Friday, November 27, 2009

Breakdown,, go ahead & give it to me....

It's finally here.  We've managed to eat our way through two entire turkey dinners, fight off the tryptophan doldrums, & begin to pack for tomorrow's tailgate.  We're ready.  The more important question is: are the Jackets?  For the first time I can ever remember we enter a game with Georgia as prohibitive favorites.  Sure the line is Tech giving 7.5.  But have you heard of anyone picking the Mutts?  I haven't spoken to a single person this week, from either side side of the rivalry, who thinks U(sic)GA has a chance.  The shoe is clearly on the other foot.  But caution, fellow Tech fans, this is a rivalry game, where anything can & generally does happen, even the improbable.  So what can we expect to see tomorrow?  A few thoughts:
  • Injuries.  Tech is the healthiest we've been in a long time.  Our kids are very tough & several have played with various injuries throughout the year.  I'm not talking little nicks & scrapes either.  I'm talking about kids who understand the difference between playing hurt & being injured (everyone is hurt, you can't play injured...) and have fought through pain to play & help the team each week.  These kids haven't made excuses or complained, even when people outside of the program have questioned their play this year.  We're finally back on track health-wise after the bye week.  Center Sean Bedford, who went out in the 2nd half against Duke with an ankle sprain, has practiced all week & will start.  Guard Omoregie Uzzi, who missed Duke with back issues, is also ready to go.  Only back-up LB & special-teamer Malcolm Munroe, who sprained his ankle at Duke, will miss Saturday's contest.  The Dawgs, on the other hand, have two important players listed as questionable: all-world WR A.J. Green & safety Baccari Rambo.  My feeling is that both players will play on Saturday.  St. Richt is known for bullshit "motivational" ploys like this (see blackout, black helmet, or "How I got my ass beat by Bama & Florida" by Richt, M.).  Look at the heroic Dawgs, up from their death bed to play & help the cause?  How will they play?  We'll wait & see.
We're sure Richt will try something along these lines...
  • A couple quick scores.  Step on their throat.  Early.  Georgia is an emotionally fragile team.  Tech is quietly confident (see Nesbitt, Josh...).  If the Jackets can score a couple early touchdowns the Mutts will pack it in & start looking towards next year.  On the other hand, the longer UGA hangs around the more confident they'll become.  We need to end this thing early...
  • Continue the Dawgs turnover woes.  The Mutts are second-to-last in the FBS in turnover margin at -18.  If we can continue this trend we'll be in fine shape.  Morgan Burnett has been injured all year.  Something tells me coming off a bye week & heading into this game that UNO will be a major factor.  
Expect Uno to bait the Ginger Ninja into a couple of interceptions...

