Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ACC Thumb Nails; Top of The Pops



Last year's fast start and subsequent late season slump showed simultaneously how far Miami had risen from the Larry Coker induced purgatory and how far it still has left to go before it reaches the heights at which the 'Canes usually live. In 2010, Miami has the most complete roster returning in the ACC Coastal division, but this is a roster that has to transfer en mass from potential to production.

Miami has two units undergoing large amounts of change. Miami must find running backs to replace Graig Cooper, who is recovering from a knee injury, and Jarvis James, who graduated. The ‘Canes have plenty of young and talented running backs, but converted defensive back Damien Berry is the likely answer. Berry rushed for 616 yards and 8 touchdowns last year, doing most of his damage late in the year while behind the above mentioned Cooper. Their other problem spot is the offensive line. Harris took a beating last year, and this year's unit doesn’t appear to be much better. The starters are the starters more because no one has stepped up to challenge them rather than distinguishing themselves with great play.

Meta Narrative:

You were a star; a big fucking star, then nothing. Your desire to return to stardom is slowly driving you crazy. You’ve turned into a parody of yourself, doing cat litter ads with impersonators impersonating you. Then a strange thing happens. Your self parody catches on and you become an underground hit among ironic hipsters. And then an even stranger thing happens. Your ironic celebrity morphs into real celebrity and you find yourself starring in a hit new sitcom about a washed up star.

Players to Watch

Jacory Harris-Quarterback-#12-Junior

2009 Davey O’Brien Semifinalist

Returning Conference Leader in Passing Yards

24 TD to 17 INT in 2009

Harris is a good leader, but his high interception total is indicative of how this team failed to cope with success last year. Harris’ early success last year led to over confidence and a tendency to force passes. In his favor is the fact that quarterbacks seem to make their biggest improvement between their sophomore and junior years (See Nesbitt, Joshua; Taylor, Tyrod; and Ponder, Christian)

Leonard Hankerson-Wide Receiver-#85-Senior

Lead a talented and deep receiving corps in receptions and yards receiving

Travis Benjamin-Wide Receiver-#3-Junior

Third in receptions on team, second in yards receiving

Averaged 17.4 yards per reception

Allen Bailey-Defensive End-#57-Senior

2009 First Team All ACC

2010 Preseason First Team All ACC

Lead team in Sacks

Plays Defensive Tackle as well as End

Brandon Harris-Corner Back-#1-Junior

2009 First Team All ACC

2009 Third Team All American

Tied for second Nationally for passes broken up

Third on team in tackles

Matt Bosher-Place Kicker/Punter-#25-Senior

2009 First Team All ACC PK

2009 Second Team All ACC

Spirit Guide

Georgia Tech


Is the 3-4 a good fit for Tech’s personnel?

Outside of having a huge D-Tackle, the answer is yes. Tech’s undersized tackles, such as Jason Peters, make ideal 3-4 ends, and Tech’s undersized ends, like Anthony Egbuniwe and Anthony Barnes, are big enough and athletic enough to play outside linebacker. Some of Tech’s tough but less athletic linebackers, such as Brad Jefferson, should excel in the middle of the linebacker corps.

The offense will be fine. Remember, the Jackets won nine games in Johnson’s first year. Tech only had 1,290 yards passing that year. That number includes the anomaly that was the 230 yard Jaybo Shaw to BeyBey Thomas connection against Duke. Maybe the passing production takes a step back this year, but the rest of the offense has been growing. The offensive line is more talented and deeper than its been in Paul Johnsons time at Tech. Behind them is a senior quarterback that completely understands the offense, and behind him is a bevy of talented running backs.

Meta Narrative:

No body understands you, and that’s fine. It doesn’t bother you. Why do you care what some dip shit, no nothing, jackass reporter thinks? You crap excellence. You’re fucking Picasso. When you dine out you don’t pay for meals. Instead you doodle offensive plays on the check with a note “You’re welcome, Coach Paul Johnson”.

Players to Watch

Joshua Nesbitt-QB-#9-Senior

First team all ACC 2009

Low passing percentage, but doesn’t throw many interceptions

Rushed for 1,037 yards in fourteen games

Sean Bedford-C-#79-Senior

First Team All ACC 2009

2010 Preseason First team All ACC

Outland Trophy Preseason watch list

Remington Trophy Preseason watch list

Bedford plays the most important position in this offense. It was his effort in the spring game that made it possible for the offense to dominate the defense to the degree it did with back-up QB’s.

Anthony Allen-B-Back (full back in non Paul Johnson terminology)-#18-Senior

Led country in yards per rush

Before transferring to Tech, set school record for yards rushing in a game while at Louisville

Brad Jefferson-MLB-#51

Led team in tackles in 2009

2010 Preseason 2nd Team All ACC


The triple option is an offense and a play. Coach Paul Johnson knows the difference. Expect to see Tech tweak the offense, while still leaning heavily on its signature play

Spirit Guide

Virginia Polly


At first glance it’s the same as it ever was. Virginia Polly is the top team in the ACC. They’re a top ten preseason team, and a dark horse to make an appearance in the BCS championship game. The difference is this year it’s your offense that’s leading the way and the defense that is under development.

Loosing seven to eight starters from the defensive side of the ball would be more of a concern if Frank Beamer and Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster didn’t have a stellar reputation for building great defenses. The question isn’t will the defense be built back up to VPI&SU standards, but will it be built up soon enough? The Hokies open the season with Boise State, a tough opener.

Also, the Hokies have to replace their place kicker and punter from 2009; a big deal for a team that makes its living on special teams.

Meta Narrative

Just grinding out excellence every day, that’s what you do. You did it yesterday. You did it the day before yesterday. You’ll do it today. You’ll do it tomorrow. Maybe everyone doesn’t dig what you’re about, but all you need is a break or two to shut them up.

Players to Watch

Ryan Williams-Running Back-#34-Sophomore

2009 ACC Rookie of the Year

2009 first team All ACC

2009 Freshman All American

Set School record for rushing by a freshman -1,655

Tyrod Taylor-Quarter Back-#5-Senior

Led the ACC in passing efficiency in 2009

Daren Evans- Running Back-#32-Junior

Missed 2009 with a knee injury

Rushed for over 1,200 yards as freshman in 2008

Jarret Boykin-Wide Receiver-#81-Junior

Led the team in receptions and receiving yards

Barquell Rivers-Line Backer-#52-Junior

Led the team in tackles in 2009

Spirit Guide

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