Tech’s defense not pretty, but effective

“We didn’t play perfect all day, but we made plays,” Johnson said. “It was kind of a microcosm of our season. We can’t get off the field, but in the second half we don’t give up a lot of points and on defense we held them to a couple of field goals, and that was the difference in the game.”

Georgia averaged 6.3 yards per carry, with Sony Michel rushing for a game-high 170 yards and Nick Chubb 88 more. Chubb’s yards were 29 more than Tech’s best individual rushing total. And Tech again gave up a lot of third-down conversions (8-of-15), continuing that season-long trend. And the Yellow Jackets go no sacks and two tackles for loss, continuing those trends.

But in the second half the Jackets held the Bulldogs to field goals of 27 yards early in the third quarter and 32 yards later in the quarter when the Bulldogs were on the verge of blowing open the game.

Those semi-stops gave the Jackets’ offense a chance to shake off a poor third quarter and score touchdowns on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Georgia didn’t advance past the 50-yard line on three drives in the fourth quarter, with its final two drives ending with interceptions.

Johnson, not usually hesitant to point out the deficiencies of his defense, was mostly happy with their effort.

“We hung in there on defense,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to do when they are knocking you back and driving you back and running the ball. We hung in there …”

Senior Pat Gamble said he was driven by the memory of some of the Bulldogs players planting a flag in the field of Bobby Dodd Stadium following last year’s win.

“You see the flag?” said Gamble, who had 11 tackles. “We put our flag in the middle of their field. I want them to remember that.”

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