College Football Preview:Georgia Tech vs. Georgia
ATLANTA ó Paul Johnson says it’s no bigger than any other game, certainly not as important as the one next week.
Try telling that to his players.
State pride is a pretty powerful motivator.
No. 7 Georgia Tech (10-1) will be going for its second straight victory over Georgia when the teams meet today night at Bobby Dodd Stadium, and anyone who thinks this is merely a warmup for the ACC championship doesn’t understand how deep the feelings run in this rivalry.
“This is a big game in the state of Georgia,” Tech receiver Demaryius Thomas said. “This is for the bragging rights. If we lose to them before we play in the ACC championship, they would be like, ‘An SEC team beat the team that is going for the ACC championship.’ They’d be talking about that years from now.”
The Bulldogs (6-5) are eager to put a salve on their disappointing season, and nothing would feel better than to beat the school from 75 miles away that has become a national powerhouse in Johnson’s two years as coach.
“To be able to finish up against a really good team with a win can change a lot of things,” Georgia quarterback Joe Cox said. “We know how important this game is and know what it can do for us if we do win.”
When Johnson arrived, Georgia Tech had lost seven straight years to Georgia, leaving little doubt about which school was top dog. But Johnson never looked at Georgia as unbeatable, and his bravado didn’t change the first time he faced them. Georgia Tech scored 26 straight points in the third quarter and held on for a 45-42 victory, its first in the series since 2000.