1. How will the Georgia Tech offense function against the Virginia Tech defense?
Last year, the Hokies finished in the top 10 in scoring defense and total defense and return nine starters (eight will play Monday). Georgia Tech is stocked on the offensive line and A-back Orwin Smith is a proven playmaker, but the wide receivers are an inexperienced group and last year’s starting B-back, David Sims, is hobbled and likely won’t play much. The Yellow Jackets will need contributions from B-backs Charles Perkins and Zach Laskey and in the passing game from quarterback Tevin Washington.
2. What will the special teams look like?
Monday will be the anticipated debut for Georgia Tech special-teams coordinator David Walkosky, coach Paul Johnson’s first pure special-teams coach. Players have given positive reviews to Walkosky’s intensity and the depth of his schemes. However, special teams looked good in practice last year, as Johnson noted, but subpar results on the field led to Walkosky’s hire. Tony Zenon and Smith will be on kickoff return duty, while Jemea Thomas will take back punts.
3. Can the secondary handle Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas?
Georgia Tech will be without two starters, safety Fred Holton (undisclosed injury) and cornerback Louis Young (suspension). Bumping everyone up the depth chart two notches is precarious. Jamal Golden, who largely played special teams as a freshman last season, will start at safety and likely be depended upon at multiple spots in the backfield. True freshman D.J. White could see the field as well as Coray Carlson, a former walk-on who was put on scholarship in August.
A win for Georgia Tech would…
Be the first for the Jackets in the Johnson era in Blacksburg, Va., following losses in 2008 and 2010.
A win for Virginia Tech would …
Be its fifth in six years against Georgia Tech.
Matchup to watch
Virginia Tech running back Michael Holmes vs. Georgia Tech inside linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days
Both are redshirt freshmen playing – and starting – in their first college games at crucial positions, and both will be expected to produce. That said, it’s a near certainty that both will make mistakes out of anxiety or lack of experience, maybe a fumble by Holmes or a blown assignment by Hunt-Days. Both sides are just hoping they won’t be game-changing.
The history book
Series record: Virginia Tech leads 6-3
Last meeting: At Bobby Dodd Stadium last Nov. 10, Georgia Tech took a 26-21 third-quarter lead but then surrendered the final 16 points in a 37-21 loss that eliminated the Jackets from ACC title contention.
Tweet of the week
Q: What does VT do after beating GT in football? A: turn off the playstation. #avengenesbitt 9/3
Jeff Schultz predicts…
To take on Jeff in Sack Schultz in coming weeks and compete for a trip to Hawaii, among other things, go here.
(and tease to Sack Schultz contest on ajc.com)