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Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2002 9:12 PM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL RECAP
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(5) Georgia 51, Georgia Tech 7
GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
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GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Georgia Bulldogs
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ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- Georgia did not get caught looking ahead.

Musa Smith became Georgia's first 1,000-yard rusher in a decade as the fifth-ranked Bulldogs tuned up for next week's Southeastern Conference championship game by crushing Georgia Tech, 51-7.

Smith, who missed a game this year with a thumb injury, rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, raising his season total to 1,073. He became the first Georgia player to reach the plateau since Garrison Hearst ran for 1,594 yards in 1992.

"Even the officials were giving me a hard time (about reaching 1,000 yards)," Smith said. "It was a good feeling. Next year I want to try for 1,500 or 2,000."

Georgia (11-1) reached 11 wins for the sixth time in school history and will carry plenty of momentum into next week's SEC title game against Arkansas.

"I believed it would be a tight game," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "Georgia Tech is a good football team. The guys played as well as I've seen them play. I'm glad to be a Bulldog."

The Bulldogs posted their most lopsided win ever against Georgia Tech, surpassing a 47-8 victory in 1968, and increased their lead in the all-time series to 54-36-5.

"I obviously didn't get these guys ready to play today," Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "It was a very poorly played game in all phases."

The Bulldogs also stayed alive in the national championship race. With Oklahoma losing to Oklahoma State, Georgia likely will climb to third in the BCS standings. The Bulldogs could be in line to play Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl if they beat Arkansas and top-ranked Miami loses to Virginia Tech next week.

Georgia opened a 10-0 lead, then erupted for 24 points in the second quarter to build a 34-0 halftime cushion.

"Georgia Tech is a great team," Georgia quarterback David Greene said. "We just jumped on them early and kept the momentum all game. I think this is the most dominant game we've had all season long."

Georgia, which gained 555 total yards, finished 7-0 at home for the first time since 1980, the year of its last national championship.

"We didn't shoot ourselves in the foot," Richt said. "Musa was on a mission. When you establish the run game, it's difficult to play the run and pass. We had guys making big plays."

Georgia Tech (7-5), which committed five turnovers, avoided a shutout on A.J. Suggs' four-yard TD pass to Jonathan Smith 14 seconds into the final quarter.

Suggs completed 14-of-27 passes for just 158 yards and threw a pair of interceptions. The Yellow Jackets were held to just 71 yards on the ground.

"We didn't make plays and turned the ball over too much," Georgia Tech tight end Will Glover said. "We had many costly mistakes and they took advantage of it. We are a better team than our performance showed today."

Greene completed 10-of-14 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown for Georgia, an average of 20.5 yards per reception. He gave way in the second half to D.J. Shockley, who was replaced in the fourth quarter by Cory Phillips.

Freshman Tyson Browning capped the scoring with his first career touchdown, a 19-yard run with just over four minutes remaining.

Smith started the onslaught with a one-yard TD run with 8:30 remaining in the first quarter, and it was all downhill for the Yellow Jackets from there.

"I think this game will give us a lot of confidence for next week," Smith said. "Hopefully, we can go in there, play well and come out with a win."

Shockley's eight-yard TD run and Greene's 49-yard TD strike to Fred Gibson made it 24-0 just 5 1/2 minutes into the second quarter. After Billy Bennett kicked the second of his three field goals, J.T. Wall scampered in from 18 yards to make it 34-0 with 2:57 left in the half.

Georgia senior wide receiver Terrence Edwards returned after missing two games with a left shoulder strain and caught two passes for 48 yards. He ranks third on the SEC's all-time list in career receptions (194) and receiving yards (2,941).

Bennett scored 15 points and set a Georgia single-season record with 104. He broke Kevin Butler's previous mark of 94 in 1981.


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