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ATHENS, Ga. --- College football fans nationwide turned their eyes toward the University of Georgia on Saturday night for a primetime showdown between the No. 3 Bulldogs and the No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Augusta was well-represented among the capacity crowd at Sanford Stadium. Glenn and Jennifer Howell from Thomson tailgated with a group of eight to 10 Bulldog fans from Augusta.

It wasn't their first trip to a game in Athens, but Mr. Howell said it was certainly unique.

"The atmosphere here is crazy. It's one of the most exciting I've ever been a part of," he said. "I've been to probably 10 to 15 games here, and I was at the SEC Championship in 2002. This rivals that."

The Howells joined a vast majority of Bulldog fans who participated in the "blackout" called for by Georgia head coach Mark Richt for only the third time in school history.

Specially designed blackout T-shirts were hot-ticket items in the school's bookstore next to Sanford Stadium before the game, and it translated into a sea of black in the stands at kickoff.

The Bulldogs wore their black jerseys for only the second regular season game in school history. Their first "blackout" came last season and produced a 45-20 win over No. 18 Auburn.

The anticipation of the "blackout" game and its national title significance increased after No. 1 Southern California's loss Thursday and Florida's defeat at the hands of Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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YellowHammer
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YellowHammer 09/28/08 - 09:12 am
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The only thing that got

The only thing that got blacked out was the Dawgs. I guess they'll have a funeral for the silly black jerseys now; they ain't gonna get you a win against a superior team.

sctex
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sctex 09/28/08 - 11:38 am
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how bout those georgia

how bout those georgia bulldogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where you at steve-o?

spotted_assassin
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spotted_assassin 09/28/08 - 06:54 pm
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Well, at least they were

Well, at least they were dressed appropriately!

THE GAME INSIDE THE GAME
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THE GAME INSIDE THE GAME 09/28/08 - 10:32 pm
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I did not know we had so many

I did not know we had so many tide fans in the area.

steve-o
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steve-o 09/29/08 - 06:34 pm
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We'll run the table on the

We'll run the table on the rest of our schedule and return the favor to "bama on Dec. 6th in atlanta for the SEC championship. I'll be watching all of the bowl games at home on my HDTV, just like Steve spurrier and the rest of his gamecock team.

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