Clash of Titans
Games featuring a future Hall of Fame coach on each sideline.
November 29, 1941: Georgia @ Georgia Tech
Wally Butts vs William Alexander
When Georgia hired Wally Butts as its football coach before the 1939 season, the Bulldogs had been doing much better than their Southeastern Conference arch­rival, Georgia Tech, since the SEC began in 1933. Tech was 36-55 under longtime coach Bill Alexander while Georgia was 37-17-4. But the Bulldogs received a jolt after the 1937 season when ten-year coach Harry Mehre bolted for Ole Miss. Joel Hunt, the surprise replacement for Mehre, went only 5-4-1 in 1938 before leaving for Wyoming. That opened up the top job for his assistant, Butts.
Butts brought much needed discipline to the Bulldog program. Back Cliff Kim­sey recalled, "When Coach Butts became head coach, his first spring practice lasted nearly five entire months, going from January 3 through May 25. We practiced every dad-gum day except Sundays." After a disappointing 5-6 season in 1939 and 5-4-1 in '40, Butts had all the pieces in place for an outstanding 1941 season.

L: Georgia captains Heyward Allen and Cliff Kimsey with Coach Wally Butts;
R: Georgia Tech Coach William Alexander
Meanwhile, 1939 became a fantastic season for the Yellow Jackets. They won seven of their nine games, including a 13-0 triumph over Georgia in the annual fi­nale, to become co-champions of the SEC. Ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll, Tech capped the season by beating #6 Missouri in the Orange Bowl 21-7.
A big key to Georgia's rise under Butts was his passing offense, which was ahead of his time. The Bulldogs would send four receivers against the defenses, most of which featured a five-man line. If an opponent ever used a six-man front, at least one Bulldog receiver would be open. Butts referred to this attack as "flooding the zone."
But a passing attack is only as good as the man throwing the ball. That man for Georgia was junior TB Frank Sinkwich, who was building a résumé that would win him the Heisman Trophy in 1942. He had directed the 1940 Georgia freshman team to an undefeated season during which they became known as the "Point-A-Minute Bullpups."
Featured Player
Frank Sinkwich wound up at Georgia by a stroke of luck.
He was born in Croatia in 1920. His parents had come to the United States but returned to their native coun­try in 1912 only to be trapped there by World War I. They re­turned to the U.S. when Frank was two, set­tling in Youngstown OH. Sinkwich be­came an out­standing high school football player, but he might never have come to Georgia if a recruiter hadn't stopped for gas. UGa assis­tant coach Bill Hartman was re­cruiting another player when he stopped to fill up in Youngs­town. He heard that the best player in the state lived right down the street.
Coach Butts wrote later: "Frank was not too impressive physically, being side-hipped and big-legged. These very characteristics, however, gave him his phenomenal ability. He is undoubtedly the best back that has ever played football, not to have any more speed than he did."
What did impress scouts were his explosive starts, versatility, and competitiveness. Lamar "Race Horse" Davis, his teammate at Georgia, said, "He was without ques­tion the best all-around football player I ever saw. Whatever we needed–a yard and a half for a first down, a big play for a touchdown–he was the guy that got it for us."
Butts emphasized the passing game more than most coaches of that era. The prob­lem was that Sinkwich came to Athens with no passing experience. So Butts and Hartman worked tirelessly with him to develop his throwing.
Sinkwich led the 1939 freshman team to an undefeated season in which they ave­raged over 40 points a game.
Frank became the quarterback of the varsity in 1940. The 5-4-1 Bulldogs fell short of expectations, but Sinkwich showed how much he had improved during the season by running for 128y and throwing two touchdown passes in the 21-19 victory over Georgia Tech and then running for two scores in the 28-7 thumping of Miami in the finale.
Those two games earned him a spot on the United Press International All-Southern first team.
Frank was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.
Sinkwich showed his toughness early in the '41 season. In the second game against South Carolina, a Gamecock smashed Sinkwich in the jaw with his fore­arm. Later in the contest, the same opponent piled on Frank as he ran out of bounds, landing his knee on Frank's jaw. The team dentist wired Frank's jaw, and a local machinist made a metal chinstrap for his protection. But it took over a week to custom-fit the protective strap onto Sinkwich's helmet. In the meantime, he played against Ole Miss without any kind of protection. Frank had to score the tying touch­down late in the fourth quarter to salvage a 14-14 tie with the Rebels.
Sinkwich recalled: "With my teeth wired together, I couldn't eat solid foods. When the fans learned that I was living off soup, I received gallons and gallons of home­made soup from dozens of fans. It was much more than I could eat, and the whole team consumed a lot of soup at our dining room. I also drank a lot of milk shakes. Interestingly, I didn't lose any weight the whole time. I had one missing tooth in the back, and I sucked soup and milk shakes through a straw."
Sinkwich played the entire game against the Rebels, which ended in a 14-14 tie. Against Columbia the following week, Sink­wich wore a special helmet with a large jaw protector attached that he used for the rest of the season.
The Bulldogs sported a 7-1-1 record and a #20 ranking as they entered the an­nual closer with Georgia Tech at Grant Field in Atlanta. Georgia was not hoping to be selected for their first bowl game, but they had already achieved a milestone by being the first Bulldog team to even be in the running for a bowl.
The Yellow Jackets had fallen on hard times since their 1928 Rose Bowl-winning national championship team. They achieved a winning record in only two of the next 13 seasons.
The 1941 Yellow Jackets entered the finale a disappointing 3-5 record but could salvage some pride by upsetting their rivals from Athens and ending their bowl dream. Tech also hoped to stop Sinkwich from gaining the 84y he needed to break Whizzer White's record set a few years earlier at Colorado.
That would not be easy. The year before in Athens, Sinkwich burned the Yellow Jackets for 127y rushing on 28 carries and 106 more on 12 completions. The result was a 21-19 Georgia victory.
32,000 filled the stands to watch the 35th edition of the instate rivalry.

