"Sullivan really held us together," said Beasley, the All-America split end who is expected to gather a few Heisman votes in his own right. "He's so cool it's unbelievable. All week I knew the pressure was building on him, but all he'd do was give us a big smile and go about practicing. He's so darn confident, it just makes us all confident."
Sullivan led his confident crew into Athens, spent a fitful Friday night listening to the bedlam of auto horns and drunks, and the next afternoon set about destroying Georgia's dream of a national championship.
On the second play of the game Sullivan ran for 15 yards. On the seventh, while falling after being hit by Georgia's Chuck Heard, he flipped a 27-yard pass to Dick Schmalz at the Georgia two. "I thought I had him," said Heard. Two plays later, Tommy Lowry banged over for the touchdown.
Georgia, trailing for the first time all year, got nine yards and punted, and it was Sullivan again. He passed to Lowry for 10, to Schmalz for 18, and then Beasley for 34 and a score. With less than 10 minutes gone, Auburn led 14-0.
A few moments later Andy Johnson, Georgia's fine sophomore quarterback, broke through the Auburn line, avoided a tackier and ran 67 yards to the Auburn two. Two plays later, Jimmy Poulos scored. Recharged by this, Georgia drove 78 yards the next time it had the ball, Donnie Allen scoring from the four, to forge a 14-14 tie.
Undaunted, Sullivan brought Auburn right back, connecting with Schmalz on a 15-yard scoring pass to give Auburn a 21-14 lead at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Georgia got a chance to tie. Auburn fumbled, and Georgia's Steve Kitchens scooped it up at the Tiger 26. Stalled at the 20, Georgia missed a field goal but got the ball back at the 13 when Kim Braswell, the 5'7" 170-pound kicker, was roughed. Three plays later Johnson dove in from the one.
"Then came a big play," said Jordan. "No, two big plays."
The first was when Roger Mitchell streaked in to block Braswell's extra-point attempt, leaving Auburn ahead 21-20. And then on the first play after the kickoff, Sullivan passed to Beasley, who collided with Georgia's Don Golden and Gene Swinford at the Georgia 44, twisted away from the arms of both and bolted in for the score.
"We weren't even trying to score on the play," said Sullivan.