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Bulldogs get Hokies in Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Bowl

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    ATLANTA — Georgia will go bowling in Atlanta for the second year in a row, only this time it’s the Chick-fil-A instead of the Sugar.
    On Sunday, the Bulldogs were formally invited to the bowl formerly known as the Peach to face No. 14 Virginia Tech (10-2). The game will be held Dec. 30 at the Georgia Dome.
    Georgia (8-4) enhanced its credentials by beating a pair of ranked teams, Auburn and Georgia Tech, in its last two regular-season games. The Bulldogs’ strong finish came after four losses in five games.
    ‘‘Midway through the season, I didn’t even think we would get a bowl,’’ Georgia safety Tra Battle said. ‘‘Now, to get invited to a bowl such as this, I’m excited to the point of elation. I’m so proud of our team.’’
    Georgia played a year ago in the Sugar Bowl, which was moved to Atlanta after New Orleans was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The Bulldogs came in as Southeastern Conference champions but lost to West Virginia 38-35.
    Virginia Tech missed out on a shot at the Atlantic Coast Conference title with back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Boston College. But the Hokies finished even stronger than Georgia, winning their final six games while allowing a total of only 23 points.
    In fact, they led the nation in both scoring defense (9.3 points per game, including four shutouts) and total defense (221 yards per game).
    Coach Frank Beamer isn’t too worried about playing the Bulldogs in their home state, only 75 miles from their Athens campus. Both teams were allotted 18,500 tickets in the 72,000-seat Georgia Dome.
    ‘‘We’re so excited to be coming to Atlanta to play in a great bowl game,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll bring a lot of folks with us, a lot of excited folks.’’
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