Originally created 11/28/02

Georgia favored to beat Georgia Tech by sports writers and editors

Georgia is favored by 12 of 13 state newspaper sports editors and college football writers heading into Saturday's game with Georgia Tech. The average score from the predictions: Georgia 28, Georgia Tech 19.

Here are their comments and picks:

Daniel Shirley, The Albany Herald:

Georgia and Georgia Tech feature two of the top scoring defenses in the country. It only makes sense it will be a high-scoring shootout.

Georgia 40, Georgia Tech 35.

Gentry Estes, The Albany Herald:

After a dramatic season packed with high-profile, high-pressure games, the Bulldogs may be apt to take a week off before the SEC championship game and cruise into this one expecting an easy win against the erratic Buzz. That could be disastrous. The Yellow Jackets are a gutsy bunch that has overcome too much this year to be counted out so quickly. Their defense is as good as Auburn's, and the offense has shown signs of life recently. Georgia, meanwhile, has been very fortunate to beat lesser foes. The Bulldogs get the win at home, but it won't be as easy as the folks in red and black may think.

Georgia 20, Georgia Tech 16.

Brad Zimanek, The Athens Banner-Herald:

The Bulldogs' offense found a new outlet against Auburn in Michael Johnson and will be closer to full strength if Terrence Edwards is able to play. The Bulldogs' defense answered second-half wake-up calls against Kentucky and Auburn earlier this season and need to get off to a better start against the Yellow Jackets. A.J. Suggs is no world-beater. He can't carry a team by himself. But if Georgia Tech can run the ball - as the Yellow Jackets have, even with injuries, for nearly the entire season - that changes everything. Expect a close rivalry game. The closer it gets will be agony for Bulldogs' fans while giving Georgia Tech every opportunity to stick it to the Bulldogs when it would hurt them the most.

Georgia 30, Georgia Tech 27.

Josh Kendall, The Athens Banner-Herald:

It's doubtful Georgia will look past the Yellow Jackets despite the fact it will play for the SEC Championship in one week. The Bulldogs' three-game losing streak is too fresh in the minds of the veterans for that. Georgia always feels like it should beat Tech, and this year's Bulldogs have played their best when they were loose and confident. The Dogs' defense will pressure A.J. Suggs into bad decisions and carry the offense one more time.

Georgia 37, Georgia Tech 17.

Anthony Dasher, The Athens Banner-Herald:

I keep hearing how Georgia might actually be looking past Georgia Tech to next week's SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. While there is always a possiblity of this happening, I doubt it will, simply because of Mark Richt who has gotten his team to buy into the old cliche of taking it "one game at a time." That said, Georgia Tech will provide the Bulldogs a challenge. Wide receivers Kerry Watkins, Will Glover and Jonathan Smith may be the best trio Georgia has faced this year. This game will be close for a while. But in the end, Georgia's defense will prove the difference.

Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 17.

Mark Schlabach, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Georgia better be wary of looking ahead to the SEC championship game on Dec. 7. New Tech coach Chan Gailey has done a remarkable job of keeping his team together after devastating injuries to tailback Tony Hollings and defensive end Greg Geathers. The Yellow Jackets are playing great defense. But the Bulldog defense will like what it sees under center - A. J. Suggs. Georgia pounced on Suggs when he played quarterback for Tennessee, and the Bulldogs will do it again. There's too much on the line for the Bulldogs to overlook the Jackets.

Georgia 27, Georgia Tech 13.

John Hollis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Georgia Tech would love nothing better than closing out what has been a tumultuous season with a win over the rival Bulldogs. The Yellow Jackets defense will make sure the game's score stays low, but it's unlikely Tech has enough in its offensive arsenal to win this game. Georgia wins in a close one.

Georgia 21, Georgia Tech 10.

Larry Williams, The Augusta Chronicle:

Georgia Tech is well-coached and has been playing good defense lately, so the game shouldn't be a rout. But Georgia had a week off at the right time after its big win at Auburn. The Bulldogs will be ready.

Georgia 27, Georgia Tech 17.

Brian Murphy The Macon Telegraph:

Chan Gailey and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will attack Georgia's tough defense with a creative attack. Given two weeks to prepare, expect the Yellow Jackets gameplans - offensive and defensive - to be versatile and well-crafted. But that will only hold off the Bulldogs for so long, say, three quarters. Georgia pulls away in the fourth quarter.

Georgia 28, Georgia Tech 16.

Anthony Stastny, The Savannah Morning News:

The game should be close, but exciting. Georgia is a team that plays up (or down) to the level of its competition. Georgia Tech has proven it is a team capable of playing at a high level, and the Jackets usually do against the Bulldogs. Georgia has lived on the edge all season and fallen off only once. You have to conclude it's Georgia's year .

Georgia 34, Georgia Tech 24.

Charles Odum, free-lance writer:

For all the talk of Georgia Tech's presumed psychological advantage, based on the fact that winning this game makes its season, the equalizer in incentive should be Georgia's No. 4 ranking in the BCS. The hope, however slim, of having a say in the national championship picture should be enough reason for Georgia to keep its focus on Tech and not look ahead to the SEC championship game. A key matchup will be Musa Smith against Tech's tough rushing defense; he needs to be productive to keep Georgia away from third-and-long situations.

Georgia 28, Georgia Tech 20.

Paul Newberry, The Associated Press

Georgia is certainly on a roll, and the off week should help the Bulldogs avoid a letdown after the thrilling victory over Auburn. Still, Georgia Tech is a solid team defensively and should be able to keep it closer than the oddsmakers think. Look for this one to be decided in the fourth quarter, but Georgia holds on to make it two in a row over the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia 21, Georgia Tech 17. Keith Parsons, The Associated Press:

Georgia has made it a habit of winning close games, pulling out another miracle two weeks against Auburn. The Bulldogs might just have destiny on their side since they ended a 20-year title drought by winning the Southeastern Conference East Division title. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, doesn't know yet where it will go bowling, or even if it will. The Yellow Jackets have won three of the past four in this series. Make it four of five.

Georgia Tech 21, Georgia 17.


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