Ho-hum. Just another game in Sanford Stadium.
OK, not really. It’s rise and shine for the earliest and most important kickoff of the season for Georgia.
The rivalry game with Georgia Tech. Senior Day. And, oh, yeah, needing to win to move one step away from the BCS title game.
It’s the last home game for 21 seniors and probably a few juniors.
Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree seem like good bets. Aaron Murray? Perhaps.
Georgia’s seniors will go through a gauntlet today in pregame ceremonies.
“It will probably hit me then,” receiver Tavarres King said.
The seniors and their hometowns: Taylor Bradberry, Winder, Ga.; Marlon Brown, Memphis, Tenn.; Luis Capella, Augusta, Ga.; Sanders Commings, Augusta, Ga.; Scott Eichler, Oakwood, Ga.; Reuben Faloughi, Martinez, Ga.; Ty Frix, Calhoun, Ga.; Michael Gilliard, Valdosta, Ga.; John Jenkins, Meriden, Conn.; Abry Jones, Warner Robins, Ga.; Tavarres King, Mount Airy, Ga.; Jamie Lindley, Savannah, Ga.; Ricky Lowe, Duluth, Ga.; Bacarri Rambo, Donalsonville, Ga.; Ben Reynolds, Bainbridge, Ga.; Christian Robinson, Norcross, Ga.; Dustin Royston, Royston, Ga.; Richard Samuel, Cartersville, Ga.; Branden Smith, Atlanta, Ga.; Cornelius Washington, Hephzibah, Ga.; Shawn Williams, Damascus, Ga.
Returning has been worth it for the players who considered the NFL because an SEC and perhaps a national title could be there at the end.
“I’m glad I came back,” Rambo, a starting safety said. “I don’t regret nothing I did. It’s going to be a great feeling just to end my college career as a senior, graduating college and doing great things with my teammates and my brothers I’ve been going through a lot with. I feel like it’s going to be a great feeling.”
The feeling will be more satisfying with a fourth straight victory over the Yellow Jackets.
“This is a very hated rivalry,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “When you get on the field there’s going to be a lot of trash talking. It’s fun though. Our guys definitely enjoy this game. It just means so much to this team, to the university, to everyone inGeorgia. I don’t think you can overlook it and look by it. I know I’m pumped up, excited. I woke up Monday and excited it’s Tech week. I’m going to be ready to go and I know my teammates will too.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo learned fast from thenGeorgiacoach Ray Goff that Georgia Tech was the Bulldogs’ No. 1 rival (some would sayFlorida) and that the team needed to be ready every year for the game.
“That’s kind of been my approach as a player and a coach,” Bobo said.
—-Georgia gets the triple option for the second straight week after shutting down Georgia Southern in the second half.
“We’ve just got to have a better week because they’ve got bigger linemen, better skill position and all those things,” linebacker Christian Robinson said. “Especially seeing what we did last week. They’re going to have everything ready to go to unleash at one time.”
Said nose guard John Jenkins: “It’s the same style of offense. They have their own style, their own swag to their offense, but it’s the same thing getting cut, trying to get the cut block in, trying to stop the run.”
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones said he was surprised he didn’t get more cut blocks, blocks below the waist, last week.
“I only got cut like once or twice,” he said. “I was surprised because they were cutting us like crazy in practice. Georgia Tech might cut me. I know they’re going to cut me.”
The fourth down chop-block penalty called against Georgia Southern late in the second quarter wiped out a first down and the Eagles missed a field goal.
“It’s when you want to call it,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “They called it right there, but if you watch tape, it’s such a gray area and a fine line. I think it’s tough for the officials. The human eye just on angles and things. It’s tough. It’s just a matter of when you choose to call it sometimes relative to the way it’s going.”
Grantham said officials are in “a tough spot” in calling the penalty for a player getting blocked high and low on the same play.
“I thought they did a good job of controlling the game with it,” Grantham said. “It was pretty clean. I thought our guys did a good job of understanding the type of blocks they were getting as they move forward through the game.”
More pregame tidbits:
–Former Georgia center Ben Jones is on the field pregame. He’s now with the Houston Texans, who played on Thanksgiving Day.
–No surprises in Dawg Walk. TB Keith Marshall and Chris Burnette, both dealing with shoulder injuries, are in uniform and expected to play. DE Abry Jones went through on crutches in his final Dawg Walk. He won’t play, but will honored. Linebacker Jarvis Jones was the last player to go through the Dawg Walk.
–Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on the play of Murray: “I think they’ve done a good job with pressure and he hasn’t had a lot of pressure. The teams that get to him with a four-man rush that are physical and better, like any quarterback, they’re going to struggle. The teams that they’ve played can’t get to him. If you don’t get to him, and he has time, he’s going to pick you apart.”
–Georgia Tech was 13 of 20 on third downs last week and four of four on fourth downs.
“That’s the beauty of what they do,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “They realize they’ve got four downs to get it and they try to get it to fourth-and-one and sneak it.”
-Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech’s leading rusher and leader in catches, won’t play today due to an ankle injury, according to the school. Smith has rushed for 673 yards and five touchdowns.
–Check back to the blog for updates leading up to kickoff.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer