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Jackets can't afford to dwell on loss to UGA for long
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    ATLANTA — Georgia Tech’s post-Georgia routine is much different this season.
    For the last five years, this was the pattern for the Yellow Jackets at the end of the regular season: Lose to Georgia. Stew over loss to Georgia. Have the loss stay with the team a bit longer. Finally, mercifully, bowl practice then begins.
    This year, only the first part of the routine is the same. Georgia beat Georgia Tech 15-12 last Saturday for the Bulldogs’ sixth straight win in the rivalry.
    But with Monday’s start to a new school week came a refreshing change for Gardner and coach Chan Gailey’s No. 23 Yellow Jackets. This week the players don’t have to keep thinking about another loss to Georgia because the team has to quickly refocus for next Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against No. 16 Wake Forest in Jacksonville.
    There’s not much time to switch gears from regular season to postseason, but the quick change is good for the team, according to offensive tackle Andrew Gardner.
    ‘‘I think it’s good for the team and it helps us refocus,’’ Gardner said. ‘‘In some years past we lost to Georgia and then had a long layoff and then the bowl game.
    ‘‘As much as we don’t want to lose to Georgia and as much as that hurts, you can’t let that get you down. To help us refocus and achieve one of the goals of the team will help us feel good going into the bowl season.’’
    Tech (9-3 overall) won the ACC’s Coastal Division with a 7-1 mark. Wake Forest (10-2) won the Atlantic Division at 6-2.
    Tech has not played Wake Forest since 2004, so Gardner said he knows little about the Demon Deacons.
    ‘‘From what I’ve seen them play, from the little bit of film, they seem to be a well-coached team,’’ Gardner said. ‘‘They don’t make a lot of mistakes. They’re real disciplined. They play real hard.’’
    Gardner, from Sandy Creek High School near Atlanta, knew more about the Wake Forest program when he was recruited by coach Jim Grobe.
    ‘‘It’s a great place, great academics, a great atmosphere, just a real nice place,’’ Gardner said. ‘‘Coach Grobe reminds me of Coach Gailey in a way. That’s just the kind of program and kind of people you like to be around.’’
    Gardner’s blocking helped Tech finish second in the ACC with its average of 164 yards rushing per game. Tech’s Tashard Choice led the league with his average of 100.3 yards rushing per game — 1,204 yards in 12 games.
    ‘‘I’m going to make them all chicken pot pies, every single one of them,’’ Choice said Monday, revealing his personal reward to his offensive linemen.
    Choice said the Tech players have had to move past the loss to Georgia by remembering goals set in the summer to win the ACC championship and advance to the Orange Bowl.
    ‘‘The whole team understands we lost that game and it hurts, but now we have to focus on our goal we set in the summer, to win the ACC championship,’’ Choice said. ‘‘Now it’s in front of us.’’
    Choice said the players can make a positive of the loss to Georgia.
    ‘‘Everybody hurts and that feeling will be on us this week to drive us,’’ he said. ‘‘We don’t want to feel like that again.’’
    Choice said the quick shift of focus to Wake Forest ‘‘is not easy.’’
    ‘‘It’s going to have to be done for the fact that it’s everything we work for,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a different type ballgame than a rivalry game. It’s a game you can get a ring for.’’