Category Archives: Georgia Tech Football

ACC need, baby.

If your team’s nothing special, pump your conference.

Johnson was asked, as he often is before the game, on the standing of the ACC vs. the SEC. In 2014, the ACC was 5-3 against the SEC. The SEC won in 2015, 6-4. Thus far, the ACC leads 3-2.

“We’re probably the only team that’s an underdog this year,” Johnson said of the SEC-ACC matchups this weekend. “I saw where I think Clemson and Louisville are probably three-touchdown favorites. Florida State’s probably a little less than that and we are what we are. I think it’s just an example that the ACC doesn’t have to take a backseat in football to anybody.”

If Tech loses and the other three win today, I guess Johnson can spend time at his presser bragging about the ACC’s great day.

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Some thoughts on Georgia-Georgia Tech

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I woke up today feeling strangely optimistic about the game.  And, after all the ups and downs of the 2016 season, it does feel strange to feel that way going into a game, especially a rivalry game.

I do see a few keys to the Dawgs preventing the Jackets from assaulting the hedges.

  • Make Tech grind.  Groo discusses that point in this post.  Johnson’s offense is 20th nationally in yards per play because it hits on big plays.  That’s been one of the drivers to Tech’s late season run of success.  Georgia can’t give up big plays on the perimeter and the secondary has to be aware of Justin Thomas’ threat as a big play passer.  Easier said than done, I know.
  • Turnover margin.  Georgia Tech has won four of its last five games, going +5 in turnover margin during that stretch.  The one loss came against Miami, when Tech was minus-2 in TO margin.  Perhaps more significantly, the Jackets are +6 in their last two games and probably wouldn’t have won either without that.  Georgia needs to work that stat in its favor.
  • Don’t give up on the run.  Ted Roof’s never seen a run blitz he didn’t like, and I fully expect him to live up to that mantra today.  Even if that generates early success, Chaney shouldn’t take that as a sign to abandon the ground game.  The funny thing about Tech’s defense is that it hasn’t been that awful against the pass, despite not having much of a pass rush.  A look at the pass defense game log shows that they haven’t allowed a passer rating over 150 but three times and haven’t allowed more than two passing touchdowns in any game all season.  Meanwhile, you can see that the Jackets’ rushing defense has slowly worn down over the course of the season and in November is giving up almost 200 yards on the ground per game, along with almost three rushing touchdowns a game.  If that smells to you like making sure Nick Chubb gets plenty of opportunities to pound the shit out of Tech’s defense, you’re not alone.
  • Keep special teams even.  A couple of months ago, this would have seemed like a pipe dream, but now, not so much.  Blankenship has emerged as a competent place kicker.  Coverage teams have improved and over the past two games, it appears that blocking on returns has, too.  (No coincidence that McKenzie and Davis turned in their best returns of the season in those two games.)  The Dawgs would still appear to be at a disadvantage in the net punting department, but if they can at least play Tech to a draw elsewhere, I’ll take it.

In the end, my reason for optimism lies in large part with Kirby Smart, who, I think wants this game and has given every indication that he’s prepared the team for that.  It hasn’t been a great year in many ways, but a solid finish against Georgia Tech lets the season ends on an upward projection and gives Smart a good place from which to grow the program.  Plus, there’s no reason to think he feels any differently about Tech than we do.  That should be enough to do the trick.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Take any edge you can get.

Remember all those years in the Cocktail Party series when Florida scheduled a bye the week before and Georgia didn’t.  I don’t know if this is on the same level, but still…

I assume that adds up to extra time to get ready for the triple option.  We’ll see tomorrow how much that paid off.

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I feel your pain, dog.

Yeah, the 2014 game blew chunks.  Although it’s funny nobody can summon up bitter tears specifically over the effing decision to squib kick.

If it were up to me, I’d make ’em all watch the last thirty seconds of regulation until they were in the mood to punch a few walls.  Which, when you think about it, shouldn’t take too many viewings.

Argh.

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Get ‘yer Hate Week on, Day 4

Remember, if Stingtalk didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.

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Quotes that make you go, “gulp”.

Yeah, not a lot of comfort when one of your defensive starters comes out with a blanket statement like this:

Deandre Baker was asked when the last time he has gone against an offense similar to Georgia Tech’s.

Surely he faced an option-oriented offense back in high school, right?

“I’ve never faced a triple-option,” Baker said.

Troubling, sure, but he’s a defensive back, so you have to be as worried about not giving up on the deep pass on the rare attempts when Tech’s offense strikes that way as you do in run support.  Maybe more so, considering how the Jackets nailed a few big plays to beat Virginia last week.

Pass defense is not the concern with Georgia’s defensive line, where there are plenty of true freshmen getting ready to face a steady stream of cut blocks while doing their best to jam the line of scrimmage.

Freshmen defensive lineman Julian Rochester, David Marshall and Tyler Clark will play the Yellow Jackets for the first time as will sophomore Jonathan Ledbetter.

“I do think that it’s tougher when you’ve got guys who have not played against this type of offense,” Smart said. “We’ve got several defenders who have not played against this type of offense.”

Even outside linebackers Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, Smart said, played in a more limited role last year behind Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd.

“It’s key when you have got guys that have played this before that understand how fast it really comes; where our freshmen probably won’t know that unless we’re able to simulate it,” Smart said.

Good luck with that this week, Coach.

Meanwhile, Paul Johnson brings out the cute.

Opponents that go up against Johnson’s offense often have the mantra that it’s “assignment football,” something Johnson says he gets a kick out of hearing.

“I don’t know any team that you play that it’s not assignment football,” he said. “We’ll see. They’re talented. What we do is a little bit different. I know we’re stressing out on how to try to block them.”

Who knew cut block prep was stressful?

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Get ‘yer Hate Week on, Day 3, you were always on my mind edition

I admit it.  I was being a little facetious yesterday when I questioned whether Kirby had the right mindset going into the Tech game.  There’s no reason to think he’s any more ignorant of what the series history has meant to his predecessors than Mark Richt was, who, after all, had no contact with Georgia before Dooley hired him.

If you’re looking for clues about how seriously Smart is taking the rivalry game, start with bringing VanGorder in as a consultant primarily for preparation for the triple option.  That’s hardly the first clue, though.  This is:

Smart said the biggest obstacle in playing Georgia Tech is the preparation. Because of the rarity of the triple-option offense, this will be Georgia’s first time defending it in 2016. Georgia has dedicated time in the offseason and during the bye week for this game, as the coaches understand how unusual the matchup will be.  [Emphasis added.]

Maybe that explains Florida.  Okay, I keed, I keed.  A little, anyway.

What that does tell us is that Smart’s been locked in on Tech from the get go.  Maybe, then, hate isn’t so much passion gone amuck as it is a coldblooded determination to drive those guys into the dirt.  Works for me.

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