What’s the key

What’s the key to tonight’s game?
And it’s not as easy to decide as you may think.
Because both teams feature so many weapons all over the field, it’s hard to single out just one area.
So, how about by elimination at a few key positions or position groups.
Dwyer and Spiller cancel each other out.
Ford and Thomas cancel each other out.
Sapp and Morgan cancel each other out.
Nesbitt gets a significant edge over Parker.
The rest of Clemson’s defensive line gets a slight edge over Tech’s.
Tech’s offensive line gets a significant edge over Clemson’s because of experience.
Georgia Tech’s secondary gets an edge over Clemson’s.
Clemson’s special teams get a slight edge over Tech’s.
So, what to make of this?
It’s going to be yet another close game between the two teams for the 11th consecutive year.

132 comments Add your comment

Toe Meets Leather

September 10th, 2009
8:22 am

What’s the key? Showing your school spirit and pride in your school’s football history! Pre-order “Toe Meets Leather”, the commemorative t-shirt of the 1990 41-38 win over Virginia…only at http://www.stingtees.com!

Savannah Jacket

September 10th, 2009
8:24 am

Tech needs a great showing tonight. Wear your WHITE and get out to support your team tonight on national TV.

I believe that GT is a little deeper and a little more experienced than Clemson. If they come out fired up don’t loose momentum and protect the ball. It should be a good game for the Jackets.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 10th, 2009
8:31 am

Doug, you forgot the factor that made the difference last year.

Paul Johnson vs. Ya ba da dabo

VegasGT

September 10th, 2009
8:39 am

This should be a close, hard-fought game just like many in the past between these two teams.

What is the “key” ? FOCUS and EXECUTION.

If either team demonstrates a lack of either, they will lose.

need2fish

September 10th, 2009
8:42 am

I think defensive line play and special teams (kick offs and punts) are the big keys tonight. Contain Spiller on those (and don’t put the ball on the ground 5 times) and I think the Jackets will look real good on National TV.

Joe Schmoe

September 10th, 2009
8:44 am

From what I am seeing on ESPN blogs and other sports blogs, you would see Clemson fans thinking they are going to walk out of Bobby Dodd with a W, and easily. Well I got some bad news for you Clemson fans, you are in for a rude awakening. The talking is done on the fiield.

Keys for GT: Only one I have is to hold on to the ball and you will be alright. Turnovers is what prevented us from being in a bcs bowl last year.

Midstate Jacket Fan

September 10th, 2009
8:47 am

For Paul Johnson to prove that he has taken GT to the next level, he has to win these types of games. You can’t expect him to always beat Florida State & UGA but you have to win all of the low level and mid level conference games. If we had done this last year then we were looking at ACC Championship & Orange Bowl.

Don

September 10th, 2009
8:55 am

There’s 2 keys to this game: Josh has to play well and hang onto the football. If he hangs onto the football and distributes we put up big points. The other key is Dab Swinney’s play calling. If he is patient and runs between the tackles they can do a lot of business against our defensive line. But with Spiller he may try and get cute, taking the ball outside and that would play right into our hands. For more info on tonight’s game visit: http://www.bbuzzoff.com

GA Tech Insider

September 10th, 2009
8:59 am

Paul Johnson versus Kevin Steele – Advantage GA Tech
Billy Napier versus Dave Wommack – Advantage GA Tech
Time to Prepare for Opponent – Advantage GA Tech
Team Discipline – Advantage GA Tech
Team Depth/Experience – Advantage Clemson
Overall Team Speed – Advantage Clemson

Joe Schmoe

September 10th, 2009
9:09 am

The other area I am intrested in seeing is if we put TJ Barnes in more this game to fill the gaps to make Spiller bounce outside. I said last week I was concerned after seeing the DT play. I think we will see more TJ Barnes.

Lunatic Fringe

September 10th, 2009
9:22 am

I would like to see them get to Parker’s head. He is a young inexperienced QB, and I would like to see us rattle him a little. Turnovers alos need to be kept down.
Midstate Jacket Fan –I have to agree with you about these type of games. They are the ones that Gailey (and the team) would struggle with.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
9:27 am

How, exactly, does Tech’s secondary get the edge?

Melinda

September 10th, 2009
9:27 am

Line play and special teams. Steele is a good DC and I’m concerned that we will see multiple fronts/schemes on D and Josh might be in for a long night making good reads. The reads just might not be there or he might be forced into a mistake. Clemson is good.

The key

September 10th, 2009
9:28 am

will be the lack of Tech fumbles.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
9:33 am

Midstate Jacket Fan,

Low-level, mid-level games? What an arrogant comment. Was it low-level in 2006? 31-7. Was it low-level in 2003? 39-3. Clemson has more ACC Championships than any other ACC team and you are calling us low-level? God I hope we destroy you.

blazer

September 10th, 2009
9:34 am

GRAP THEM BY THE TAIL EARLY AND DON’T LET UP!!!!!!

IF THEY FOCUS ON J.D. -WE GOT ALLEN, RODDY,MARCUS ETC.

MIDDLE OF D-LINE GOT TO STEP UP BIG!!

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
9:35 am

GA Tech Insider,

“Time to Prepare for Opponent – Advantage GA Tech
Team Discipline – Advantage GA Tech”

explain please.

logan

September 10th, 2009
9:40 am

Clemson wins a close one too much pressure from sapp and bowers. CU21 gt 17

Calvin Johnson

September 10th, 2009
9:42 am

Is Jeff Rigsby playing for Clemson tonight?

Joe Schmoe

September 10th, 2009
9:43 am

JoeV, how do we not have an advantage on secondary; Morgan Burnett, Jerrad Terrant, Mario Butler, Coop Taylor… And a whole lot of depth.

mtraininjax

September 10th, 2009
9:48 am

The only way Tech loses this game is by turning the ball over and Clemson capitalizing with points. I don’t see the Clemson offense beating Tech. Our D is too good for that to happen.

I also hope that our special teams do not play a critical factor in the game, as I have no real faith in Blair to score points, which could cost us a game at some point this season.

LET THE BIG DAWG EAT!

September 10th, 2009
9:50 am

IF YOU WEAR WHITE TONIGHT DOES THAT MEAN YOU GET THE 4 COKES, 4 HOTDOGS, 4 TICKETS AND THE FREE CAR WAS AT HALFTIME DEAL? CLEMSON 31 TECH 17.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
9:50 am

Joe Schmoe,

Chris Chancellor Gr., DeAndre McDaniel Jr., Marcus Gilchrist Jr., Crezdon Butler Sr. 2nd team includes a Gr. and a Jr.

In 2008 Clemson was 10th in the nation in Pass Efficiency Defense, 13th in Scoring Defense, and 18th in Total Defense.

In 2008 Georgia Tech was 43 in the nation in Pass Efficiency Defense, 28th in Scoring Defense, and 25 in Total Defense.

TechGrad08

September 10th, 2009
9:51 am

Assuming that Clemson’s secondary is as experienced from top-to-bottom as Tech’s is, then Tech gets the edge because of All-American Morgan Burnett, who is a beast of a player and picked Korn off twice last season. I’m interested to see Parker play this season, I hear he looks pretty good on the field

GA Tech Insider

September 10th, 2009
9:52 am

JoeV;

Regardless of the fact the Clemson took some time during the Spring and Summer to prepare for GA Tech’s Spread/Triple Option, they spent a majority of their time the past several weeks preparing for Middle Tennessee. Because GA Tech’s Offense is so radically different than anyone else’s that Clemson will be facing this Season, and Clemson’s base Offense and Defense aren’t, the short turnaround is an advantage for GA Tech.

Regarding the Team Discipline advantage for GA Tech; if Clemson’s Defense doesn’t execute correctly on every play, then GA Tech has the chance to break longs runs or passes. Therefore, Clemson MUST be disciplined or they’ll get burned.

On the other hand, Clemson’s Offense will be more “vanilla,” mainly because of your Freshman QB. Rattle the QB, and there will be ample chances for turnovers, regardless of the speed of Clemson.

GA Tech Insider

September 10th, 2009
9:55 am

JoeV;

Passing Efficiency from previous years doesn’t count for this Season, my friend. This year, Clemson is breaking in a new QB and GA Tech has begun to bring in new passing components of their Offense. As an example, currently, GA Tech is ranked # 9 in the Country in Passing Efficiency…Where is Clemson ranked?

GA Tech Insider

September 10th, 2009
9:57 am

I guess what I’m saying, JoeV, is that statistics from previous Seasons aren’t worth a hill of beans this Season. That’s why they play the games.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
9:59 am

GA Tech Insider,

I didn’t realize that you were on the Clemson coaching staff?!?! How exactly do you know what Clemson has been preparing for the past several weeks? You are pretty naive if you think that Clemson hasn’t been preparing for tech for a majority of the past few weeks.

“…and there will be ample chances for turnovers…”

You guys had 5 fumbles in your first game…I think we will see some opportunites for turnovers.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
10:02 am

Statistics from last season matter when comparing the secondaries after only 1 game this season. If the same players from last year are playing how is it any different?

logan

September 10th, 2009
10:09 am

None of GT defensive backs would even start at CLEMSON

White Out???

September 10th, 2009
10:11 am

I hope the back of the seats are white at your little stadium this year or there is no way the white out will have the look you want.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
10:12 am

By the way, thanks for the reasonable discourse guys; its nice to keep things civil. I wish you the best of luck tonight.

reebok

September 10th, 2009
10:13 am

Turnovers are the key….I respectfully disagree w/ an earlier poster who believes Clemson has better team speed…I definitely think that Tech’s QB and coach are better than their Clemson counterparts…but if we put the ball on the turf 5 times like we did against Jax State, we will lose by 20. TECH FANS – SHOW UP WEAR WHITE AND BE LOUD!!!!

juvenal

September 10th, 2009
10:14 am

big daug-there were 53K at a 61K stadium for the okies;the key, as always, keeping Tech’s players heads in the game, this type of game was trouble long b4 chan, we do better when not favored…

logan

September 10th, 2009
10:14 am

The all white will be a nice back drop for all the ORANGE please wear all white GT fans

MyGoodness

September 10th, 2009
10:16 am

Joe V:
Clemson’s defesive stats were based on playing in the Atlantic and South Carolina. Anyone could have great defensive stats against such competition! The only offensive power on that side is FSU and Tech played them as well. Tech played UGA with three NFL studs on offense versus Clemson playing USC with none. Tech also played Miami, VT, and UNC which were better offensively than anyone you played.

Thus your defensive stats are skewed and why such standings really dont mean a whole lot. Schedules are not balanced leading to mediocre teams appearing better than they really are. Not saying CU is mediocre by any account but they were certainly no better defensively than GT last year. I doubt they will be this year either and certainly not in the secondary.

GT Rich

September 10th, 2009
10:16 am

Spiller isn’t built to run between the tackles. If he were, then James Davis would’ve been a 2nd stringer. Spiller will try and bounce everything outside. Gladiator, Ced Griffin and Cooper Taylor will be there to pop him. If Spiller’s foot and hammy aren’t 100%, you can expect him to come up lame after a few good hits. I watched the Clemson-MTSU game replay, the Tiger offense was weak against MTSU. Big plays in GT’s passing game will be the difference between this year and last. I see this going like the Miami game last year…

White Out???

September 10th, 2009
10:18 am

I just read that a techie said that “our defense is too good”. Are you talking about the defense that gave up 17 to the worst offense they will face this year? Your D SUCKS and you will find out tonight!

yellerjacket

September 10th, 2009
10:20 am

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Let’s all remember how close last year’s game was without Spiller and with the best D-line Tech has had…maybe ever. It should be a dogfight to the end, but as a Tech fan I am hoping that PJ’s coaching, Nesbitt’s experience, and our stable of stud running backs wears down our friends from ClemPson.

JoeV, for a blog invader, you’re not half-bad yourself. Unless you like those all purple uniforms…I had enough purple during four years at Furman to last me a while.

To the goon who said Morgan Burnett and Cooper Taylor wouldn’t play at Clemson: this coming from the school who offered Jeff Francouer a scholarship as a DB? Please.

logan

September 10th, 2009
10:24 am

Check the Depth chart at running back for the Cleveland Browns at Running back J.Davis is listed at #1

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
10:25 am

My Goodness,

Eh hem…I would hardly call 7-6 Miami, Duke, Virginia, and UNC VASTLY superior to the equally lame Atlantic Division. We also played (if you can call it that) Alabama. I wouldn’t say you had a schedule that was THAT much harder than ours.

JoeV

September 10th, 2009
10:28 am

Thanks yellerjacket. I am here reading all the time, but don’t feel the need to comment unless we are playing each other. I see how annoying it can get around here when other teams fans show up. Not a fan of all purple, but like the purple as a trim color because its unique. Morgan Burnett would start at Clemson, don’t kid yourself. Any self-respecting Clemson fan would agree.

Again, best of luck tonight!

blah

September 10th, 2009
10:32 am

“logan – None of GT defensive backs would even start at CLEMSON”… thats because they would have transferred after being on such a let down of a team for so long

Hayseed Dixie

September 10th, 2009
10:32 am

I predict Morgan Burnett will will welcome this QB to the flats the best way he knows how, and he buys our offense enough time to assert itself.

Barring stupid turnovers (and that’s a big *if*), Tech wins by 14.

yellerjacket

September 10th, 2009
10:34 am

Same to you, Joe.

On a side note, if there are any fellow Tech “fans” out there who are still on the fence about whether to go the game or study in the prison of a library at the top of the hill, I will personally kick your rears down the hill to the stadium if I see any of you streaming in to the library with book bags bigger than you tonight. It’s college for crying out loud!!! Get a grip.

No wonder we can’t fill up our own stadium…wear white, leave your calculus books in your dorm, and get rowdy. It’s not cricket, but American football is fun to watch…I promise.

logan

September 10th, 2009
10:37 am

yeller jacket you guys also offered francouer a free ride as a DB. DUH

yellerjacket

September 10th, 2009
10:40 am

logan, then it sounds like we have comparable DB situations then, huh? Or do I mean “DUH”

juvenal

September 10th, 2009
10:42 am

clveland is predicted to win 2-3;people go to Tech don’t care if they are like everybody else-i saw plenty of orange at clemson last year…

logan

September 10th, 2009
10:46 am

yellerjacket you called me a goon and then made a comment about francouer so who is the goon me are you.

Although my kid goes to Clemson...

September 10th, 2009
10:47 am

…and I will be wearing orange tonight, I sill say Clemson is not man enough for GT and GT will roll 42 – 6! Just too much Dwyer and Morgan Burnett, and lots better coaching!