University of Georgia

1956 - 58 Bulldogs
(Authentic Reproduction)




1956 was another "down" season at 3-6-1, with the only SEC win coming against hapless Alabama. HB Jimmy Orr was slowed by an injured knee but on occasion ran well behind  215-pound tackle Riley Gunnels. FB Theron Sapp was effective running or blocking. Butts dressed up the silver Riddell shell with a red one-inch center stripe, maintaining the one-inch gold and black-trimmed player identification numerals at the back of the helmet. 1957 was the third consecutive losing season and had tongues wagging, especially since the Bulldogs had not defeated arch-rival Georgia Tech since 1948. The 3-7 season was a major disappointment considering the talent that Butts had accumulated but the coach was given a reprieve because FB Theron Sapp earned the moniker "The Man Who Broke The Drought" by literally carrying the team on his back. His line plunges and seven-of-the-final-eight-snap carries against rival Georgia Tech brought the TD that finally beat the Engineers 7-0. Sapp's linebacking play was also highlighted by recovering a mid-field fumble that allowed for his final sterling drive. Orr was the best receiver in the SEC, and gained fame as a pro receiver with the Steelers ('58-60) and NFL Championship and Super Bowl Colts (1959-'70). Tackle Riley Gunnels, guard Nat Dye, and Texas Tech transfer center Dave Lloyd were more impressive up front than the season's record.
The returning vets and outstanding sophs brought high expectations for 1958 but the 4-6 record was upsetting due to obvious underachievement. Captain FB Sapp finished his career with second-team All Conference honors as did G Nat Dye, Pat Dye's older brother. Sapp had a decent seven-year pro career with the Eagles and Steelers, and Dye starred in Canada. T Riley Gunnels later played on the defensive line for the Eagles and Steelers over  seven pro seasons. Center Dave Lloyd was tried at FB but went back to the familiar center position while keying the defense from his linebacker position. Lloyd was an excellent defenseman for the Browns and Eagles between 1959 and 1970. Charlie Britt played a terrific safety and shared the QB position with hometown soph Francis Tarkenton.  Former QB Fred Brown was moved to HB and averaged 6.6 yards per carry and the other halfback, Bobby Walden was the nation's leading punter. It appeared that Butts had the material to make a run at the SEC title so the last-place conference finish caused quite a bit of frustration in Athens.

If interested in any of these Georgia helmets please click on the photos below.