Maybe it was the Irish Coffee, maybe it was the Mimosa, maybe it was the bourbon and coke, the bourbon and ginger ale, the bourbon and diet mountain dew code red, or maybe it was the straight bourbon from a plastic baggy, but we swear we saw people in golden helmets play defense.
Do to lack of 21st century mass communication devices at the Palazzo de Archineering (no DVR and only reg-def cable) we have only one way of verifying this rare sighting; notes other people made of the game, or statistics as some people call them. Sure enough, the stats prove it. Defense was in fact played by the gentlemen in old gold. In fact, this was hands down the best performance of the year for the defense. Stopping UNC's broken down bronze age phalanx of an offense doesn't count. Georgia Tech held the number one scoring offense in the ACC a full nine and a half points below their average. And its not like the Hokies had a bad night. The Jacket defense honestly out played the Hokies. Here are the numbers
This all probably has something to do with the fact that Tech's defensive tackles had their best game of the year. TJ Barnes recorded four assisted tackles. That doesn't sound like a lot, but for a space eating tackle like Barnes to show up four times in the stat column he must have been pretty busy. Logan Walls recorded 2.5 tackles including .5 a tackle for a loss.
Further proof of the tackles effectiveness can be found in the line backers' numbers. Not only did Sedric Griffin, Brad Jefferson, and Steve Sylvester lead the team in tackles, but they actually made plays not just tackles seven yards down field. Griffin and Sylvester recorded sacks, while Jefferson and Sylvester recorded an additional tackle for a loss. When the tackles do their job it frees the linebacker up to make plays.
The tackles did a good job of controlling the center of the line. When VPI quarterback Tyrod Taylor scrambled he had to go sideline to sideline. The linebackers did an exceptional job of keeping Taylor in front of them. Taylor only managed to break out once in the game, for a 22 yard touchdown. Including that run Taylor averaged 4.8 yards per rush. Excluding that one play his average dropped to 3.4 yards per play.
The Jackets also did a good job against Ryan Williams. Sure Williams finished with 105 yards, but 66 of those came on one play. We don't mean to dismiss that play. It did after all happen, but it was hardly indicative of the night Williams had. On his other 13 carries he only ran for 39 yards, or an average of 2.6 yards a carry.
Equally effective was the Tech secondary. Taylor found Dyrell Roberts down the side line for 40 yards early in the game, but for the most part Tech kept VPI's top two receivers, Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin in check. Both only had two catches, and Boykin only had 12 total yards. Maybe Taylor brought his eyes down when he scrambled, but his inability to find a receiver down field while on the run made the linebackers' job easier. All they had to do was keep him in front of them.
In short VPI entered Bobby Dodd only to find something like this.
We know, we know, Yellow Jackets are wasps not bees, but those bees engineered the shit out of that wasp! Work Smarter, Not Harder!