LIVE BLOG: Georgia seeks bowl bid (and revenge vs. Tech)

Georgia players, angered by the home loss to Tech the year before, planted the school flag after last year's win at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Georgia players, angered by a home loss to Tech in 2008, planted the "G" flag after last year's win at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

(This will serve as the Georgia live blog when the game starts. We’ll also have a Tech live blog on, as they say, another network.)

ATHENS — Hello and welcome to the last game this season that anybody at Georgia or Georgia Tech will remember.

The Jackets (6-5) still have a low-level bowl game to play. The Dogs (5-6) hope to still have a low-level bowl game to play. But tonight’s meeting is really about the final opportunity for either school to create a highlight in a

The memory of Tech players (like wide receiver Andrew Smith) mangling the hedges lingers with Georgia players.

The memory of Tech players (like wide receiver Andrew Smith) mangling the hedges lingers with Georgia players.

mostly miserable season.

As Georgia defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said, alluding to the last four years of his senior class: “I don’t know if we’ve left a legacy. But I know if we don’t make it to a bowl game, that will be one legacy that we leave. … We’ve done  a lot as a class. But the only thing that matters is how you finish. Nobody going to talk about the Sugar Bowl. They’re going to talk about what we did our senior year.”

Kickoff is still several hours away. But there’s no reason to wait until then to start the banter. This will serve as your live Bulldogs’ blog during the game. I’ll update it later when I get to the stadium.

A few thoughts before kickoff:

Georgia is favored by as much as two touchdowns. Sounds about right. While strange things happen in rivalry games, the only absolute about either team is that the Dogs can put up points, led by the Aaron Murray-to-A.J. Green connection. In the last six games, Georgia has put up point totals of 41 (Tennessee), 43 (Vanderbilt), 44 (Kentucky), 31 (Florida), 55 (Idaho State) and 31 (Auburn). I realize Mike Bobo bashing is a favorite pastime of fans but offense hasn’t been the problem, defense has. And about defense . . .

♦ The only way I see Tech winning this game — other than via multiple Georgia turnovers and penalties — is if the Jackets run for a ton a yards and dominate in time of possession, keeping Georgia’s offense off the field. So the onus is on defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and the Dogs’ defensive front. The Jackets are without starting quarterback Joshua Nesbitt and their offense isn’t nearly as fluid with backup Tevin Washington.

♦ Tech coach Paul Johnson knows his team is undermanned this game. He’ll have to “steal” a possession or two. So a couple of trick plays, like a fake punt, wouldn’t be surprising.

♦ Neither team has a win over a quality opponent. The difference is Georgia still needs a win to become bowl eligible. If it can’t beat Tech, it doesn’t deserve a bowl. The Jackets had lost three straight until having to scramble to beat 3-8  Duke last week.

Now, about this rivalry. The road school has won the last three meetings. Tech has split two since Johnson’s arrival. But if the high point for this Georgia senior class was going 11-2 and winning the Sugar Bowl in 2007, one of the low points was losing to Tech at Sanford Stadium two years ago.

To punctuate the upset, Jackets’ players tore off pieces of the hedges — something Georgia coach Mark Richt has reminded his players of this week.

“Coach Richt’s definitely been quick to tell us about that,” guard Clint Boling said. “We’ve got pictures all over the locker room. We definitely know what they did last time they were in Sanford Stadium.”

Wide receiver Kris Durham, another senior, said: “That sticks out more to me than [beating Tech] last year. It’s something you remember. You can still Google and see the pictures. They’re very vivid online.

“Those [hedges] are sacred to us. That gets to you a little bit. We didn’t protect our own house. We didn’t protect the hedges. We can’t say anything bad about them tearing up our field because we didn’t prove it between the lines and they did. They beat us.”

OK, that’s it for now. If you missed it, here’s a link to my interview with athletic director Greg McGarity earlier in the week. He’s standing behind Richt and says the coach will be back next season, and I agree. While I’ve been critical of Richt and the direction of the program in the last two years, my view is he has earned the chance to turn this around.

I’ll check back later.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

2,645 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

November 27th, 2010
11:20 am

ATL is TigerTown

November 27th, 2010
11:23 am

Hey Jeff, love your column, read it every week. Now, who did you pick to win the Iron Bowl? Uh…could it have been the victorious Auburn Tigers or was it the ‘Dick’ Saban team? I’d like to get a big War Eagle out of you. Let’s have it, Bad Boy!

5150 P.O.A.D.

November 27th, 2010
11:23 am

Let the DAWG crying and excuse making begin.

ga tech 92

November 27th, 2010
11:26 am

UGA’s 3-4-5 star recruits + GT’s 2-3-4 star recruits + UGA is getting better as the year goes on + GT has been looking weak and mistake prone ALL year + GT’s only good player was Nesbit and he’s out for the year + UGA is at home = UGA should totally beat down GT around 51 to 10ish. I love the Jackets, but I also have common sense. Go Jackets, THWG!

