Is there a hangover?
Georgia Tech has more margin for error against Middle Tennessee State than it would against an ACC opponent, but not so much that it can sleepwalk through Bobby Dodd Stadium and count on winning. A week after a crushing loss to Miami, the Yellow Jackets can show they’ve put it behind them and are ready to play their final eight regular-season games with a dominating effort against MTSU. A-back Orwin Smith said the team has finished its moping and is moving forward.
How does the defense handle the Blue Raiders?
After Miami played the Tech defense like a fiddle, the Jackets will play an offense of a different stripe. The Blue Raiders operate a spread offense that stretches defenses sideline to sideline. They also work without a huddle, which Miami used to give the Jackets problems last week. With MTSU quarterback Logan Kilgore often throwing short routes, it may be difficult for Tech to pressure him, so effective coverage and good tackling will be essential.
Will the backups get playing time?
Given that Tech was a 27.5-point favorite on Thursday and has beaten MTSU by a combined 56 points in the past two seasons, there is some expectation that the Jackets will win, and possibly handily. Should that prove to be the case, coach Paul Johnson will have the opportunity to stretch the legs of some second- and third-teamers for possibly the last time this season. Defensive linemen Anthony Williams and Adam Gotsis, inside linebacker Anthony Harrell, quarterback Vad Lee and guard Trey Braun could make cases for more playing time.
A win for Georgia Tech would …
Improve its record against teams with “Blue” in their nickname (Duke Blue Devils, Presbyterian Blue Hose and MTSU Blue Raiders) to 55-30-1.
A win for Middle Tennessee State would …
Be the third win this season for a Sun Belt Conference team against a BCS conference team (Louisiana-Monroe over Arkansas, Western Kentucky over Kentucky).
Matchup to watch
MTSU wide receiver Anthony Amos vs. Tech cornerback Rod Sweeting
Amos, a former walk-on, has caught 21 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns in three games this season. He was added to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top wide receiver. Sweeting had a tough game against the Hurricanes and will have another challenge when lined up across from Amos.
The history book
Series record: Georgia Tech leads 2-0
Last meeting: Last September in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Jackets scored on their first play from scrimmage, a 73-yard touchdown pass to Tony Zenon and led 28-0 in the second quarter on their way to a 49-21 win. Quarterback Tevin Washington completed five of eight passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Tweet of the week
If Tech loses I’m transferring
Newt Clark, Tech student