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Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2002 8:55 AM EST
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Georgia Tech (7-4) at No. 5 Georgia (10-1)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
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Georgia Bulldogs
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ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- While fifth-ranked Georgia is gearing up for its appearance in the Southeastern Conference championship game on December 7, Saturday's contest against Georgia Tech is more than a mere tuneup.

Georgia (10-1) is still in the national championship picture and could earn a berth in the Fiesta Bowl if top-ranked Miami and No. 3 Oklahoma each drop one of their remaining two games.

Ohio State has clinched one of the berths in the Fiesta Bowl after defeating Michigan to finish the regular season 13-0. Georgia is fourth in the latest BCS standings, behind Oklahoma, which could be first in line to move up if Miami falters.

The Bulldogs have been off since clinching the SEC East Division title with a dramatic 24-21 victory over Auburn on November 16. They appeared headed for defeat, but Michael Johnson caught a 19-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:25 remaining to allow Georgia to rally from a 21-10 deficit.

A win Saturday will give the Bulldogs their sixth 11-win season in school history and their first since 1982, when they captured their last SEC crown. That year, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 and finished the regular season 11-0 but lost to Penn State in the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia also is looking to go 7-0 at home for the first time since 1980, the last time the Bulldogs had seven home games.

Despite missing a game with a thumb injury, Musa Smith needs just 48 yards to become the first Georgia running back to rush for 1,000 yards since Garrison Hearst in 1992.

Georgia Tech (7-4) also has been off since November 23, when it defeated Duke, 17-2, for its third victory in four games. The Yellow Jackets, finishing their first season under former Dallas Cowboys coach Chan Gailey, are looking to tie a school record with their sixth straight bowl appearance.

Bobby Dodd, the man for whom Georgia Tech's stadium is named, led the Yellow Jackets to six straight bowls from 1951-56.

Georgia and Georgia Tech are meeting for the 97th time, with the Bulldogs holding a 53-38-5 lead. Georgia snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with a 31-17 victory last year.

In last year's meeting, Vernon Hayes rushed for 207 yards and Billy Bennett tied an SEC record with six field goals for the Bulldogs.

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