Style points don’t matter for Georgia anymore, and that’s just alright for the Dawgs.

The No. 1 team in the country was anything but perfect early in the annual showdown with in-state rival Georgia Tech.

The passing game was flat.

The defense had a few more holes in it than usual.

A handful of bad penalties held the Bulldogs back, and some close plays going the wrong way kept the door open into the 2nd half of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.

At the end of the day, though, Georgia was Georgia and left Sanford Stadium with a convincing 37-14 win over the Jackets on Saturday afternoon to complete its 2nd consecutive undefeated regular season. The Dawgs (12-0) have now won 27 straight in the regular season dating to the 2020 season, the longest streak in the nation. They have defeated Georgia Tech (5-7) in each of their past 5 meetings.

With the win, Georgia has essentially cemented its place in the College Football Playoff for the 2nd straight year, where it will try to defend its 2021 national championship victory. But 1st, the Dawgs turn their attention to LSU in the SEC Championship Game next Saturday, where they will try to win their 1st conference crown since 2017.

The looming top-10 matchups in front of Georgia may or may not have contributed to the sleepy performance the Dawgs put forth on Saturday in Athens. It was clear from the start they were less effective than usual.

The Jackets got the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 11 plays for a game-opening touchdown to put the visitors up 7-0. It was the 1st opening-drive touchdown Georgia had allowed since 2016. Using a mix of passes from quarterback Zach Gibson, including a 34-yarder to Nate McCollum that set Georgia Tech up at the Dawgs’ 7, and an effective running game, the Jackets were able to strike first.

Georgia trailed until the 7:59 mark in the 1st quarter, when a 5-yard touchdown pass from Stetson Bennett to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint gave the team a 10-7 lead. The Dawgs would never trail again the rest of the way.

They led 10-7 at the half and extended the advantage to 6 points with kicker Jack Podlesny’s 2nd field goal of the game early in the 3rd quarter. That field goal came on the heels of a near 33-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Arian Smith. Bennett placed the ball perfectly in the back corner of the end zone, and Smith appeared to haul the ball in. It was ruled he didn’t have possession before falling out of bounds, however, and the ruling stood on review.

Georgia was able to put the game nearly out of reach in a 2-minute stretch in the 3rd quarter, during which Georgia Tech fumbled a snap on a punt attempt to give Georgia possession at the Jackets’ 17-yard line. The Dawgs ended that drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Brock Bowers.

Shortly thereafter, Georgia Tech fumbled on the opening play of its ensuing drive. The Dawgs settled for a field goal on the extra possession to give them a 23-7 lead late in the third.

A 5-play, 99-yard drive put the game on ice at the start of the 4th quarter. Bennett hit his longest pass of the day, an 83-yarder to running back Kenny McIntosh that nearly went the distance if not for a last-second horse collar tackle to save a score. McIntosh finished the job on the next play to make it 30-7. Running back Kendall Milton also added a 44-yard touchdown in the game.

After allowing 75 yards to Georgia Tech on the opening drive of the game, the Georgia defense held the Jackets to just 180 the rest of the way.

Georgia’s attention now turns to LSU in next Saturday’s conference championship game. The Tigers have won the past 2 meetings between the teams, once in the 2018 regular season and again in the 2019 SEC Championship Game. Both games came with all-world quarterback Joe Burrow under center for LSU.

The Tigers are on the edge of the CFP rankings at No. 5 and are vying to be the first 2-loss team to make college football’s final four. A win over Georgia would likely be enough to do the job.