Big plays against big plays

It could be a real (cliche alert) barn-burner Thursday night at Land Shark Stadium when the Jackets take on the Hurricanes.


Because these two teams make big plays and a lot of them. Granted, the season is young.

But Miami quarterback Jacory Harris had nine pass plays of at least 20 yards in their win against Florida State. Nine.

In comparison, Josh Nesbitt hit his ninth play (running or passing), in the third quarter of the Virginia Tech game last season.

That in no way means Harris is better than Nesbitt. Different quarterbacks. Different systems. Different expectations. Different everything.

It’s just used to illustrate the big-play potential that Harris possesses.

Now, Tech knows a thing or two about big plays, having scored six touchdowns using them this season (and others that didn’t lead to TDs), and having made 67 of them last year.

So, it would be easy to say the team that makes the most big plays will win the game. 

I’m not sure if it’ll be that easy.

Paraphrasing something coach Paul Johnson said on Monday, just because you do something good, or something bad, in football or life, it doesn’t mean that you were great and the other team bad. And vice versa. Sometimes you can both be good and things still happen.

So perhaps there won’t be that many big plays. Perhaps it’ll just come down to who does what they do the best. Tech running vs. Miami passing.

Of course, that means that there will be big plays.

I give up. (I know, some of you have been waiting on me to say that for a long time now.)

What do you think the key to the game will be?

180 comments Add your comment

Innocent Bystander

September 14th, 2009
9:38 pm

The major difference between the two teams are the defenses. Miami’s D gave up lots of big plays against us last year under our running scheme.

Tech’s D, on the other hand, has a solid secondary. During last week’s FSU/Miami game, Miami’s only big plays came when FSU’s weak secondary got burned. Between Tarrant, Butler, Coop and Burnett, we should be able to stop their big passes.


September 14th, 2009
10:08 pm

The key to the game will be the weather, of course!

GT Rich

September 14th, 2009
10:23 pm

If Coach Johnson calls more short passing plays earlier in the game, Nesbitt should be able to get into a better groove passing which will open them up for more big plays. Burnett and Cooper getting a few INTs wouldn’t hurt either….


September 14th, 2009
11:00 pm

Georgia Tech has a lot of playmakers, more than the team has had in recent years. Playmakers make big plays. Also, with FSU barely beating Jacksonville State at home it makes you wonder just how good Miami may be.


September 14th, 2009
11:07 pm

Georgia Tech will blow out Miami. We are ready to put it all together for a full 60 minutes. Paul Johnson is one of the best coaches in the Nation and Tech will show why Thursday night. The key is we must put pressure on the quarterback.


September 14th, 2009
11:12 pm

Thank God for Paul Johnson….and thank God and Greyhound that chan gomer gailey, the worst coach in history is gone forever. AMEN.

Da U

September 14th, 2009
11:22 pm

Wow, you GT fans are crazy? What did LSU do to you when they had time to scout film? It’s going to be the same thing Thursday night!


September 14th, 2009
11:25 pm

The key is Nesbit. He must make the right reads in the option, and he must make accurate throws.

Another key is the Dline getting pressure on Harris…

Pee pee on a dawg

September 14th, 2009
11:34 pm

I hated Chan Gaily but that “thank God and Greyhound” malarky has to stop, it is incredibly annoying.

if the A-backs can figure out how to block for more than 2 plays a game we will be hard to beat. the o-line just needs to keep their feet moving on the cuts and they will improve immensely, yes they are diving at the defenders legs but if they keep flopping down they cant stop the 300 pounders. i played tackle in this offense no matter how physical the d line if they drive their feet through they will neutralize even the best d-tackles


September 14th, 2009
11:42 pm

I don’t think Miami is Man Enough to beat Tech. Tech will make Landshark Stadium their own shark tank and absolutely destroy Miami. The Miami Defense is not disciplined enough to handle Tech’s Triple Option Offense. Jecory Harris will be on his back all night. Paul Johnson is the best Coach in the ACC…by miles. He pushes all the right buttons and will make Randy Shannon look like a fool on Thursday night. Miami doesn;t have a chance. The City of Atlanta will have it’s second W over Miami on Thursday.


September 15th, 2009
12:17 am

Da U, just to let you know, Georgia had more time to prepare than Miami does.


September 15th, 2009
12:31 am

Da U, i hear ya….but, we’re not playing lsu!!! Perhaps, you’ll consider changing your name to Duh U?! Make it work for ya!

quaildawg, be careful….you’re starting to sound like a Tech fan! Not sure we’ll ‘destroy’ the U, but i do believe we’ll win by more than a couple of touchdowns! GO TECH!!!

Savannah Jacket

September 15th, 2009
12:39 am

OK…. so I have no idea where some of these posts are coming from. Miami is a very talentated young team with tons of potential. They have changed out both OC and DC this year and are playing like a totally different team. This team is nothing like the one that Tech played last fall.

