For its 1985 season opener, the Alabama Crimson Tide was pitted against the Georgia Bulldogs before a raucous crowd in Athens and in front of a national television audience. Badly bitten by the Dogs in their 1984 season meeting, Bama had since been nursing a grudge and would not be denied payback. Notables such as Cornelius Bennett, Bobby Humphrey, Greg Richardson, Van Tiffin, Albert Bell and Mike Shula led the Tide’s attack. With the help of these players’ outstanding performances, Bama kept the Bulldogs in check for almost the entire game. However, with only a minute left in the game and a 13-9 lead, Bama’s Chris Mohr had his punt blocked by a defender and Calvin Ruff recovered the football in the end zone for a Georgia touchdown. With the extra point added, Georgia had taken the upper hand and a 16-13 lead.
Nonetheless, Quarterback Mike Shula was not the least bit rattled—as he was no novice when it came to mounting comebacks. In fact, it was in Bama’s final game of the 1984 season that Shula had led his team in a dramatic comeback to beat Auburn 17-15. In another few months, he would again repeat the last-minute feat against Auburn to set up Van Tiffin’s famous 52-yard field goal. With only 50 ticks remaining on the game clock, Shula mounted a 71-yard drive, hitting four out of five passes—his last toss being an 18-yard touchdown strike over the middle to Albert Bell. With Tiffin’s extra point, the Tide triumphed in a 20-16 victory over the Bulldogs.