December 13, 2022

Scott Woerner – University of Georgia | Sporturf Tough Tuesday

Scott Woerner excelled at difficult assignments and in the most pressurized moments during his four years as a Georgia Bulldog. The 6’0,” 190-pound Woerner was one of the leading kick return men as freshman, averaging 24.8 yards per return. He set a school record with 190 yards on kickoff returns against Kentucky.

Unfortunately, Woerner had many opportunities to return kickoffs because Georgia’s sub-par defense in 1977 could not stop opponents from scoring. Once Woerner became a starting cornerback in 1978, the All-American spent the next three seasons ensuring Bulldog opponents would not kickoff as often.

Woerner preserved a shutout of Clemson early in 1978 with an endzone interception. The theft against the Tigers was one of his team leading four interceptions. Woerner was also the second leading punt returner in the SEC and his 72-yard touchdown against Georgia Tech capped a 29-28 victory over Georgia’s fierce rivals.

A knee injury at a spring track meet his sophomore year meant an arduous summer of rehab. “I was only off the leg three days, then I started working out hard again,” a nonplussed Woerner told the local papers. He returned an interception 50-yards for a score in the 1979 season opener to show off his health. He later suffered an ankle injury that was supposed to sideline Woerner three to four weeks, but he returned after just one missed game.

Woerner’s defensive play helped Georgia win many narrow games in 1980. An example came in a 20-16 win over Clemson when he had a 98-yard interception return and a 67-yard punt return touchdown. His biggest moment came on the biggest stage. The undefeated Bulldogs faced Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl with a national championship at stake. Woerner’s end zone interception blunted one Irish drive and his interception near the end of the game secured Georgia’s 17-10 victory and a national title.

When asked about the stress of playing such a series of close games, Woerner said: “Pressure forces you to live up to a lot.” His stellar play continued in professional football where he was a key member of the USFL Philadelphia Stars, a team that played in three consecutive title games and won two. Woerner’s pass defense secured multiple playoff victories, showcasing his penchant to live up to pressure.



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