ATHENS — Kirby Smart gave his Georgia Bulldogs a “history lesson” this week according to safety Malaki Starks.

It was all about the Georgia Tech rivalry, and the Bulldogs’ players made it clear they got the message.

There will be no lack of energy on the Georgia sideline when UGA tackles the Yellow Jackets at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night in Atlanta.

“It’s intense, it’s hate week, everything kind of ramps up,” Starks said after practice on Tuesday. “Georgia Tech week around here, there’s nothing playful about it … "

Georgia projected first-round offensive lineman Amarius Mims — like Starks, an in-state 5-star product — echoed that sentiment.

“This is an in-state rivalry, man, we take it seriously,” Mims said. “There’s a lot of guys on their team that we know, and they know a lot of us.

“It’s for the state of Georgia. We want it, they want it. It’s going to be a battle Saturday.”

Bulldogs’ breakout star Dillon Bell hails from Texas, but it didn’t take him long to learn the importance of the game.

“Since I got here I’ve learned its an instate rivalry,” Bell said, “it’s like it’s own championship.”

Starks calls it a state championship game, complete with coaches on the UGA staff who once played in the rivalry, and have long memories of their wins — and losses — to the Yellow Jackets.

“I knew it was a big thing, and I know about when they beat us and they ate the hedges, or whatever it was,” Starks said. “Coach Smart gave us a history lesson this week.”

Smart was 4-1 as a player against Georgia Tech during his five years on the UGA team — which includes a redshirt season — and he’s 6-1 against the Yellow Jackets as a head coach.