Dawgs: This one's for braggin' rights

ATHENS – Georgia wraps up its regular season on Saturday with its traditional in-state rival Georgia Tech. And even though the game isn't a match up of Top 25 teams, the Bulldogs still want another year of bragging rights.

"Each of us has a lot of friends we know on Georgia Tech's team. You always want to have bragging rights. So far we have had that," said senior wide receiver Fred Gibson.

This year's seniors have not lost to Georgia Tech in three games. However, when they came to Athens it was a different story. Georgia has lost three straight to their arch rivals before beating them in Atlanta in 2001.

"No one knew what it was like to beat them," said senior quarterback David Greene. "Now we are 3-0 against them."

"Hopefully we'll be 4-0 after Saturday," added Gibson.

Georgia Tech won the first of three straight games in 1998 when Joe Hamilton led the Yellow Jackets to a come from behind victory over the Bulldogs in Athens. The next season the Bulldogs lost in overtime after a controversial fumble call went against them. Television replays showed afterwards the fumble call was incorrect.

Then in 2000, Georgia Tech manhandled the Bulldogs in Athens in their most decisive victory over the Dawgs since their national championship in 1990. The Yellow Jackets felt vindicated after the game, pointing out that the 1999 win was no fluke.

Georgia then won three games in a row – all in convincing fashion. This week the Bulldogs are a two-touchdown favorite to beat the Jackets. But Gibson says he and his Yellow Jacket friends don't talk about the season-ending game that much.

"It's at the end of the year, so we don't focus on it that much," he said. Gibson was clear, however; he might not talk about the match-up with the Jackets, but he and the rest of the Bulldogs are focused on this game. "We don't think about losing this game," Gibson said.

A win could move the Bulldogs closer to playing in the Capital One Bowl, the SEC's second best bowl game behind a BCS bid. Greene says the team will focus on Georgia Tech first, and then on bowl possibilities.

"Obviously you always want to go to a good bowl where it's nice and warm, but we are not looking at this game trying to set up a bowl. This is for bragging rights. Most everyone on the team knows one or two guys on their team, because we grew up with them," Greene said.


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