WHERE: Sanford Stadium
RECORDS: Georgia 11-0; GeorgiaTech 5-6
TV/Radio: ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Kris Budden); Georgia Bulldog Radio Network (Scott Howard, Eric Zeier, DJ Shockley); Sirius XM81/81
game on Saturday
It’s Senior Day and the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs are looking to wrap up the program’s second straight regular season with a perfect 12-0 record.
Standing in the way is state rival Georgia Tech, who need a win to become Key Bowlable under interim head coach Brent.
Behind senior Kenny McIntosh, who had a career-best 143 yards with 143 yards and a touchdown, the Bulldogs earned a 16-6 win in Kentucky in a game played in wind and cold.
Georgia Tech, meanwhile, overcame a 17-0 deficit to beat North Carolina 20-17 and eliminate the Tar Heels from the college football playoff discussion. It was the second win over a ranked opponent since Keys took over. He beat Pittsburgh earlier this year.
Bulldog seniors will be recognized ahead of tomorrow’s game, a list expected to include between 20 and 25 players. Among them is quarterback Stetson Bennett, who will play his last home game.
A win sees the Georgia Seniors win their 46th game that will set a new Bulldog mark. Georgia’s 2021 senior class went 45-8. The 2022 senior class is currently 45-5.
Georgia leads the series with Georgia Tech 69-39-5 including 31-14-1 at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs have won four straight seasons in the series, with the Yellow Jackets last winning in Smart’s first year in 2016, 28-27.
OLB Nolan Smith (pec): Out
OL Xavier Truss (ankle): Doubtful.
OL Tate Ratledge (Shoulder): Probably
WR AD Mitchell (ankle): Doubtful. Mitchell has finally started doing reps with the other recipients for the first time in several weeks.
DB Dan Jackson (fatigue fracture): Out
OL Earnest Greene (rear) Out
RB Andrew Paul (ACL): Out
Georgia players to watch
QB Stetson Bennett– Bennett currently ranks third among active players in total offensive yards per game with 8.30, which is a school record (7.69 by Aaron Murray). Bennett comes from a game in which he completed 13 of 19 passes for 116 yards in windy conditions in Kentucky. That year he completed 236 of 348 passes for 3,011 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also rushed 35 times for 144 yards and seven points.
RB Kenny McIntosh—McIntosh rushed for a career-high 143 yards and a touchdown in Kentucky. He has rushed 111 times for a team-best 568 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 33 passes for 341 yards and a score.
RB Daijun Edwards—Edwards has 107 carries for 547 yards and seven touchdowns.
TE Brock Bowers– Bowers is the only player in the country this season with a 75-yard rushing touchdown and at least a 75-yard receiving touchdown. He has 41 catches for 625 yards and four touchdowns, with four rushes for 89 yards and three scores.
TE Darnell Washington— A devastating blocker, Washington has 24 catches for 392 yards and a touchdown.
WR Ladd McConkey– Leads the Bulldogs in receptions with 46 catches for 606 yards and four touchdowns. He has also rushed the ball for 106 yards five times, including a 70-yard touchdown at Mississippi State.
LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson– Named as a semi-finalist for the Butkus Award this week. Anchors defense at middle linebacker with 54 tackles, including seven for lost yardage and three sacks. He also has 17 quarterback pressures.
LB Smael Mondon—Third on team in tackles with 52, including five for 11-yard losses.
CB Kelee Ringo– Second cornerback has an interception that comes with three pass separations.
S Christopher Smith– Veteran is the eyes and ears of the secondary and tied for leading the team in interceptions by two. Has a career-high 13 tackles against Florida.
S Malaki Starks – The true freshman is first on the team with 56 tackles and is level on points with the team’s lead with two tackles with Christopher Smith.
EN Mykel Williams– Tie with Dumas-Johnson with seven tackles for loss and leads the Bulldogs with 22 quarterback rushes.
DL Jalen Carter—Finally 100 percent after being held back by various injuries for most of the season. Carter makes a big impact on the defensive line. His 18 quarterback hats is second on the team and he has forced two fumbles (against Tennessee) leading the team.
Three keys to Georgia
Eliminate red zone issues: While having a weapon like kicker Jack Podlesny is great, Georgia needs to start turning more of his red zone trips into touchdowns. Saturday would be a good start.
Stay healthy: With the SEC championship next week and the playoffs on the horizon, the Bulldogs need to avoid any type of serious injury. Georgia has already been plagued by season-ending injuries that the Bulldogs don’t need anymore.
Start fast, end strong: There’s no need for another drama like what happened in Lexington. Defensively, Georgia Tech isn’t as bad as you might think. It’s a team playing with some confidence after winning a ranked team in North Carolina. The best Georgia can do is get off to a quick start in offense and hopefully put in a strong effort ahead of next week’s SEC championship.
Meet Georgia Tech
• Georgia Tech celebrated its biggest win in a long time with a 21-17 victory at No. 13/11 in North Carolina last Saturday.
• North Carolina has been the highest-ranked team to beat the Yellow Jackets since their 22-16 “Miracle on Techwood Drive” win over No. 9 Florida State in 2015; also the highest-ranked opponent Tech has beaten on the road since beating No. 9/10 Georgia 30-24 in overtime in 2014.
• Victory at UNC saw Georgia Tech move up to 4-3 under interim head coach Brent Key, which includes a 2-0 record against top-flight national opponents.
• Georgia Tech’s defense was key to North Carolina’s win, beating the Tar Heels’ top-flight offense (ranked 4th nationally on pregame offense total) and Heisman Trophy contender QB Drake Maye on 23 points and 140 total yards capped, and 139 yards short of UNC’s season averages.
• Redshirt senior DL Keion White was named the Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week after becoming the only Atlantic Coast Conference player this season to record seven tackles, three sacks and four tackles for a loss in a game .
• Redshirt sophomore QB Taisun Phommachanh made his Georgia Tech debut in last Saturday’s win in North Carolina, notably 10 rushing for 44 yards and a touchdown.
• Akron transfer quarterback Zach Gibson has seen action in five of Georgia Tech’s last six games, including his first start for Tech on Oct. 29 at Florida State. For the season, Gibson completed 38 of 69 passes for 398 yards.
While it looks like the weather forecast for Saturday will be better than originally feared, I still don’t think the Bulldogs will be very fancy. Georgia will do enough offense on offense to keep fans interested while defense will continue to do its thing. Prognosis: Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 6.