Georgia Tech heads into N.C. State week

Greetings-

Hope you were able to watch the game Saturday. If not, you can catch the replay here on ESPN 3.

Anyway, I imagine you’ve re-hashed the game a good bit, so we’ll try to look forward here.

1. With North Carolina out of the way, it’s not difficult to imagine that the Yellow Jackets could be 7-0 in a month’s time. (Unless your imagination is not very good.) Obviously, if coaches and players start thinking along those lines, that’s probably not wise. But, as fans, I’d say you’re welcome to do so. Unless something drastic happens, Tech should be favored in each of the next three games against N.C. State, Maryland and Virginia.

If Tech can continue its improvement, execution and focus, I’d rate its chances of winning each fairly high. Certainly, weird things happen and counting on a group of 20-year-olds to stay consistent at most anything can be a foolish proposition. But, somebody’s got to win those games.

If you’re wondering, and I know you aren’t, my laborious research tells me that if Tech reaches 7-0, it can reasonably expect to be ranked somewhere between 10th and 20th in the country. I checked all the top-25 polls going into Week 8 through 2002 for the lowest-ranked undefeated BCS-conference team. The high was No. 8 and the low was No. 19. Most were No. 14-16. I suppose I could also look at the teams ahead of Tech and figure out how many head-to-head matchups there are that would drop the loser beneath the Jackets or see what teams have a tough schedule in the next four weeks, but there are limits to my laborious research.

While we’re on the topic of projections, you could make the case that in this 7-0 scenario, Tech might be a little high, as they would be 7-0 with (possibly) only one win over a “quality opponent.”

2. A troublesome number for the N.C. State. The offense is averaging 2.8 yards per carry. The N.C. State school paper pointed out that, if you take away wins over Liberty and South Alabama, the average is 1.5 yards per carry. Aiyee.

Wake Forest and Cincinnati’s passing numbers against N.C. State: 48-for-70, 600 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions.

One other factoid: The Wolfpack’s linebackers coach is … Jon Tenuta.

3. Hopefully you read the story I wrote for Monday’s paper about statistical differences between the 2010 team and the 2011 version after four games. As you might imagine, the most obvious difference is the passing game. Other facets of the offense, as well as the defense, are improved (penalties are down 38 percent, for example), but the efficiency of the passing game is what has improved the most.

I think one way to capture is that, last year, Tech had completed 33 percent of its passes through four games, on its way to finishing at 38 percent, lowest in FBS. This year, Tevin Washington’s completion rate is 64 percent. With one more completion, he’d be slightly ahead of the single-season school record for completion percentage (Joe Hamilton, 1999, 66.6 percent).

It’s easy to make this a Joshua Nesbitt vs. Washington matter and, obviously, some or maybe even a lot of the difference lies there. Protection, route running, catching efficiency (if such a thing exists) and the situations (throwing off of play action vs. throwing because the team is behind) all play a role.

I’d be curious for your thoughts.

4. Game time for the Maryland game at Bobby Dodd Stadium Oct. 8 should be announced Monday. I’ll have it up on a blog as soon as I find out.

5. Some links from Saturday’s game.

Charlotte Observer report from the UNC side, as well as Wilmington Star News.

Jon Cooper’s story about Stephen Hill’s efforts for Sting Daily.

Matt Winkeljohn’s game story and various pontifications for Sting Daily.

David Friedlander’s report for the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Stan Awtrey’s story in the Macon Telegraph.

6. I’ll have post-practice notes up 9-ish. My guesses for Tech players of the game: Jeremiah Attaochu, Darren Waller (special teams) and either Stephen Hill or Jay Finch.

Thanks for reading. Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

276 comments Add your comment

Burdell 90

September 26th, 2011
10:22 am

DawginLex

September 26th, 2011
10:28 am

To satisfy T3, I went over to the UGA Blog Cesspool with all the other drunk uneducated UGA folks.

They are mad over there.

Y’all think O’Brien regrets giving the keys to the car to Glennon and buying wilson a cab ride to Madison?

Tech 49
NCSU 24

Burdell 90

September 26th, 2011
10:33 am

Washington and Nesbitt are two different QB’s. I would not say one is better than the other. It’s the other factors…defenses not respecting the pass, the blocking that is opening up the running(especially by the recievers) that in time opens up the passing, and the work that the recievers have put in to run better routes and actually catch the ball.

Like I have said before, the offense will take care of itself. The defense needs to keep improving each week and not get comfortable.

Defense wins games, if they don’t score, they can’t win.

What are the stats on KO returns and especially punt returns? At least we are catching the punts.

macrotech

September 26th, 2011
10:39 am

DawginLex, I can’t imagine uga losing many more games this season! Florida and Tenn. look beatable and…I don’t EVEN want to bring up Tech’s history against the dawgs! I’m okay with ya’ll winning all but that last one of the season! O’Brien would be an idiot if he didn’t have that regret! I hope that you prove as good a prophet as you were with your last call!!!