Our O-Line will Mow the Bugs!

November 27th, 2010
11:27 am

Beast from the East

November 27th, 2010
11:30 am

Go get ‘em, Dawgs!
Wish my Gators luck……..we’ll need it.

5150 P.O.A.D.

November 27th, 2010
11:33 am

I can’t wait until to see AJ’s last game. Big Bad Bruce might end the season 3-3 and no bowl. Could that really happen? RUSS is 4-4, BBB or Uga VIII is 3-2 and UGA is 5-6. It must be a bad year when the only member or this years UGA team that is a winner is the one named BIG BAD BRUCE.

Frank Lane

November 27th, 2010
11:35 am

I say UGA by 30 points.

Doug the Jacket

November 27th, 2010
11:35 am

Revenge over a hedge? Laughable. What about the way the dawgs deflated Giant Buzz in the corner of the south end zone a few years ago? Both laughable as a motivator. Go Jackets!!!! THWG!!!!

Golden Rules!

November 27th, 2010
11:38 am

Jeff…Let’s hope your pitiful prognostication abilities continue today. Go Jackets!

TechFan

November 27th, 2010
11:40 am

THWG! But Ugag will probably win 38-24. Our only is if we can recreate the team that played in Blacksburg without the untimely mistakes. As bad as ugag has played Tech has played worse.

Blackberry Pie

November 27th, 2010
11:41 am

I wonder how many chop blocks the convicts will make today. Ben Jones and the thugs need to play a clean game and leave the jailhouse tactics at the jail.

Blackberry Pie

November 27th, 2010
11:42 am

Frank Lane

November 27th, 2010
11:35 am
I say UGA by 30 points.

Tech by 40 points

Charles

November 27th, 2010
11:46 am

GO TECH!!!! Beat the pups!!!! At least PJ hasn’t had to deal with jailbird players like MR has!!

Sugg Id

November 27th, 2010
11:47 am

Bad year for the Dawgs, but Georgia Tech absolutely sucks. This one will be ugly.

CHDawg

November 27th, 2010
11:50 am

Blackberry Pie, you are confused about who does chop blocking. Going for the knees is legal one on one, and that is Tech’s specialty. They attack the knees of opposing linemen. Georgia had an extra session in pads this week just to practice for the unusual knee chopping of CPJ’s team. When two people engage in the practice, you get the flag. We could look at who has been called for it more in the last couple of years; I really don’t know, but Tech uses chop blocking much, much more. They work hard to make sure it is legal.

John

November 27th, 2010
11:52 am

Direction of the program? How about stop being a pass first team, and becoming a run first team. The only way Georgia wins, is if the Georgia QB isn’t asked to do much.

PB

November 27th, 2010
11:53 am

Where’s that guy that comes on here every day and says “Fire Mark RIcht!”? Forgot his name, but the comment gets old, and it ain’t gonna happen, even if they do lose to the Jackets. which is unlikely. But then again, I thought Alabama was going to run all over Auburn yesterday… Go Dawgs!

MJo

November 27th, 2010
11:54 am

Truth is, Bobo has not a good job, at all. Grantham has done a terrific job for his first year in a new 3-4 defense, without the right bodies to run it.

Defense ranked:
25th against run, 29th against pass, 21st total defense

Offense ranked:
71st in run, 41st in pass, 54 in total offense

Jeff, you couldn’t be more wrong on this.

Blackberry Pie

November 27th, 2010
11:54 am

CHDawg and I guess trying to run on the field and fight against auburn was did in practice by the mutts, truth is the mutts will do whatever they can to try to win and the thug will come out once again. Thuga are some sore losers, and half of the team should be suspended anyway.

Jeff Schultz

November 27th, 2010
11:55 am

Destin Dawg — Check’s in the mail.

John

November 27th, 2010
11:55 am

If Tech scores first, they win. Georgia is 0-6 when playing from behind.

Jeff Schultz

November 27th, 2010
11:56 am

ATL is TigerTown — I believe I picked Alabama but it’s all sort of a blur now . . .

Jeff Schultz

November 27th, 2010
11:56 am

Golden Rules! — I blame my darts.

Lee

November 27th, 2010
11:56 am

Sorta takes the edge off the rivalry when the main retort seems to be:

“We suck less than you!”

Do not!

Do too!

ROFLMAO

Jeff Schultz

November 27th, 2010
11:57 am

To Tech Fans — Y’all have a point. Jackets seeking revenge for last year, too. But I guess my angle was geography (and plant life).

Hater of whining humpers.

November 27th, 2010
11:58 am

“Those [hedges] are sacred to us. That gets to you a little bit. We didn’t protect our own house. We didn’t protect the hedges. We can’t say anything bad about them tearing up our field because we didn’t prove it between the lines and they did. They beat us.”

If those hedges are so sacred, why do you let teams like Vandy and Kentucky beat you at home?

