The Five: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech 2023

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The Five: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech 2023

1. Jackets Offensive Attack – A big reason for the turnaround on The Flats under Head Coach Brent Key’s watch is a rejuvenated offense. A unit that struggled across the board following the departure of Paul Johnson has been successful on the ground and in the air. The offensive coordinator is former Georgia analyst Buster Faulkner. So he knows the Bulldogs. Quarterback Haynes King is having an excellent season. He’s accurate and has shown the ability to hit the deep pass. Just ask Miami. He has an impressive group of receivers. Six different Yellow Jackets have at least one reception for a minimum of 44 yards. On the ground, Jamal Haynes and Dontae Smith lead a potent rushing attack. Both Haynes and Smith, as well as King, average right at six yards per carry. The Georgia defense will have to be dialed up for a multiple attack, led by a quarterback who can throw and run.

2. Big Play Defense – The Jackets have come up with turnovers and negative yardage plays in their biggest wins this season. Now that’s a common formula for teams that win, and Tech’s got a bunch of play makers. That includes Jaylon King, who ranks amongst the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leaders in interceptions, pass breakups, fumble recoveries and tackles. Kyle Kennard leads the Jackets in Tackles for loss and sacks. You can bet the Jackets will try and take some chances, roll the dice to get to the quarterback and force turnovers.





3. Turnover and Kicking Game – We all know that turnovers and the kicking game are the fastest path to an upset. Georgia must win both of these phases. It will be a different feel under the lights in Atlanta, and Tech will be primed to pull off the prime time upset in the first night game between these two in Atlanta since 2009. Can Georgia protect the football, while forcing the Jackets into some negative yardage plays and a turnover or two? A fake punt, a pooch kick, a surprise onsides, a fourth down gamble, all of this is on the table for the Yellow Jackets.

4. The Crowd – In my lifetime, there has always been a healthy amount of Red at Grant Field/Bobby Dodd Stadium/Hyundai Field. On Georgia’s last two trips in particular, in 2019 and 2021, the crowd was at least 75% Bulldogs. Will that be the case Saturday night? Or will the Tech faithful show up in full force, feeling the Saturday night upset and the potential to spoil Georgia’s aspirations?

5. Shelton Stevens – He embodied the fundamental principle of “not for self, but for others” in immaculate fashion. Shelton Stevens is one of the few people that no one ever heard a bad thing about. For many years, he was the Executive Director of the Sports Network at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. A friend to all, a loyal Bulldog and Braves fan, for so many of us in the sports business, Shelton was the face of the wonderful organization Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Governor’s Cup will be decided Saturday night, a trophy that morphed when the NCAA did away with J.V. Football following the 1993 season. Georgia and the Jackets used to play a Freshman Football Game every Thanksgiving at Grant Field, battling for the Governor’s Cup, with all the money benefitting Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. The motto, Strong Legs Will Run, That Weak Legs May Walk. Shelton loved his family and his friends. He loved to help people. He embodied the very spirit of the organization he so impeccably represented. Shelton Stevens passed away earlier this year. He was a great man, beloved by all. His loss has left a void, but that hole is filled daily by his wonderful spirit and memory.









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