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At the beginning of the game on Saturday the Wolverines did not appear capable of losing to Georgia. But as time went on they looked more and more like players capable of losing to themselves. As Dooley said afterward, a precision team (presumably one from the SEC) would have had Georgia down 21-0 at the half. If that was an overstatement, it certainly did not seem likely that Georgia would leave the field at half time trailing by only 7-6.
Georgia was smaller, and perhaps even a little slower than Michigan, and Elliott went to a tight slot T—for the first time this year—intending to ram right at the Bulldogs. Michigan did, but it had bad luck. Halfback Carl Ward, coming back to the weak side, sprinted 28 yards to an apparent touchdown the first time Michigan had the ball, but the Michigan split end was caught leaning on the play. Illegal motion. Michigan came right back but got hit with a holding penalty, then an interception.
It must be some consolation to Elliott that fumbles, as inexplicable as they usually are, tend to run in cycles. His cycle is about ended. But how maddeningly unreal it must have seemed when his excellent punter, Stan Kemp, dropped a perfect snap from center to set up a Georgia field goal late in the first quarter. Until then Georgia had moved only fitfully, and the shotgun attack Dooley had installed to open up Michigan's bigger—by 10 pounds to the man—defense had proved ineffective. From the Michigan 34 Bob Etter kicked the field goal, first of three for Georgia in three attempts.
Midway in the second quarter Vidmer set up Michigan's touchdown with a 38-yard pass. Moments after the score Michigan was driving again after an intercepted pass, but substitute Fullback Tim Radigan fumbled the ball away at the Georgia 28. Now for the first time Georgia began to take the initiative, as Michigan, playing a yard off the ball, was consistently outcharged. Georgia quickly moved 36 yards to set up Etter's 44-yard field goal one second before the half ended.
The second half was Georgia's. The Bulldogs, controlling the ball for the first time this year, ran 43 offensive plays to only 22 for Michigan. They were on the offensive for 22 of the 30 minutes. Dooley tightened down his ends to cut off the Wolverines' power and held them to 28 yards rushing in the second half. Getting the break behind Tackles Ken Pillsbury and Edgar Chandler on wide dives, Taylor ran 13 times for 71 yards. Once he fell just as he broke free at the Georgia 22 on a run that would have covered 91 yards. But Kemp, punting out of bounds once at the Georgia one-yard line and again at the seven, kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard.
Finally, halfway into the fourth quarter, the Georgians worked their way 51 yards to their touchdown. On the 28 Ridlehuber rolled left as if to throw. "My receiver was covered," he said later, "and I thought I'd better run for it. Then I saw [Bill] Yearby running parallel with me toward the sideline. I knew he was Michigan's trailer on the play, and when I looked back behind me there was nobody there—nothing except Georgia helmets. I turned and ran the other way and headed for that little flag."
Ridlehuber made it only to the six but, after a delaying penalty, he passed 10 yards into the end zone to Hodgson. "My first touchdown pass," shouted Ridlehuber afterward. "Maybe I'll get another one someday. But I'm not making any wild predictions.
"As individuals we're nothing," said Ridlehuber as he dressed. "What's so wonderful is that this team knows that. When we play together we're something. Michigan hit as hard as any team we've played against but, man, the) were suck-in' wind at the finish."