GT Fan

September 26th, 2011
10:42 am

October is key for GT (Just like in 009)

@ NCST
Maryland
@ UVA
@ Miami
Clemson

With no off week.
Yes Miami appears to have major problems stopping the run, but that is going to be a very difficult game for the Jackets …. 2nd consecutive road game, and they really don’t play real well in South Florida. Playing against Miami’s athletes will help prepare the defense for Clemson’s the following week.

If GT can come out of October 3-2 it’ll be 9+ Ws. 4-1, and the VT game decides the Coastal. 5-0 … GT wins the Coastal, and UGA will stand between an 11-1 or 12-0 season.

Stay grounded Jackets, execute, and take NO opponent lightly, and good things will happen!

High school

September 26th, 2011
10:45 am

Three more JV games….

GT Fan

September 26th, 2011
10:46 am

The Maryland game time was posted & announced on the jumbotron Saturday as a 3:30 start.

Tom

September 26th, 2011
10:46 am

Tell Macon’s Awtrey that his ugag-beat colleague is an idiot.

GT Dude

September 26th, 2011
10:49 am

Had Hill caught that wide open pass in the second half, he would have been ahead of Joe Ham. Of course that one handed grab Hill made in the first half was amazing…
So I guess it all averages out

Birmingham Jacket

September 26th, 2011
10:55 am

Don’t like your thinking at all Ken.

No game is a gimmie’ when our defense has shown repeatedly, that between making some pretty good plays– for no ryme or reason it falls asleep and gives up quick scores.

Also, special teams that miss 30 yard field goals and fumble kick-offs could make us lose to Gwinnett High School.

ONE GAME AT A TIME.

I am excited to be traveling to Raleigh this weekend though. Hope I get to see a beat-down in revenge for last year’s Buzz-Kill (pardon the pun) NC St. issued at Dodd.

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
10:58 am

High School games?
Tennessee
Vandy
New Mexico St
Auburn
Kentucky
None of these teams are playing Real Big Time college football.
Nice High School Schedule.

Yeller and Gold Buzzzzzz

September 26th, 2011
10:59 am

@ Birmingham…what fumbled kick offs? didn’t see any of that in the NC game

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
11:00 am

Birm Jacket
No R. Wilson at NCSU this year. Tech will beat Glennon.

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
11:03 am

The heart of the Jackets Season starts @UVa and runs through VT at Dodd.

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
11:05 am

Yeller
I think he is speaking of the Slightly miss handled but caught Punt by Laskey. UNC received a kick catch interference penalty on the play too.

REW

September 26th, 2011
11:06 am

Stephen Hill’s one-handed catch #1 play of weekend on SportCenter – go vote for it over T. Gonzales catch vs. Eagles on ESPN.com.

juvenal

September 26th, 2011
11:13 am

CPJ plays who he wants to play how wants to play, did not need my advice last year to play Tevin more & to try some shotgun so we might as well move on…Lex, glad to see you a big % from your side, keeping the civil in civil war……Ken, love the links……

Yeller and Gold Buzzzzzz

September 26th, 2011
11:14 am

5150

ah yes…the life of a frosh punt returner…..his first pressure punt catch with the game on the line. I think our bigger issue is KO. They just have to get that kick higher and deeper.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 26th, 2011
11:15 am

KEN!!!

Did you see the KSU/Miami game?!?

Even if it is in Miami, they will not be much of a match they way I see it. I like your train of thought though. You should have made the case of 8-0 going into the Clemson game.

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 26th, 2011
11:16 am

I’m hoping for two 8-0 teams when GT and Clemson play.

I love breaking those farm boy hearts.

juvenal

September 26th, 2011
11:21 am

1 at a time…..something else i don’t get is why 96 gets so much PT? star news has a pic of walls tumbling down again on the 55 yard burst up the middle…..

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 26th, 2011
11:25 am

Hiccup against NC. Game should not have been that close. “O” will have a big day against NCST. I thought “D” looked good wih interceptions and sacks. Hill doesn’t drop again the rest of year. ” KEEP ROLLING YELLOW JACKETS ” 56-17

Ramblin Man

September 26th, 2011
11:26 am

The team definitely does not need to look past any opponent as they have made plenty of mistakes that could have cost them the UNC game. 17 points was left on that field and the D will show flashes then loose coverage and sloppy tackling for a series or two.

Casey

September 26th, 2011
11:26 am

We have a VERY GOOD chance of winning the ACC. But let’s take it ONE GAME AT A TIME… or we’ll be talking about all the “what-if’s” again at the end of the season. Anyhow, thank you Jackets for giving us something to chear about in Atlanta while the Falcons and Braves stink it up..

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 26th, 2011
11:28 am

8-0 would be sweet. More than possible.

RambleOn84

September 26th, 2011
11:28 am

DawginLex,
O’Brien has got to be the biggest buffoon in college football.

Who else would tell a potentially All-American QB to go take a hike?

