What’s Maryland’s quarterback going to do?
In what may be college football history, the Terrapins have lost four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries, this after Danny O’Brien, a sometime 2011 starter and the 2010 ACC rookie of the year, transferred over the summer. Maryland is down to Shawn Petty, a true freshman who had been playing linebacker until last week. Tech coaches, who only know Petty through high school videos they could find, expect a conservative game plan, but are ready to adjust. Petty’s backup, by the way, is a converted tight end.
And what about Georgia Tech’s quarterback?
After pulling starting quarterback Tevin Washington for Vad Lee in last Saturday’s 41-17 loss to BYU, coach Paul Johnson decided to select the starter for the Maryland game based on practice. Fan sentiment has heavily favored Lee, the talented redshirt freshman. Lee’s talent is obvious, but he can’t challenge Washington’s experience and knowledge of the offense. While both will likely play, whoever Johnson chooses will face a considerable challenge. Maryland’s defense is No. 7 in yards allowed and No. 4 in rushing defense.
What Jackets defense will show up?
After the firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh, Tech played perhaps its best defensive game of the season, albeit against a tepid Boston College offense, and then backslid with a poor overall game against BYU last week. While Maryland didn’t have much of an offense even before it was reduced to starting a linebacker at quarterback – the Terrapins are ranked 115th in total offense in FBS – better tackling and pass rush will be signs of improvement.
A win for Georgia Tech would …
Be its first road win of the season after losing at Virginia Tech and Clemson.
A win for Maryland would …
Place the Terrapins one win away from bowl eligibility a year after going 2-10.
Matchup to watch
Georgia Tech offensive tackle Morgan Bailey vs. Maryland defensive end Joe Vellano
Vellano made his imprint on the Jackets in a 20-tackle game last year. Johnson said after the game that it might have been the best defensive performance against Tech in his tenure. Bailey, making his second career start, will try to slow down the non-stop Vellano. Bailey, who had trouble with another elite end last week in BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah, will have to demonstrate the ability coaches see in him.
The history book
Series record: Tech leads 14-6
Last meeting: In Oct. 2011, the No. 13 Jackets escaped with a 21-16 win over the Terrapins. Tech took a 21-3 lead shortly after halftime, thanks in large part to a 79-yard kickoff return by Tony Zenon to open the second half, but then failed to score over the final 27 minutes.
Tweet of the week
“The battle to get to mediocrity”
Jacob Moon, Tech alumnus