ATHENS - Chris Conley doesn't think clean old-fashioned hate goes far enough to explain how Georgia feels about Georgia Tech.
"It's blood lust," Conley, the Georgia senior receiver said.
Fair enough, but here's the thing: No Georgia player, Conley included, has ever lost to the Yellow Jackets. The Bulldogs have won 12 out of the past 13 against their in-state rival.
What's more, the two teams are in different conferences. There aren't a tremendous amount of head-to-head recruiting battles.
So how exactly does this blood lust develop? Georgia's coaches instill the hate, according to players.
"There's a quote-unquote indoctrination of the young player to make sure they know what this game means, and the weight and gravity that the score at the end of it holds," Conley said. "Obviously the older guys know because they've played in it before. So it doesn't lack any of that on our end."
Conley was then asked what is said, other than Georgia Tech is in the same state, to make that hate tangible? He first pointed to many players knowing each and playing with and against each other in high school. There are words said behind the scenes by players that get around, Conley said.
But fans contribute to it as well, Conley added, with social media or online posts that find their way to players. Conley didn't specify one of those posts, but appeared to describe something he had seen.
"When someone takes a picture of one of your teammates who just got hurt, makes a meme out of it making fun of him, when that guy has never done anything to you, that hurts," Conley said. "That's something that stings. Just things like that, that are natural in this rivalry, make it nasty."
Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason has another theory on why his team hasn't overlooked the Yellow Jackets: Their triple-option offense.
"A lot has to do with that offense that they run, it's so hard to stop," Mason said. "They've got good players on defense. I can't pinpoint exactly why we've won 12 (out of 13). But you have to be careful and practice hard. Basically what I'm trying to say is you can't feel like people are gonna roll the red carpet out."
Head coach Mark Richt said he didn't know why he'd had so much success against Georgia Tech, but pointed out that some of the wins have been very close. Last year's game went to overtime.
"When you've got the right mental edge you've got a chance," Richt said. "It's a game you think about all year long."