ATLANTA – Georgia still rules its own state.

D.J. Shockley threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryan McClendon with 3:18 remaining and Tim Jennings clinched the victory with an interception at the goal line, giving the 13th-ranked Bulldogs a 14-7 victory over No. 20 Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

Georgia (9-2) defeated its state rival for the fifth year in a row.

Both teams scored in the first quarter, then slogged it out much of the night in a field-position battle. Finally, Georgia Tech (7-4) cracked.

Thomas Flowers, who had two big punt returns in the second half, broke off a 33-yarder that gave the Bulldogs possession on the Georgia Tech 39. Shockley converted a key third down with an 8-yard pass to Mario Raley, then went all the way to the end zone.

On second-and-5 from the 19, Shockley laid the ball out perfectly for McClendon, who hauled in the pass despite tight coverage by Dennis Davis.

Georgia Tech quickly moved into position to force overtime. Reggie Ball threw a 16-yard pass to George Cooper and ran for 30 yards into Georgia territory. The Yellow Jackets caught a huge break when Ball threw into quadruple-coverage, but drew a pass interference penalty when Greg Blue clothes-lined star receiver Calvin Johnson a split-second before the ball arrived.

With first down at the Georgia 11, Ball went for the tying score but telegraphed his pass for Darius Bilbo. Jennings read it all the way, making the game-winning interception right in front of the end zone with 1:11 to go.

Georgia will return to Atlanta next Saturday to face LSU in the Southeastern Conference title game, trying to earn a third straight trip to the state capital. The SEC champion will play in the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl, being held at the Georgia Dome this year while New Orleans recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

AP-ES-11-26-05 2350EST

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