Georgia turns focus to rival after setback

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ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia's worst regular season under coach Mark Richt ends with this assignment: Go to Atlanta on Saturday night to play a 10-1 Georgia Tech team that's fresh off an open date.

The seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets will bring their highest ranking to the in-state rivalry since their 1990 national championship season, when they were No. 2 and beat the Bulldogs 40-23.

Georgia is 8-7 in its past 15 games against Bowl Subdivision teams after Saturday night's 34-27 loss to Kentucky.

"I think all programs go through some cycles, and we've been on a pretty good upswing for quite some time," Richt said. "This year has certainly been a downturn when it comes to record. It is what it is. Will we get it back on track and get back to the winning ways we're used to? I think so. I don't think there's any doubt about it."

Georgia had 487 total yards of offense against Kentucky, its most in a loss to a Southeastern Conference team in Richt's nine seasons. The Bulldogs (6-5, 4-4 SEC) wasted their second-highest total output in yardage of the season and a 20-6 halftime lead because of four second-half turnovers.

Georgia fumbled on third-and-goal at the Kentucky 1 on a toss sweep from Joe Cox to freshman Washuan Ealey, who Richt said lined up too close to Cox. Kentucky recovered with 2:21 left.

"Joe did his normal deal," Richt said. "We had a young back take a bad alignment and take a bad track."

Georgia had no takeaways and fell to minus-18 in turnover margin -- second worst in the nation behind Miami (Ohio).

"I've never been in a season where the turnover ratio was so lopsided and where we only won the turnover ratio one time in 11 games," Richt said.

The result is that Georgia is sliding down the SEC's bowl pecking order.

Of the 10 SEC bowl-eligible teams, seven have at least seven wins. Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina each have six.

Richt said he doesn't know where Georgia will land, but he added, "I can promise you we'll be thankful anywhere we get to go."

Georgia Tech, which ended a seven-game losing streak to Georgia last year, is already headed to the ACC title game against Clemson on Dec. 5 in Tampa, Fla.

"There's not anything to worry about being overconfident," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "All you have to do is turn the tape on. They've got some great players."

Reach Marc Weiszer at marc.weiszer@morris.com.

SATURDAY'S GAME

- Georgia at No. 7 Georgia Tech, 8 p.m. (ABC-Ch.6)

ON TV

The Georgia-Georgia Tech game will kick off at 8 p.m. on Saturday and be broadcast by ABC.

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pittsburg
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pittsburg 11/23/09 - 09:20 am
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Go Dawgs!!!!!!

Go Dawgs!!!!!!

dclark1983
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dclark1983 11/23/09 - 04:51 pm
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fire willie martinez!!!!!

fire willie martinez!!!!!

csralookout
305
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csralookout 11/23/09 - 05:42 pm
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how bout them dawgs! We are

how bout them dawgs! We are gonna beat the nerds!

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