Daily Archives: November 23, 2012

“But do you think any fans are as excited after the coach has been there for a while?”

This is a sad statement:

The school also could not sell out its allotment of 8,000 tickets for Saturday’s game. Tech, in fact, returned more tickets (1,900) than Georgia Southern (1,400).

On the plus side, think how many ACCCG tickets those fans can buy with the savings.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Why do computers like Georgia’s chances tomorrow more than Vegas?

It’s pretty consistent.

Here’s Vegas’ case, per Matt Melton:

… Under Johnson, the Jackets are 9-5 ATS as a road underdog and 2-1 as a double-digit road underdog. They have also covered in both games under Johnson at Georgia, winning outright as a touchdown underdog in 2008, and losing by eight as a two-touchdown underdog in 2010. Meanwhile, Georgia is just 2-3 ATS as a double-digit home favorite this season and just 7-6 in such a role since 2009.

But like I’ve said, most of the statistical models I’ve seen like Georgia’s chances to cover.  Even Phil Steele’s computer does.  Allow Chase Stuart to explain:

Georgia Tech saved its worst games of the year for nonconference play. While Georgia Tech embarrassed UNC (68 points scored), Virginia (36 point win) and Maryland (33-13 on the road), the Yellow Jackets’ worst two games of the season were inexplicable 21- and 24-point losses to BYU and Middle Tennessee State. BYU scored 6 points against Boise State, 6 points against Utah State, and 14 points against San Jose State, but exploded for 41 points in Atlanta. MTSU lost by 42 to Mississippi State and lost to McNeese State – an FCS school – but somehow won on the road against the Yellow Jackets 49-28. And Georgia Tech is going to be your Coastal Division champs.

ACC!  ACC!  ACC!  Skip the exclamation points, the conference has been flat-out awful this year.

  • Overall, the ACC is currently 14-17 in non-conference games against other FBS schools. This is the most impressive stat you will read about the ACC today.
  • Against Conference USA, the MAC, the Sun Belt, and the WAC, the ACC is 7-2. Against miserable Army — the 114th team in the SRS — the conference is 1-1. That means against the other BCS schools (the SEC, B10, B12, P12, Big East, Notre Dame, and BYU), the conference went a pitiful 6-14.
  • This is not a joke: Ball State is the second best team an ACC school has beaten this year. Virginia’s upset over Penn State — a one-point home win when the Nittany Lions missed an extra point and four field goals — is the conference’s best win of the year. After PSU and Ball State, at least according to the SRS, the best teams defeated by ACC schools were Auburn, South Florida (twice), Bowling Green, East Carolina, Temple, and Connecticut.
  • To put a bow on it, the ACC lost to the best six teams it faced out of conference, and according to the SRS, to 13 of the 14 schools they faced that have SRS ratings over 40.

So keep that in mind as you ponder Tech’s 62nd national ranking in total defense and 79th ranking in scoring defense.  (Tech is middle of the pack in both categories in the conference, by the way.)

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Stats Geek!

Hate Week: it’s not a phrase; it’s a state of mind.

To all the folks at The Hive and StingTalk who continue to think that somehow Georgia is looking past tomorrow to the SECCG – skip the obvious rebuttals that Richt’s never let one of his teams do that or that with a national title game in play, tomorrow is just as important to Georgia’s chances as the next game – does this sound like a team taking the Jackets for granted?

“The bragging rights up there come out with the report cards or during job interviews at Goldman Sachs or State Street or wherever,” Lynch said. “No one down here is worried about med school applications right now. We’re all worried about who’s going to win this game.

“This is all about bragging rights and all about who is the better team, no matter what the records show.”

“I don’t know how you could overlook Georgia Tech,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “When you get out on the field, there is going to be a lot of trash-talking. This game means so much to this team, to the university and everyone in Georgia. I woke up pumped on Monday.”

That’s from the out-of-state guys.  What’s a Georgia boy got to say about the game?

When asked if he would pull for Florida or Auburn over Tech, sophomore linebacker and Atlanta-area resident Amarlo Herrera said, “Yes. Any day.”

GATA.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Old man football, one-gap style

One of the most impressive defensive displays this season wasn’t on view in a SEC game.  It came in last Saturday’s upset by Stanford over the most feared offense in college football.  And if you read Chris Brown’s analysis of what the Cardinal defense did there, it reads as something of a template for what Georgia needs to do against Tech tomorrow.

Speaking of Stanford, here’s what Chris described:

On defense, they use a “one-gapping,” attacking 3-4 system — the same system brought to Stanford by current San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio just a few years ago.

Fangio is a disciple of current Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, and the system the Cardinal runs is really an adaptation of what the Steelers, Packers, and other “one-gap” 3-4 teams do. (To oversimplify, “one gap” means each defensive player is responsible for a gap between offensive players, while a “two-gap” system — which is more common for 3-4 defenses — requires defensive linemen to attack blockers instead of gaps and control gaps to either side while the linebackers are free to roam.)

In this scheme, Stanford’s defense has been great all year, but Oregon’s speed and system present a unique challenge. If you beat Oregon at all, you beat them up front, and Stanford’s defensive linemen and linebackers are the strength of its defense. But head coach David Shaw and defensive coordinator Derek Mason also had some wrinkles up their sleeves, specifically old-school principles that defenses have used for decades to stop option teams. Oregon is not a true “triple option” team, but their fast-break style of offense forces defenses, just like those option teams do, to account for every offensive player. This made Stanford’s impressive performance remind me of some old quotes from Iowa’s great (former) defensive coordinator Norm Parker when his team faced a true triple-option team, Georgia Tech, in the 2010 Orange Bowl. In that game, which Iowa won 24-14, Parker’s defense held the Yellow Jackets to 155 yards of offense — just under 300 yards less than their season average — and one touchdown.

Like Stanford, Grantham employs a one-gap, 3-4 scheme as his base defense.

So what happened against Oregon that caught Chris’ eye?  One thing in particular ought to sound familiar to us.

The Cardinal also did an excellent job of moving their three defensive linemen and linebackers around. Despite being a so-called “3-4″ team, Stanford played most of the game in what was essentially a four-man front, albeit with a stand-up hybrid linebacker/defensive end. Ultimately, Stanford didn’t blitz or do anything overly aggressive. Instead, they relied on Parker’s most fundamental edict about stopping an option team: “The secret to the whole thing is that you have to get off blocks and run to the ball.”

It ain’t rocket science.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, either.  That being said, if Georgia plays the triple-option as fundamentally soundly tomorrow as they did in the third quarter against Georgia Southern, it’ll be a long day for Tech’s offense.  If not

Georgia’s defense can find room to improve, linebacker Christian Robinson said. Georgia Southern drove the ball inside the Bulldogs’ 35-yard line on its first four possessions in the game.

“We didn’t get off the field,” Robinson said. “We got lucky down there in the red zone going into half. They got that (chop-block) penalty that kind of shot themselves in the foot, but I think what we have to work on is tackling. We missed a lot of tackles, I missed a lot of tackles. We have to work on holding the gap.”

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics