Georgia Bulldogs vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview: The Big One


Each season, the two leading college football programs get together for the final regular season game of the campaign, and 2014 is no different. The Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will do battle on Saturday afternoon in Athens, and this year, there is plenty at stake for both teams. Let’s take a look at what to expect when these two teams face off.

Time/TV: Noon pm ET, SEC Network

Georgia Offense vs. Georgia Tech Defense

The Bulldogs have been quite potent this season offensively, and that is evidenced by a gaudy scoring average of 43.3 points per game. That production has not come against patsies, either, as Georgia has hung 30-plus points against a variety of strong opponents, and Ted Roof’s defense will have their work cut out for them in this spot.

There is some question about UGA’s personnel, however, as Todd Gurley is sidelined for the remainder of the year. With that said, freshman Nick Chubb is arguably the best freshman running back in America, and with fellow freshman Sony Michel seemingly ready to go in this game, the Bulldogs shouldn’t miss Gurley as much as you may think.

On the Tech side of the things, the defense has improved dramatically over the course of the season. When the Jackets gave up 79 combined points during back-to-back losses to Duke and North Carolina, the critics were vocal, but the group has really settled in, allowing just 13 points per game against Virginia, NC State and Clemson.

There will be a great deal of pressure on UGA quarterback Hutson Mason, who has quietly been playing improved football, and Ted Roof’s plan almost undoubtedly includes attempting to force Mason to beat them. The match-up between Georgia’s veteran receivers and Georgia Tech’s defensive backs could be crucial, and it will be interesting to see which side emerges victorious in that positional battle.

Georgia Tech Offense vs. Georgia Defense

If you are searching for one side of the ball that should grab the focus, this would be my choice. Paul Johnson’s offense has been cooking this season, as the Jackets are fourth in the nation in rushing at 327.9 yards per game. QB Justin Thomas has proven to be the best running quarterback in Atlanta since Josh Nesbitt, and he captains a highly dangerous offense that is difficult for any opponent, including Georgia, to prepare for on the biggest stage.

On the other hand, this is arguably the most talented defense that the Jackets will see all year, and that could be an interesting equalizer. Thomas will have all eyes on him as he tries to play “keep away” from the UGA offense by putting together long drives, but at some point, Georgia Tech will need to generate a play in the passing game, using DeAndre Smelter or others on the outside.

Jeremy Pruitt has come under fire at times during his maiden voyage in Athens, but like the offense has matured, so has the defensive unit. Georgia put together a lights-out performance in holding Auburn to only seven points in their last “real” test, but again, the Georgia Tech offense is a unique animal, and Pruitt will be trying to prepare his players for something that they rarely see.


With both teams ranked among the top 16 in the country, the annual battle between the Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets should garner a great deal of attention. The nickname for the event says it all, but these two teams simply don’t like each other, and given the amount of talent on the field on Saturday, the combination should make for a great deal of fireworks.

Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning. Check it out!