Bulldogs Win “Hate” Game Against Rival Tech 31-23

The Georgia Bulldogs delivered another win, staying undefeated in the last game of the regular season, winning its 29th game overall, and pushing its bragging rights over rival Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to a sixth straight year.

But the Jackets didn’t give the Dawgs an easy win in Bobby Dodd Stadium Saturday evening.

To get the 31-23 win over the Jackets, the Dawgs had to take what their neighbors west of I-20 dished out, namely two touchdowns, both coming from Tech QB Hayes King, who went 14 yards combined for those TDs. Tech defense kept the Dawgs from having a breakout game over their home-state rivals.

The Jackets struck first, continuing a habit of the Dawgs to let their competitors get on the board first before they get cranked up. The Dawgs gave fans a scare with two turnovers in the first quarter, as well as allowing the Jackets to zip to the endzone for the first of their two TDs.

But UGA held its own, with four touchdowns in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters. Dominic Lovett went 29 yards with a pass from Bulldog QB Carson Beck for the first UGA TD. Kendall Menton ran for 3 yards in the second quarter and 4 in the third, both for touchdowns. 

Carson Beck went 13 of 20 for 175 passing yards and 1 touchdown. He did give up an interception. Tech’s Hayes King completed 11 of 20 pass attempts for 158 yards. Georgia’s Milton got 18 carries for 155 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Tech’s Jamal Haynes got 81 yards from 15 carries.

The receivers for both teams gave efficient efforts. Georgia’s Lovett had 5 receptions for 68 yards and a TD. Eric Singleton Jr (Tech) had 4 receptions for 96 yards.

“This group has carried that high standard of excellence,” said UGA Head Coach Kirby Smart in an aftergame interview with ESPN’s Molly McGrath, who asked about what it took for his team to win an unprecedented 29 straight games. “They practiced hard, they played physical.”

The Bulldogs had to make this “clean old fashioned hate” annual contest work without two of their starters, TE Brock Bowers and WR Ladd McConkey, who is given a rest from this game to be ready for next Saturday’s SEC Championship game against Alabama.

Meanwhile, despite the loss, the Yellow Jackets can take comfort that they were not swept away by Georgia’s score deluge like previous opponents Tennessee, Ole Miss and the Florida Gators were. The Dawgs beat Tech by 8 points, the lowest margin of victory since UGA’s September 30th game against Auburn, where they won by 7 points. They will finish their season at 6-6, an improvement over their last two season performances.

But the Bulldogs, for the third straight season, can’t spend too much time toasting their own successes up to this point.

They have SEC and National College Football championships to win.

By Brian Allen, founding editor, Sports In The ATL

BY THE NUMBERS Georgia Bulldogs (12-0) 31✅ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-6) 23
Score trend 7-14-10-0 10-3-0-10
Total Yards 437 363
Pass Yards 175 158
Rush Yards 262 205
First Downs 24 22
Third Down Conversions 4/8 2/11
Penalties/Yards 6/60 3/15
Turnovers 2 (1 Fum., 1 Int.) 0
Time Possession 29:15 30:45

Image credits: Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, Facebook