Georgia Tech vs. N.C. State

Previewing Georgia Tech’s game against North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets (2-1, 1-0 ACC) will host the Wolfpack (3-0) at noon on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

3 storylines

Have a long drive early. The best way to take the bite out of North Carolina State’s aggressive defense is to wear them out. If the Yellow Jackets can go on another 10-minute drive early it will perhaps tire out theWolfpack and make it easier to take control of the game. The Tar Heels weren’t the same, particularly up the middle, after Tech owned the ball in the second quarter.

Winning the turnover battle. N.C. State has a plus-5 turnover margin this season, one of the best in the country. Tech’s is even. However, starting running back Dean Haynes did fumble twice last week. Because Tech has the ability to grind out 10-minute drives, every possession becomes magnified. TheWolfpack can’t afford to give the Yellow Jackets more chances than necessary, and the Jackets don’t need to make silly fumbles like the one they lost against North Carolina or the one it lost against Kansas.

Disciplined defense. There’s a difference between playing fast and playing recklessly. In each of the past two games Tech’s defense has committed unnecessary penalties (roughing the kicker against Kansas and pass interference against North Carolina) which have kept drives alive. To do so again, with Russell Wilson on the other side of the line of scrimmage, would be a mistake. Tech can’t give theWolfpack more opportunities than necessary.

A Tech win would …

  • Improve it to 2-0 in the ACC for the first time under coach Paul Johnson.
  • Improve Johnson to 1-1 against N.C. State. The Wolfpack beat him when he was the coach at Navy, 65-19, in 2002.

A North Carolina State win would …

  • Improve the Wolfpack to 4-0 for the first time under coach Tom O’Brien. It would also be their first 4-0 start since 2002, when former coach Chuck Amato led them to a 9-0 start.They finished 11-3 that season.
  • Perhaps help ease the humiliation of the team’s first meeting, a 128-0 Tech victory back in 1918.

Keep an eye on …

For Georgia Tech: Steven Sylvester and Anthony Egbuniwe. They will have the fun task of not only trying to keep track of Wilson, but on some plays they will have to make sure that the running backs don’t slip into the flats for short passes. It’s going to be a chore for all four of Tech’s linebackers. Wilson doesn’t have a favorite receiver. Fourteen different players have caught passes this season. Sylvester and Egbuniwe must keep their eyes open.

For North Carolina State: Mustafa Greene and Haynes. Controlling the clock is one of the keys to beating Tech. If Haynes and Greene can experience the same success running the ball thatTech’s past six opponents have enjoyed (each has had a back run for more than 100 yards), then the Wolfpack can keep Tech’s offense off the field. The duo average 104 yards per game this season and have scored five touchdowns.

The numbers game


win in N.C. State’s past 11 conference road games outside of the state of North Carolina.


games in a row for Georgia Tech against teams from North Carolina. Tech will play its third next week when it takes on Wake Forest at 7 p.m. in Winston-Salem.


Consecutive wins in the ACC for Georgia Tech, including the victory over Clemson in the ACC championship game.


Out of 12 quarters that the Jackets have scored in this season. They are most productive in the first quarter, scoring 28 points. They have scored on each of their opening drives this season.

History book

Last meeting: Georgia Tech defeated N.C. State 31-23 at Carter-Finley Stadium in 2006.

Series record: Georgia Tech lead the series, 17-9.

The bottom line

Combining Tech seemingly getting its mojo back on offense last week with N.C. State’s struggles outside of the Tarheel state, and this should be a game that the Yellow Jackets win. However, if Wilson consistently exploits the short- and mid-range passes that the Tar Heels and Jayhawks successfully used against Tech, then this could turn into a shootout.

121 comments Add your comment


September 24th, 2010
5:17 am

Jackets win this one.


September 24th, 2010
5:31 am

second…and WTH am I doing up so early…and reading this stuff?
Anyway, Tech has good chance to go 3-0 in NC.
Remember – coordinated frenzy, Coach Groh. CPJ and Josh(ua) will do the rest.


September 24th, 2010
6:57 am

Very interesting game. I have complained about the Gailey era and it’s mail in motivation since I can remember. Part of that was watching a defense stand around against Va. Tech like they were waiting for the bus. Biggest ACC game at home that year and cemeteries have more life. That same defensive coach that had his players looking like they were overdosing on tranquilizers is on the other side line now. They may have him covered up to the point that his genius is used but his leadership skills are overridden by a higher defensive coordinator. If so we may have a long day, but it is my guess here that the way our genius CPJ keeps them on the field Jon Tenuta’s troops will run out of bullets, firing most of them and missing moving objects . Also Johnson probably has a warehouse full of tape with schemes from the old days, shouldn’t be too much that surprises him. On the other side this could be a great moment for Gailey if NC State wins, Lord that would be a burden I don’t want to have to carry. If State beats Tech it won’t be the same stuff that plagued Grant Field for several years. It will take character to stay on a field ,like Tech makes a defense stay. Jon Tenuta is a 12 noon to 5er picking up a paycheck, I will be shocked if he brings it.

Munson's Toupee

September 24th, 2010
7:09 am

I hope Tenuta sends the blitz every down…..leaving multiple holed to drive trucks thru.


September 24th, 2010
7:46 am

Tech’s biggest advantage in this game is that Tenuta is coaching for the other team.

GT Jake

September 24th, 2010
8:01 am

Agree with reebok. Tenuta is worse than Willie Martinez.


September 24th, 2010
8:22 am

who throws worse and has worse throwing motion, nesbit or ball?

The News

September 24th, 2010
9:01 am

Good NC State preview, Week 4 picks, and Nesbitt jokes…

GT Sambo

September 24th, 2010
9:12 am

1918 1918 1918!!!


September 24th, 2010
9:12 am

@michael – who cooks fries worse? you or ronald mcdonald?

GT Sambo

September 24th, 2010
9:20 am

I am going to defend the Gailey era very modestly here. We did go into Blackburg in 2006 and beat them (which may honestly be Chan Gailey’s best road win). I happened to be there and that was an awesome game!!! Now I don’t want Gailey back by any stretch, but Tenuta did a good job while here for the most part, and we always had decent defenses and they sent a lot of defensive players to the NFL (Butler, Fox, Landry, Smith, Wheeler)

GT Hammer

September 24th, 2010
9:22 am

Our defense will get hammered tomorrow. Will need 40 or more to win.

Honky Talkin'

September 24th, 2010
9:52 am

Tech needs to find their groove and Nesbitt needs to improve his timing. Tech wins 27-24.


September 24th, 2010
9:59 am

Tenuta is not a factor. How can you blitz against Tech’s offensive scheme?

Tech wins – especially if we can sustain long offensive drives. I hope that Nesbitt can continue to improve his throwing stats and I wish the recievers would CATCH THE BALL when it is in their hands!


September 24th, 2010
10:06 am

We are not recruiting quality DL.


September 24th, 2010
10:07 am

@Hammer – You either:

1. Don’t know football at all, or
2. Are not a Tech fan and post here just to irritate.

I think that it is both.


September 24th, 2010
10:08 am

@ Alan – So you first post to this board and you say that?

How about Alan aka Hammer aka many other names?

Grow up!


September 24th, 2010
10:10 am

hoping for 4-5 30 second drives for td’s, then long drives at end…wears a “D” out to pursue, too….


September 24th, 2010
10:13 am

We have to sign several quality DL and so far we have no committments.This is our downfall.We can not win with average guys!Wake up!


September 24th, 2010
10:22 am

recruiting stars can be like hollywood stars-the bigger, the flakier….too early to judge the recruiting, check back with us in 3 or 4 years…Doug, how many tix did NCSU sell?


September 24th, 2010
10:26 am

Agree with Alan recruiting quality DL is a problem.We have to correct this.Constructive criticism is welcome and this is justified no matter if you like hearing it or not.PJ make your staff pick up their effort recruiting DL.They are not getting it done.

Doug Roberson

September 24th, 2010
10:34 am

Let’s see, there’s Cross, Barnes, McCoy and Green to name a few.


September 24th, 2010
10:50 am

also got to add I was in Miami both in 05 and 07..In 05, GT held a Miami team scoreless in the 2nd half and won 14-10 to keep the canes out of a BCS game, that was Tenuta. I am happy we have CPJ but Tenuta was the only bright spot to the Gailey era. They also opened up that year at Auburn and won as well. Just saying..GO JACKETS

GT History

September 24th, 2010
10:51 am

When Georgia Tech beat North Carolina State 128-0 back in 1918,

the GT Coach was none other than John Heisman.


September 24th, 2010
10:58 am

Why is everyone so worried about Jon Tenuta. He’s NOT THE DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR. Meaning HE DOES NOT CALL THE PLAYS. What makes a good coordinator is not having all best plays/schemes. It’s having the feel for the game and knowing the right time to call them. So please, let’s get off this Tenuta crap and admire how Tech will blow out N. C. State in the 2nd half tomorrow.


September 24th, 2010
11:07 am

During the NCSU-Cinci game last week either The Bachelor or Jesse James said that Tenuta is indeed calling the plays from the box…


September 24th, 2010
11:09 am

This will be a GT blowout. Against UCF-UCF turned the ball over five times, Wilson was 10-30, and State only had 80 yards the second half. The score wound up 28-21. Cincinatti looks really bad this year. I would be shocked if this isn’t at least a 14 point win.


