clearn.png
Wednesday July 15th, 2020 4:12AM

No. 7 Georgia has been looking forward to Ga Tech all season

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia has been looking forward to this game all season.

Putting in the time, too.

Every Monday, the No. 7 Bulldogs would take a break from their upcoming opponent to spend a few minutes going over Georgia Tech's unique triple-option offense.

It was acknowledgement of both the challenges that the Yellow Jackets present with their run-oriented attack, as well as how much Saturday's game means to Georgia after a gut-wrenching 28-27 loss last season .

"We've been working on it pretty much once a week for a long time," senior linebacker Lorenzo Carter said. "It just helps build confidence for not only the younger players, because they haven't seen it before, but also for the older players because we stay up on it."

Georgia (10-1) has a lot more than redemption riding on the regular-season finale.

The Bulldogs have already earned a return visit to Atlanta for the Dec. 2 Southeastern Conference championship game, where they will face either top-ranked Alabama or the only team to beat Georgia, No. 6 Auburn .

The SEC champion is expected to claim a spot in the College Football Playoff. But in Georgia's case, there's one big caveat: the Bulldogs can't afford a loss to their state rival.

Then again, that's pretty much how these teams feel every year, no matter what else is riding on the outcome.

"The rivalry runs deep," Carter said. "The winner's going to brag for 365 days. They've been bragging."

Actually, Georgia Tech (5-5) hasn't had a whole lot to brag about this season. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a dismal 43-20 defeat at Duke and have dropped three games by a total of six points , leaving them on the cusp of a losing record for the second time in three years.

A huge upset of Georgia would make everyone on the Flats feel a whole lot better.

"If you win this one, the other ones don't matter," quarterback TaQuon Marshall said. "You're state champions. Nobody else would really care about the other games we lost."

Georgia coach Kirby Smart has shown how much he cares about this game with all the extra practice time devoted to the Yellow Jackets, who rank fourth nationally with a rushing average of 319.4 yards per game.

"They're not the norm anymore," Smart said. "It's almost like a dinosaur. People don't do it anymore, so people don't know how to defend it. It's challenging."

___

Some other things to watch for in the latest edition of the "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate" rivalry:

BOWL ELIGIBILITY: While Georgia Tech is still trying to put together a 12th game to make up hurricane-relate cancellation against Central Florida, the Yellow Jackets must approach this as a much-win to get to a bowl . There's a chance of receiving an invitation with a 5-6 record based on their academic record, but only if there aren't enough .500 teams to fill all the slots. "I feel like the pressure is on us," running back Qua Searcy said. "No matter who we're playing, we've still got to get that sixth win."

RUN, DOG, RUN: Georgia is also one of the nation's top rushing teams, ranking second in the SEC and ranking 10th nationally (267.4 yards per game) behind the dynamic duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Chubb joined Herschel Walker as the only players in Georgia history to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing three times in their career, while Michel also has a shot at a 1,000-yard season. In last week's 42-13 rout of Kentucky , they combined for 238 yards and five touchdowns.

HOME-FIELD DISADVANTAGE: While Georgia Tech is riding an eight-game winning streak at home, don't expect Georgia to be the least bit intimidated about playing at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Bulldogs have defeated the Yellow Jackets eight straight times in Atlanta, with Georgia's last loss coming way back in 1999 (and even then, it took a blown call for Georgia Tech to escape with an overtime victory). There figures to be plenty of red and black in the 55,000-seat stadium, so it will seem more like a neutral-site contest than a Georgia Tech home game.

AIR GAME: Considering how strong both teams are on the ground, this game may come down to which quarterback can hit some big passing plays. Georgia would certainly seem better equipped to capitalize in this area with freshman Jake Fromm, who hasn't been asked to carry a big load in the passing game but has turned in some solid numbers. He has completed just under 61 percent of his throws for 1,766 yards, with 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Marshall hasn't been nearly as effective, completing just 38 percent of his attempts for 889 yards, but he showed the danger of neglecting the passing game in an upset victory over Virginia Tech. Marshall completed only two passes in that game — for touchdowns of 60 and 80 yards .

PJ'S STATUS: Another losing season could turn up the heat on Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who is winding down his 10th season in Atlanta. Since winning 11 games including an Orange Bowl victory during the 2014 season, the Yellow Jackets are just 17-18.

