Kirby Smart considers the Georgia Tech game an important rivalry for the Bulldogs, and he has plenty of history with the game better known as Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.

At his Monday press conference, Smart was asked about it multiple times and offered his perspective.

“Certainly it is, it’s what this program’s biggest rivalry was many, many years ago when they were in the SEC,” Smart said. “Our kids don’t know that history. They don’t know the history of this rivalry, what goes into it. It was a really big rivalry over Paul’s (Johnson) years here because of the triple option and playing something different. The physicality of the game. I think educating our players on that so they understand it. Because it means a lot to our players in terms of what they want to achieve, and they’ve got to win this game in order to achieve those things. So making sure they understand that and teaching the history of that is important. Because it’ll mean something to the Georgia Tech players and the Georgia players 20, 30 years from now.”

Smart was also asked if the rivalry has shifted since he’s been the head coach.

“No, it’s still a big rivalry,” Smart said. “It may have shifted from the dynamic of what their offense was because it went from one extreme to the other in terms of that.”

Smart said Georgia Tech interim coach Brent Key played for the Yellow Jackets when Smart played at Georgia.

“Known Brent for a long time,” Smart said. “Have a lot of respect for him as a coach. He was the O-line coach at Alabama one of the years we played them and he did a good job. His offensive lines are always physical, get after it, have a lot of familiarity with their staff with ours, Chip Long, (Jim) Chaney and all the guys that have been over there.”