Know Your Enemy, Tech Hate Week Edition: How Are The Yellow Jackets 9-2?


This year’s iteration of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is the most vexing of the Paul Johnson era. Upon his arrival, he was handed talent perfect for his system in the forms of Josh Nesbitt, Jonathan Dwyer, and Demaryius Thomas, and his early success, in retrospect, was no surprise. As Nesbitt became Tevin Washington, Dwyer and Thomas were replaced by more and more anonymous guys, and defensive standouts such as Darrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett departed, Tech, unsurprisingly, returned to mediocrity.

This was supposed to be the make-or-break year for Paul Johnson’s program, or at least the one where Tech boosters could finally swallow his insane buyout. Via his most balanced offense to date (and ironically, his worst defense), Johnson and the Jackets have gotten to 9-2 in a weak division mostly on smoke and mirrors. Or have they?

Defense

I saw the Jackets play at UNC back in October, and the thing that struck me was how inept their defense looked against a good, but not formidable Carolina offense. The Heels had their way with Ted Roof’s D on that night, and that is not an isolated incident. Georgia Southern and Virginia Tech both probably should have come away with wins against the Jackets, and both exceeded their season averages in offensive output in those games. Both lost the game late on offensive miscues. Pitt’s James Connor ran all over them, but three early fumbles buried the Panthers in a 56-28 loss. Two defensive touchdowns turned a close game at N.C. State into a blowout.

Personnel-wise, I would advise you to watch out for Paul Davis and Quayshawn Nealy at the linebacker position, and Jamal Golden as a corner/returner. Nobody has done anything exceptional, but they are the playmakers on this (not great) defense.

While, to their credit, their D has put together three very solid performances (all at home, mind you) against pro-style attacks in Miami and Virginia, and held Clemson to 6 points, what I’m saying is this: their D is not very good and has not seen talent approaching the caliber of Georgia’s. Barring an uncharacteristic barrage of turnovers from surehanded Hutson Mason, Georgia should be able to do what they want on O this week.

Offense

Offense is where Tech has made hay in the CPJ era, and that sucks for the Tech hater because it is so infuriating to watch. This is Johnson’s highest-scoring offense at Tech, and its evolved with a (finally) competent passing game.

thomas

Besides Tevin Washington’s 2012 season, QB Justin Thomas is the first CPJ quarterback to complete over half of his passes. His passer rating of 164 far trumps anything anyone else has done in this offense, as for the first time the Jackets are actually utilizing two receivers effectively (along with backs on wheel routes, which will always be open against such a run-heavy approach). DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller are both in the Thomas/Stephen Hill mold, fast guys with tight end size. Both average over a catch and a half per game, which, as I said, is formidable in their offense. While Waller only has 15 catches, he has missed three games due to injury, and at 6’5 240 is a problem in man coverage (which, again, their run dictates). Smelter is the ‘go-to’ guy, and is a worthy one at over 20 YPC and 7 TD.

Tech’s Vad Lee threw for a career-high 232 yards against Georgia last year (and was actually their first 200-yard passer since Western Carolina in 2011). Thomas has exceeded that number twice this year, and Tech’s offense poses a never-before-seen threat to Jeremy Pruitt’s hybridization of the secondary. If they’re going to match Georgia on the scoreboard, they will do so through the air.

The ground attack is what it is. Only in 2008 and 2010 did a running back lead the Jackets in rush attempts. True to form Thomas leads the Jackets with 153 totes this year. His 5.4 yards per rush best any previous CPJ quarterback, so again: he is the common denominator in Johnson’s best attack to date.

The ‘B’ back, essentially the fullback (where Dwyer and Anthony Allen both excelled) is Zach Laskey, and he is the least formidable to come through the system thus far. Think Brendan Douglas (who was actually a Tech commit before a late Georgia offer). He only poses a threat if Tech starts gashing the Dawgs on the outside, which (see Florida game) is not an impossible task.

Their wing backs are as by-committee as they have been in the Johnson era, which allows the Jackets to throw a lot of looks from a pretty homogeneous offensive system. Synjyn Days is the bellcow with 101 totes at a decent six yards per clip. The guy to watch is senior Charles Perkins, who represents the most explosive threat in both the running and passing games. He’s missed some action, but is running for over 10 yards a carry and 23 per completion. Tony Zenon and Deon Hill are predominately pass-catchers, and each sit around 20 yards per catch on about one per game.

To effectively sum up the last six paragraphs, I’ll say this: Tech’s offense is the same basic high school attack that it has been. However, effective quarterback play and balance between playmakers mean the nerds will have five threats (including Thomas) on the field to be accounted for on any given play, and that spells trouble against such a run-heavy attack.

We at DudeYouCrazy.net never overlook special teams play, as it has cost Georgia more times than we care to count. We can go into this game knowing that CPJ is desperate for a win over the Dawgs, and something kitchen sink-like will come from their special teams unit.

Overall, like I said, the Dawgs should have no issues scoring on the Tech defense. Get them down early, and it should be a Georgia win going away. However, I expect the teams to trade scores for much of the game with Georgia pulling away late.

