Possible job and title on the line in Atlanta

Mark Richt

ATHENS – Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey said Sunday he's not thinking about his job status this week as he prepares his Yellow Jackets for their in-state rival.

And, if he's not going to worry about, Georgia head coach Mark Richt certainly isn't.

"You don't really think about that much," Richt said. "You just think about making sure that you've got a good plan."

The No. 6 Bulldogs (9-2) could be facing a desperate team in Gailey's Yellow Jackets, who at 7-4 and coming off a last-second win over 3-8 North Carolina, are not only fighting for their coach but trying to snap a six-game losing streak to Georgia.

The two teams will meet at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Atlanta. The game will be televised by ABC.

"We know they want to beat us so bad," Georgia senior Sean Bailey said. "It's bragging rights. It's kind of like your little brother."

Richt offered his version of a vote of confidence in Gailey on Sunday.

"I think they are an extremely well-coached bunch, and I think they play very, very hard," he said. "When you watch teams play and you study them, you notice how fast they play, how hard they play. Georgia Tech plays extremely hard. All the things that you look for in a team as far as what the coaches can control, I think they have been doing an outstanding job."

Winning isn't easy, said Richt, who skeptics might point out is on the verge of becoming the first Georgia coach ever to beat the Yellow Jackets in seven consecutive years.

"You just don't know sometimes what makes people decide what they want to decide (about a coach's fate)," Richt said. "I think the one thing that people just tend to miss somewhere along the way is that the other teams are pretty good too. I just don't think people give the opponent enough credit. It's a very, very highly competitive situation."

Georgia has its own things to worry about this weekend. The Bulldogs certainly will have one eye on Lexington, Ky., where Kentucky could send Georgia to the SEC title game by upsetting Eastern Division frontrunner Tennessee.

Richt doesn't won't to talk about the possibility of playing in the conference title game.

"But I'll say this," he said. "We've done everything we could do since (losing to) Tennessee to put ourselves back in position to at least be able to think about it."

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