ATHENS, GA (WTOC) - Georgia students and fans alike hope the Dawgs get some redemption this weekend with a victory over Auburn in the SEC Championship.
After several seasons of winning eight or nine games, the Bulldogs are right back in elite company, playing for a chance at a playoff spot.
Students know what's on the line, but they're confident in Georgia's ability to get the W in the second matchup against the Tigers. With or without a ticket, most students we spoke to are planning on going to the game. For the seniors, this year represents a redemption from the mediocrity in previous years. For underclassmen, it represents hope in the direction of the program. With the ticket allotments and the number of students, only seniors qualified for tickets with credit hours. No one we spoke to let that stop them from finding a ticket.
"So, I have three older sisters and they all went here, so as soon as we clinched, I text the group chat of the family and said, 'I'm down to skip Christmas and just go to the game. My sisters were in too, so we're all going," said Jones Lindner.
"In the end, people can buy them for other people. We're just going to watch it here in Athens, so it'll be a big time either way," said Paige Kent, "I've been here for four years and it's always been kind of a disappointment. This year has been just huge clinching in the SEC East and then getting a rematch with Auburn, so I'm overall really excited."
"We're all really excited about standing behind them, supporting them, going to all the games. It's definitely a different energy than my previous three years I've been here, so I'm excited," said Courtney Howley.
When we asked students about their game predictions, here's what they had to say.
"Dawgs by 90. Absolutely," Kent said.
"I think we're going to win between 6-13 points. I don't think it'll be a landslide but I think we'll make some adjustments in the trenches and pull one out," said Hayden Chapman.
"I think it'll probably be 28-24, Dawgs," said Jim McCarthy.
"I think it'll be 35-28, Dawgs," said Adam Tuggle. "This year is so much more fun around campus. Everybody is just always up and excited about the Dawgs."
Perhaps it's because you're so close to the SEC's best home game environment, or maybe it's because even the bus message reminds you there's a game to win this weekend. Either way, the buzz is back in Bulldog Nation.
"We haven't been in the SEC Championship game in a while so I think we're definitely due for a good one, and the whole revenge factor and rematch against Auburn, I think it'll be a great Saturday for the Dawgs," said Zach Hamilton. "It's just a big rebound I'd say. Last year was kind of disappointing. Thought it'd be better, but this year has exceeded expectations, so it's been crazy."
Students plan to head out of town Friday. Most don't have tickets because of the small allotment to students.
"That's alright. I'll be there tailgating outside the stadium. All my friends are going. It'll be just as exciting watching it at the bars. I know it'll be crazy," Howley said. "I'm very excited, especially because it's my senior year. It's nice we're finally doing great and I'm excited to be there."
Athens may very well be a ghost town come Friday. The message we've been hearing is 'buckle up and enjoy the ride.'