Georgia 49, Nerds 38. 

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SEC Football: Does Mizzou Deserve To Win The SEC East?


Georgia >Mizzou

Georgia gives the East the best chance to beat the West winner in the SEC Title, but Mizzou is one win away from going back to Atlanta and repeating as East Champions. This is the same Mizzou team that lost to UGA by 34 points right? Whether you agree with it or not, Mizzou has taken care of business in the East and has rightfully earned a spot in the Title game.

 

Consistency 

Say what you will about Mizzou, but they went into Columbia and The Swamp, and came away with victories. Georgia lost in Columbia, and lost on a “neutral” field to an anemic Florida team. Mizzou is consistently mediocre, while Georgia has looked like a playoff team at times, and an Independence Bowl team at other times. Is the SEC East so bad that all it takes to win is to be consistently mediocre? If so, then Mizzou has passed that test with flying colors. Imagine if Georgia would have played somewhat mediocre against Florida? They would only have one loss and would be in control of their own playoff destiny! Instead, UGA fans are rooting for Rocky Top, and Pig Suey just to get to Atlanta.

 

Deserving?

Mizzou deserves to win the SEC East. They beat Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida all on the road. It might not be the sexiest of wins, but at the end of the day they are still taking care of business when it matters most. Georgia is a MUCH BETTER football team from top to bottom, but they did not play well enough to beat two 6 win teams. If your main argument is “Georgia won the head to head so they should win the East”, then clearly by your logic South Carolina should have won the East in 2011 and 2012 instead of UGA.

 

Back-To-Back

If Mizzou beats the hottest team in the SEC (Arkansas) on saturday to clinch the East, swallow your pride and congratulate a Mizzou fan (If you know one). Realize that UGA had their opportunities all season, but squandered them away with poor play. All UGA can blame is themselves if they do not punch a ticket to Atlanta, and as big of a pill as it is to swallow, Mizzou might be back-to-back SEC East Winners.

 

-Alex

Florida Embarrasses Themselves Again, UNC Trashes Locker Room After Victory, And More


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

Will Muschamp got carried off the field this past saturday after his Florida Gator team defeated Eastern Kentucky in his final home game. Listen, I thought he handled being asked to step down with class, but he should have told his players stop before they put him up there. You beat a directional school in Kentucky. I will gladly put you on my shoulders if you beat FSU this weekend. Hell, I will carry you on my shoulders for a week if you beat FSU. That my friends is a guarantee. Here is the video.

 

Afro For Recruits 

Brett Bielema is pulling out all the stops to get recruits to come to Arkansas, and you best believe it includes putting an afro wig on if the recruit wants it! Honestly, Bret Bielema has done a great job this season, and if all goes according to plan then they will assist the Dawgs to the SEC Title game. We should wear afros if that happens. Here is the picture.

 

ACC Football

UNC beat Duke in football. I really could careless about the outcome of this game, but because UNC does not know how to handle success I am forced to. UNC trashed the Duke locker room after beating the brakes off of the Blue Devils and ending their hopes for a repeat performance in the ACC Title game. Win with class, lose with class UNC. It is not that hard. Here is the damage they imposed on Duke.

 

-Alex

Georgia Football Recruiting: **Tons of Info** Five MUST GET Players for 2015


Five Must Get Players for UGA

Dawgs 247 Sports released the five “must haves” for 2015. Their list here.

These are the five players, who are undecided and considering UGA, who I think the Bulldogs must get for 2015:

Josh Sweat – Photo courtesy of USA Today

Josh Sweat – ☆☆☆☆☆
#5 Overall; #1 WDE; #1 in VA
Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) WDE
6-5/236

I probably would have had 5-Star cornerback, Tarvarus McFadden, in this spot last week, but considering he chose the ‘Noles a few weeks ago, I’ve moved Sweat to #1. If Sweat wasn’t seriously considering UGA, I wouldn’t feel like he was a must get, but the “word on the street” is that this is now a Georgia/Florida State battle. It’s also promising that Georgia is the only SEC school that Sweat is considering. Dawgs 247 reports that Sweat’s decision will really just come down to his official visits. He visited Athens for the Auburn game and loved it. Him and his family were very impressed with the coaching staff and the people in the Georgia program. Sweat said that he was surprised with how nice everything was. He’ll make his decision sometime during the first week of December.

Here are Sweat’s junior highlights:


 

Chidi Valentine-Okeke – Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Chidi Valentine-Okeke – ☆☆☆☆
#54 Overall; #2 OT; #8 in GA
Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ludowici, GA) OT
6-6/305
***Ratings by 247 Sports because Rivals has not yet reclassified him as a 2015 recruit

Offensive linemen are always a major need for the Bulldogs, but Valentine-Okeke is even more important because he is an elite in-state guy, and the Bulldogs have already missed out on one in Chuma Edoga. People close to Chidi say that Georgia is clearly the team to beat right now. He has a great relationship with UGA offensive line coach, Will Friend, and he says that “it feels like home” whenever he is in Athens. Chidi was in Athens for the Auburn game and loved everything he saw. He pointed out that he would love to block for the talented running backs that UGA has. He plans on visiting Georgia again sometime in December before making his decision on Januray 3rd at the Army All-American game.

