Georgia vs LSU:Live StreamThere may be an SEC Championship Game on the horizon for Georgia, but Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart has insisted Saturday’s clash against Georgia Tech is the priority for his team.
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Georgia clinched the SEC East title and a spot in the conference title game against LSU on December 7 with a 19-13 win over Auburn last time out, but the program’s focus remains firmly on Rivalry Week.
Georgia has won the last two games against Georgia Tech and hasn’t lost on the road to its state rivals in two decades, but Smart warned historical records will matter very little on Saturday in Atlanta.
“The challenge is about the rivalry. When you think about this game, records are thrown out. None of that matters,” Smart was quoted as saying by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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“They [Georgia Tech] finished Thursday. So, this is a huge opportunity and stage for them. We acknowledge that. […] That’s the focus and that’s the concentration, and our guys understand that. We have a mature team, and we said the other day that most important step is the next step. Georgia Tech is the next step.”
The win over Auburn improved Georgia’s record to 10-1, with the solitary loss coming at home against 4-7 South Carolina last month.
While the reverse to the Gamecocks should serve as a reminder the Bulldogs can’t take anything for granted, it is hard to see them lose against Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are 3-8 for the season and while they arrive into Rivalry Week on the back of a 28-26 win over North Carolina State, they have been in dire straits this year.
Georgia Tech has played two ranked opponents this season—Clemson and Virginia Tech—losing by a combined 97-14 scoreline and failing to score a single point against the Cavaliers.As this graphic provided by Statista shows, the Bulldogs remained in fourth place in the latest set of College Football Playoff rankings.
Georgia is the highest-ranked one-loss team in the CFP and would almost certainly clinch a playoff spot with a win over LSU in the SEC Championship Game next week—the Allstate Playoff Predictor gives the Bulldogs a 50.7 percent to make the playoff with a win over Georgia Tech.
A loss against LSU, however, would leave the door open to the likes of Alabama—provided it defeats Auburn in the Iron Bowl—Oklahoma and possibly Utah to sneak into the top four.
If the Bulldogs are to knock off the Tigers next week, their offense will have to be a lot better than it has been in the second half of the season.The win over Auburn again laid bare Georgia’s s offensive struggles, as Jake Fromm completed less than 50 percent of his passes for the third consecutive game.
Georgia averaged 43 points per game in the first five weeks of the season, but has not scored more than 27 points since.
“Our offensive staff has worked extremely hard on it,” Smart said in his press conference. “There’s no stone unturned and the players are working really hard on it. They push each other every day in practice, to get better, to do more. It’s not a lot of effort in that part.”
Taking on a Georgia Tech defense that has allowed 30.6 points and 415.9 yards per game may be the perfect tonic for the Bulldogs.
The Georgia Bulldogs take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, November 30.Kick-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET.The two programs have met 113 times and Georgia leads the all-time series with 67 wins to Georgia Tech’s 41.
The Bulldogs are on a two-game winning streak against the Yellow Jackets and defeated their state rivals 45-21 last season.According to BetOnline, the Bulldogs are a 28-point favorite and are 9/10 to cover the spread, while Georgia Tech is a 15/1 underdog.