It’s been 40 years since the Georgia football program won the national championship, and the Bulldogs will celebrate the anniversary with throwback road uniforms based on their look during 1980 season, as well as a brand new black alternate jersey.
Former Georgia head coach Vince Dooley introduced red pants into the equation in 1978, and the team wore them a total of 15 times on over the next 11 seasons – including the season opener of the 1980 national championship season, a 16-15 win at Tennessee in which freshman running back Herschel Walker rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
“We hand it off to Herschel,” Georgia play-by-play announcer Larry Munson said over the radio that night. “There’s a hole. Five.. 10… 12. He’s running over people! Oh, you Herschel Walker! My God almighty. He ran right through two men. Herschel ran right over two men. They had him dead away inside the 9. Herschel Walker went 16 yards. He drove right over those orange shirts, just driving and running with those big thighs. My God, a freshman!”
During their initial run, the Bulldogs went 8-4-3 while wearing red pants until they were officially retired following a 23-10 loss at South Carolina in 1988 – though they did make as unofficial comeback for a loss to Boise State in the 2011 season opener as part of Nike’s Pro Combat promotion.
This year’s throwback uniform, which will be worn at Arkansas on Sept. 26, includes Northwestern sleeve stripes, a traditional block font and a commemorative patch on the right chest, as well as a thick white stripe sandwiched between two black stripes down the sides of the pants.
This marks the first time since a win over Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016 that Georgia will wear a black jersey, though this rendition includes a spiked dog collar design around the neck and a mascot logo on both sleeves in lieu of television numbers.
A closer inspection reveals a small change for Uga X, as well. Rather than having Georgia’s primary logo on his collar, the No. 100 is displayed as a nod to the program’s 100th season of being nicknamed the Bulldogs.
The jersey also features a traditional block font instead of the custom font Georgia wears on its standard home and road uniforms and throughout the athletic department.
The Bulldogs have a love-hate relationship with black uniforms, which initially debuted in a thrilling win over Auburn in 2007. They were worn again for a win over Hawaii in the 2008 Sugar Bowl, but have been taboo since a blowout loss to Alabama the following season.
Georgia also wore black helmets and pants in a loss to Florida in 2009, which – combined with the aforementioned loss to Boise State – seemingly brought an end to the alternate uniform trend. But then head coach Kirby Smart briefly brought them back for one game after he was hired in 2016.
It’s unclear at this time when the Bulldogs will wear the black alternate uniforms this fall, though it’s worth noting both that and the 1980 throwback uniform will feature a square patch on the left chest that includes the phrase “Together Equality,” Georgia’s primary logo and the state outline after the NCAA announced this summer players can wear patches or nameplates for commemorative and memorial purposes or to promote social justice causes.
Photos courtesy of @GeorgiaFootball and @UGAFBEquipment on Twitter.