From a game-planning perspective, Boston College is in something of a pickle.
On Oct. 6, the Eagles played Army, whose offense is similar to Georgia Tech’s. Such a game often clues in Tech coaches as to how their opponent will try to defend the Yellow Jackets’ option-based spread. Eagles coach Frank Spaziani noted that it does help his team by increasing familiarity with the atypical offense.
“There’s a couple layers, the yin and yang to that,” Spaziani said.
Further, with Charles Kelly taking over as Tech interim defensive coordinator in place of the fired Al Groh, the Boston College offense isn’t entirely confident of what it will see from the Tech defense.
“It’s a little bit of professional guesswork,” Spaziani said. “I wouldn’t imagine them changing too much. There’s going to be some subtle differences we’re going to have to be prepared to adjust to.”
Speaking on the ACC coaches teleconference, Spaziani drew a lofty comparison with Tech coach Paul Johnson and his offense when asked to compare it to Army’s.
“You have to remember, Paul is the (James) Naismith of that offense, if you will,” he said. “He invented it. He knows it better than most people know their defense.”
Army beat Boston College 34-31 to break an eight-game losing streak and rushed for 516 yards. Johnson dismissed the importance of knowing how an opponent will play the offense.
“We usually have an idea of what they’re going to do anyway,” he said. “I don’t know that it matters.”
2. Tech’s backup defensive linemen should see more playing time, Johnson said, naming Shawn Green, Euclid Cummings, Adam Gotsis and Anthony Williams. He also added inside linebacker Anthony Harrell. One difference between Johnson and Groh was the latter’s preference to stick with starters. Johnson said that the substitutions wouldn’t be made rote, but by game situations.
“If you’re playing 30 snaps in a half, maybe not so much,” he said. “If you’re playing 50 snaps, you’ve got to rotate ’em and try to steal a few snaps here and there.”
Said Kelly, “Anthony Harrell, he can really fly around and (is) very physical.”
Outside linebackers Chris Crenshaw, Malcolm Munroe, Nick Menocal and Tyler Marcodes all could see time in place of starters Jeremiah Attaochu and Brandon Watts. Typically, Attaochu and Watts rarely left the field when Groh was the coordinator.
Said outside linebackers coach Joe Speed, “We’ll get a fresher product going into the fourth quarter.”
3. As inter-divisional opponents, Tech is playing Boston College for the first time since 2008. Once the ACC expands to 14 teams next season with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the new scheduling format will make the matchups between Coastal and Atlantic teams even less frequent, the primary crossover partners aside. The plan in place would match Tech and Atlantic opponents such as Florida State twice every 12 years.
Johnson’s preference would be to do away with the primary partners, including the Tech-Clemson series. His condition would be to find a way for rivalries such as North Carolina-N.C. State and Miami-FSU, which both are played annually as crossover games, to continue.
“Truthfully, Georgia Tech-Clemson, that’s a good game, that’s a close game,” he said. “It’s not the same rivalry as Georgia Tech-Georgia or North Carolina-North Carolina State or Florida State-Miami probably, although it’s turned into one because we play each other every year, but historically, it probably wasn’t the same.”
4. Center Jay Finch wore a gold jersey in Wednesday’s practice, meaning he was held out of heavy-contact drills. Johnson said a determination on his playing status will be made Thursday or Friday. If he can’t play, Catlin Alford and Nick McRae will go in his place, Johnson said. Finch came out of the Oct. 6 Clemson game with a calf injury.
Johnson also said that B-back Broderick Snoddy was held out, but expected him to be able to play.
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