The 2023 season kicks off Saturday evening and with it comes the terrific opportunity for Kirby’s Dawgs to break Georgia’s all-time game winning streak that currently sits at 17

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The 2023 season kicks off Saturday evening and with it comes the terrific opportunity for Kirby’s Dawgs to break Georgia’s all-time game winning streak that currently sits at 17

Jeff Dantzler
Jeff Dantzler

A new season is upon us, and the Georgia Bulldogs sit atop the college football world. The two-time reigning national champions open Saturday evening against the UT Martin Skyhawks Between the Hedges, and the heavily favored Bulldogs have a chance to make some history with a victory.

Highlighted by the back-to-back national championships, Georgia has accrued a tremendous amount of accolades under Kirby Smart’s watch. That includes victories in 33 of the Bulldogs last 34 games, and a school record tying 17-game winning streak.





Win Saturday night, and the Bulldogs set a new mark.

Georgia’s historically dominant 65-7 victory over the TCU Horned frogs in the National Championship Game in Los Angeles capped an incredible 15-0 season and marked the Bulldogs 17th straight win, a streak that began with the 34-11 mauling of Michigan in the College Football Playoff Orange Bowl. The streak would continue with the 33-18 triumph over Alabama on January 10, 2022 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, delivering Georgia that precious first of two straight national titles.

That incredible night in Indy was the second of Smart’s vengeance victories. Back in 2017, the 11-1 Bulldogs had lost 40-17 at Auburn. Georgia topped the Tigers in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game, earning a berth in the College Football Playoff.





Alabama defeated the Dogs 41-24 in the 2021 SEC Championship Game, handing national champion Georgia its lone loss of the national title season and ending a 16-game winning streak, one shy of the school record established in the 1940s.

Following a loss to Florida in the Covid year of 2020, for the lone time in the last six years of Smart’s incredible run at Georgia, the Bulldogs were out of the championship picture. Smart’s Dogs posted 11-1 regular seasons in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The last two years, Georgia had 12-0 regular seasons. The Dogs of 2020 posted a strong close to the 2020 campaign, edging Mississippi State, rolling to victory in the two Columbia’s against South Carolina and Missouri, and then the thrilling triumph over Cincinnati in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Jack Podlesny’s game winner in Mercedes-Benz Stadium delivered a fourth consecutive victory to cap 2020 and made for a much happier off-season and helped set the tone for the magic of 2021 and 2022.

Fueled by the return of Charley Trippi from World War II, the Bulldogs won the final five games of the 1945 season. Trippi, Johnny Rauch, Joe Tereshinski and Jack Bush were amongst the standouts on one of the most dominant teams in Southeastern Conference history the next year. The Bulldogs of 1946 were a perfect 11-0, won the SEC and defeated North Carolina 20-10 in the Sugar Bowl, winning every game by double digits. Georgia beat Furman in the 1947 opener, but lost to North Carolina 14-7 the next week in Chapel Hill and the win streak came to an end at 17.

The next long win streak naturally was centered around the Bulldogs next undefeated season.

Georgia beat Tech 16-3 on the Flats to finish the 1979 campaign with a 6-5 record. Then came the magical season of 1980, with Herschel Walker headlining Georgia’s 12-0 run to the national championship. It was both the greatest senior class and greatest freshman class to that point in Bulldog football annals. Vince Dooley led another great team in 1981, as Georgia headed to the Sugar Bowl 10-1, SEC champions, and ranked second. The Bulldogs toppled Tennessee 44-0 in the season opener Between the Hedges and then beat Cal 27-13 for a 15th consecutive triumph.

The streak would end the next week. Leave it to me, my first game in person.

Georgia turned the ball over nine times, and lost 13-3 at eventual national champion Clemson. It was the lone regular season loss in Herschel Walker’s three years, and the only road game that Georgia lost while going 43-4-1 in the incredible early ‘80s run from 1980-1983.

The win streak came to an end at 15. Georgia would then win eight in a row before dropping the heartbreaker to Pitt and Dan Marino in the Sugar Bowl. The Bulldogs posted an 11-0 regular season in 1982 before the crushing loss to Penn State. After a tie at Clemson gave the Bulldogs a 1-0-1 record to start 1983, Georgia won seven more in a row, but lost to Auburn in Sanford Stadium to snap a 23-game SEC winning streak and 24-game Sanford Stadium victory run.

So the record winning streak for Georgia stands at 17, from 1945 through 1947, and 2021 through 2022 – and counting.

One of the standout facts from this current run, is that Georgia has beaten all five teams that finished behind the Bulldogs in spots 2-6 in last year’s final polls – going back to those wins over Michigan and Alabama to cap the 2021 national championship.

Georgia doesn’t figure to get much resistance from UT Martin or the week two foe, Ball State, a last minute replacement when the Oklahoma game was canceled due to the Sooners pending move to the Southeastern Conference.

South Carolina, the last team to beat Georgia in Athens, visits Sanford Stadium on September 16.

But that game is far off in Smart’s mind. He and his teams have mastered staying in the present, and that means UT Martin is squarely in the Bulldogs crosshairs.





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