In a practical sense, this game doesn't really mean that much for Georgia. The most important game for the Bulldogs for the rest of this season is the SEC Championship Game against LSU next week. But rivalries are rivalries, and there's no reason for the Dawgs to overlook the Jackets this weekend. Throw in the possibility of sewing up a 10-win season before the title bout and the bowl, and it's a pretty nice set-up for Georgia to be shooting for.
The question is whether Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense can be easily adapted to take on the triple-option. The Jackets' offense churned out 411 yards on the ground alone last year en route to a 42-34 loss. Grantham would hardly be alone in the SEC in struggling against the scheme; Georgia Southern scored 21 against Alabama -- the most of any team to face the Tide so far -- and Navy scored more points against South Carolina than any SEC opponents except Georgia and Arkansas.
And it's not like Georgia Tech's defense is terrible, though the numbers were acquired against some suspect competition. But some of the relatively good teams that have faced the Jackets have had more luck; Virginia gained 409 yards, Clemson had 399 and Virginia Tech generated 476 yards when they played in Atlanta. Only Clemson lost.
For Georgia, the question is whether the team that faced Kentucky or the team that faced Florida and Auburn shows up. A quality showing by Georgia by the latter team should be a win, even not a comfortable one. But a more lackluster showing could turn it into an upset special.
But last week was a letdown game for the Dawgs, and this one should be a statement. Georgia won't win going away, but Grantham's defense will do enough to keep things out of reach.
Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 24