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Early Preview – Georgia Tech

Posted by cuorange on July 14, 2009

Game 2 – September 10, 2009 – Bobby Dodd Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia

Record O St Rtng Pts/Gm O Yds/Gm O D St Rtng Pts/Gm D Yds/Gm D
9-4 10 24.4 372 8 20.3 314

The first big game of the year.  On a Thursday.  On the road.  Five days after the previous game.  The home teams win on Thursdays.  Especially without an open week prior and the task is even taller here with Georgia Tech’s unique offense.
While the debate rages on whether Paul Johnson is Knute Rockne reincarnate or a flash in the pan, there is no doubt that this is a crucial early test for the Tigers.  Win and you have 9 days to rest, recuperate and prepare for Boston College.  Lose and the questions begin.
The returning starters number above are somewhat misleading in that some of those returning are part time starters. 
Contrary to most, I am more concerned with the Jackets defense than their hit or miss offense.  Kyle Parker could be making his second start for the Tigers on National TV.  I think the Tigers struggle moving the ball, especially if C.J. Spiller can’t break a long run or two.
The defense took some major graduation hits losing Vance Walker, Darryl Richard, Michael Johnson, and Jahi Word-Daniels and could be vulnerable, which may be good news for the Tigers.  However, the linebackers are seasoned vets and the secondary is solid.
Jonathan Dwyer and his 1,395 rushing yards return and the Jackets are stacked at running back, not to mention a slick running quarterback in Josh Nesbitt.
While the Jackets passing game is not earth shattering the Tigers learned the hard way that Tech can burn you if you sell out for the run.
The Skinny:  Vic Koenning’s bend but don’t break style made Tech attempt to sustain drives and increased the chances of turnovers and mistakes.  Remember, the Clemson defense held Tech to 14 offensive points last year and were a horrible Tyler Grisham pass and/or blown coverage away from an upset win with a new coach and 5 days to prepare last season.  Will Kevin Steele be able to duplicate or improve on that?  A ground game is a must for the Tigers to win. 
Early Conclusion: Inexperienced QB on the road vs. experienced QB at home. If this game was played on Saturday I think the Tigers win.  Did I mention home teams win on Thursdays? 

Georgia Tech 21 Clemson 20


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