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

___

For more AP college football coverage: www.collegefootball.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Argentina: Search for missing sub accelerates despite blast
Argentina says it's accelerating the search for a submarine that has been lost in the South Atlantic for nine days amid growing fears for its 44 crew members
10:10AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Flynn may be moving to cooperate with Mueller's Russia probe
Flynn's legal team may be maneuvering to cooperate with prosecutors in Russia investigation
9:54AM ( 27 minutes ago )
After weeks of deals, stores aim to draw Black Friday crowds
Stores hope deals, excitement draw shoppers for Black Friday
9:51AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Turkish president, Trump discuss Syria on call
Turkey's president says he discussed the Syrian crisis and other regional issues with in a phone call Friday with President Donald Trump
9:42AM ( 39 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump to call Turkey's Erdogan on Mideast 'mess'
President Donald Trump says he'll be speaking with Turkish President Recep Erdogan on Friday "about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East.
7:47AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump complains that players are the boss' in the NFL
Trump continues to rail against professional football players who kneel during the National Anthem
7:13AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Keenum-led Vikings beat Lions 30-23, adding to division lead
Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to beat the Detroit Lions 30-23
6:21PM ( 16 hours ago )
Denver Broncos have hit a rough patch
The Denver Broncos have fallen fast and hard since winning Super Bowl 50 less than two years ago
1:34PM ( 20 hours ago )
Playmaking QBs: Hurts, Stidham lead teams into Iron Bowl
Playmaking QBs: Hurts, Stidham lead teams into Iron Bowl
1:23PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Duke overcomes tenacious Portland State 99-81
Trevon Duval had 22 points and top-ranked Duke pulled away for a 99-81 victory over surprisingly tenacious Portland State to open the Phil Knight Invitational
7:52PM ( 14 hours ago )
Maye leads No. 9 North Carolina to 102-78 rout of Portland
Luke Maye scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Joel Berry II added 18 points, and No. 9 North Carolina put five players in double figures in overwhelming Portland 102-78 to open the PK80 Invitational
7:23PM ( 14 hours ago )
N.C. State stuns No. 2 Arizona 90-84 in Battle 4 Atlantis
Freshman Braxton Beverly scored a season-high 20 points and sparked the decisive late run that helped North Carolina State upset No. 2 Arizona 90-84 in the first round at the Battle 4 Atlantis
10:05AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Gas prices decreasing in Georgia
The average gas price in Georgia has decreased more than 30 cents over the past month.
7:50AM ( 1 month ago )
Collapsed interstate bridge in Georgia reopens to traffic
A key section of interstate highway through Atlanta has partially reopened, six weeks after a highway bridge collapsed because of a large fire.
7:41PM ( 6 months ago )
Cagle promises 500,000 new jobs in Georgia governor campaign
Casey Cagle will launch his campaign for governor on Sunday with a pledge to add half a million new jobs in Georgia in four years if voters choose him to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal.
12:11PM ( 6 months ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Is J.T. Barrett the best QB to ever play at Ohio State?
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett will start his last regular-season game on Saturday against rival Michigan
5:50PM ( 2 days ago )
Oklahoma QB Mayfield won't start home finale after gesture
Oklahoma QB Mayfield won't start his final regular season game after making lewd gesture against Kansas
9:34PM ( 3 days ago )
Kansas coach apologizes after Mayfield slighted by Jayhawks
Kansas coach David Beaty has apologized for his team captains not shaking hands with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, saying the move made during the pregame coin toss was unacceptable
12:02PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Argentina: Search for missing sub accelerates despite blast
Argentina says it's accelerating the search for a submarine that has been lost in the South Atlantic for nine days amid growing fears for its 44 crew members
10:10AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Flynn may be moving to cooperate with Mueller's Russia probe
Flynn's legal team may be maneuvering to cooperate with prosecutors in Russia investigation
9:54AM ( 28 minutes ago )
After weeks of deals, stores aim to draw Black Friday crowds
Stores hope deals, excitement draw shoppers for Black Friday
9:51AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Trump, Turkish leader discuss Syrian crisis in phone call
President Donald Trump spoke Friday with Turkey's president "about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East" before hitting the links with Tiger Woods and pro golfer Dustin Johnson
9:47AM ( 35 minutes ago )
The Latest: Turkish president, Trump discuss Syria on call
Turkey's president says he discussed the Syrian crisis and other regional issues with in a phone call Friday with President Donald Trump
9:42AM ( 39 minutes ago )