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Crimson Tide Dominates Georgia, 32-7, as Namath Shines

Sept. 21, 1963 - Joe Namath was as good as he was as a sophomore and Mike Fracchia ran again as the Memphis Express. That was the story in Sanford Stadium as Alabama spotted Georgia’s Bulldogs a 7-0 lead and then got up off the canvas to score a roaring 32-7 SEC victory. A crowd of 46,000 watched under sun-kissed skies as the Crimson Tide once again told the nation “we are here.” The fans roared with delight and stunned happiness in the first quarter as their Bulldogs turned an early Alabama fumble into a 7-0 lead. It didn’t take long, however, for the writing on the wall to take shape. Namath passed and passed; Fracchia, Benny Nelson, Hudson Harris, Ray Ogden, and Jackie Sherrill ran and ran; and Georgia fans were filing out of Sanford Stadium by the end of the third quarter with their Bulldogs, for all intents and purposes, dead. Coach Johnny Griffith, the man everyone knows is struggling to keep his job as head man at Georgia, said afterwards: “Our punting hurt us, and we had a couple of bad breaks on kicking off. Alabama is a real fine football team. I told our kids the end of the world hadn’t come and to keep up their heads.” For the record, Alabama also had a couple of bad breaks on the kickoff, with Georgia once getting possession at its own 41 on a kick which went out of bounds. The difference was Alabama stopped Georgia with a smothering, head-knocking defense for which coach Paul (Bear) Bryant is famous. “I have to think they all played fairly well,” a happy Bear said afterward. “I was real proud of them, of course, especially the way they came from behind. Georgia is not as good as I thought they were. Maybe they will improve. I think the game was probably over when we scored our second touchdown. I didn’t feel there was any tenseness on the part of our players. We made some mistakes, but we made some mistakes last year. I told ‘em to be reckless, and when you’re reckless it doesn’t make much difference about the mistakes.”

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