Over the years, the game between Georgia and Georgia Tech has lost some of its luster as a rivalry. Some have even gone so far as to say it’s a dead rivalry given how dominant Georgia has been on the series lately. For reference, Tech has only beaten Georgia three times total since 2001. The Bulldogs have also won the last four matchups.
However, it wasn’t always like that. The hatred between these two domestic rivals used to be much greater than it is today. And Georgia’s head coach wanted to remind everyone how special this rivalry is and why it should still be considered a great rivalry.
“Yes, sure it is. I mean, that was the biggest rivalry of this program many, many, many years ago when they were with the SEC. Our children do not know this story. They don’t know the history of this rivalry and don’t know what goes into it. It was a really big rivalry, you know, during Paul’s years here, because of the three-point option and something else to play and the physicality of the game, you know. And I think we need to educate our players about that so they understand – because it means a lot to our players when it comes to what they want to achieve and they have to win this game to achieve those things. So it’s really important to make sure they understand that. And teaching the history of that is important because it’s going to mean something to the Georgia Tech players and the Georgia players 20/30 years from now.
There is something special when a team’s head coach is a former player from the same school. Smart has a deep understanding of the history behind Georgia’s football program and the importance of beating teams like Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech.
Smart knows how bitter a defeat tastes for the Yellowjackets. He saw it first-hand during his playing days with Georgia, losing to Tech in his last home game as a Bulldog in 1998. He also lost to them in his first season as head coach at Georgia in 2016.
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While this rivalry doesn’t garner as much attention in its current state as it once did, it’s clear that Smart still appreciates the long history these two teams have together. Fans might see it as just another game now, but Smart certainly doesn’t and he wants to make sure his players continue to remember the importance of clean, old-fashioned hate.
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