Monday, September 8, 2008

Georgia Tech Game Guide

Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech

Time: 3:30 p.m.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008
Place: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.
TV: ABC/ESPN Reverse Mirror (If you're in the ACC viewing area, the game will be on ABC. If you're in the Big Ten viewing area, the game will be on ESPN. Everyone else can see it on ESPN Game Plan.)

Last meeting:
Virginia Tech won last year in Atlanta, 27-3. The Hokies picked off five passes and erased the bad taste from the previous week's loss to Boston College.

Trends: The Hokies beat Furman Saturday for its first win of the season...Georgia Tech won its second game of the year and conference opener at Boston College...the Yellow Jackets have won three consecutive conference games since losing to Virginia Tech last season...the Hokies won their last five conference games of 2007...Virginia Tech has never lost an ACC conference opener (4-0).

What to Expect: If you're a fan of throwing the oblong, this game isn't for you. Both teams will need to be ground-oriented in this game. The Hokies will employ three yards and a cloud of dust while the Yellow Jackets will trot out the flexbone for your viewing pleasure.

For those of you who have never tried to take Air Force to national prominence in NCAA Football for Playstation, basically there are three running backs and a quarterback in the backfield. One running back (B back) will be lined up directly behind the quarterback and two more (A backs) will be lined up to either side of the quarterback either off tackle or behind the tackle. Typically, one of the A backs will go in motion prior to the snap and then the play is run. Usually the A backs are in for blocking purposes and the QB has the option to keep or pitch to the B back.

Obviously, it's a lot more complicated than that, but that's the general overview. However, if I were the Yellow Jackets, I would run it up the gut until the Hokies stopped them (which isn't likely). Hokie defensive tackles have combined for two solo tackles and five assists on tackles this season. I'll say that again, because I think it bears repeating so you can wrap your minds around it: The group of players primarily responsible for stopping the run have combined for two solo tackles and have only assisted on five more. John Graves, the Hokies best returning defensive tackles, has yet to register a solo or assisted tackle. This should be fun.

The Hokies inept offense, meanwhile, faces a completely different Yellow Jackets defense than it faced under John Tenuta. The Jackets no longer need to blitz, mainly because Michael Johnson is a one-man wrecking crew at defensive end. The guy is long, to borrow an NBA Draft reference, and is one of the better players I've seen at deflecting passes at the line. Imagine if Jeff Allen from the Hokie hoop team played DEnd and was really good. That's Michael Johnson.

In other words, Tyrod Taylor will be taking most of the snaps Saturday because he'll probably be running for his life in Johnson isn't lined up against Ed Wang. Wang should be able to minimize the damage if Johnson lines up on his side.

Hokies win if: Bend, don't break on defense. The Jackets will get their yards, but will also make mistakes. Force field goals and don't give up the big play. Obviously, sticking with their assignments will be key, especially for a young team. The defensive ends need to get pressure to force the pitch and the linebackers and secondary need to swarm on the pitch man. On offense, pound the ball with Darren Evans and let Tyrod make plays with his feet as well. Don't. Throw. The. Football. Don't do it.

Yellow Jackets win if: Their tricky little option offense is able to confuse the Hokies. If I'm them, I run the ball at Macho Harris' side early to see if he's healthy. If he is, go the other direction toward the younger cornerbacks and see what happens. On defense, first and second down will be critical. If the Jackets can force the Hokies into passing downs, only bad things can happen for Virginia Tech.

Dot-dot-dots: The Hokies are 3-2 all-time against Georgia Tech, including 1-1 in Blacksburg...the two teams were supposed to kick-off the 2000 season with the BCA Bowl in Blacksburg, however a severe thunderstorm canceled the game...this was the game infamous for lightning striking Lee Corso's car shortly after he predicted a Yellow Jacket victory..."I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them." -Lee Corso...the jerseys of Virginia Tech players Sean Glennon, Tyrod Taylor, Macho Harris and Kam Chancellor were stolen prior to the game last season...Glennon played the entire game in a Georgia Tech practice jersey...the Hokies have played nine true freshmen this season...after committing no penalties against East Carolina, the Hokies committed nine for 60 yards against Furman.


Anonymous said...

As this game has gotten closer, I have to admit I have gotten less "fearful" if you will, about playing against the football team of VT. It's the atmosphere that makes me nervous as it will be undoubtedly loud and crazy. It will be interesting to see how we react to it. I look forward to a very good game.

furrer4heisman said...

less fearful? good. hopefully coach johnson and crew feel the same way.

Eric said...

believe me, coach johnson and crew do NOT feel that way

Yellow Jacket Fanatic said...

Wow man! You really have a great blog! I am a HUGE Georgia Tech fan. Never heard anybody explain the Johnson offense in so simple terms that are so true. I went to high school at Griffin High in Griffin, Ga. We turned out pros like Jesse Tuggle, Charlie Clements, Willie Gault, Jeff Treadway, Johnathon Sullivan,Omar Ellison, Nic Clemmons, Ben Talley, Alton Montgomery, Rayfield Wright. There are more but I can't think of them. Brian Bohannan is Tech's QB coach and also went to school at Griffin and I played under his father LLoyd at Griffin. So you can see football is a passion of mine. I signed up for Blog Spot just to be able to respond to your site and fully intend on creating a Ga Tech Blog that might live up to your blog. Anyway...Tech's problem is that we have no depth. Starting way too many freshmen and are still short scholarships b/c of NCAA violations. Johnson did a great job against BC of subbing in and out to keep our starters fresh, however we had a lot of miscues that were specifically caused by new people being in new positions coupled with an offense that the team is only starting to grasp. If you watched the BC game, Tech looked like they were in the first quarter in the second half! I agree with running the ball up the middle but Tech could not do that effectively against Jax State in the first game. And it was with a lesser defense spread out! Your movie choices are awesome...Check out In Bruges. Great movie that never hit the theaters. I rank Lonesome Dove as the best movie ever! Good luck with this great blog. Gonna link it to all my football buddies!