UGA-Tech notes: Bulldog seniors relish evening the score with Tech

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback TaQuon Marshall (16) gets away from the diving tackle of Georgia Bulldogs defensive back J.R. Reed (20) during Saturday’s game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)

ATLANTA — In the week leading into the 112th edition of Clean, Old Fashioned Hate, Georgia seniors — particularly defensive end Lorenzo Carter — talked openly about he and his fellow seniors avoiding a dubious distinction.

A loss to in-state archrival Georgia Tech would have made the Norcross grad and his fellow Bulldog seniors the first senior class since 2000 to have a losing record for their careers against the Yellow Jackets.

The class of ’17 (or more accurately ’18) avoided that fate with Georgia’s 38-7 win before a sellout crowd of 55,000 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

And Carter was hardly alone in expressing relief about evening the score, especially after Tech’s 28-27 win a year ago on a Qua Searcy touchdown with 30 seconds left.

“It was really satisfying, especially after last year,” said graduate noseguard John Atkins, who finished with three tackles, including a tackle for loss. “To come back this year and win on the road in their home stadium was big. … It was important. (Head) Coach (Kirby) Smart put it up (on the locker room board), ‘1-2.’ All the seniors were 1-2 against Tech. We got a chance to even up on our last chance.”

ROAD STREAKS CONTINUE

One things that has become apparent in Georgia-Georgia Tech series is that home field hasn’t been much of an advantage in recent years.

While Tech has won two straight and three out of the last five in Athens, the Bulldogs continued an even longer streak with their ninth straight victory over the Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The last time Tech beat its hated rival at home was a 51-48 overtime win Nov. 27, 1999.

RARE BLOWOUT

Another anomaly from Saturday’s game was the Bulldogs’ comfortable margin of victory, with the 31-point difference being the largest since a 42-10 Georgia win in Athens in 2012.

Each of the last four games in the series, and 10 out of the last 13, have been decided by seven points or less.

MOVIN’ ON UP

One of the few things that went Tech’s way Saturday was that it had a player reach a milestone, while one of Georgia’s came up just short of his.

With his 72 yards on the ground Saturday, TaQuon Marshall set a Tech single-season record for most rushing yards by a quarterback.

Marshall now has 1,146 yards on the season, breaking the old mark of 1,086 set by Justin Thomas just three years ago.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior also became just the 13th Jacket in school’s history — regardless of position — to run for at least 1,100 yards.

Meanwhile, Georgia running back Nick Chubb had a chance to move up the Southeastern Conference’s all-time rushing list, but remains at No. 4 on that list after running for a solid, though relatively quiet 53 yards, including a touchdown on 12 carries.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound senior from Cedartown now stands at 4,522 career yards, just 35 yards behind LSU’s Kevin Faulk for third place and 68 behind Arkansas’ Darren McFadden for the No. 2 spot.

Barring unprecedented production in next week’s SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and either a bowl game or the College Football Playoff, Chubb seems out of reach for the record, held by former Bulldog and Hall of Famer Herschel Walker (5,259).

On the bright side for Georgia running backs, Sony Michel, who finished with 85 yards and a score on just 13 carries, moved up to third place on the Bulldogs’ all-time list, trailing just Walker and Chubb with 3,314 career yards.

Sports Reporter

Graduated from GSU in 1990. Have worked in sports journalism for the past 28 years, covering a variety of sports at the Gwinnett Daily News, AJC, Lafayette (La.) Daily Advertiser and Marietta Daily Journal before returning to Gwinnett at the Post in 2007.