On the final week of the regular season this year, Georgia Tech beat Georgia 28-27 in Athens. The win for Tech was big — it marked the first time that the Yellow Jackets won consecutive times in Athens since the 1998 and 2000 seasons. Afterward, Tech celebrated by tearing up the historic hedges that surround the field at Sanford Stadium.
Fast forward a few weeks later, and it’s time for Bulldog running back Nick Chubb to make a decision about the NFL, given that he’s a draft-eligible junior. On Thursday, Chubb said he’d made his decision to return to UGA for his senior season after watching Tech players destroy the hedges.
Nick Chubb tells media he decided he was coming back as Georgia Tech players tore up the hedges.— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) December 15, 2016
God bless you, Nick. God bless you.#COFH
Nick Chubb said he decided to come back when he saw Ga. Tech tearing up the hedges and planting its flag on the G after their win at Sanford pic.twitter.com/dcacadL9ci— Anthony Dasher (@AnthonyDasher1) December 15, 2016
Now, Georgia Tech tearing up Georgia’s hedges isn’t a new tradition, despite it seeming that way given how much attention it got this season. Georgia Tech players did it when they won in Athens back in 2014, and the tradition actually goes back 32 years. According to Georgia Tech football, Tech quarterback John Dewberry is credited with starting the tradition of taking some of the hedges after a 35-18 upset win over Georgia in Athens during the 1984 season.
And Georgia hasn’t avoided retaliation in recent years, mind you. After GT players took some of the hedges in 2014, Georgia players exacted some revenge in 2015 after beating the Yellow Jackets 13-7 in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Bulldogs planted a UGA flag in the middle of the field, and tore up some of the field’s turf after the win.
Even aside from returning to beat Georgia Tech in 2017, Chubb deciding to stick around in college for another year doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world — especially when this year’s NFL Draft class features the likes of FSU’s Dalvin Cook, LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, and D’Onta Foreman out of Texas.
Georgia plays Tech next year in Atlanta, so if the Bulldogs can get a win, we’ll see if they give the Yellow Jackets some good ole-fashioned payback.