Originally created 11/30/02

Jackets out to prevent a repeat



ATLANTA - Georgia Tech linebacker Recardo Wimbush has not-so-fond memories of last year's Georgia game, and is determined this year will be different.

Chances are he still sees Bulldogs running back Verron Haynes in his dreams. Haynes rushed 39 times for 207 yards as Wimbush and the Georgia Tech defense offered little resistance.

With Haynes leading the way, Georgia rushed for 232 yards on 52 attempts in its 31-17 victory at Grant Field.

"They came in and did whatever they wanted to do against us last year," said Wimbush, a senior who earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors this year. "We're not going to let that happen."

Haynes may be gone, but Georgia still has Musa Smith. Despite missing a game, the 6-foot-2, 226-pound junior is 48 yards shy of being the Bulldogs' first 1,000-yard season since Garrison Hearst in 1992.

"He's had a very good, solid year. I wouldn't say he's been a dominating back but he's been a very good back for us," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

Smith has rushed for more than 100 yards six times this season, including a season-high 148 yards on 37 carries against Mississippi earlier in the month.

"It's been nice, how consistent he has been," Georgia quarterback David Greene said.

The Bulldogs are averaging 131.7 yards per game on the ground. If they can hit that mark today against the Yellow Jackets, they'll likely win. On the other side, Georgia Tech's fortunes have been tied to its ability to stop the run.

In seven wins, the Yellow Jackets have allowed 81.1 yards per game on the ground. In four losses, they've yielded 191.5 yards rushing.

"I don't think statistics make the game," Wimbush said. "If a team rushes for 100 yards, it doesn't mean they're going to win the game automatically."

Still, Georgia Tech has spent the week preparing to stop the run, very aware of last season's debacle.

"It's just a matter of respect. We're not going to let them just come in and run over us like the did last year," Wimbush said. "We don't want the same thing to happen twice."