A last look at Tech-Duke




Three storylines

Can the offense keep it floored?

Duke coach David Cutcliffe marveled this week at the efficiency of Georgia Tech’s offense, calling it one of the hottest offenses in the country. Tech will likely stick with its quarterback rotation, playing Tevin Washington for two series, then backup Vad Lee for two and then going from there. Last Saturday, the Jackets blocked well, made a number of standout individual plays, had great performance by the A-backs and performed with energy and focus. Consistency, so elusive this season, is the goal.

Which defense will Duke see?

Last Saturday’s game against North Carolina’s fast-break offense was something of a referendum for the Tech defense – were the improvements shown against Boston College and Maryland real or more a reflection on the opponents’ tepid offenses? The defense gave two answers. The first half and the first play of the second half (36 points and 382 yards allowed) and the rest of the game (seven points, not including a touchdown scored by UNC’s defense, and 115 yards). Duke, which runs a high-tempo offense like the Tar Heels’ and has an effective operator in quarterback Sean Renfree, will test Tech again

What’s the Miami score?

Should the Jackets prevail, there will be keen interest in Miami’s game against South Florida, which kicks off at 3 p.m. and will be televised on regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South in the Atlanta market. A win over the Bulls will make the Hurricanes bowl eligible, which is the trigger for the school’s announcement on a possible self-imposed postseason ban as it faces NCAA sanctions. A Tech win and the bowl ban, which could come as early as Sunday, send the Jackets to the ACC championship game.

A Georgia Tech win would …

Give Tech at least a share of the ACC Coastal title, earn bowl eligibility for the 16th year in a row and avoid the Jackets’ first losing home record since 1994.

A Duke win would …

Be the Blue Devils’ first over the Jackets since 2003 and first in Atlanta since 1994.

Matchup to watch

Duke offensive line vs. Georgia Tech blitz package

Tech’s pass rush has been inconsistent, and some would call that gracious. Duke has been solid in pass protection, allowing one sack per 28.8 pass attempts and giving Renfree time to complete 67.3 percent of his passes. The Jackets’ job will be winning first down and forcing hurried throws. The latter will require pass rushers like defensive end Izaan Cross and linebackers Jeremiah Attaochu, Quayshawn Nealy and Brandon Watts to come free quickly enough to challenge Renfree.

History book

Series record: Tech leads 48-30-1
Last meeting: A week after getting knocked out of the Coastal Division race by Virginia Tech, Tech shook free of a tenacious Duke team with a 38-31 win in Durham, N.C. The Jackets took four different 14-point leads, but Duke had the ball on its 34-yard line with 3:44 remaining and a chance to tie. A Jemea Thomas interception ended the rally.

Tweets of the week

“#GTDU12 I hope UM follows 1995 Duke’s example. They felt so bad about the Barry Wilson years they self-imposed an 18-year bowl ban.”

@JamesCavendish

Zachary Picklesimer, Tech grad

“ridiculous that we even have a chance to still make ACCCG. But who cares!? #GoJackets

@GardnerReed

Reed Gardner, Tech student

17 comments Add your comment

5150 UOAD

November 17th, 2012
12:01 pm

5150 UOAD

November 17th, 2012
12:02 pm

Not the LAST LOOK…….Win this will be a HUGE game….Lose we will drive ourselves crazy over why we did.

5150 UOAD

November 17th, 2012
12:08 pm

Zachery Picklesimer………….is NOT a Tech grad or he would care and know why he should care.

5150 UOAD

November 17th, 2012
12:14 pm

Maryland vs FSU is already OVER….LOL

Ken Sugiura

November 17th, 2012
12:21 pm

actually, Reed’s the one who made that tweet. no reason to be hard on him.

5150 UOAD

November 17th, 2012
12:24 pm

KEN……OK….What did you get for your B-Day? I hope it was nice.

CT_Jacket

November 17th, 2012
1:11 pm

Duke’s D, statistically, is significantly worse than UNCs. Hopefully, we can run the ball at will and mix in the pass to keep them off balance. Just play a clean special teams game and don’t turn it over.

collegeballfan

November 17th, 2012
1:17 pm

Simple. If GT blocks Duke they will score enough points to win.

chuck

November 17th, 2012
1:49 pm

What’s the point of including such a negative tweet in this article? Just to rile us up? To make us look bad?

faultline

November 17th, 2012
2:17 pm

Dear Dr. Shalala , Please don’t put Bowl ban in effect. I can not stomach two consecutive pummelings, followed by another B grade bowl loss.

Biff Pocoroba

November 17th, 2012
2:48 pm

Maybe we can get Georgia Southern’s defense to stay in Athens and play for us next week. Some of them seem to know how to tackle.

Biff Pocoroba

November 17th, 2012
4:02 pm

This defense doesn’t belong in any championship game. The only question would be if they could hold FSU to less than 100.

wrecked again

November 17th, 2012
4:54 pm

goldenrod , how much did you lose on the Georgia GS game?

Ms Susie Rottencrotch Tech admirer

November 17th, 2012
5:06 pm

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mansup

November 17th, 2012
8:10 pm

I am totally behind the Jackets, and have been my entire life. I am very happy they seem to be playing better. But, could the Tech defense possibly be any weaker than they are? I believe that defense to be the worst I have ever seen. If Tech played ANY defense at all, the Jackets would rarely lose.

chuck

November 17th, 2012
8:29 pm

I agree the defense is pretty bad but if you look across the country, all defenses have been pretty poor. A lot of basketball scores this season. Also, the primary reason Tech’s D is struggling is because we can’t get those junior college thumb sucking NTs that UGA gets because of our academics. Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing any time soon, so I don’t really have a solution.