Just Like Last Year

ATHENS - The mood in Georgia's locker room in the hours and days following Saturday's second-half collapse against Kentucky has been grim, and this week's opponent hasn't improved that feeling much.

Last week's loss began on a bright note, with Georgia taking a 20-6 lead into the half. The second half, however, opened with a fumbled kick return, and the rest of the game belonged to Kentucky, as Georgia made one mistake after another and lost a shocker.

The storyline was a familiar one.

"Tech, last year," left tackle Clint Boling said. "We were up going into the second half and we actually fumbled the kickoff (early) in the second half. It kind of felt like that game a little bit. It is tough every time you go into a second half with a big lead and you come out and turn the ball over and give the other team a chance. It was a tough game."

Georgia appeared to have two chances at the end of the game against Kentucky, but a fumble and an interception ended the comeback bid. The last time the Bulldogs blew a game late was against LSU in October, and they followed that up with a blowout loss to Tennessee a week later.

Boling said he's hopeful that the team can recover in time to avoid a similar fate this week, but admits it won't be an easy task.

"We are just trying not to quit on the season after everything that's happened," Boling said. "I think if we can win against Tech that would be great for our team moral and emotions going into the bowl game."

Playing keep-away

It's not just that Tech's offense can hang some big numbers on the scoreboard, it's that the Jackets do a superb job of keeping their opponents from spending too much time with their offense on the field, too.

Tech leads the nation in time of possession, holding onto the ball an average of 34:25 per game. Georgia falls a bit farther down that list, with its 29:11 average ranking 84th in the country. Still, quarterback Joe Cox thinks a key to beating the high-octane Jackets could be stealing a page from their playbook.

"Any time, and especially if you are putting up points, one team has the ball a lot, keeps it and ends up having long drives for touchdowns or field goals, it kind of makes the other team's offense a little antsy," Cox said. "It makes them want to score and get things back even. So it is a really important part of this game, especially against an offense like theirs that can score from anywhere on the field. We need to be able to control the ball and move the chains and put points up."

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