Published November 23, 2011
| Sports Network
Atlanta, GA – In one of the best rivalry matchups of the weekend, No. 13 Georgia travels to Atlanta this Saturday to take on No. 25 Georgia Tech.
Georgia has ripped off nine straight wins since opening the season 0-2, with the latest being a 19-10 win over Kentucky last weekend. Georgia clinched the SEC East with the win, which was sparked by a strong defensive effort that held Kentucky to just 23 yards rushing for the game. Georgia will play at the Georgia Dome next weekend in the SEC title tilt.
Georgia Tech beat Duke 38-31 last weekend, as the Yellow Jackets rushed for 549 yards and five touchdowns in the win. Georgia Tech has now won two of the last thee games, and with a win will have won 10 games in two of the last three seasons.
"I don't know about extra motivation, you're motivated to play Georgia. They've got a good team and a good program, so we're going to do what we do and I'm sure they're going to do what they do, so the rankings is not going to change any of that," said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson at his weekly press conference.
Georgia leads the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 61-39-5.
Georgia has scored 127 points in the last three games, although the offensive numbers were modest last week against Kentucky. Aaron Murray threw for 162 yards and one touchdown, but also threw an interception on 16-of-29 passing. Brandon Harton rushed 23 times for 101 yards in the win, garnering 4.4 yards per rush, and Georgia overcame four turnovers.
With two solid opponents to play the next two weeks, ball security will be crucial for the Bulldogs. Murray has had a solid campaign, throwing for 2,446 yards with 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and has added two more scores on the ground. He usually takes care of the ball, and his interception against Kentucky was the first pick he has thrown in three games.
"He throws the ball well," said Johnson. "He's a talented young man."
The passing attack is ranked third in the SEC, producing 242.2 yards per game. The rushing game generates 185.3 yards per game, which is good for fourth in the SEC. Isaiah Crowell averages 83.2 yards per outing, which is good for fourth in the league, although he had just two carries for 11 yards last weekend.
Georgia Tech enters Saturday's contest with one of the most powerful offenses in all of college football. The Yellow Jackets rank first in the ACC in total offense (469.09), scoring offense (36.5) and are second in the country with 323.5 rushing yards per game. Tevin Washington rushed for 136 yards and one touchdown and threw for another 185 yards last weekend against Duke. Georgia Tech finished with 364 yards rushing, and also got sizable contributions from Embry Peeples (64 yards) and David Sims (66 yards). Washington is averaging 77.1 rushing yards per game, while Sims averages 60.1. Washington has thrown for 1,481 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, and rushed for 849 and 14 more scores.
The Georgia Tech defense is anchored by Jeremiah Attachou, who leads the team in both sacks (.56) and tackles for loss (.83) per game. Julian Burnett is third in the league in tackles, registering 9.3 per contest. Georgia Tech made Duke quarterback Sean Renfree earn everything he got last weekend, completing 26-of-42 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns. It wasn't the best day for the Yellow Jackets secondary, but Georgia Tech stepped up against Duke's rushing looks, holding the Blue Devils to 101 yards on 24 carries. Georgia Tech allows 359.4 yards and 25.2 points per game.