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.
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.
By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat