S.C. State coach Buddy Pough has a bone to pick with Georgia Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich.
Pough said when he agreed to play the Yellow Jackets, they were coached by Chan Gailey and running a pro-style offense.
Now, Tech is the defending ACC champion and running Paul Johnson’s option offense. The Bulldogs and Jackets will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in both teams’ season-opening game.
“I want to strangle him,” Pough joked on a teleconference Tuesday. “We thought we were going to play a conventional offense. That’s not to say they wouldn’t beat the starch out of us with that offense.”
Pough and Radakovich have a history. The two were at South Carolina together for a time: Radakovich as assistant athletics director and Pough as an assistant football coach.
Pough, who has led his team to 19 consecutive wins in the MEAC, said he knows what he’s going to get from Tech’s offense, but has no idea what to expect from the defense.
“You never know how he’s [Groh] changed over the years as a head coach, and how he’ll implement his style of defense with the talent he has,” Pough said. “We’re generically prepare and will change on the fly.”
S.C. State has had trouble with the 3-4 defense, the system Groh uses, in the past.
“Defenses at Bethune-Cookman gave us a hard time with the ways they’ve defended us,” Pough said. “This will be somewhat similar. We’re better at it now than we’ve been. We have some better ideas of how to attack it than we’ve had.”
Pough said he wasn’t able to pick up any hints as to how to stop Tech’s offense from watching last year’s losses to Miami, Georgia and Iowa. He said it is imperative to slow down Joshua Nesbitt and Anthony Allen.
“It’s huge,” Pough said. “The one thing that you want to try and do with any style of offense is make them left-hand. If we can take away the fullback and quarterback, that’s the principle on how you want to attack this thing.
“I just haven’t seen a whole lot of people be successful at getting that done.”
Tech has sold and distributed 46,000 tickets for Saturday’s game. Bobby Dodd Stadium seats 55,000.