Frank Sinkwich runs against Georgia Tech in his protective helmet.
(Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center)
Early on, Coach Alexander used a six-man rush de­signed to stop Sinkwich's running. Tech's outstanding guard, Wex Jordan, was a thorn in Georgia's side. Usually, when an offensive guard pulled out as if to lead an end run, the opposing defensive guard went with him, opening a hole for a trap up the middle. But when the guard pulled in front of Jordan, Wex filled the gap, and Sinkwich and FB Ken Keuper had a hard time gaining yardage.
So senior QB Kimsey called more pass plays. As Kim­sey recalled, "I called most of the team's offensive plays, even more so than Coach Butts. Unlike the quarterback position as we know it today, the quarterback never re­ceived the snap or threw the ball out of the single-wing formation. Instead, I mostly blocked and was on the re­ceiving end of a number of passes thrown by a halfback in Butts's single wing."

Wex Jordan
Kimsey had an added incentive for wanting to beat Tech. When he was a senior, he played in the all-star game pitting the top players from North Georgia against their counterparts in the South. "During the punting practice prior to that all-star game, I was approached by Tech's head coach, Bill Alexander. He was coach­ing the South team, while Coach Hunt was coaching my team–the North. Alex­ander told me that I was about to beat out the boy he was recruiting for his backfield at Tech. However, he said to me, 'You can't make it at Tech!' Now, I'm not sure if he meant I couldn't make it academically or football wise, but either way, it looked like I wasn't going to Tech."
The Bulldogs ran up and down the field in the first half but could score only once on Sinkwich's second-quarter 3y "rifle pass" that hit George Poschner in the stomach in the end zone. 7-0 Georgia
The Dawgs added to their lead in the third quarter after receiving a punt at the Tech 46. Kimsey took a pass for 14y before two runs put the ball on the 26. Sink­wich then drilled a strike to E Melvin "Duck" Conger to double the Bulldogs' lead to 14-0.
With the Georgia defense holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless, Georgia got its final touchdown on another Sinkwich aerial, this one from the Tech 25. E Lamar "Racehorse" Davis made an incredible catch in the end zone. The PAT made the final score 21-0.
With two minutes left to play, Sinkwich was removed from the game to receive a tremendous ovation after playing for 58 minutes. He had easily obliterated White's total offense record.
Also playing 58 of the 60 minutes, Kimsey showed his versatility by catching four passes on offense and intercepting two on defense.
The chapel bell on the Georgia campus rang into the night.
After the game, Coach Butts went to his suite at the Biltmore Hotel and received the phone call inviting the Bulldogs to play in the school's first ever bowl game against TCU in the Orange Bowl.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 33-7 halftime lead and coasted to a 40-26 victory.
Clean Old-Fashioned Hate 1893-2001
, Bill Cromartie (2002)
A History of College Football in Georgia: Glory on the Gridiron
, Jon Nelson (2012)
50 Great Memories in Georgia Football History (2012)
Game of My Life: Georgia Bulldogs: Memorable Stories of Bulldog Football, Patrick Garbin and A.P. Garbin (2013)