Jackets try to end losing ways against Dawgs

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt knows what Chan Gailey is going through this week.

Gailey has yet to beat the Bulldogs as Georgia Tech's head coach and the Yellow Jackets have lost five straight and 12 of the last 15 in this rivalry. Georgia fans know the feeling, having lost 15 of the last 17 to Florida.

"People ask the question with us with Florida," Richt said. "We don't like to dwell on the past, and I'm sure (the Yellow Jackets) don't either. I'm sure they feel like they have an outstanding chance every year, but I'm sure this year they're very confident they can beat us this year. They're having a great year; they ought to feel that way."

The No. 16 Yellow Jackets (9-2) already have a spot wrapped up in next week's ACC Championship Game. Still, they need to beat a vulnerable Georgia (7-4) team on Saturday in Sanford Stadium (3:30 p.m., CBS) to completely take advantage of this season.

"I don't think we've got their number, but the best team has won the last four or fiveyears," senior defensive tackle Ray Gant said. "They've definitely got the manpower to beat us this year. It'll just be a case of who wants it more."

The Bulldogs beat then-No. 5 Auburn 37-15 last weekend to stop a slide that included four losses in five games, and they enter the Tech game unranked for the first time since 1996.

"I feel we regained some of that respect we lost throughout the season," senior safety Tra Battle said. "A lot of people were talking about us and not in a good way, but I felt we really showed the nation we're still a good team."

Another win over a ranked opponent likely will get Georgia into the Chick-fil-A Bowl in the Georgia Dome. The Bulldogs should be fairly healthy headed into this game as Richt expects running backs Kregg Lumpkin (ankle) and Danny Ware (knee, ankle), offensive lineman Michael Turner (ankle) and wide receiver Mario Raley (neck) to be able to play. Turner, Ware and Raley probably will be limited in practice this week.

Backup middle linebacker Marcus Washington will not play after injuring his knee last week in practice. Washington will need season-ending surgery.

The Bulldogs, who played 11 straight weeks before their open date, met several days last week but only took the practice field once. They will return their today to continue preparations.

"They ought to be rested," Richt said. "I just hope they're not out of shape. It's a fine line."

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