So we've outlined the plan to beat the Mutts above.  How will we actually go about it?  A few thoughts:
  • Pound the edge.  Georgia is big at defensive tackle.  Atkins, Owens, Weston, & Jones are all very good players.  Watch for us to exploit the perimeter with speed option & then switch to the midline.  This will confuse & frustrate them.  If we block the perimeter well, this game is ours going away...Expect Allen, Roddy, Peeples & the Smurf to play a big role in this game...
  • Exploit BayBay & Stephen Hill's height advantage.  Thomas & Hill are 6'3" & 6'5", respectively.  Georgia's corners, both fine players, are 5'8" & 5'10".  Big advantage for our boys.  I expect Slick Willie Martinez will pile eight in the box & sell out to stop the run.  When he does this, look for Hill & BayBay to go off....
BayBay's size will be a factor on Saturday...
  • Trickeration.  After the Clemson game & the fake field goal, we've been pretty vanilla on offense.  Effective, mind you, but we've kept it simple.  I expect CPJ will give the Dawgs a few unexpected wrinkles.  What should we expect?  I'm not sure but if I had to guess BayBay might throw a pass on an end-around.  Or maybe a flea flicker....?
  • The sprint draw to the Diesel.  This hasn't failed us all year & I don't think it will on Saturday.  It's Robespierre the Slender's favorite play & with good reason - it's deadly effective. 
Mr. Dwyer will take one to the house on the sprint draw....
  • Make the Ginger Ninja beat us.  Stop the run & make the UGA offense one-dimensional.  Force Cox to throw the ball down field.  We need to limit their running game & force them to pass.  If we do this, Cox will make mistakes & turn the ball over...I can't emphasize this enough: STOP THE RUN!!!
  • Four things that scare me: TE Orson Charles (particularly down the seam), WR tunnel screens, RB screens out of the backfield, & clowns.  Please, please watch out for these...
  • Limit big plays on special teams.  Boykin & Miller are both very good kick returners.  And UGA's kicking duo is the best in the country.  We need to limit mistakes & big plays.  This is the only area of the game that UGA has an advantage.  If we can hold them to a special teams stalemate, we'll win easily...
Saturday's tilt at Bobby Dodd will be more competitive than many think.  Yes, UGA is mired in a bad year.  But it's not like they lost all of their athletes & are suddenly trotting high-schoolers out their.  That team has plenty of ability.  And the desperate dog is always the most dangerous.  The only way for UGA to salvage this season is to beat us & send us crashing down from our mighty perch.  Their players & coaches are keenly aware of this.  So expect a hard fought game on Saturday.  But Tech's offense will prove too much.  Paul Johnson vs. UGA defensive coordinator Willie Martinez is like a killer whale playing with a seal.  Johnson will simply toy with him & dictate the game.  CPJ's ability to adjust faster than Slick Willie (umm, glacial comes to mind...) will give the Dawgs fits on defense.  Expect UGA to put up a fight but the Jackets are just too much & win it going away, 41-24.  And as for the Ginger Ninja:

You can find him spooning with Lion's QB Matt Stafford & contemplating their suckitude....and fellas, nice try putting that girl in there.  Very Tom Cruise-esque.  What a beard....Let your love show...


  1. It occurs to me that a very important part of Tech's mindset needs to be, oddly enough, Patience. Especially in the 1st quarter. Here's what I mean: while I agree with the points about quick scores and trick plays, we must be smart about how and where to attempt these. The character of our team is to read and react, take what they're giving us and not force things that are not there. Tech has ALL of the advantages in this contest - tangible and otherwise, and Bobby Dodd will be ROCKING at 8pm. An early ill-advised play call that backfires will squander all of that. We will roll the pups, but not in the 1st qtr. Let's be Patient, not greedy. We know opportunities will be there and we have all of the tools to exploit them.

    Go Jackets !!
    THWG !

  2. In other words, let's not repeat the Climpsun pattern. I look for a game more like UVa - steady and dominant.

  3. I'm not to worried about Georgia making plays on special teams. Their kickers are good, and if it comes down to a field goal I'd take their guy over ours, but their return teams and coverage teams are very poor.

    One more key. The Ginger Ninja's play has bee erratic, but much of that is due to all the young talent which surrounds him. He'll hit some big plays. Tech's defense needs to recover quickly. In the past they've lost focus after a big play and allowed the offense to get a cheap score (See Vanderbilt). They gotta keep it together and not let one big play become several.

    Conversely, UGA falls apart when they turn the ball over. An early turn over by UGA could be the beginning of the end for the Rough Riders.


  4. Also not worried About Georgia's Tackles. Tech has played several teams with much better defensive lines, Clemson, UNC, Virginia Tech, and Miami. Virginia has a better Tackle.

    Atkins is good player, but Tech's seen better. Don't sleep on him, but don't over fret either.


  5. Another Note.

    On the Year Tech's defense has played 653 Snaps, Georgia's has played
    712 snaps, a difference of 59 snaps. Do some quick math and you'll see that's like UGA playing an extra game this year.

  6. Georgia fans also don't feel good about their LB's in pass coverage. Peebles and Allen could catch a pass or two.

  7. Way off subject here, but I just heard the Boise St. band play the Budweiser song on the late Friday night game. I'm really hoping now that we get to play them at some point in the future and let them know what it means to GT Football.