Georgia Tech players lament not playing Georgia

Georgia and Georgia Tech line up during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, November 30, 2019. Georgia won 52-7 over the Georgia Tech. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Georgia and Georgia Tech line up during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, November 30, 2019. Georgia won 52-7 over the Georgia Tech. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

In any other year, Georgia Tech would be preparing this week for its annual post-Thanksgiving showdown with Georgia. This year, the Yellow Jackets would be girding for a matchup at Sanford Stadium and seeking to end the Bulldogs’ winning streak in the series, extended to three games last year.

But, in a year in which COVID-19 rearranged football schedules, Tech is instead getting ready to play Duke. The rivalry was put into hiatus in July, when the SEC voted to play a 10-game, conference-only schedule, leaving no room for non-conference games including Tech-Georgia, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina and Louisville-Kentucky.

“It (expletive),” left guard Jack DeFoor said. “I mean, that’s a game we look forward to. I know the fans look forward to it. I haven’t really thought about them that much until you just brought it up, but that does (expletive) that we don’t get to play them.”

DeFoor said that the team is focused on the Blue Devils. The Jackets are particularly eager to play given that it’s Tech’s first game in a month after an open date and two postponements.

This would have been freshman defensive end Jared Ivey’s first time to experience “Clean Old-Fashioned Hate” firsthand. He was likewise disappointed “because that was one of the big reasons to come here, to get that crosstown rivalry, because I grew up around a lot of Georgia fans. But it is what it is. We’ll be ready in the next few years to get ‘em.”

Tech and Georgia had played every year starting in 1925. The Jackets’ longest uninterrupted series is now, fittingly, Duke. The Jackets and Blue Devils have played every year starting in 1933.

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