With that being said I do believe that Tech can play with them. The keys for Tech are going to be
1)Defensive Pressure from the D-Line. D-Backs can play with anyone as long as they don’t have all day to pick us apart.
2)Team coming out pumped up and staying up all game. We have to play 60 hard minutes.
3)Offense staying on and finishing blocks
4)No turnovers

If we do these things we can play with anyone in the country, even a very talented Miami.

Go Jackets!!!


September 15th, 2009
1:11 am

Their speed at running back is scary. Our linebackers are going to have to be very active in this game. Been a while since we’ve seen Tech’s linebackers making a lot of big plays but it will have to happen in this game. Morgan Burnett can’t be expected to be covering for everybody’s mistakes. Inside info on Tech football at:

Thug U

September 15th, 2009
1:39 am

All the U players are friggin thugs. And if you’re a miami fan reading this, you’re a worthless piece of trash thug too. Ghetto rats.

5 in a f’n row. GT OWNS Miami. Absolutely OWNS them.

GA Tech Insider

September 15th, 2009
6:43 am

m needs to stop plagiarizing country music and find a new tag line; something original, like a thought of his own. We’ll all be singing “Thank God and Greyhound” if m ever discovers that we know that he doesn’t have an original thought in his head and is like one of those old dolls that keeps repeating itself every time you pull the string.

m, stop embarrassing yourself and learn a new line. It’s as old, boring, and predictable as you are.

to the canes fan on here

September 15th, 2009
7:02 am

LSU had a month, you guys have two weeks. Big difference there. You can’t even compare that game to now. Why? Different team, more speed, and a lot better. If I recall, you guys got beat pretty good coming up here last year, and I know its a new year, but until Thursday night, you guys have no room to run your mouths, but I see you like to do it anyway. Game on!

"Tech’s D, on the other hand, has a solid secondary"

September 15th, 2009
7:18 am

Yeah, they looked real solid with Spiller and Ford from Clemson running right by them the other night! Morgan Burnett is a stud, but even he got burned by Ford on that long TD.


September 15th, 2009
7:34 am

This is the game Tech fans will say afterward; I didn’t know our defense was that good. They made it look easy.

Midstate Jacket Fan

September 15th, 2009
8:14 am

So far we’ve had to rely on special teams coming up with big plays…. I think to beat Miami we must again have big plays on special teams. Of course the other stuff too; hold on to the ball, pressure Harris to make bad throws, Nesbitt making good decisions, O-line playing lights out, etc….

If we come out of South Florida with a win, LOOK OUT VT!!!


September 15th, 2009
8:24 am

We need to focus on executing correctly. That is the main key. I you execute and stay with you assignment you make good things happen and that is with any team. Hopefully Tech got a wake up call fro Clemson because we almost lost because we fell asleep at the wheel.

I would like to see Both Tech Offense and Defense come and play up to what we expect from the third game of the year. They have the talent and the practice…lets see if they have the focus and mentality to play smart football for 60 minutes.



September 15th, 2009
8:32 am

The key is getting quick cuts on the o-line to keep the option open. Clemson shut it down by getting to the outside faster than our guys and Nes had no clue what to do. Hence, the 2nd and 3rd quarters happened.

Joe Schmoe

September 15th, 2009
8:43 am

These Miami fans are crazy …. Just thinking they are going to steam roll us. Here is a recent comment from one of their blogs. The guy expects to hang 50!!!

If we have anyone falling short or injuries or whatever on the DL – we are in for a long day – If not, we crush them…
Regardless our O should dominate!! Calling for us to hang 50+ on them…

Joe Schmoe

September 15th, 2009
8:46 am

We can use their speed to our advantages with more traps from the a back sweeping. Obviously u must execute. We also must use all the backs to crash one side of the line for QB midline draws.


September 15th, 2009
8:46 am

So Miami, the team that gave up 34 points to FSU – who needed two scores (one defensive) in the last minute against Jax St. just to score 19 is now supposed to have some great defense? OK, then.

The game is on the road and Miami does have talent. But what they lack is a quality head coach (or coaching staff in general). And 10 days to prepare is not 4 weeks. Perhaps Miami’s talent and the home field can carry them past Tech despite their coaching. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Miami wanted a Thursday night game because they wanted the national audience after they got shellacked last season – I guess to “prove” that last year was a fluke. But be careful of what you wish for – because asking for the national audience could easily backfire if Tech is fired up and comes ready to play. Should be entertaining wo watch.


September 15th, 2009
8:55 am

Did Miami steal the name of the stadium from that Any Given Sunday movie with Pacino and Cameron Diaz?


September 15th, 2009
8:57 am

Da u has nowhere near the D line talent that LSU 2008 had.

