ATHENS, Ga. -- As a player and a coach, Watson Brown has a college football career that spans five decades. The Tennessee Tech coach has spent most of his career working in the Southeast, so it would stand to reason that he's visited Sanford Stadium a time or two.
From Brown's first appearance — in 1970 as a quarterback for Vanderbilt — to his most recent stop — in 2006 as head coach at Alabama-Birmingham — the results have never varied. In fact, he's got a perfect record against Georgia.
A perfect 0-8 record.
"I think I've been there at least eight times, so I do know where the locker room is," Brown said. "I've played there myself and taken quite a few teams to Athens. It's one of those (Southeastern Conference) traditional atmospheres. This is something our kids will never forget."
But Watson, who'd been a head coach at Austin Peay, Cincinnati, Rice, Vanderbilt and UAB before joining Tennessee Tech in 2007, isn't letting his lack of success in Athens damper his enthusiasm for his latest visit, when the Golden Eagles (5-3, 4-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference) face the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. today.
"I don't think I've ever won one there, but (neither) have a lot of other people," said Watson, the older brother of Texas coach Mack Brown. "It's a tough place to play. I don't think about that. I think about getting this team prepared to play. It is something they'll really enjoy, but as coaches, it's something where you know what you're walking into.
"We've got to do our best job of trying to make Georgia beat us. You've got to play well and you don't do the crazy things — games get out of hand when you do the crazy things. We'll just have poise and play like we've been playing and hopefully hang in there with them. I love going there, even though I've never won."
The Golden Eagles have won four of their last five games, including last weekend's 20-13 homecoming victory over rival Tennessee State. The team is a contender for the conference title, so even though the prospects of leaving Sanford Stadium with a victory are somewhat slim, Brown still likes giving his team this opportunity.
"To have any chance on these kinds of games, you've got to play well yourself and hope they don't," he said. "That's the way you go about it. That's what we want to do — we just want to come play well. It's a very talented Georgia team that has lost to some very good teams. We understand — when you take these games, you go for your kids to enjoy them, (and) you go for the money, which is very important to us here. We plan these games. It doesn't help the won-loss record, but it sure gives us a chance to do things here to keep bringing in better players."
And despite being in the mix in their league, Brown said he wasn't saving anybody for later in the season, when games with Jacksonville State (Nov. 14) and Murray State (Nov. 7) remain.
"You want to win very game you play," he said. "I won't hold guys out — that's not fair to the kids. You're in a conference-championship situation and you're fighting for your lives, and this is a chance for us to go have fun, relax and play hard. I want the kids to enjoy this for the rest of their lives. I wouldn't hold somebody out — I don't believe in that."
Although the score was a lopsided 34-0 in 2006 when Watson was last coaching between the hedges, his 2003 UAB team came uncomfortably close to handing the Bulldogs an upset in what turned out to be a 16-13 victory for Georgia.
"I coached against Watson when he was at UAB, and in one of those games, it was 16-13 late and they were driving the field," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We had a sack or a turnover or something to get them out of field-goal range. I have the ultimate respect for Watson Brown and what his team is capable of doing. I'm sure he'll make mention of that game, even though he's not at UAB now."
"I took two UAB teams there," said Watson. "We were down on their 25-yard line with a chance to win once and they beat us pretty bad the second time we went. It's always fun to go there, a great atmosphere."
WATSON BROWN IN SANFORD STADIUM
1970 (Vanderbilt, player) - Georgia 37, Vanderbilt 3
1972 (Vanderbilt, player) - Georgia 28, Vanderbilt 3
1982 (Vanderbilt, assistant coach) - Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 13
1986 (Vanderbilt, head coach) - Georgia 38, Vanderbilt 16
1988 (Vanderbilt, head coach) - Georgia 41, Vanderbilt 22 1990 (Vanderbilt, head coach) - Georgia 39, Vanderbilt 28
2003 (UAB, head coach) - Georgia 16, UAB 13
2004 (UAB, head coach) - Georgia 34, UAB 0
Source: Georgia Sports Communications