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The Georgia Bulldogs travel to Atlanta for some Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Georgia Tech looks to add another victory over the Dawgs after a huge come-from-behind victory in Athens last year, which broke Georgia's seven-game win streak over the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia is coming off yet another heart breaking loss at home marred by turnovers. The Bulldogs were in control at the half up 20-6. However, Kentucky closed quickly and took the lead in the fourth quarter. UGA running back Washaun Ealey fumbled on the one-yard line as he tried to get in the endzone and tie the game at 34. Later, Georgia would be given another shot at coming back to tie the game, but quarterback Joe Cox threw an interception on the first play of the drive. It was what has become the usual for Georgia, looking great one minute and awful the next.

For Georgia Tech, they are coming off a much needed bye week after playing eleven straight games. It gave them a chance to get healthy, celebrate a little after clinching a berth in the ACC title game, and extra time to focus on the work laid in front of them: beating Georgia in a heated rivalry game. In past years, this game meant everything to Tech fans, but Coach Paul Johnson's team has a different mindset. They team is very aware of what this rivalry means to Georgia Tech, but they are treating this game as any other game. One game doesn't define the season as a whole. So far this season, the theme of preparation for Tech every week has been "it's the biggest game of the year." The record shows that however they're preparing has been working just fine.

Keys to the Game:

Georgia DefenseWrap Up. Sounds simple right? Just tackle the man with the ball. Well, for the Bulldogs, this hasn't been the simplest of tasks during the last couple of years. Sure, coverage is bad at times and sometimes they get no pressure on the quarterback. But, poor tackling has been of major influence in the their ten games against BCS conference opponents, where they're letting up 29.3 points per game. Oh, and do you remember the game in Athens last year? Even Coach Paul Johnson said that they didn't really make any adjustments at halftime, but that Georgia kept missing tackles and Tech kept making them pay.

Georgia Tech DefenseStop the Run. It's the philosophy of the head coach: if you take care of the opponent's run game, you probably have a great shot at winning the game. The rest takes care of itself. Against the teams their schedule that run more of a pro-style running scheme like UGA (everybody but Mississippi State and Vanderbilt), Georgia Tech is giving up under 96 yards per game. However, Georgia has improved its running game lately and should be a tough task to stop with their young backs Ealey and Caleb King, and with freshman Branden Smith running from the "Wild Dawg" formation.

Georgia OffenseSpread it Out. I don't foresee Georgia really being able to rely on their running game in Atlanta and I do believe a successful running game is pivotal to beating GT. But with Tech's weak coverage, and Georgia's ability to get the deep plays every now and then, I think they should air it out to stay in this game. Throw on some first downs, and launch it deep. They will have a big mismatch with freshman tight end Orson Charles running over the middle, who will likely be covered by a linebacker at times. Quarterback Joe Cox has had some success throwing the deep ball this season despite his turnover problems, and I don't see why they shouldn't have some success passing on Saturday against Tech. Despite star receiver A.J. Green's likely absence from the game, Georgia has many weapons to use with a lot of speed.

Georgia Tech OffensePlay it Cool. If Tech can take care of business as usual while controlling the clock, converting 3rd and 4th down tries, making no turnovers, and keep the penalties to a minimum, things could really go bad for the Bulldogs. Yes, these are all factors that if any team does, they should win, but these are what the Yellow Jackets have been pretty good with this season. Penalties have been inconsistent at times, but they have usually overcome them and cleaned them up quickly. This offense has been humming, averaging 41.1 points per game, 343.9 yards rushing per game, and 485.3 total yards per game over the last 7 games.

Who to Watch:

UGA CB #1 Branden Smith – The freshman corner has made his mark mostly on offense this season. He is a threat to score any time he has the ball in his hands. He's rushed for over 200 yards and two scores on 16 carries this season and he is probably the fastest player on the team. Watch for him to be put all over the field as Georgia tries to get the ball in his hands.

GT QB #9 Josh Nesbitt

– You could make a case that he is the impact player every week. He makes the reads and is part of making every play. But aside from rushing for 77 yards per game and 16 touchdowns, he has to be feeling confident after another solid outing throwing the ball last game against Duke where he went 6-10 for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

UGA DT #91 Kade Weston – The senior defensive tackle, along with the talented tackles who start ahead of him, really stood out against Tech last season. He has had a pretty good season this year, as he and the tackles are the most talented part of the defense. They should be able to blow up a few of GT's plays, which could cause the Yellow Jackets some problems.

GT DE #91 Derrick Morgan – There may not be a hotter defensive end in the country, and this even comes from many NFL Scouts. The junior is taking on double teams and still busting through linemen to make big plays, whether he's stuffing the run or sacking the quarterback. His 12 sacks lead the ACC and he is also 2nd in the conference in tackles for loss.


Tech is 28th in the nation in turnover margin, and Georgia is 119th. If Georgia can clean that part of their game up and even cause a turnover or two, there will be a battle in Atlanta. I think it will be a close, high-scoring game, and to try and pick the winner I would take the team with the better coach. The Dawgs will be fighting hard on Saturday with last year's outcome in the back of their minds. Georgia Tech will not be taking UGA lightly, as every game means even more when you're having a special season. Top Stories