Tech 42
Miami 37


September 15th, 2009
9:02 am

@ Ted I respect the fact that you value coaching quality, but the coaches can’t play for the players. This game can go either way. Both teams defenses have to hold up. Period.

@Thug U looks like you’re stuck in 1987 grow up!

1. Miami against Georgia Tech’s Triple Option
2. Georgia Tech’s secondary must play well, Miami has 3 receivers that are 6′3 and 200lbs
3. Special Teams is critical for both teams
4. Both teams offensive lines vs defensive lines

Louisiana Jacket

September 15th, 2009
9:10 am

Got to get back to work but…. quick comments

Morgan Burnett did not get burned by Ford, he went for the pick and instead hit his own player…Cooper Taylor got burned by Spiller when he got caught flat footed (and when a player like spiller gets a head start you aren’t going to catch him)

Miami has great athletes just like many other teams and they will make some good plays on offense I do believe we will shut them out but I do believe our defense will make them EARN their points which I don’t believe Miami will be able to do on a consistent basis.

I will believe in PJ when he sais, ” Whenever Nesbitt has had a down game like last thursday he usually comes out the next week on fire and I am counting on that” When PJ speaks I listen!

Go Jackets
Roddy is still running


September 15th, 2009
9:17 am

Savannah Jacket made some great points. I think it comes down to executing our Offense and limiting mistakes. We have to play better each and every week. Harris had a good bit of success against us last year, going 13/18 for 162 yards and a TD, Int. Granted it was mostly in the 4th Quarter against our 2nd team defense. BUT, some of those 2nd teamers are starters this year. Can we rattle him? I don’t know. He shows a lot of poise and calm and frankly, he scares me. As they say, “That’s why you play the game.”

Da U

September 15th, 2009
9:42 am

Coaching issues?????? Just remember, our new D-cord. was the mastermind of last years UNC vs GT blowout. Now, he is coaching a D that is bigger, faster, and now deeper. Just make sure to bring your NECK braces, wouldn’t want you to pull a muscle turning your head side to side watching Miami drop 50!


September 15th, 2009
9:42 am

I think having an off week will hurt the U. If we play our game for 60 minutes we win, if we only play 1.5 quarters like we did agianst Clemson we lose. Its that simple. Clemson is probalby a better team than Miami but Miami is a momentum team. If we let them score 27 unanswered there will be no stopping them.


September 15th, 2009
9:57 am

This will probably be the game where we learn the true identity of our team.

Could Miami win? Of course. They are very fast and very athletic. Fortunately for Tech, that speed might work against the Canes on defense. A defense prone to over-pursuit is easily exploited by an option offense.

Tech has just as much talent at the skill positions as Miami (probably more). This game (like most football games) will likely go to the team that controls the line of scrimmage. That looks to be a fairly even match to me. To all of you “U” fans comparing your team to LSU – your defensive line isn’t half as talented as LSU’s was.

It should be a great game. I can’t wait for Thursday.



September 15th, 2009
10:38 am

If Johnson can get his team to play for 60 minutes I believe Tech can win the game. But Miami is really good. The new coordinators they brought in have really put a nice team on the field.

Tech pass rush cannot be from only one player.

Born a Hurricane Fan

September 15th, 2009
10:40 am

Guys, we got embarrassed last year, and the GT game is our alamo for this year’s team.. We’re coming to play….as you can see, Our Offense Coordinator is a lot better than Patrick Nix…so you can almost expect us to put up more point than 23, then question is can our D hold your O to under 30. We got a Starting DE coming back, our Starting Safety Coming back, and this is a home opener. Land shark stadium should be rocking, and don’t surprise to see Coop take one to the house on the opening kickoff.

Trade School Junkie

September 15th, 2009
10:41 am

“Da U” is sounding like “Duh U.”

Its actually hard to tell if Da U even watched ANY ACC games.

Miami was certainly good enough to beat UVA, VT, and almost beat UNC in 2008. But, as for UNC vs GT in 2008, a blowouot was hardly the story. The REAL STORY was GT losing both OGs & OTs in the first half, and then lost Nesbtt for a time. THAT was the real story. That and dreaful TOs, and STs play.

Still, even though Miami beat VT in Week 10 in 2008, GT absoultely DESTROYED Miami in Week 11. That game was 41-10 when CPJ decided to call off the 1st team. That game would have E-A-S-I-L-Y been 60-10 if CPJ had kept the 1st team on the field. It wasnt close in ANY ASPECT, and the stats and the scoreboard reflected it.

Now, as for how Miami stacks up for 2009. A new OC & DC will be a BIG improvement. And, I for one have already picked Miami to finish no worse than 3rd in the Coastal.

However, I would argue that CU is a much better team than Miami b/c CU is WAAAAAAYYYYY better than Miami in EVERY aspect. CU has better O & D Lines, A MUCH BETTER QB, and as good or better skill players, like Spiller & Ford than Miami has.

