Jackets can catch their breath before next two tests

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DURHAM, N.C. --- Georgia Tech's players slapped a few high-fives with the fans who stuck around an emptying stadium. In one end zone, a banner was unfurled to read: "Tampa Bound."

After clinching the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division, they allowed themselves to savor the moment for, well, a moment.

But these No. 7 Yellow Jackets hope some bigger things await -- like their first outright ACC championship since 1990.

"Those guys have worked really hard, and a lot of people have doubted them along the way -- especially early -- and they've just been resilient and they kept playing," Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "Lord knows we can play a lot better, and we need to, but I'll give them credit: They find a way to win."

That really wasn't all that difficult to do against a Duke team that, while improved, still has a long way to go.

The Yellow Jackets scored on five of six possessions to overcome an early 10-point deficit and rout the Blue Devils 49-10. That gave Georgia Tech (10-1, 7-1), winner of eight in a row, its best record through 11 games since that '90 team started 10-0-1 and claimed the national championship in the coaches' poll.

After a week off, Tech faces rival Georgia before heading to Tampa, Fla., for the Atlantic Coast Conference title game against either No. 18 Clemson or Boston College. The Tigers will clinch the Atlantic Division with a win against Virginia or a BC loss to North Carolina or Maryland.

"Now we know the biggest game of the year is next," Johnson said.

Followed by a bigger one, and after that, perhaps the program's biggest in decades. The Yellow Jackets haven't played in one of the four BCS-caliber bowls since the 1966 team reached the Orange Bowl, the January prize that awaits the ACC title-game winner.

They made it this far three years ago but lost to Wake Forest in the league championship, finished 7-6 in Chan Gailey's final season and hired Johnson. He went 9-4 in his first year and shared the Coastal title with Virginia Tech but lost out on a tiebreaker.

"After what happened last year, we put that in our mind that we weren't going to settle for anything," reigning ACC Player of the Year Jonathan Dwyer said. "What we did last year was special, somewhat, but we knew we could do better."

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smartie
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smartie 11/16/09 - 07:10 am
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they'd better catch their

they'd better catch their breath. come the 28th, their going to get it knocked out of 'em! GO DAWGS! sic 'em.

ugadawgbite
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ugadawgbite 11/16/09 - 08:06 am
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The run is the only thing

The run is the only thing UGA's defense can stop, and that's all gt has....

smartie
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smartie 11/16/09 - 08:27 am
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amen, my dawg brethren.

amen, my dawg brethren.

ramble
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ramble 11/16/09 - 09:53 am
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Keep on talkin'. We'll see if

Keep on talkin'. We'll see if you're back after your dawgs take it on the chin in 2 weeks!

sueboo418
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sueboo418 11/16/09 - 10:22 am
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You're funny smartie!! Go

You're funny smartie!! Go Jackets!!!

pittsburg
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pittsburg 11/16/09 - 12:15 pm
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go dawgs !!!!

go dawgs !!!!

fish2
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fish2 11/16/09 - 03:11 pm
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Hey dogs you might get better

Hey dogs you might get better in a few years after you get rid of most of your coaching staff.

The Knave
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The Knave 11/16/09 - 07:44 pm
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I see ole smartie's (not)

I see ole smartie's (not) command of the English language and syntax hasn't improved since the last time he/she dropped by with a typically low-quality post. I wonder if smartie is one of the shining examples of UGA alumni, or is smartie just a football team groupie? In either case, you're known by the company you keep, and any association with the Athens Asylum should be divulged in very small print on a resume.

smartie
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smartie 11/16/09 - 08:54 pm
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well, well, ol' knave.

well, well, ol' knave. perusing my posts again. i try so hard to get it right. i appreciate you putting me at the collegiate level, but, i must admit, a trade school diploma was about all i could muster. i really wanted to be a veterinarian, (check that spelling, if you would, knave), as i have a fondness for dawgs. i don't mind cats. chickens, and gators, well, i tolerate them. but yellow jackets, i just smash them all over the counter with a fly swatter. know what i mean, knave?

KSL
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KSL 11/16/09 - 09:24 pm
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Rivalries die hard.

Rivalries die hard.

KSL
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KSL 11/16/09 - 10:49 pm
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Some time back there were

Some time back there were clamors from the Georgia fans to minimize the GA/GT rivalry. Tech had become a weak opponent and a win the last game of the season was anticlimactic and a distraction in the way of the SEC championship. I really don't care one way or the other, frankly. To all of you SEC fans, you can claim the ACC is not quite there. And athletically, it may not be. But the polls have 4/5 ACC teams in the to 25, teams that have played each other. The SEC has 3 teams in the top 10. Head to head matches have not occurred that much.

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