Georgia Bulldogs Under the Lights: It’s Georgia Tech week, and this year, it means “Clean Old Fashioned Hate” in Atlanta for Georgia football.
The familiar Thanksgiving weekend rhythm sets in—indulging in turkey, mac-and-cheese, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie on Thursday, followed by Black Friday shopping. Then, a noon kickoff at Bobby Dodd Stadium for Bulldogs vs. Yellow Jackets.
For the first time since 2013, the Governor’s Cup won’t be handed out to the winner in the afternoon. This marks the first night game between the rivals at Georgia Tech since 2009 when the Bulldogs claimed a 30-24 victory.
“We pride ourselves on running this state so we definitely want to come out on top,” said current safety Javon Bullard.
The game under the lights has implications for Georgia, providing an additional seven and a half hours to fully dive into preparation for the SEC championship game against Alabama.
“We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” Bullard said. “We don’t really control what time we play? … 7:30? That’s what time we got to play. After we get done with that game, we’re not really worried about the SEC championship right now. We’ll get that when the week is there.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart emphasizes the support staff’s role in deep preparation, just like with the football roster.
“Not a lot of change in preparation,” Smart said. “It’s different because of the timing of our kids coming back from Thanksgiving, getting here, going over there. The Saturday will be different, but that’s really the extent of it. Cooler, night, but that’s what we deal with all the time. We have a lot more night games this year than we’ve had in the past.”
Alabama’s Iron Bowl game at Auburn is at 3:30 p.m., and Georgia-Georgia Tech this year. It’s the first time Georgia Tech will have a home primetime game on network television since a 2011 game with Clemson.
The No. 1 Bulldogs are 23½-point favorites Saturday.
Georgia Tech’s Black Friday sale featured lower-level tickets for $75 and upper level tickets for $65. The Helluva Block Party pregame on North Avenue will feature Ludacris on Saturday.
Georgia has played night games against Georgia Tech in Atlanta in 2005, 2001, 1987, 1975, and 1971—all were Bulldogs wins. The Bulldogs haven’t lost to Georgia Tech in Atlanta since 1999, a streak of 11 straight wins.
Despite the usual sea of Georgia fans in the Atlanta area, the game is set to be a true road challenge, considering the improved performance of Georgia Tech this season.