What’s it like to play in the Georgia Tech-Georgia rivalry? Yellow Jackets players offered their perspectives on Clean Old-Fashioned Hate (Noon Saturday, SEC Network; News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB, 680 the Fan) this week.
QUARTERBACK TAQUON MARSHALL
On spoiling Georgia’s national championship hopes
“I think that’s one of the things you can keep in the back of your mind, but I don’t think that’s the first thing that comes up when going into the game. I think you’re going to give a lot more than maybe you have in a couple more games during the season, just because, one, this is the last regular-season game and then how much bragging rights you get if you win this game and just how much the game means in the state of Georgia.”
LEFT GUARD PARKER BRAUN
“Yeah, it’s a big deal. I personally didn’t grow up in Georgia, but it’s still cool to be a part of it.”
On how he understood what it meant to fans
“Hey, it’s in our fight song. That should be a pointer to how big of a game this is.”
LINEBACKER BRANT MITCHELL
“It’s huge. They stress it to you right when you walk on campus. It’s even in the fight song. This rivalry, it’s something special. It goes back a long time. I know some guys over there. It’s all good off the field, but when you strap on the pads, it just becomes a little different. You’re playing for the people who have played before you and laid the foundation for the rivalry and made it what it is today. It feels great to be able to go out there. It’ll be my last regular-season game, so we’ve got to go out with a bang.”
DEFENSIVE END DESMOND BRANCH
On observations as an out-of-state player (he’s from New Mexico)
“I learned that everything is Georgia around here. It’s all Georgia. But, in this little pocket in downtown Atlanta, it’s Georgia Tech. It’s a real underdog mentality because you see Georgia everywhere.”
“It’s definitely all around leading up two weeks in advance. Like people two weeks ago (were) saying, ‘Hey, Georgia’s coming up. Make sure you get right for that game.’ I’ve got regular people telling me that, like, Hey, you guys do good so we take this momentum Georgia. I’m like, Oh, snap, we’ve got two weeks before then. But when the Georgia game happens, there’s definitely a lot more fan interest and it’s really fun because you feel the magnitude of the game and to see it all over social media with the students, it’s really nice.
SAFETY TARIQ CARPENTER
“I’m originally from Arkansas, so moving down to South Georgia, all I hear is ‘Oh, I’m a Georgia fan.’ So for me personally, growing up I didn’t really like Georgia. I feel like I came to the right school.”