Staff Photo: John Bohn Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell (1) rushed for a gain while Georgia Tech cornerback Rashaad Reid (28) gets a hold of Crowell's jersey during the third quarter of Saturday's game in Atlanta. Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 31-17.
ATLANTA -- While tributes were paid to long time Georgia broadcaster Larry Munson, who passed away last Sunday, and former Georgia Tech captain Hal Miller, who also passed away last week, prior to Saturday's game between the two schools, there was another notable absence.
Longtime Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports editor and columnist and current Gwinnett Daily Post columnist Furman Bisher did not attend Saturday's game due to severe back pain.
It was the first game between the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs that Bisher has missed in nearly 60 years, and as a tribute, the Tech sports information department left one seat in Bobby Dodd Stadium's press box empty.
The Bulldogs also paid homage to Munson with a special helmet decal that featured the legendary radio play-by-play man with his headset, along with "1922-2011" and "Hunker Down One More Time."
The Georgia Redcoat Band also featured a tribute to Munson during its halftime show.
Tech deep-sixed on subs
Georgia's quick set up on third- and fourth-down situations gave Tech fits getting the personnel it wanted on the field.
In fact, twice during the first half, confusion caused Tech to be penalized for substitution infractions at critical times.
The first came with the Bulldogs facing fourth and 1 from their own 36 on their first possession of the game, and the resulting 5-yard penalty extended a drive, though the Jackets dodged a bullet with Louis Young's interception of Aaron Murray at the Tech 27.
But the second was on the opening play of Georgia's final drive of the half, which ended with Blair Walsh's 41-yard field goal that sent the Bulldogs into halftime up by seven points instead of just four.
"It was just a change of personnel," Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo speculated about Tech's substitution problems. "(Jackets defensive coordinator Al Groh) is a guy who's going to match personnel. And with our running back situation, they were probably out of rhythm. ... So, we just tried to change personnel and make them sub."
Four for the road
Aaron Murray's four touchdown passes Saturday marked the fourth time this season the Georgia quarterback has thrown that many in a game this season.
The 6-foot-1, 211-pound redshirt sophomore also had four TD passes in the Georgia's loss to South Carolina in Week 2, as well the Bulldogs' lopsided win over Auburn on Nov. 14. He also had five TD passes in a rout of New Mexico State on Nov. 7.
The scores also added to the single-season school record he already set earlier this month, giving him 32 for the 2011 campaign.
"That's a team thing," Murray said of the records. "My line, it starts with them. They've been giving me plenty of time all year. ... Also our guys made some big catches (Saturday) -- tight ends, receivers and running backs. Everyone's going to get to play. My job's easy. I've got to just pitch and catch."
Representatives from three bowls were prominent in the press box at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, though with Georgia's status still up in the air pending the outcome of next week's SEC championship game, the attention was probably more directed at Tech.
The Jackets (8-4) will be making their 15th straight bowl appearance this season, with the hottest speculation that they would be headed to El Paso for the Hyundai Sun Bowl on New Year's Eve, though the Chick-fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome and Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando were also represented.
The win gave Georgia 10 straight wins, the Bulldogs' longest win streak since the 1982 team started the season 11-0 ...
Though Saturday was far from his best game of the season, Jackets quarterback Tevin Washington's 74 yards of total offense gives him 2,404 total yards on the season, moving past Reggie Ball (2003) into ninth place on Tech's all-time single season list.
The 6-0, 205-pound redshirt junior is just 60 yards away from Joe Hamilton's 1998 season mark for eighth place on the list, and just 75 yards away from catching Ball's 2004 season for seventh place.