As a soon to be alumnus and die hard Yellow Jacket, I'm looking forward to seeing my team mop the floor with Georgia. After seeing us lose to our most hated rivals my first four years in college, nothing would make me happier than to leave this school with a win over UGA.
But as the title of this article belies, that is not to be taken for granted. UGA is having a less-than-stellar year in 2009, exemplified by a disappointing home loss to Kentucky, but that doesn't mean they are a bad team. Mark Richt isn't at the top of his game, but that doesn't mean he became a bad coach overnight.
Under Richt, the Bulldogs have experienced a great deal of success, especially against Georgia Tech.
Well, maybe not Tech specifically, but Chan Gaily definitely.
When he was hired just under a year ago, Paul Johnson was issued an order: BEAT GEORGIA. He did. Now he has to do it again. Capturing the Governor's cup this year should be less difficult than last year, but this is a rivalry game and anything can happen.
Georgia was able to tough it out for the win against a good Auburn team, showing good speed, athleticism, and defensive solidarity. They also got their offense together and put up a respectable 31 points. They even had a semblance of a running game for once.
Tech, though, is another story. The blitzkrieg that is Tech's offense has been getting a lot of praise and attention these days, and after all why not? It's damn near unstoppable. Our lowest score this year was 24 points and we've been averaging 35 this season.
But the real story, as it has been this year, is on the other side of the ball.
When Tech's defense shows up, we clean house. When it doesn't, the big O has to carry the game, and even once, we lost. That could happen again.
Georgia has some talented players and if our secondary performs any less than its absolute best, what could be a solid win will turn into a struggle. Our front four will also have to step up and get some pressure. The one man wrecking crew that is Derrick Morgan should be able to get into the UGA backfield more than once.
If Richt comes up with some clever blocking schemes, though, it's going to be a long day at Bobby Dodd. The statistic angle is that Tech ranks 47 nationally in defense (not as bad as you thought right?) allowing an average of three touchdowns and 350 yards per game.
The "Dawgs" are 88th in total offense and are putting up those exact numbers as their per game average, which is an odd coincidence to say the least.
Georgia will have defensive trouble themselves. They currently rank 34 in Division I-A schools allowing a mere 121 yards per game on the ground. The caveat is that the teams they play are averaging 36 carries a game. The North Avenue Trade School is averaging 64 carries a game. How willing the dogs are to get in the trenches and fight it out, and how long they can last there, will be a big factor in this game.
Ultimately, the Bulldogs will be fighting for a better bowl game as well as the chance to spoil what is a great season for us. Paul Johnson will be playing to keep that great season alive, keeping the momentum up for the ACC championship, and the all important bragging rights to this year's "Hate Bowl."
Tech is the favorite, as well they should be, but the under "dawgs" shouldn't be taken lightly.