UGA Football

Georgia's loss to Ole Miss the worst margin of defeat since 2011

By Jason Butt

Kirby Smart looks on during Saturday's 45-14 loss to Ole Miss.
Kirby Smart looks on during Saturday's 45-14 loss to Ole Miss. AP

There was a point during Georgia’s 45-14 loss to Mississippi on Saturday that it seemed the Bulldogs might wind up with a top-five loss in program history.

When Georgia trailed 45-0 in the third quarter, the game entered the top seven of worst margins on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs were able to add two garbage-time touchdowns, with Ole Miss pulling its starters.

The 31-point loss is still significant in that Georgia hasn’t had a loss like that in five years. Against LSU in the 2011 SEC championship game, Georgia fell to LSU 42-10. The last regular-season game that went that way was in 2008, when Florida whipped Georgia 49-10.

Losing the way Georgia did Saturday is never fun for anyone. Losing in that manner can hurt a lot worse.

“We’ve just got to play better football,” outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter said. “That’s all it comes down to.”

During the previous 15 years, the aforementioned LSU and Florida losses were the only 30-point defeats Georgia dealt with. In the fourth game of the Kirby Smart era, Georgia now has added another.

The worst defeat in program history came in 1931, when Georgia was defeated 60-0 by USC. The worst SEC loss came in 1943, when Georgia Tech — in the conference at the time — routed Georgia 48-0. In the Georgia football media guide, 14 games are listed, with the 2008 loss to Florida being the last.

The Bulldogs came awfully close to forcing the sports information staff to rewrite that page.

“It’s not really a bad feeling because I know there’s so much more in the future that we got,” running back Sony Michel said when asked if Saturday’s defeat was harder to take than most losses. “We’ve got so much room to improve. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll get this thing rolling.”

The challenge now is for Georgia not to let this loss carry over into Saturday’s game against Tennessee. The Volunteers defeated Florida 38-28 in a come-from-behind win, giving them plenty of energy and momentum heading into the teams’ first game of October.

When suffering a loss the way Georgia did, it will be crucial for the Bulldogs not to let it linger.

“I feel like the leaders on this team, they’ll step up and let us know what we need to do and take it over to practice next week, and then carry it over to the game Saturday,” cornerback Juwuan Briscoe said.

Worst margins of defeat in Georgia program history

60-0 at USC in 1931

55-0 vs. North Carolina in 1900

48-0 at Georgia Tech in 1943

47-0 at Sewanee in 1901

47-0 at Vanderbilt in 1901

46-0 at Georgia Tech in 1905

44-0 vs. North Carolina in 1898 (in Macon)

44-0 vs. Auburn in 1900 (in Atlanta)

44-0 vs. Georgia Tech in 1944

48-6 at Georgia Tech in 1951

40-0 at Yale in 1923

47-7 at LSU in 1936

47-7 vs. Florida in 1996 (in Jacksonville)

49-10 vs. Florida in 2008 (in Jacksonville)