ATHENS — Georgia football senior outside linebacker D’Andre Walker has made it a point not to get caught up in any drama this season, and he doesn’t want that to change against Georgia Tech.
“Me as a senior I don’t want to leave with a bad taste in my mouth walking off our field,” Walker said, asked the importance of the rivalry showdown at noon on Saturday in Sanford Stadium (TV: SEC Network; Radio: WSB 750 AM, 95.5 FM).
“If we lose this game, we probably don’t get a shot to go to the national championship, so it’s important that we do win,” Walker said. “We have to get this game over with, and after that, we’ll see where we end up and prepare for the next game.”
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (10-1) play No. 1-ranked Alabama (11-0) at 4 p.m. on Dec. 1 in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
But first things first, Georgia knows to stay focused on the stingy Yellow Jackets.
“I don’t get into all that drama,” Walker said. “I don’t know too many people from their roster.”
Yes, Walker said, he planted the Georgia flag in the Georgia Tech turf following a 2015 win, but “I was a freshman back then.”
Walker, who leads UGA with 5 1/2 sacks this season, plans a businesslike approach on Saturday.
Georgia Tech leads the nation in rushing and is riding a four-game win streak coming to Athens, and the Yellow Jackets have won their past two games with the Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium, too.
Georgia Tech’s option attack serves as an equalizer, as the unique style off offense requires defenders to play their assignments first before flowing to the ball.
The Yellow Jackets’ cut-blocking techniques make defensive players feel endangered, so Walker explained how Georgia has prepared.
“I don’t think it (the option) is that much more physical, it’s another football game and they do cut a lot,” Walker said. “(In practice) they get a bag and they throw it at your leg — it’s an 80-pound bag — to cut your leg. You don’t want that 80-pound bag in your leg so you’re going to find a way to stop it.”
Walker said the Bulldogs’ scout team was a big key to why Georgia was so well-prepared en route to the 38-7 win in Atlanta.
“Honestly,” Walker said, “I felt like our scout team ran their plays better than they did last year.”