Georgia football has opened as a 24-point favorite over Georgia Tech in Saturday night’s game in Atlanta -- a line nine points less than last year’s spread for the rivalry game.
UGA coach Kirby Smart quickly turned attention to the Yellow Jackets after beating Tennessee on Saturday night hen asked for perspective on a record-tying 28th-straight win.
“I got to go play Tech next week, that’s the perspective I’ve got,” Smart said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Brent (Key), I know how much this game means to him.”
Key, who played on the offensive line for the Yellow Jackets from 1997-2000 and earned All-ACC and team captain honors, has two notable staffers who worked for Smart at UGA.
Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner’s title was quality control assistant for quarterbacks at Georgia last season.
“(Faulkner) is the mediator between me and Monk (Todd Monken),” Bennett said last season. “Me and Monk don’t really talk during the games, which I think is probably a good thing because we’re both so (passionate) yeah. So Buster listens to what Monk says and filters it out.
“Buster keeps me sane, keeps me in the moment. Helps me out with what he might be seeing here on this play. His presence is comforting and he’s a damn good football coach.”
Faulkner was in many of the same offensive meetings with Monken and Mike Bobo last season and knows UGA’s offensive philosophy.
“Our job is to get ready and prepared for a physical, hard-nosed team that knows everything about us,” Smart said. “Buster Faulkner is there, Kevin Sherrer is there, Brent Key is there.”
Sherrer, of course, was an outside linebackers coach on Smart’s first two Georgia coaching staffs.
UGA was a 33-point favorite over Georgia Tech last year but only beat the Yellow Jackets by 37-14 count last season in Athens.
Georgia Tech was the first team to score a first-quarter TD on UGA last season and were only the second team in the regular season to lead Georgia after one quarter.
The 2023 Yellow Jackets (6-5) have taken a step forward, becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 2018 with a 31-22 win over Syracuse on Saturday in Atlanta.
Other SEC games:
Ole Miss (-10) at Mississippi State
Missouri (-7) at Arkansas
Kentucky at Louisville (-7)
Florida State (-7) at Florida
Clemson (-9) at South Carolina
Vanderbilt at Tennessee (-23)
Alabama (-15) at Auburn
Texas A&M at LSU (-8)