Friday, October 07, 2011

Bullish on Tech

Tech has scored big on Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, a weak Kansas team, and a weak NC State team. They still have to play Miami, Clemson, and Georgia. That’s not LSU, Oklahoma, and Alabama, but they are teams with fast, athletic defenders who face Tech’s option every year. All three teams shut Tech down pretty good last year.

Paul Johnson has added new wrinkles this year, and Tevin Washington’s wobbly passing is still far better than Nesbit last year…so opposing defenses can’t load up against the run. It’s not a stretch to say the offense is working better than ever.

GT is 5-0, and feeling good about themselves. This week running back Emory Peeples was talking about what he was going to do in the Orange Bowl. The reporter had simply asked him a question about his beard.

An analyst said Tech could score on anybody. Forgotten is the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl, when LSU’s defense completely whitewashed Tech’s offense. Going into the game LSU was 7-5 and unranked. Tech was 9-3 and ranked 14th. Tech only rushed for 164 yards. At the half LSU led 35-3. Though he’d never admit it, the 38-3 blowout was mostly Johnson’s fault. Repeated first down incomplete passes / sacks led to long-yardage second and third down situations. Fumbles, interceptions, and a blocked punt didn’t help. I know, that was with different players.

It’s not that I’m down on Tech…it’s more about these professional sportswriters pontificating that Tech can score on anyone. Of course, he might’ve been trying to build up Tech, so when they fall flat, he can be astounded that they lost. That’s what Buck Belue always does. Actually, that’s what I did yesterday, claiming Clemson should go undefeated. But I’m no professional!

It sure looks like Tech will be bowl eligible. My unoptimistic preseason predictions (which, quite unprofessionally, I made without researching the other teams) were made those predictions based on last year’s team. Tevin Washington has exceeded my expectations, both with his “passable” passing and particularly with running the option. At the end of the season I was planning on judging how I did. Same with my similarly unfavorable Clemson predictions.

Tech will be able to continue boasting about having one of the longest current bowl streaks in the nation. They never mention how they’ve lost the bowl game the last SIX straight years. I hate seeing my alma mater embarrassed on national TV!

I do love Paul Johnson’s offense. For the past two years I’ve said the offense would really take off when they got a QB who could pass. And it has. I’m a little worried about the defense, and hope that most of the points were scored against second-teamers. On both offense and defense, I see holes that more talented teams can exploit.

Almost everyone predicted Tech would be 5-0 (except me!). They shouldn’t stumble against Maryland, Virginia, or Duke. The success of Tech’s season is still to be determined: against Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Georgia.

Right now I just hope Tech can beat Maryland.

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