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December 13, 2006Virginia Tech and Georgia both stumbled early this season, but they're each heading into the postseason on a roll.
The 14th-ranked Hokies and the Bulldogs will each look to build on their momentum when they square off in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 30.
The Hokies (10-2) lost out on a chance at the Atlantic Coast Conference title with consecutive defeats to Georgia Tech on Sept. 30 and Boston College on Oct. 12. However, they have reeled off six straight wins since then, including victories at home against Clemson and on the road at Miami and ACC champion Wake Forest.
Virginia Tech has outscored its opponents by a total of 144-29 during its winning streak.
``After those two losses, the season could have went either really bad, or we could have stepped it up and finished strong, and that's exactly what we did,'' defensive tackle Carlton Powell said.
The Hokies are one of only two teams, along with Southern Cal, to win 10 games in each of the last three seasons.
Georgia (8-4), meanwhile, dropped four of five games midway through the season, including upset losses to Vanderbilt and Kentucky. But the Bulldogs finished their schedule strong with wins at No. 10 Auburn and against Georgia Tech at home.
The Bulldogs also fell out of the rankings during their slump, but had the most votes among teams that didn't make the Top 25 in the final poll of the regular season.
The Hokies beat Virginia 17-0 in their regular-season finale on Nov. 25 for their fourth shutout of the season. Virginia Tech, which leads the nation with just 9.3 points and 221.1 total yards allowed per game, held the Cavaliers to just 112 yards of offense and five first downs.
Sean Glennon, in his first full season as Virginia Tech's quarterback, finished 12-for-18 for 146 yards and a touchdown against Virginia. Glennon threw 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season.
Running back Brandon Ore sat out the season finale with a sprained left ankle, but is expected to play against Georgia. Ore ranked third in the ACC with 1,137 rushing yards and second in the league with 99.5 per game.
Guard Ryan Shuman, who missed the last four games, also is expected to play.
The Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech 15-12 on Nov. 25 in their regular-season finale. Freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 171 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 1:45 remaining after gaining 302 combined yards throwing and rushing in the victory over Auburn.
Stafford threw just four touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in the first 10 games of the season, but threw no picks and a pair of TDs in the last two.
Richt let quarterback coach Mike Bobo take over play-calling duties against the Yellow Jackets, plans to use the same arrangement against the Hokies.
The Bulldogs ended a streak of four straight 10-win seasons and top-10 finishes this year, but are pleased to be headed to Atlanta.
The Bulldogs also played in Atlanta last season in the Sugar Bowl, which was moved from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, but lost 38-35 to West Virginia.
Virginia Tech beat Louisville 35-24 in last season's Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.
The Hokies and Bulldogs have played just twice before, splitting a pair of meetings in 1931 and 1932.
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