The fifth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs held a two-hour workout session on Wednesday in preparation for their 113th meeting against Georgia Tech in Athens.
Saturday’s high-noon contest will close out the regular season for the Bulldogs (10-1) as Tech comes to town with a 7-4 mark. Both teams are riding four-game winning streaks. Speaking on the SEC head coaches weekly teleconference before practice, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said the Bulldogs are ready to honor their 25-member senior class.
“We’re excited to have our third home game in a row and looking forward to getting an opportunity to thank our senior class on Senior Day and their families for how much they’ve meant to the UGA program and what they’ve given back,” said Smart. “We want to honor them by playing one of our best games at home. I know our guys are excited about the opportunity to play Georgia Tech. We always look forward to this game. It’s a big rivalry in state, and I know both sets of fans are looking forward to it.”
Georgia enters Saturday’s game averaging 39.6 points a game while Tech checks in at 36.9 points a game. The Bulldogs scoring defense ranks 12th nationally, allowing just 16.8 points a game while Tech surrenders 27.5 points a game. The Bulldogs are 10th nationally in rushing with an SEC-best 257.5 yards a game. Tech’s triple-option offense averages 353.7 rushing yards a game, which leads the nation.
Tech’s leading rushers are quarterbacks TaQuon Marshall (857 yards on 174 attempts with 11 touchdowns) and Tobias Oliver (808 yards on 142 attempts with 12 touchdowns) while the top running back is Jordan Mason (637 yards on 102 attempts with 7 touchdowns).
“They are definitely running the quarterback, when you combined the fact that most times they’ve got one quarterback and they have two quarterbacks rushing at the clip they have been rushing at, it’s pretty obvious that they think very highly of those guys as runners,” said Smart. “You have to be smart on how you play them. They’re doing a good job of getting those guys on the perimeter, and they’re running the ball well.”
Smart was asked how the leadership on this year’s Georgia team has been, and how it has managed to follow up last season’s success.
“They’ve done a good job,” said Smart. “They have taken on their own roles. Each one has been different. Some guys have larger roles on the field and lesser off, and some have larger leadership roles and maybe lesser on the field. They take on their own personality. They’ve done a good job of kind of distinguishing themselves from last year because last year was last year. There were a lot of good leaders on last year’s team. They are some of the same leaders on this team, but a lot of the primary leaders on this team are younger players.”
Georgia’s senior class is 41-11 overall, winning SEC Eastern Division titles in 2017 and 2018, the 2017 SEC title, the 2018 Rose Bowl Game and an appearance in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game.
Following practice, the Bulldogs will have a 24-hour window to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Kickoff at Sanford Stadium Saturday is slated for noon ET on the SEC Network.
Once the Dawgs finish this game, they will play for the SEC title in Atlanta on December 1.