“That wasn’t the total plan coming in,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “We were going to try to be balanced. But I just felt like after the first series, even though we gave up a couple of pressures, I felt like we could get open in their secondary. We just kind of opened it up from there.”
Every Georgia Tech game marks an anniversary of sorts. I started GTP after the 2006 win over the Jackets. Every win has been enjoyable, but there’s something more deeply satisfying about today’s.
For one thing, it caps a remarkable year. After an 0-2 start, this team beat every longstanding rival on the schedule, something it hadn’t done in 30 years, and in the process, nullified the loss to South Carolina. Georgia is going to the SECCG to face the most formidable team in the country. I don’t argue that the Dawgs will likely open as a substantial underdog, but I’m not writing them off, either.
And that’s because Mark Richt and his coaching staff have come full circle. In some ways, that’s even more remarkable than the 10-2 record. The odds on a major program recovering from a sustained slump under the same head coach are fairly long. But Richt has done just that. Georgia dominated its in state rival in a way it hadn’t done in several years and it did so in large part by outcoaching the Yellow Jackets staff.
The quote from Bobo above is indicative of how far they’ve come. Last year’s game wound up being a nail biter partly because he couldn’t keep his foot on the gas. That wasn’t a problem this go ’round – all the more remarkable because he didn’t have a full deck to play with.
And Grantham continues to prove that he’s as good making halftime adjustments as any Georgia defensive coordinator in memory. Against a triple option that gained almost 200 yards in the first half, Georgia came out in the second half and did this with Tech on its first four possessions: three plays, interception; four plays, punt; one play, interception; 13 plays, turnover on downs.
I can’t say I know exactly what sort of progress Greg McGarity was looking for going into this season. From my selfish standpoint, I was looking for a team that was prepared to compete for a full sixty minutes. I was also looking for a team that was prepared. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but I can’t argue with where this team finds itself tonight. And so I find myself ready to believe again. And, boy, is that a good feeling to rediscover.