Say what you will about Mark Richt, he absorbed one lesson early on: beat Georgia Tech’s ass. After all, his predecessor was canned in part for presiding over a three-game losing streak to the hated Jackets.
Tech never threatened Richt’s job, as he amassed a remarkable 13-2 record against the in-state rival. It’s Georgia’s best stretch in the history of the series.
But Mark Richt isn’t there now, and the question becomes what does his successor do?
Now Smart is a native of the state and played at Georgia, so you’d think hate would come easily. But the Process doesn’t have much time for that… um, shit.
“It’s a lot of people split down the line when it comes to this game, a lot of passion and energy goes into this game on both sides of it,” Smart said Monday. “We tell our kids all the time: You’re remembered by what your senior class does and what your record is against Georgia Tech. So I think the same case as any rivalry. You’ve got to keep it within the grasp of your emotions. You play with emotion, but you’ve got to play with controlled emotion. You’ve got to make good decisions on the field. You’ve got to prepare well.”
Sounds almost clinical. This sounds a little better.
“To me, it’s the next game,” Smart said. “It’s a large rivalry game. A lot of — especially our older fan base and the history of this rivalry is really important to a lot of people. It’s really important to me. It’s really important to this team. You could see it in the buzz they have for it.”
Lose Saturday and I bet it gets a lot more important to Kirby.