Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dawgs Preparing For Jackets


With the SEC Eastern Division title clinched, the Dawgs (9-2, 7-1 SEC) look to close the regular season with 10-straight wins, as they take on Georgia Tech (8-3, 5-3 ACC) Saturday in Atlanta.

Kickoff is scheduled for 12:01 and the game will be televised on either ABC or ESPN.

“It’s a grind either way—whether you are wining or losing,” coach Mark Richt said on Sunday about the winning streak. “To find a way to win nine is big. I say that the ninth win was significant mainly because it gave us a title. It’s not the SEC title, but it’s the Eastern Division title, which is very coveted. It takes mental toughness either way. Starting 0-2 definitely tested us to our limits, and I think everybody came through pretty good.”

In the team’s 19-10 victory over Kentucky, the defensive side of the ball stepped up to hold the Wildcats in the second half to 13 yards on 22 plays and no points. The game marked the second game in a row for the Dawgs to total five sacks. This season, redshirt sophomore Jarvis Jones leads the attack, as he ranks first in the SEC with 12.5 sacks.

“When you play defense like that every week you can become a consistent winner,” Richt said of the defense’s play throughout the season. “If you rely strictly on offense, big plays and things of that nature, you are just going to have an off day. We have played well defensively that when our offense is really going well, we are putting people away, and when our offense is not doing extremely well, the defense is holding down the fort until the offense makes enough plays to win.”

Richt did not offer any further information on tailback Carlton Thomas, but did say that freshman Isaiah Crowell should be ready to take the field against the Yellow Jackets after hurting his left ankle against Kentucky.

Georgia holds the edge over Georgia Tech in the all-time series with a record of 61-37-5, which was boosted by the Dawgs winning nine of the last 10 contests. Quarterback Tevin Washington’s 1,481 passing yards and 849 rushing yards leads the Yellow Jackets this season. In Tech’s 38-31 victory over Duke on Saturday, Washington posted 185 yards through the air and 136 rushing yards including a touchdown.

“It’s a whole different world,” Richt said of Tech’s rushing offense. “It’s a different type of running game. It’s something that you may be outstanding against some of the more common things we see on a week-to-week basis, and then just get thrashed by this system we are about to go against. I just don’t know if you can equate what’s happened to this point stopping the run and what’s going to happen this weekend. It’s just too different.”

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