We need to take care of business in the next three.

ormewood

September 26th, 2011
11:28 am

NC State looked wretched versus Cincy on both sides of the ball. Barring a complete breakdown, Jackets should win handily. Wolfpack beat jackets last season. Should be all the motivation that’s needed.

5150 UOAD

September 26th, 2011
11:30 am

Casey
you are leaving out the Dream Lady’s WNBA team.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:31 am

Ken, can you PLEASE do something about imposters. The post at 11:03 was not made by me. Those of you who know me personally hopefully (including the one who met me at the game Saturday) can tell the difference, but others have no idea. I have no idea why anybody would pose under someone else’s name instead of creating one of his (or her) own, but it’s obvious that some people just don’t have lives.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:31 am

Ken, what’s up with the filters AGAIN??? The post made at 11:03 was NOT made by me. A poser’s posts gets through, but mine don’t

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 26th, 2011
11:33 am

If you didn’t see Kent Hill before the game, check him out, great guy, good cookies. He’s next to chick-fil-a.

calm down

September 26th, 2011
11:35 am

One game at a time. No talk of 7-0 till we actually make it. This team needs to keep a level head and execute. This team has been doing all the things that we couldn’t do last year. Keep it up, and dont get that sense of entitlement.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:35 am

5150 and macro, and anybody else who posts here regularly, just so you will know, 11:03 was not me

mcfredlyte

September 26th, 2011
11:37 am

Ken, something else that has drastically changed is the number of long plays from scrimmage that tech has. This year through four games tech has 14 plays of 40+ yards. Last year with 13 games, tech only had 16 such plays.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 26th, 2011
11:39 am

Super, glad you cleared that up. That didn’t sound like you. Ken should block those.

Tenuta's Game plan

September 26th, 2011
11:43 am

rock… Rock… ROCK… ROOOCCCKKKK!!!!

Ted M

September 26th, 2011
11:43 am

Tevin looks so much better than last season. Stephen Hill, holy cow, last year he could not catch a can of corn for the whole entire year now he is leaping 2 feet in the air and catching balls one handed.

That’s the difference.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:44 am

GIVE ME…. Thanks. I know Ken can check email addresses, but let’s face it, he DOES have more important things to do.

BUZZ

September 26th, 2011
11:45 am

stay grounded & UGA SUCKS !!!!!

Tech 51 NC St 21
uga 17 Miss St 27

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:47 am

Ted M, another BIG difference too is the overall team emotion. And the defense, even though it still gets iffy at times, is so far and above what we saw last year that it’s just incredible. Each week they look a little better, and that week-by-week improvement means the best is still to come…..and it WILL come.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 26th, 2011
11:47 am

You’re right , he does a great job. Glad to have him.

JSJacket

September 26th, 2011
11:48 am

Wow, Ken. You are killing it with the Tech coverage this year. A serious upgrade. Demand a raise and keep it up!

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:48 am

Buzz, Miss State is definitely a better coached team than the mutts, but it’s going to be tough for them to win in Athens. I hope your prediction is right.

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 26th, 2011
11:48 am

It’s only 4-0. Am I celebrating a great September? Absolutely. Is it a promising start to the season? Sure. Does it warrant these headlines about 1990 and what this team might have in them? Not in my opinion. There are no real pushovers left on the schedule. NCSU, UVA, Maryland, Miami, and even Duke are the type of team that can get back on track, and each should be considered a trap game. I’m praying the coaching staff is harping on the mistakes and work is being put in this week by our team in every phase of the game (I’m lookin’ at you, ST’s). NCSU’s defense was pretty decent against us last season as that game was NOT a shootout. Wilson was scoring plenty, sure, but more importantly, we were not. I’m confident in GT’s ability to go 7-0 and beyond, but I am not okay talking like that’s a sure thing.

Ted M

September 26th, 2011
11:49 am

Tech did block a punt even considering that the special teams still stink.

If CPJ could get their special teams to just average they might be able to do something great. As is GT will lose a game solely because of special teams.

juvenal

September 26th, 2011
11:49 am

Ken, please ask how #96 graded out, & why not use #93 more, he saved us those last 2 drives…..you should feel honored, Super, shows you gotten under somebody’s hide…..

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:49 am

I never really had anything against Doug’s coverage last year. But I guess I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. I am in no way putting Doug down, but WOW, Ken’s coverage is AWESOME !!!!

GT FAN

September 26th, 2011
11:50 am

Right now, 5-0 would be super, then lets worry about the other games. As John F Kennedy was told, goin to Dallas was like getting a hole in the head. Lets dont look ahead.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 26th, 2011
11:51 am

Team attitude is great. Roddy said the only way to stop the talk about losing the ACC champiohship was to go and get another one. Looking for a flawless game this week.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 26th, 2011
11:52 am

Perimeter, I agree, and I think we had better not take Duke too lightly. Just because they are historically more or less a patsy, the DO have a coach now, and we should all know from personal experience just what a good coach can accomplish.