1982 Georgia Bulldogs football
SEC champion
Sugar Bowl, L 23–27 vs. Penn State
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
CoachesNo. 4
APNo. 4
Record11–1 (6–0 SEC)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorGeorge Haffner (3rd season)
Defensive coordinatorBill Lewis (2nd season)
Home stadiumSanford Stadium
← 1981
1983 →
1982 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 4 Georgia $ 6 0 0 11 1 0
No. 11 LSU 4 1 1 8 3 1
No. 14 Auburn 4 2 0 9 3 0
Vanderbilt 4 2 0 8 4 0
Tennessee 3 2 1 6 5 1
Alabama 3 3 0 8 4 0
Florida 3 3 0 8 4 0
Mississippi State 2 4 0 5 6 0
Ole Miss 0 6 0 4 7 0
Kentucky 0 6 0 0 10 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1982 Georgia Bulldogs football team represented the University of Georgia during the 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season. The offense scored 338 points while the defense allowed 160 points. Led by head coach Vince Dooley, the top ranked Bulldogs finished the regular season undefeated, but lost to number two Penn State 27–23 in the Sugar Bowl.

Before the season

With the season opener against defending national champion Clemson looming, the University of Georgia received bad news when Herschel Walker suffered a fractured right thumb in practice on August 21, 1982. He was expected to be out of action for 3–6 weeks.[1]


September 6No. 11 Clemson*No. 7ABCW 13–782,122
September 11BYU*No. 6
  • Sanford Stadium
  • Athens, GA
W 17–1480,207
September 25at South Carolina*No. 7W 34–1874,200
October 2at Mississippi StateNo. 6CBSW 29–2233,158
October 9Ole MissNo. 5
  • Sanford Stadium
  • Athens, GA
W 33–1082,122
October 16VanderbiltNo. 4
  • Sanford Stadium
  • Athens, GA (rivalry)
W 27–1382,122
October 23at KentuckyNo. 3W 27–1456,697
October 30Memphis State*No. 3
  • Sanford Stadium
  • Athens, GA
W 34–382,122
November 6vs. FloridaNo. 3CBSW 44–080,749
November 13at AuburnNo. 1W 19–1474,900
November 27Georgia Tech*No. 1
W 38–1882,122
January 1, 1983vs. No. 2 Penn State*No. 1ABCL 23–2778,124
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game


1982 Georgia Bulldogs football team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Class
QB John Lastinger
RB Herschel Walker Jr
Pos. # Name Class
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K Kevin Butler So
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Game summaries


When the two teams met on September 6, Herschel Walker wore a bulky, padded cast on his right thumb. In this tight game, Walker was used primarily as a decoy as he rushed 11 times for 20 yards. The Georgia defense made up for its injured star by shutting down Clemson, limiting the Tigers to 249 total yards of offense as the Bulldogs prevailed, 13–7.[2]


Georgia next faced a tough test in Brigham Young at home on September 9. BYU's Tom Holmoe returned an interception 83 yards for a touchdown which tied the score at 7–7 at the half. BYU threw 5 interceptions and had two missed field goals in the first half. BYU's Steve Young connected with Scott Collie on a 21-yard touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter to give Brigham Young a 14–7 lead going into the final period. However, Walker rallied the Bulldogs as he led them on two scoring drives that gave Georgia the win, 17–14. He scored on a 1-yard touchdown run late to tie the game. Later still, Walker converted on a huge fourth-and-1 that enabled Georgia kicker Kevin Butler to make a 44-yard field goal in the game's closing seconds. Walker's game-winning drive of 40 yards to set up Butler's kick covered three minutes in all, and was keyed by his 23-yard breakaway run. Walker, coming back from the thumb injury, rushed 31 times for 124 yards against the Cougars.[3][4]

South Carolina

After the tough win against BYU, the Bulldogs won out to finish the regular season. After getting past South Carolina 34–18 on September 25, Georgia rolled during the month of October. Walker's performance against the Gamecocks was modest by his standards (32 rushes, 143 yards, and 1 touchdown), but he ran hard while still wearing his cast.[5]

Mississippi State

In October, Georgia faced Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Memphis State. The Bulldogs slipped past Mississippi St., 29–22, as Walker rushed 39 times for 215 yards and a touchdown.

Ole Miss

Next, Georgia overwhelmed Ole Miss, 33–10, as Walker rushed 24 times for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns.


