ATHENS, Ga. - Somewhere out there is a collection agency not doing its job.
It seems Georgia still owes Clemson 40 bushels of apples from a debt stemming from a challenge involving the Bulldogs' fierce rival, Georgia Tech.
In 1903, Georgia and Clemson, then coached by the legend-to-be John Heisman, got together for a game at Herty Field. Clemson was the defending champion of Southern football and, with the aid of the ill effects of mandatory vaccinations for the Georgia team a few days earlier, whipped the Bulldogs 29-0.
That issue having been settled, Georgia captain Harold "War Eagle" Ketron met with the Clemson players and offered to give the Clemson team a bushel of apples for every point over 29 scored against Tech. This offer got Clemson's attention, there being an addiction of sorts at Clemson involving apples. The Atlanta Journal noted in those days that Clemson was a town of two or three buildings at a country crossroads.
"The town itself," the Journal reported, "has not been incorporated on the map and such vicious habits as demon rum, ping pong and other forms of vice common to a large city are unknown. Eating apples is said to be the crowning dissipation of the student body."
Clemson's game against Georgia Tech was a blowout all the way. Clemson gained 615 yards to Tech's 28 and won handily, 73-0, which prompted a poster campaign on the Georgia campus to come up with the 44 bushels of apples to meet Captain Ketron's commitment.
Old newspaper accounts indicate that three or four bushels were actually sent.
Where's Guido when you need him?
- Though the teams haven't played since 1995, today Clemson is looking to snap a three-game Georgia winning streak in the series between the schools.
The Bulldogs won the 1991, 1994 and 1995 matchups, the latter coming in large part to Todd Kirtsey's 195 yards on 38 carries, the second most carries ever in a game against Clemson. The Tigers' last win in the series came in 1990, when a defense led by future NFL stars Levon Kirkland, Ed McDaniel, Brentson Buckner and Chester McGlockton dominated the 34-3 victory.
Clemson's last victory at Sanford Stadium came in 1986, when David Treadwell kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired for a 31-28 win.
- The Clemson vs. Georgia series reached its high point during the 11 games played between 1977-87. The two teams were 5-5-1 against each other during that period, and nine of the 11 contests
were decided by seven points or less.
The total difference in points between those years was an astounding 12 - 171 for Georgia and 159 for Clemson. The average margin of victory during the stretch was just 4.7 points per game.
- Georgia director of strength and conditioning Dave Van Halanger was the best man in Clemson coach Tommy Bowden's wedding. The two were college teammates at West Virginia under Tommy's father, Bobby Bowden, from 1973-75.
When Clemson's Brad Scott left Florida State to become head coach at South Carolina in 1994, then FSU assistant Mark Richt was named offensive coordinator. Richt remained in that role until assuming the top Bulldog post last season.
- Georgia has five players from South Carolina on its roster, including senior starting offensive lineman Kevin Breedlove, who graduated from Daniel High School in Central.
The other Bulldogs include sophomore starting defensive end Robert Geathers (Georgetown), freshman cornerback Tim Jennings (Orangeburg), junior defensive end Jared Noblet (Central) and junior starting tight end Benjamin Watson (Rock Hill).
- Clemson starting punter Wynn Kopp is an Athens native and served as Georgia's punter for two seasons (1998-99) before transferring to Clemson. He appeared in 21 games with 82 punts and a 36.8 net average.