this was the first game in Grant Field history and fittingly, a shutout for the Yellow Jackets.
The Cumberland Game (October 17, 1916)
Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0 – The Cumberland game, the most lopsided contest in the history of college football. Tech scored 32 touchdowns, averaged 3.8 points per minute, carried the ball for 978 yards, and never threw a pass. Cumberland, since it was losing yardage faster than it was gaining real estate, began to kick the football back to the Jackets immediately after Tech kicked off to them. Amazingly, neither team made a first down in the game because Tech scored within four downs on every possession.
Stunned By The Stormy Petrels (September 25, 1926)
Tiny Oglethorpe University in Atlanta stunned the college football world with a 7-6 defeat of Georgia Tech at Grant Field. After the game, Oglethorpe fans reacted to the victory by staging a spontaneous parade through downtown Atlanta.
The Streak Begins (November 26, 1949)
Georgia Tech 7, Georgia 6, the Grant Field victory that started “The Drought,” Bobby Dodd’s eight-year mastery of Georgia.
Paving The Way To A National Title (October 11-25, 1952)
The eventual national champion Yellow Jackets won three consecutive home games via shutout. Tech beat Tulane (14-0), Auburn (33-0) and Vanderbilt (30-0) by a combined 77-0 score.
The $125,000 Tackle (November 15, 1952)
Georgia Tech 7, No. 12 Alabama 3. In the most exciting game, at that time, in Tech annals, Jackie Rudolph’s “$125,000 tackle” of Bobby Marlow helped preserve the victory, earned Tech a Sugar Bowl bid (and the $125,000 payout) but also preserved the Jackets’ 12-0 season and the Institute’s third national title.
Rolling The No. 1 Tide (November 17, 1962)
Georgia Tech 7, #1 Alabama 6 — Another epic Grant Field win over Alabama, one Bobby Dodd called “my greatest victory.” Mike McNames scored Tech’s only touchdown and made a game-saving tackle to upset Bear Bryant’s unbeaten, No. 1 defending national champs.
The Passless Upset (November 6, 1976)
Georgia Tech 23, Notre Dame 14. In the “Passless Upset,” the Jackets — with freshman QB Gary Lanier running Pepper Rodgers’ option to perfection — didn’t throw a pass in shocking the Irish.
One Fantastic Tie (November 8, 1980)
To understand the significance of Georgia Tech’s 3-3 tie against No. 1-ranked Notre Dame, consider that the Yellow Jackets were in the midst of a two-year stretch where they went just 2-19-1. Those were Bill Curry’s first two seasons as head coach. Notre Dame, which had 20 players on its roster that were drafted by the NFL, had to score late to avoid what would have been one of the biggest upsets in the history of college football.
Last-Minute Win Over Clemson (September 29, 1984)
No. 18 Georgia Tech 28, No. 12 Clemson 21 – Fullback Chuck Easley’s one-yard plunge with just 33 secons remaining capped a 54-yard, last-minute drive to lift Tech to a dramatic win over the Tigers, snapping Clemson’s ACC win string at 20. The win gave the Yellow Jackets and coach Bill Curry a perfect 3-0 start to the season that included a season-opening win over No. 19 Alabama.
Bo Knows (October 19, 1985)
Georgia Tech, an eight-point underdog to 8th-ranked Auburn, led the War Eagles 14-7 at the half and 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter. However, Bo Jackson, in his Heisman Trophy season, needed just one play to win it. He went 76 yards down the sideline for the winning score en route to 242 rushing yards on 32 carries – one of the greatest performances by an opponent in Bobby Dodd Stadium history.
Gary Lee’s TD Run Through The Fog (November 30, 1985)
Georgia Tech 20, #20 Georgia 16. Gary Lee became an instant legend in the Tech-UGA rivalry when he returned a kickoff through the fog for a touchdown against the Bulldogs. Georgia had just scored to take a third-quarter lead when Lee’s 95-yard kick return gave Tech the lead for good.
Shocking The Gamecocks (October 15, 1988)
Georgia Tech 34, No. 8 South Carolina 0 – In a game between two teams apparently heading in different directions, 2-4 Tech shocked previously unbeaten and 8th-ranked South Carolina in convincing fashion, 34-0. The Gamecocks, coached by Joe Morrison (who died of a heart attack a few months later), had Al Groh and Charlie Weiss as assistant coaches.
Ending The ACC Drought (October 7, 1989)
Georgia Tech 28, Maryland 24. Shawn Jones became the first Tech quarterback in 17 years to throw four touchdown passes and the defense came up with a number of big plays in a come-from-behind victory that snapped the Yellow Jackets’ 16-game ACC losing streak.
Completing The Turnaround (December 2, 1989)
Georgia Tech 33, Georgia 22. Jerry Mays rushed for 207 yards as the Yellow Jackets completed a remarkable 7-4 turnaround after starting the season 0-3.
National Title Contenders (October 13, 1990)
No. 18/15 Georgia Tech 21, No. 15/14 Clemson 19 – The Yellow Jackets stamped themselves as national contenders by beating Clemson and improving to 5-0 for the first time since 1966. An 87-yard kickoff return by walk-on Kevin Tisdel and a tenacious defense paved the way.
Biggest Win Since `90 (October 5, 1996)
Georgia Tech 13, No. 12/11 Virginia 7 – Called its biggest victory in six years, Tech used a classic defensive effort and special teams to beat the 12th-ranked Cavaliers. The Yellow Jackets forced five UVa turnovers.
A Dez-ling Victory (October 17, 1998)
Georgia Tech 41, Virginia 38 — In a 41-38 thriller, this one in Atlanta, Dez White caught six passes for a school record 243 yards — the last 54 coming on the game-winning catch to upset No. 6 UVa.
Joe Hamilton’s Final Home Game (November 27, 1999)
Georgia Tech 51, No. 16/21 Georgia 48 (OT) — In the most thrilling games in Bobby Dodd Stadium annals, Joe Hamilton’s last home game was triumphant. Luke Manget’s second-chance, OT field goal sent Tech fans into euphoria. Many of them carried Hamilton — who was second in the Heisman Trophy voting that season — on their shoulders and around the stadium.
Beating Auburn Is A Ball (September 6, 2003)
Georgia Tech 17, Auburn 3 — In the first game in newly-expanded and renovated Bobby Dodd Stadium, a sellout crowd of 55,000 roared as freshman QB Reggie Ball passed for one touchdown and set up two other scores. The crowd later stormed the field and tore down the goal posts.
Spearing The Seminoles (November 1, 2008)
Georgia Tech 31, No. 16 Florida State 28 — Tech’s first win over the Seminoles since 1975 was decided when true freshman Rashaad Reid recovered FSU fumble in the end zone in final minute.
White-Out Victory (November 20, 2008)
Georgia Tech 41, No. 23 Miami 23 — The Yellow Jackets flexed offensive muscle with nationally-televised win over the 23rd-ranked Hurricanes in a “White-Out” at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Top-Five Win Vs. The Other Tech (October 17, 2009)
No. 19 Georgia Tech 28, No. 4 Virginia Tech 23 — Tech’s first win at home against a top-five ranked team since 1962. The fans stormed the field and tore down the goal posts in the north end zone. The win ultimately earned Tech the ACC Coastal Division title.