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Tech, Georgia clash with a lot on the line

‘We don’t root for Georgia Tech with two engines out on the team plane.’ -the late Lewis Grizzard The Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets square off at high noon Saturday in Sanford Stadium in Athens with a lot on the line – especially for the Bulldogs. Georgia is 10-1 and has punched its ticket to the SEC Championship Game December 1. The Dogs are ranked #3 in the BCS. Put simply, if they beat Tech in a game in which they will be heavily-favored and likely SEC title game foe Alabama in a game in which they will be the underdogs, UGA goes to the national championship game. Unless USC, which got hammered this past Saturday by UCLA, can beat Notre Dame this weekend, Georgia would face the Irish for all the marbles if it can overcome the Crimson Tide. Alabama, which faces woeful Auburn this weekend, looked beatable in a narrow win over LSU and subsequently lost to Texas A&M and its magnificent quarterback Johnny Manziel a week later. When Saturday dawned, it appeared the SEC would be shut out of the national title game it has dominated for a decade. However, Kansas State and Oregon, which were ranked #1 and #2 in the BCS, that night, opened the door for the Dogs and Tide. It was reminiscent of 1980, when Tech tied Notre Dame to vault the Dogs into the top spot in the polls. UGA went on to beat the Irish for the title. Tech is 6-5 but will play FSU in the ACC title game because Miami self-imposed sanctions and gave up the slot. The Jackets would like nothing better than to derail UGA’s title hopes to build momentum for the clash with the Seminoles. That was the story when Tech rolled into Athens in 1980 hoping to do unto the Dogs as it had done unto the Irish. Herschel Walker put a stop to that as he amassed 270 all-purpose yards in a 38-20 win. Georgia fans hope the tailback tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, known as ‘˜Gurshall’, can do the same this year. Tech hopes its high-powered option attack can keep Georgia’s offense off the field because its defense is suspect. So, the game they call Gold Old Fashioned Hate, should be another classic played out between the hedges. It’s a crying shame the inimitable Grizzard is not here to see and chronicle it. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette and the Pike County Journal Reporter.

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