September 24th, 2010
11:09 am

I suppose Mike Archer is just the DC/CEO and Tenuta is LB/COO…


September 24th, 2010
12:17 pm

@gt45, but UCF has a good defense.

Seems to me that every game this year will be close; just like last year. If we don’t shoot our own foot off we can win shoot-outs, a la UNC; if we do we will lose close, see e.g. KU. I think it will take a year or two of defensive improvement before we start to handle anybody…but I would still love it if we did win by 14.

Go Jackets!


September 24th, 2010
1:59 pm

I still don’t understand why they let Tenuta go. I miss his defenses. Like Sambo said, they were always good and sent players to the NFL. Good to see him back in the ACC(just happy it’s not in the coastal).


September 24th, 2010
2:07 pm

@GT History Thanks for the history lesson. I did not know that.


September 24th, 2010
2:10 pm

Enter your comments here

GT Hammer

September 24th, 2010
2:15 pm


There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. Alan is 100% correct. The reason we lose to teams like Iowa, LSU and Georgia is bc we don’t recruit the athletes in the trenches.

I can’t stand Tech fans like you. You’re the guy that was yelling “Give Chan Gailey one more year!” “He’ll get it right next time!”

GT Hammer

September 24th, 2010
2:31 pm


You’re right about Barnes. He’s a force!


September 24th, 2010
2:40 pm

You guys hating on the d-line recruits really need to look again. The switch is hurting some of these guys right now, but we should have a good rotation as the year goes on and the two deep for next year looks good.


September 24th, 2010
2:42 pm

Good luck tomorrow Bees!

Blitz, Blitz and More Blitz

September 24th, 2010
2:54 pm

We’re going to surprise you with the blitz.


September 24th, 2010
2:59 pm

I’m mildly worried about this game, but NC State hasn’t really played anyone yet. The most impressive win they have is Cincinatti, who has a new coach.

Go BC!!!

September 24th, 2010
3:04 pm

Too much griping on this board…

D-Line problems or not, a BC win over Va. Tech tomorrow will go a LONG WAY to improving our chances to repeat as ACC Champs!

Go Jackets! And go Boston College!


September 24th, 2010
3:49 pm

Another joke game for Tech. Would love to see them go through an SEC schedule each year. The only DECENT team in the ACC is Miami and they are not that great.


September 24th, 2010
4:02 pm

Daniel- you do know we were in the SEC and handled everyone pretty good while there. We even have more SEC championships than the almigty dawgs. Stop complaining and go root for your conference instead of your team like all SEC teams do…..that suck.

Old Gold

September 24th, 2010
4:15 pm

Doug, agree that Tech played better last week (except fot the two bad pitchouts), and that bodes well for the Jackets. To your second point – NCSU’s troubles outside the state of North Carolina – that means absolutely nothing. Different years, different teams. If Tech wins, it won’t be because of geography.

Hayseed Dixie

September 24th, 2010
4:41 pm

@ Daniel. Hey, hows that SEC schedule working out for you?

What do Dawg fans start saying when their team is 1-2? SEC, SEC, SEC.

You’re like the fat girl that does all the talking for her pretty girlfriends.


September 24th, 2010
5:42 pm

If the defense can get enough pressure on their qb and force him to make bad throws, than the O should take control of the game. If the Defense continues to play average, we will get beat.


September 24th, 2010
5:51 pm

Going to have to outscore them as the defense is still terrible…….


September 24th, 2010
5:54 pm

to win, we need to get more points than the other team. It’s simple really.


September 24th, 2010
5:55 pm

Tech looked better defensively in the second half of the UNC game. More pressure on the qb and tougher against the run. Don’t know if that
was due to adjustments or maybe their lack of depth (depleted squad). Regardless, I hope it bodes well for tomorrow.


September 24th, 2010
6:20 pm

Well thank you for your constructive thoughts, Daniel, but if Georgia Tech played an SEC schedule they wouldn’t play enough in-conference games to qualify for the ACC title, which is one of the team goals. One of the team goals is not, I don’t think, impressing SEC fans.


September 24th, 2010
6:22 pm

But then again, I doubt you’re really an SEC fan. Or a fan of anything else, either.


September 24th, 2010
7:20 pm

@GT45 Isn”t it true that the team that GT lost to Kansas had a fairly new coaching staff and that team sucks. Last time I checked State is still 3-0. UCF had a good defense last year and has carried that into this season. Lastly GT almost lost to a team that has how many players missing? State will when this game convincingly, trust me.