Chidi is also considering Alabama, Auburn, FSU, and LSU.


 

Roquan Smith - Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Roquan Smith – Photo courtesy of 247 Sports

Roquan Smith – ☆☆☆☆
#62 Overall; #7 OLB; #10 in GA
Macon County (Montezuma, GA) OLB
6-0/203

Georgia will likely be losing all four of their linebackers after this season, and they only have two true linebackers committed right now for 2015, so Smith will certainly be a must get. Right now he plays outside linebacker, but Dawgs 247 reports that he will likely move to inside linebacker in college. I don’t know that he would start right away as a true freshman at UGA, but I can promise you he would see A LOT of playing time. Like Rashad Roundtree, Smith is another elite talent that, if you’re Georgia, you can not let leave your state.

Smith’s recruitment seems to have come down to Georgia, Florida, and Ole Miss, and he says that he’ll commit on National Signing Day.

Roquan’s junior highlights:


 

Donte Jackson - Photo courtesy of Scout.com

Donte Jackson – Photo courtesy of Scout.com

Donte Jackson – ☆☆☆☆
#190 Overall; #21 CB; #7 in LA
Riverdale (Jefferson, LA) CB
5-11/160

With 5-Star cornerback target, Tarvarus McFadden, committing to FSU a few weeks ago, Jackson has become even more of a must get for the Bulldogs. Donte is a freak athlete who plays cornerback, safety, wide receiver, running back, punt returner, and kick returner, but Pruitt has made it clear to him that he wants him to play cornerback if he decides to come to Athens. With sub-4.4 speed and insane quickness, however, I would fully expect the Bulldogs to use him on offense and special teams some as well. Jackson has stated that this is a Georgia/LSU battle, but has said at times that the Dawgs are in the lead. Donte will take an official visit to Georgia sometime in December.

Jackson plans on committing in late December or at the Army All-American game on January 3rd.

Check out his insane highlights here.


 

Darius Slayton - Courtesy of georgia.scout.com

Darius Slayton – Courtesy of georgia.scout.com

Darius Slayton – ☆☆☆
Not Rated Overall; #44 CB; #42 in GA
Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, GA) CB/WR
6-1/175

Don’t let his 3-star Rivals rating fool you. Slayton is a 4-star on every other recruiting site (#119 Overall on 247 Sports, #187 Overall on ESPN), and I’ve seen many people say he should even be a 5-star.  Like Donte Jackson, Slayton is an insane athlete with 4.4 speed who plays wide receiver, cornerback, running back, kick returner, and punt returner. Georgia is recruiting Slayton, though, as a wide receiver. If Slayton commits to the Dawgs, this will easily be the best class of wide receivers the university has ever signed. Check out the other wide receivers already committed here and here. Slayton’s recruitment has seemed to come down to Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee but I fully expect him to commit to the “G.”

Slayton is now done with his official visits, and he says that he will commit soon.

Check out his junior highlights here.

 

***Ratings according to Rivals.com

 

If you’re looking for a way to watch past Georgia highlights and get access to some other great content, make sure to check out The UGA Vault!

 

Check back daily for more recruiting updates!

Jonathan

Georgia Footall: Mark Richt Calls for a Red Out, Who’s Georgia’s Biggest Rival, and More! – Daily Dose of Dawg


Your Average Group of Tech Fans - thekeyplay.com

Your Average Group of Tech Fans – thekeyplay.com

Richt Calls for Red Out

This morning, Mark Richt asked the Bulldog Nation to wear red on Saturday, because, you know, most fans don’t normally do that already or anything. In all seriousness, I get what he’s doing because it does look really cool when almost everyone is wearing red, but it’s still funny when you have to ask Georgia fans to wear red.

 

Who Is Georgia’s Biggest Rival?

This question is really an easy one for me: Florida. No team has been as much of a thorn in the side as the Gators, and they always beat Georgia at the worst times. If you asked me my most hated teams in college football, I’d be quick to say Auburn and Florida State, but Florida certainly Auburns (steals) the cake for biggest rival.

I know some people probably think the nerds are Georgia’s biggest rival, but I’d have to disagree. For there to be a rivalry, the other team has to win at least once every few years. I view Georgia Tech as a little puny brother. You don’t really ever think about them or consume yourself with hating them, but losing to them in a fight would be absolutely embarrassing. If they started beating the Dawgs, my view might change, but for now the only thing that really bothers me about the North Avenue Trade School are there obnoxious, cocky (who knows why), disgusting fans.

Vote here on who you think is Georgia’s biggest rival.

 

Richt’s Thoughts on Georgia Tech

Yesterday, Mark Richt held his weekly media teleconference, and here’s what he had to say.

 

A Good Laugh

Tech is ready to “shock the world:”

 

If you’re looking for a way to watch past Georgia highlights and get access to some other great content, make sure to check out The UGA Vault!

 

Check back daily for more Daily Dose of Dawg!

Jonathan

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