It’s the Biggest Game of Them All.
Ancient in-state rivals square off for the 112th time Saturday at high noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, as Georgia battles Tech. The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings in the series, 15 of the last 18, and nine in a row on The Flats.
Georgia is 10-1 on the season, wrapping up Southeastern Conference play at 7-1, with a berth in the SEC Championship Game set. The Bulldogs are coming off a pulse-pounding 19-13 victory over Texas A&M between the hedges. Sensational junior tailback D’Andre Swift had one of his signature games with 19 carries for 103 yards, including a pair of clutch runs to put the game away. Senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship hit four field goals on four attempts and became the program’s all-time leading scorer. The Bulldogs defense gave up negative-one yard rushing.
But first thing’s first, it’s the state championship.
The brutal November schedule concludes with another opponent having an edge. Tech defeated North Carolina State 28-26 in Atlanta last Thursday, getting a couple of extra days rest. The Bulldogs played three straight foes this month coming off open dates – Florida (Georgia also was idle the week prior), Missouri and Auburn, making for five of six games against opponents who were off the week before.
Tech comes in at 3-8 on the season. Geoff Collins is in his first season at the helm, replacing Paul Johnson, famed for the triple option flexbone attack. Through the first year growing pains, the Yellow Jackets have had some high point moments. At the top of the list, Tech won at Miami 28-21 on October 19. The aforementioned win over the Wolfpack last Thursday showed great resilience for the Yellow Jackets, who were blown away 45-0 by Virginia Tech the week prior.
In the bounce-back win over N.C. State, quarterback James Graham had an excellent performance, throwing for three touchdowns and 129 yards through the air, while rushing for 122 and a score on 14 carries. Combined with a 141-yard rushing night by running back Jordan Mason, and the Yellow Jackets head into the showdown with the Bulldogs on a high note.
There is so much on the line for Georgia. First and foremost, beating the arch in-state foe – aiming for a third straight win in the series, 10 in a row on Tech’s campus. A victory would mark a third consecutive 11-1 regular season – not done for the Bulldogs since the early 1980s. It would also keep Georgia in the picture for the ultimate goal and dream.