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Friday, November 23, 2012 - 11:42am

Rivalry Renewed For 107th Time

The Georgia Tech and Georgia football teams meet for the 107th time in a cross-state grudge match Saturday at noon, and both teams come into the game playing the best they have all year.

After some early-season struggles, the Yellow Jackets have won three straight and are headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

When the Bulldogs lost to South Carolina in early October, it looked like their hopes of repeating as champions in the SEC East were over. But a string of wins – and losses by other teams – has put Georgia back in the Southeastern Conference title game next week with a shot at advancing to the national championship if they win that contest.

First, though, the Yellow Jackets are looking to spoil those hopes and beat Georgia for the first time since 2008.

“We’ve got some momentum here in the last half of the year. Certainly we’ll have to play our best game of the year to have a chance in Athens on Saturday,” said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. “I think they’re very talented. As you watch the tape, I think they’ve gotten better as the year has gone along.”

On the other side of the ball, Georgia is planning a defense for the Jackets’ high-powered, triple-option offense, an approach that’s different than most other teams the Bulldogs play (though they got some practice last week against Georgia Southern).

“We’re going to find out how good we handle it here against Georgia Tech,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “I mean, they’re averaging, I think, 47 points over the last three or four games. They’re just so explosive.”

Georgia Tech has won three consecutive games and four of their last five. But they’ve only beat the Bulldogs once in the last 11 years.