On October 16, Georgia got past an up-and-coming Vanderbilt team (Vandy finished 8–4 in 1982) led by quarterback Whit Taylor, 27–13. Against the Commodores, Walker ran for 172 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries. He got help from safety Terry Hoage, who had 3 interceptions in the contest.[6]


Georgia finished October by knocking off Kentucky (27–14) and Memphis State (34–3) to push its record to 8–0 going into the Florida game in Jacksonville. Walker maintained a heavy load, rushing 34 times against Kentucky for 152 yards. The Wildcats led 10–3 in the second quarter when Walker caught a John Lastinger touchdown pass. On a screen pass, Walker raced 64 yards to paydirt to cut the deficit to 14–10. Lastinger threw two more touchdowns in the second half as Georgia pulled away. Walker finished with 79 receiving yards on 3 catches.[7] In Georgia's matchup with Memphis St., Walker shattered the Southeastern Conference career scoring record as his third-ranked Bulldogs swept past the Tigers by 31 points. He ran for a season-high 219 yards on 33 carries and 2 touchdowns, extending Memphis St.'s losing streak to 15 games.[8]

Georgia took control against tough opposition during the month of November. They got past Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech to complete a perfect 11–0 regular season, and were the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Walker dismantled Florida by scoring on touchdown runs of 30, 1, and 1 yards as Georgia led 17–0 at the half. After another Walker touchdown in the third quarter, UGA led 27–0. He rushed 35 times for 219 yards during this signature win. "We were ready for this game," Walker said. "We were more fired up than Florida."[9]


Georgia faced the Auburn Tigers on November 13 at Jordan–Hare Stadium in a slugfest. Walker scored on a 3-yard touchdown run within the 4th quarter to give UGA a 19–14 lead. Georgia hung on to win and Walker finished with 31 rushes for 177 yards, including a 47-yard run, and 2 touchdowns.[10]

Georgia Tech

1 234Total
Georgia Tech 0 6012 18
• Georgia 7 01714 38
  • Date: November 27
  • Location: Sanford Stadium


In the last regular season game of Walker's career at the University of Georgia, the Yellow Jackets were no match as Georgia raced to a 38–18 win. Walker broke five tackles and sprinted 59 yards for a score in the first quarter. The Bulldogs scored 17 points in the 3rd quarter which included a 1-yard touchdown run by Walker. He finished with 27 rushes for 162 yards against the Rambling Wreck.[12]

Penn State

The Sugar Bowl pitted the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs against the No. 2 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions on January 1, 1983.

Walker scored one last time in his UGA career as he fell into the end zone from 1 yard out with 10:37 remaining in the third quarter. That touchdown cut the Penn State lead to three at 20–17. Penn State answered 21 seconds later as QB Todd Blackledge completed a 46-yard touchdown pass to wideout Gregg Garrity. Penn State held on to win 27–23, and won the national championship by a unanimous vote in both the AP and UPI polls. Walker rushed 28 times for 102 yards and caught a pass for 15 yards against the Mark Robinson-led PSU defense.[13]

Awards and honors

On December 4, Walker was awarded the Heisman Trophy.[14] He was accompanied to the ceremony by the University of Georgia's beloved English Bulldog mascot, Uga IV. Walker also won the Walter Camp Award and the Maxwell Award.[15][16]

Team players drafted into the NFL

Player Position Round Pick NFL club
Jimmy Payne Defensive End 4 112 Buffalo Bills
Norris Brown Tight End 8 213 Minnesota Vikings



  1. ^ "Walker Breaks Thumb". Oscala Star-Banner. Oscala, Fla. August 22, 1982. p. 1C. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "Walker injects life into Georgia". Star-News. Wilmington, N.C. September 8, 1982. p. 2D. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "Georgia. 17-14". The Day. New London, Conn. September 12, 1982. p. C7. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  4. ^ "Defense helps Georgia squeeze past Cougars". Gadsden Times. Gadsden, Ala. September 12, 1982. p. 3B. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  5. ^ "Georgia, 34-18". Eugene Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. September 26, 1982. p. 8B. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  6. ^ "Georgia Overcomes Vanderbilt, 27-13". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Penn. October 17, 1982. p. D-4. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "'Dogs Need Rally For 27-14 Win". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Fla. October 24, 1982. p. 7. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  8. ^ "Florida edges Auburn on final play". Star-News. Wilmington, N.C. October 31, 1982. p. 4D. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Fired-up Dogs fry Florida". Rome News-Tribune. Rome, Ga. November 7, 1982. p. 1-C. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Kendall, Josh (November 15, 2002). "Georgia, Auburn no strangers to playing for titles". OnlineAthens.com. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "Lastinger Pass Sparks Georgia." Gainesville Sun. 1982 Nov 28. Retrieved 2018-Oct-17.
  12. ^ "Walker, Dogs Topple Tech". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Sarasota, Fla. November 28, 1982. p. 16-B. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  13. ^ "Penn State No 1". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Milwaukee, Wis. January 3, 1983. p. 6, part 2. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 11, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Football". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  16. ^ "Football". Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  17. ^ "1983 NFL Draft Listing - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2007.