2008 - #23 Georgia Tech @ #13 georgia
In Tech's first season under Head Coach Paul Johnson, the Jackets went to Athens to put their new, goofy offense on display against their in-state rival. georgia was coming off of a big win over Auburn on the road, and was 9-2 on the season. Tech was coming off of a major thrashing of Miami on Thursday night football in which they only attempted 7 passes and ran circles around the Hurricane defense for 480 yards. In the first half of the game, Tech saw its momentum dashed as everything was going wrong. At halftime, georgia was in the lead by a score of 28-12 and it looked like their streak of 7-straight wins over Tech was about to be extended. However, in the 7 minutes after halftime, Tech saw a miraculous comeback to take a 35-28 lead, fueled by a georgia fumble on a kickoff return, Jonathan Dwyer rushing for 2 TD's and Roddy Jones scoring another. Following a Scott Blair field goal the Bulldogs' Knowshon Moreno scored a touchdown to draw within 3. However, the ensuing drive saw Roddy Jones score again, this time on his famous run down the sidelines, as seen below. Tech took a 45-35 lead, and ended up winning by a score of 45-42.
2009 - #7 Georgia Tech vs georgia
Coming into this game, Georgia Tech was 10-1 and on a roll. They hadn't lost since their Week 3 Thursday night defeat in Coral Gables, they were headed to the ACC Championship Game to play Clemson the following week, and the season was just dripping with magic. On the other side, the Bulldogs were 6-5 after losses to Oklahoma State, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky -- needless to say, their season had been a disappointment, and a loss to the Yellow Jackets would have been the cherry on top. On paper, Tech was going to win this game by 2 TD's. In fact, they were a home favorite by 9 points. The game started, and Georgia Tech's defense struggled mightily against their rivals' rushing attack. Overpursuit on defense ended in georgia running all over Grant Field, to a tune of 339 yards on the ground, including both Washaun Ealey and Caleb King rushing for well over 150 yards. uga once again had a halftime lead, this time by a score of 17-3. Tech came back after halftime on the back of a 76-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas and a 5-yard carry by Jonathan Dwyer, but a 75-yard carry by Caleb King meant the score was at 24-17. Two Blair Walsh field goals stretched the lead to 13 points, but a rushing TD by the legendary Joshua Nesbitt pulled the Jackets to within 6. After a Blair Walsh missed field goal that could have iced the game, Tech got the ball back with about 3:00 left with a chance to tie or win. Following 4 rushing plays for 17 yards, Tech inexplicably threw three long, incomplete passes before throwing to the always reliable Thomas on a 10-yard curl route. We all know how that ended -- Thomas looked down to check if his feet were in bounds, dropped the pass, and the Bulldogs went home with the win, 30-24.
2010 - Georgia Tech @ georgia
After two straight years of big-time matchups with at least one team ranked, this year's matchup was set up to be a complete crapfest. Tech came in at 6-5 following losses to Kansas, NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami. They hadn't looked good all year, and after losing Joshua Nesbitt in Blacksburg, things were not looking up. The previous game they had defeated Duke 30-20 to preserve bowl eligibility, the lone bright spot in the season to date. georgia's season was worse, and needed a win over Tech to become bowl eligible. The Bulldogs came in at 5-6 following 4 straight losses to South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Colorado followed by losses to Florida in overtime and eventual national champion Auburn. georgia jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a pair of TD passes by Aaron Murray to Kris Durham and Orson Charles, but Tech tied it after TD runs by Tevin Washington and Roddy Jones. With less than a minute to halftime, georgia scored again on an Aaron Murray TD pass, this time to Bruce Figgins. Tech once again tied the game in the second half off of a touchdown run by Embry Peeples, but georgia followed that up with a touchdown run by Washaun Ealey and a scoop-six by Justin Houston off of a bad pitch by Tevin Washington. Tech never quit though, and after rushing touchdowns by Tevin Washington and Anthony Allen the game was tied again at 35...or it would have been, except that Scott Blair missed his only extra point of the season at the worst time. georgia's final drive once again yielded a touchdown by Washaun Ealey, after Coach Johnson instructed the defense to let him score, thus getting the ball back for Tech. The final drive featured three passes that worked the Jackets just into Bulldog territory before Washington was intercepted by Justin Houston, giving georgia the victory by a score of 42-34.
2011 - #23 Georgia Tech vs #13 georgia
An eerily similar set of rankings to 2008's Tech win, this game saw Tech at 8-3 (but losers of 3 of their last 5, against Virginia, Miami, and Virginia Tech), while georgia entered having won 9 in a row following 2 losses to open the season, and headed to the SEC Championship Game the next week. Tech fans, and myself in particular, didn't feel great about this game, noticing that the team had struggled for a lot of the season against teams they should have beaten handily, and noticing how much of a roll the in-state rivals were on. Sure enough, our fears were realized. The Jackets got whipped by the Bulldogs on the Flats, being outgained on offense by a total of 380-355, and turning it over twice to georgia's once. Penalties, those turnovers, and georgia's ability to sustain drives and create a balanced time-of-possession ended in Tech losing in a very anticlimactic fashion by a score of 31-17.
Those are the four Tech-georgia games that I vividly remember, mainly because I was at 3 and was a student watching the 4th on TV. Tell me about your memories, readers. How do you feel as we approach our matchup this weekend?