1971 Gator Bowl
1234 Total
North Carolina 0030 3
Georgia 0070 7
DateDecember 31, 1971
StadiumGator Bowl Stadium
LocationJacksonville, Florida
MVPJimmy Poulos (TB, Georgia) & James Webster (LB, North Carolina)[1]
Gator Bowl
 < 1971 (Jan) 1972

The 1971 Gator Bowl (December) was a college football postseason bowl game that featured the Georgia Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels.


In the battle between the Dooley brothers was a finely balanced match up of an Atlantic Coast Conference champion that hadn't lost a conference game and a team that had only lost one game (#7 Auburn) which had cost them a Southeastern Conference title. This was Georgia's first Gator Bowl since 1948 and North Carolina's first since 1963. Altogether, the match was also called the "Dooley Bowl".[2]

Game summary

The third quarter proved to be the most crucial part of a game dominated by defense. The Tar Heels took the lead on a Craven 35 yard field goal with nine minutes left in the quarter. But the Bulldogs drove 80 yards down the field on the following possession, culminated with a 25-yard run by Jimmy Poulos with 1:39 left in the quarter to give Georgia the go-ahead touchdown. Poulus went for 161 yards on 20 carries, in an MVP effort. North Carolina was limited to under 200 yards.[3]


The Tar Heels would win the ACC title the following year, advancing to the Sun Bowl. They returned to the Gator Bowl in 1979. Georgia returned in 1989. The two teams met again at the 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game where Georgia beat the Tar Heels, 33 to 24.[4]


Statistics North Carolina Georgia
First Downs 9 13
Rushing Yards 115 228
Passing Yards 66 84
Total Yards 181 312
Interceptions Thrown 1 0
Return Yardage 51 61
Fumbles-Lost 2/1 2/1
Punts-Average 10-46.6 10-34.8
Yards Penalized 3-15 5-29


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Smits, Garry (February 1, 2013). "Not first time brothers have battled: Dooleys coached against each other in '71 Gator Bowl". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  3. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/geo/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2015-16/misc_non_event/15fb-history-bowl-recaps.pdf
  4. ^ Alexander, Wilson (September 3, 2016). "Georgia beats North Carolina 33-24 to open season". Retrieved September 4, 2016.