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Georgia Tech Football: Things I Think I Know - uga

What do we know heading into rivalry week?

Photo: John Hwang

I hate georgia

Words can carry a lot of meaning, especially the word hate. Hate is a strong word. But if I know one thing, I hate georgia. A lot. I hate the color red and I hate losing to uga. My parents went to Georgia Tech, so I am pretty sure this hatred was just in my blood from the day I was born. My earliest memory of this rivalry game was beating georgia in Athens in 2008, and ever since then, clean old-fashioned hate has been a game that holds a heavier weight for me. And now, it’s that time of year again. As the 2023 college football season comes to an end, rivalry week is upon us. I have mixed emotions about this week this year. I love the hype surrounding playing our in-state rival, but in recent years, it’s been excruciating to not just change the TV channel in hopes that the beatdown will end. It has been one-sided for the last five years or so, but things are trending up on the flats. Will we win? Most likely not. Will this rivalry be a little less one-sided this year? I hope. Anything can happen on rivalry weekend. But regardless of the outcome this Saturday, I know one thing. I hate georgia.

uga started slow but has found themselves late in the season

At the beginning of this season, this uga team didn’t come out firing on all cylinders as they had been the previous two years. They trailed a below-average South Carolina team 14-3 at halftime and had to fight until the very last second to beat Auburn. Even measly Vanderbilt never gave up against them and only lost by 17. Ever since then, something has clicked on both sides of the ball for georgia, and they look back to their regular season form of absolute domination. As much as it pains me to write this, they easily look like the best team in the country. Carson Beck had to learn how to find his footing without Brock Bowers. Now that Bowers is back, they are back to their kill-and-destroy mindset. They have what will be their biggest test of the year next weekend against Alabama in the SEC championship. Maybe their sights will be set on that, and we can keep things competitive. Last year was a similar scenario. uga was undefeated and getting ready to face LSU in the SEC championship game. We were leading 7-3 at the end of the first quarter and were only down 10-7 at the half. This was also with our 3rd and 4th string QBs in, and this year we have been able to fight off the injury bug. I think we have enough fight in us to keep things competitive, and hopefully, we can catch georgia in a similar spot to last year.

With that being said…

This matchup is... not favorable for us, or any team in the country

As I said, uga looks like the best team in the country. I am not sure if anyone can compete with them right now, and that doesn’t make things look too great for us either. I don’t know what Kirby Smart has put in their Gatorade, but it’s working. uga is officially the only team in SEC history to finish 3 consecutive seasons at 8-0 in conference play. On the other hand, there is us, who have just reached bowl eligibility for the first time in five years. This isn’t a great matchup, and I think we all know that. We have one of the worst defenses in the country and are facing one of the best offenses that no one has been able to stop. Maybe I am being pessimistic, but I do not have super high hopes for this game. But hey, we are bowl-eligible for the first time since the Paul Johnson era, and things are starting to brighten up. Let’s remind uga that we’re not the same cakewalk we used to be, and at the very least make them sweat a little for this win.

uga is 21st in rushing defense in the country, only allowing 109.9 yards per game. Our offense is averaging 435.1 yards per game, with the majority of these being on the ground. To compete with uga’s athletic defense, Buster Faulkner needs to keep some plays up his sleeve and keep their defense on its toes. We also cannot drop catchable passes and Haynes King can’t throw stupid interceptions. On the other hand, we are allowing 438.3 yards per game and uga sits in the top 5 of total offense. The defense will have to play out of their minds to keep this one competitive. All these situations are not impossible, but they are also not likely. This game means the world to Coach Key, so I think he will be ready, and the players will want to play their hearts out for him.

Rivalry weekend can be chaotic

While I just said I do not have much hope, I am a full believer that no rivalry game is ever safe. This is my favorite week of college football, and I love nothing more than a little chaos at the end of the season to shake things up. This matchup doesn’t favor us, and this game could get ugly, but part of me has hope because this is the week where anything could happen. We haven’t beaten georgia in Atlanta since I’ve been alive, and it’s my last year as a Tech student. It would be oh-so-fitting to steal a win from Kirby Smart at night in Bobby Dodd when no one is expecting it.

Here’s to another year of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. Go Jackets, and THWg always.