Watching FSU struggle against JaxSt makes EVERYTHING about Miami’s win over FSU look “questionable.”

What gets CONVENIENTLY overlooked by Miami fans is that FSU had 1 timeout remaing at the end of that game. If FSU uses that timeout to
re-group, then FSU likely wins that game, just like in 2008. Unbelievably stupid clock management bu FSU is what gave the U the win.
And, we wouldnt have folks like “Da U” on here making bad attempts at talking trash.

I watched the FSU-Miami game start to finish and actually pulled for the U, afterall theyre a Coastal team. I wasnt impressed AT ALL with Miami’s run or Pass D.

Heres’ a worthwhile observation:
JaxSt had 97 yds rushing against FSU. Miami had 90 yds rushing against FSU. So, D-1AA JaxSt had MORE rushing yds than the U?? I think “somebody” has a rushing problem. So, I would think Miami is gonna have to air it out. Problem is, GT probably has THE BEST secondary in the ACC.

GT will lower “DA BOOM” on the “Duh U.”


September 15th, 2009
10:42 am

Is it true that UNC’s def coordinator is now at Miami? If so, that concerns me as we only scored 7 off UNC last year.


September 15th, 2009
10:42 am

Nevermind, just read Da U above.

Louisiana Jacket

September 15th, 2009
10:50 am

db…you have no worries about the defensive ability of NC…North Carolina didn’t WIN the game GT LOST the game the same way we lost to LSU miserable special teams and stupid turnovers.

Born a Hurricane Fan

September 15th, 2009
10:50 am

Hold up Trade school junkie, did you just say that Parker from Clemson is better than Jacory Harris, lol..

My man, I’ve been watching this kid play since the 9th grade, you’re going to be in for a treat. You’re looking at 2010 Heisman contender. LOL…. You guys have match up problems, and don’t even realize it, do you???


September 15th, 2009
10:53 am

Sorry tech fans. Mia has a better stronger faster new defense this year and is looking for revenge. The game will be much different than last year. Miami wil stop the run and force the triple option into more 3rd down and long passing situations which will result in sacks and turnovers. The Miami offense is much changed, The really good receivers are no longer freshman and the quarteback is no longer Marve. jacory harris has geled with his receivers. The coach and formations are different. Miamis O-line is bigger and stronger. Most importantly Randy Shannon has got his swagger back and he’s letting his team 305 it.


September 15th, 2009
10:54 am

oblate spheroid+bad refs+young people+injuries+coaching=who knows?-on paper, we lose the last 4-if i was as smart as the folks above on this blog, i’d make some $…

Born a Hurricane Fan

September 15th, 2009
10:56 am

Sidenote: Gt has the best secondary in the ACC??? We’re about to test that theory on Thrusday, beleive that. Keep downplaying a kid throwing for 386, at FSU, during a national broadcast all you want… LOL..keep thinking it was a fluke..Keep thinking Clemson has a better O than Miami. Keep thinking Clemson has better skill players on O than Miami.

Born a Hurricane Fan

September 15th, 2009
10:57 am

“305 IT”….You’re dam right about that!!

Trade School Junkie

September 15th, 2009
11:03 am

Hmmmmm, the U is gonna drop 50 on GT ?? Hmmmmmmmm.

Lets see:

GT:37 JaxSt:17
FSU:19 JaxSt:9
FSU:34 Miami:38


“Somebody” looks WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY over-rated here.

I dont think it’ll be 41-23 like 2008.

But something like GT:33-20 looks more likley.

Joe Schmoe

September 15th, 2009
11:06 am

Born a Hurricane Fan, keep thinking your going to steam roll… Im pretty sure we will not see you back in here on Friday either. Please keep the smack talk to a minimal untill you actually PROVE something!

Go Tech610

September 15th, 2009
11:10 am

Born a Hurricane Fan,

This is the same defense that got shredded last year, I mean shredded. You may say they are faster, well so is GT when they get it right.

FSU’s secondary sucks. Absolutely sucks. They almost got beat by Jacksonville St! Horrible. And Miami almost let them win.

Miami’s D line rarely got any pressure to Ponder.

GT wins it 35 to 27

Joe Schmoe

September 15th, 2009
11:12 am

Trade School Junkie, I actually agree and I think it will be a low scoring game. Every year these guys come back with the same smack talk… After Thursday, there will be no more of this “Da “U” is back” talk.


September 15th, 2009
11:16 am

Thanks for pointing out that (against Jax state) GT had a weaker showing on defense than FSU. Is FSU’s defense better than Techs? GT is overated. Who is Jax State anyways? They must be good to score 17 on GT?


September 15th, 2009
11:21 am

Go Canes!!! Kick that techie ass!!!