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bugsquasher

November 27th, 2010
12:00 pm

Bottom line……. this is our house…… its the last home game for the Seniors…… the last time Tech was here they took pieces of the Hedges…….

NOT THIS TIME TECH……WE MIGHT NOT HAVE THE BEST RECORD, BUT……….. YOU WILL GET THE BEAT DOWN THAT COMIN’ TO YOU…… NO DOUBT ABOUT IT……. DAWGS WIN BIG TONIGHT….

5150 P.O.A.D.

November 27th, 2010
12:01 pm

I also can’t wait for my boyfriend to get here! He is so great and I love him!

Hater of whining humpers.

November 27th, 2010
12:02 pm

Hey, my boyfriend will be here soon too! Can’t wait!

UGA WOOF WOOF

November 27th, 2010
12:02 pm

COME ON DAWGS! WE’Z CAN STILL WIND US DA NATIONAL CHIMPINSHIP!!!!! WOOF WOOF

PRESEASON 2008 NATIONAL CHIMPINS!!!!!!!

CHDawg

November 27th, 2010
12:02 pm

Doug,
I agree! The contrived grievances that are used to motivate these kids are silly. Just because a team comes in and beats you at home, tears up your expensive bushes, and then buys themselves jewelry to commemorate the experience, it doesn’t mean you harbor resentment for life. Those kids had never beaten UGA! Of course they were elated. I would, however, have made sure Tech paid for the bush replacement! The worst case of this is Urban the Whiny saying he would never forget Georgia’s excessive celebration penalty the rest of his life. He then went on to do the nastiest demonstrations of unsportsmanlike coaching I have ever seen–ten times worse than what UGA did. Too bad the coaches can’t teach the kids how to be a little more gracious in victory, but trying to motivate kids with bitterness usually backfires imo.

bugsquasher

November 27th, 2010
12:03 pm

THERE IS A BEAT DOWN COMIN’ …….. GET READY NERDS…….. YOU SHOULD BE USED TO IT BY NOW…….

IN THE WORDS OF LARRY MUNSON……. MAN OH MAN, IS THERE GOING TO BE SOME BUGS SQUASHED TONIGHT….

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:03 pm

Is there any games worth watching today? I don’t see one in GA.

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

What non-televised bowl game would UGA play for if it wins today?

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:04 pm

Has anyone seen Nick Saban?

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

“I believe I picked Alabama but it’s all sort of a blur now . . .”

That’s what every Bama fan is saying today.

Coffee Bluff DAWG

November 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

Beast,

Good luck this afternoon with FL St. After they beat WV last year in the Gator Bowl you would have thought by their fans reaction that they had just won the MNC.

Gooo DAWGS sic ‘em woof woof woof!

bugsquasher

November 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

Hey, Jeff, Is this AJ’s last home game? Whats the word on the street?

John

November 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

Let’s see here, let’s see if Georgia’s offense is any good.

La Laf–ranked #115 in scoring defense, 38 points a game
Vandy- ranked #91 in scoring defense, 31 points a game
Colorado- #84 in sco def, 30 points a game average
Kent- #80 in sco def, 29 points a game average
Tenn- #63 in scor def, 26 points a game average
Auburn- #59 in scoring defense, 26 points a game

Georgia’s offense scored points on bad defenses.

bugsquasher

November 27th, 2010
12:06 pm

I see the cheaters from Auburn have arrived

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:06 pm

“Georgia’s offense scored points on bad defenses.”

And still lost….

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:07 pm

I see the whiners of UGA have arrived.

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:07 pm

“Whats the word on the street?”

UGA sucks.

Big Dawg

November 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

Rumor has it that after one bitter game between Georgia and Tech during which Tech was wrecked as usual, the frustrated engineers started throwing dynamite at the Georgia students. This made the Georgia students so mad, they began lighting the sticks and throwing them back.

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

Auburn = winners

UGA = whiners

bugsquasher

November 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

Too bad they are going to have to vacate all those wins……. I guess its just tradition at Auburn…… cheat for a title then vacate it…..

2010 SEC West Champs and winner of the biggest comeback in Iron Bowl History

November 27th, 2010
12:08 pm

bugsquasher

Keep on dreaming, loser.

CHDawg

November 27th, 2010
12:09 pm

Blackberry wrote, >>I guess trying to run on the field and fight against auburn was did in practice by the mutts<< Any possibility we could switch to English for this argument, Blackberry? They were upset that Auburn's Fairley was trying to injure their QB. When he succeeded after a night of cheap shots, they lost it. Poor discipline, yes. But, in their defense I would say Fairley's cheap shots this year are the worst I have seen. Fortunately, somebody talked to him and he knocked off the dirty/cheap shots yesterday. And if UGA does anything like that (tries to injure lizards tonight) I hope the refs hammer them. When players hit hard and fair–that's great; when they try to injure–hammer them. BTW, Fairley has injured several QBs this year.