UGA vs. Georgia Tech Preview and Prediction
UGA VS. GEORGIA TEACH PREVIEW AND PREDICTION – It’s Clean, Old-fashioned Hate. Yet, this rivalry has gone stale, certainly from the UGA perspective. Total and utter dominance over the last two decades will do that.
Kirby Smart has to educate his players on why they should hate Tech, because nothing in their lifetimes has given them reason to despise the jackets.
However, familiarity can breed contempt and there are familiar faces in terms of players and coaching staffs. Receiver Dominic Blaylock and Tight End Brett Seither both transferred to Tech after winning a championship with the Dawgs last season.
Plus, Buster Faulkner was snatched up by Tech to be promoted from an off-field role to offensive coordinator at GT. Faulkner knows the ins and outs of Georgia’s offense, and he worked closely with Stetson Bennett last season.
Despite pulling some players and coaches from the Dawgs, Brent Key has led Tech to an up-and-down season. They dominated Virginia, and managed victories over UNC and the most improbable victory over Miami. Yet, they were defeated by Bowling Green and Boston College.
UGA fans may recognize their QB, Haynes King as the former QB from Texas A&M. He has amassed 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions this year. His problem with turnovers contributed to him losing the A&M job. King is athletic enough to run the ball effectively, and is the team’s second leading rusher.
He has managed between 7 and 11 carries the last 5 games, but his effectiveness has ranged from -3 yards to 150. In the latter half of the year, he has run more, around 80 yards rushing per game in the last stretch of the season. Unfortunately, his ball security has worsened in that same stretch, with a 4 INT performance against Clemson being the worst.
When King and Faulkner are clicking, they can put up points quickly. When they aren’t, their offense can be fairly pedestrian. I think Faulkner will know how to attack this UGA defense given his exposure to the team. Even still, I’m not sure he’ll have great success doing so just because over the difference in talent and depth.
The Dawgs are coming into this game off of a big win at Tennessee. Unfortunately, they are still dealing with significant injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
WR Ladd McConkey is dealing with an ankle injury from the Ole Miss game. He only took 6 snaps last week, and I’ll be surprised if he takes any this week.
Fellow receiver RaRa Thomas has a foot injury too and likely will be out.
RG Tate Ratledge was rolled up on last week. Kirby suspiciously said he slammed his knee into another player’s knee and has a contusion. Again, I suspect he’ll be held out as a precaution. That makes 3 starters that are out, though. Brock Bowers was limping early in the second half last week, and while he’ll almost certainly play, I won’t be surprised if UGA tries to limit his snaps this week as well.
The Dawgs should have plenty of success on the ground against Tech, who has one of the worst run defenses in the nation.
After Tennessee was able to keep the Dawgs run game in check last week, UGA will be more than happy to pound the rock and grind this game out. Micah Morris should fill in for Ratledge and he’s proven to be a road grader in the run game. I’m hoping Daijun Edwards and Kendal Milton can feast in this game.
Defensively, Tech on the whole is weak. The Dawgs should be able to put up 40+ if they put their mind to it. Yet, I won’t be surprised if they fall short of that mark simply because they put in reserves and sit on the ball late in the game.
UGA has consistently given up a touchdown on the first drive of games.
I think Tech scores early, but won’t be able to keep up with UGA’s scoring. I’m not expecting a great performance from Georgia. The toll of 4 big weeks in a row will show itself in this game against Georgia. Bowers gets at least one touchdown and honestly feasts as much as he wants in this game. Tech doesn’t defend athletic tight ends well.
That and their porous run defense is a recipe for UGA to put up tons of points. I’m still expecting sloppy execution for stretches in this game, but a comfortable win that doesn’t quite cover the large spread in this game.