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No. 1 Georgia out to continue dominance of Georgia Tech

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NCAA Football: Georgia at Kentucky

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third quarter at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Top-ranked Georgia will look to secure consecutive undefeated regular seasons for the first time in school history by continuing its dominance over in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday in Athens, Ga.

The game, which is nicknamed "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate," has become as one-sided as any in the nation. Georgia has won the past four meetings by an average of 36.3 points after a 45-0 win last year. The Bulldogs have beaten the Yellow Jackets in 17 of the past 20 meetings.

Georgia (11-0, 8-0 SEC) is coming off a 16-6 victory at Kentucky on Saturday and will play in the SEC title game for the fifth time in the past six years when it faces LSU on Dec. 3.

Georgia Tech (5-6, 4-4 ACC) rallied from a 17-0 second-quarter deficit to pull out a 21-17 upset of then-No. 13 North Carolina (9-2, 6-1 ACC) on Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Yellow Jackets, however, must defeat Georgia to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2018.

Georgia is first nationally in scoring defense (11.09 points per game), third in rushing defense (83.1 yards per game), fifth in total defense (272.1 ypg) and 11th in scoring offense (38.4 points).

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,011 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions, leading an offense that is seventh in the country in yards per game (496.3).

Tight end Brock Bowers has 41 receptions for 625 yards with four touchdowns, while Ladd McConkey has 46 catches for 606 yards and four touchdowns. Kenny McIntosh has been a threat out of the backfield with 33 receptions for 341 yards and a score, in addition to rushing for 568 yards and seven scores on 111 carries.

The Bulldogs' Daijun Edwards is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, having rushed for 547 yards and seven touchdowns on 107 carries.

Georgia Tech has gone 4-3 under interim coach Brent Key, who was promoted from assistant head coach and run game coordinator after the school fired Geoff Collins following a loss to Central Florida on Sept. 24 that dropped the Yellow Jackets to 1-3.

Key, however, could be coaching his final game with the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech also fired athletic director Rick Stansbury and hired J Batt, the former executive deputy director of athletics, chief operating officer and chief revenue officer at Alabama.

"I'm worried about Georgia, it's the No. 1 team in the country," Key said. "It's the biggest challenge of my life right now, taking this group over there to Athens at 12 o'clock on Saturday.

"It's Georgia and Georgia Tech, and that's why you come to school here, is to play this game, it's an honor."

The Yellow Jackets' two quarterback system of Zach Gibson, who went 13-for-18 passing for 174 yards, and Taisun Phommachanh, who went 2-for-5 passing for 13 yards in addition to rushing for 44 yards and a score on 10 carries, led an offense that amassed 373 yards against the Tar Heels.

The defense held North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, a Heisman Trophy candidate, to 16-for-30 passing for 202 yards and an interception.

"They're playing really well now. They're playing really hard now," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "I think (Key) has done a tremendous job at getting these guys to compete."

--Field Level Media

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