Tech upset bid starts in the middle




By rule of physiology and physics, football players gradually wear down over the course of the season. For Georgia Tech B-back David Sims, despite playing a brutal position, the opposite has held true.
After starting the season recovering from a stress fracture in his shin, Sims has progressed through injuries to his ankle and hamstring before finally the ability to play pain-free blessedly returned. Sims, playing the feature position in Tech’s spread-option offense, said he feels the best he’s felt all season.
Told that it must be nice to run the ball the way he know he can, Sims replied, “You have no idea.”
Consider Sims, then, a fitting metaphor for the Yellow Jackets’ season. After stumbling through the first half of the season, Tech has found its groove heading into the showdown at Sanford Stadium with No. 3 Georgia (10-1). There are no shortage of reasons to believe Tech is doomed. The Jackets (6-5) have never beaten the Bulldogs when they’ve been ranked in the top 10. The Georgia offense appears primed to overrun the Tech defense. You may have heard Georgia has won 10 of the past 11 in the series.
A Jackets upset would rank at least as their biggest since the John Dewberry-led conquest in 1984 and probably the most significant ever. At the heart of such a triumph would most likely be Tech’s engine room – Sims, his backup Zach Laskey and the Jackets’ five offensive linemen.
The staple of the offense is the triple-option play, and the staple of the triple option is the B-back dive. While Tech has managed to skirt around Sims and Laskey’s lack of impact with productive play by the A-backs on the perimeter and quarterback Tevin Washington’s keepers, the Jackets will likely have to force Georgia to honor the dive in order to negate the Bulldogs’ strength and speed advantages. It goes doubly so if playmaking A-back Orwin Smith either can’t play or is limited due to an ankle injury suffered last Saturday.
“I think so,” Sims said, asked if the interior running game would be crucial, before correcting himself. “I don’t think so, I know so. I think that helps everything that we’re going to try to do this upcoming Saturday.”
Sims and Laskey combined for 109 rushing yards against North Carolina and 142 against Duke last Saturday, and Tech exploded for 110 points in the two wins. It was the first time the B-back position had produced back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against BCS conference opponents since Anthony Allen played the position in 2010. It was a far cry from Tech’s overtime loss to Miami in September, when Sims said the Hurricanes practically ignored the B-back dive into the line.
“They weren’t respecting us,” Sims said. “That’s basically how everybody tries to defend the option. They try to make sure the stop the perimeter, and we’re trying to change that to where, if we can keep them in (the box), then we can go out to the perimeter.”
The Tech offensive line, which in recent weeks has played its best in coach Paul Johnson’s tenure, will need another standout performance against Georgia’s star-studded defensive front. Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, nose tackle John Jenkins and, if he declares for the draft, inside linebacker Alec Ogletree all could be first-round draft picks in April.
“They’re really big, athletic guys,” offensive tackle Ray Beno said of the Bulldogs’ front three. “Their linebackers and secondary, all speed guys.”
The confrontation will start with center Jay Finch and Jenkins, who is listed at 358 pounds but whom Johnson insisted is closer to 400 pounds. Finch weighs 280 pounds. Last year, drained by sickness, he tried to dislodge Jenkins at 250 pounds. He described the difference between Jenkins and other nose tackles as “trying to push a car that’s in neutral and then one that’s in park.”
Every 3- or 4-yard dive play by Sims would steadily erode Georgia, leading to long drives, the occasional big play caused by a knockdown block and a missed assignment and, ideally, touchdowns. Every first down Tech can churn out against the defense ranked fourth in FBS at forcing three-and-outs means another couple minutes that Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has to wait on the sidelines.
“We’re going to have to hit some plays,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said. “There’s no doubt about it. I think the big key for us is we’ve got to take care of the football. You look back at the last few years, we haven’t taken care of the football like we need to to win the game.”
Sims, the converted quarterback from St. Matthews, S.C., is ready for his chance to set flame to the Bulldogs’ national championship hopes. What would that mean to Tech fans?
He probably has no idea.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

56 comments Add your comment

Marcpaww

November 23rd, 2012
6:53 pm

First pawwwwllll

mbeaver6

November 23rd, 2012
7:04 pm

Actually, the Jackets beat the Bulldogs in 1927 when they were undefeated and ranked #1. We’ve never beat them when they were ranked in the top 10 and we were unranked though.

Sav FAN

November 23rd, 2012
7:20 pm

Tech-not even a prayer will help tomorrow-maybe against FSU

btgt69

November 23rd, 2012
8:11 pm

i heard today the spring valedictorian will be the smartest student on campus,,, named uga,, assuming he is sober and not in jail.
uga = university of guilty athletes,, a tradition unlike any other
THWg

Old Gold 37

November 23rd, 2012
8:16 pm

Laskey will have a huge game tomorrow.

Dog kicker

November 23rd, 2012
9:03 pm

I hate bulldogs!! A win tomorrow will make my year complete.

franchise

November 23rd, 2012
9:27 pm

I want nothing more than to flip a huge bird to the whole land of college football, the BCS, and the all mighty SEC by sh*tting all over their national title hopes. I hate you, Georgia bulldogs. To hell with you.

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JM

November 23rd, 2012
9:43 pm

Go Jackets. any thing is possible.

fuzzybee78

November 23rd, 2012
9:50 pm

Sims was one of the few bright spots in last years game as I remember. Ran hard, athletic, hand on the ground fighting for more yards. Great to here he is 100%. Play hard and leave it on the field!

GT Joe

November 23rd, 2012
10:29 pm

Sorry ken,upset bid starts at qb. Tevin is starting, and we will be down 14-21 by the time vad gets in.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 23rd, 2012
10:40 pm

If UGA scores 21 points by the time Vad gets in, it certainly won’t be Tevin’s fault; that would fall on the defense. But if we ARE down like that, then I look for Vad to get us back quickly

yeller bug

November 23rd, 2012
10:42 pm

Less than 14 hours to KO.

Stay focused, play hard and play clean—that’s all we can ask. I hope CPJ has a good game plan and we can jump on them early—the dawggies may tighten up and press if they get behind. We’ll also need a little assistance from lady luck.

I hope Sims runs with his head up and finds the crease—-I’ll take 3.5 yd dive plays all day long—just move the chains and burn the clock. It sounds great in theory—much harder in actual practice. Go Jackets!

savannah buzz

November 23rd, 2012
10:51 pm

as well as the offense might be ready to play….this one will come down to, can the defense just hang in there. can we force a couple of turnovers. can we stop them on third and long. can we get a three-and-out at a critical point. The evidence so far says no, I expect Georgie to have their way with us. But tomorrow could be special. Who knows.

Go Jackets!

Smart like a fox

November 23rd, 2012
10:52 pm

My favorite day of the year…..I love this game !!

93 Dawg

November 23rd, 2012
11:01 pm

Anything is possible. Stranger things have happened. Vad Lee can do anything. Blah, blah, blah. For any of you techmites who show up at Sanford tomorrow, I salute you (though I will be rooting LOUDLY against you). For the rest of you who returned your tickets, shame on you!

I Iove Jan Kemp

November 23rd, 2012
11:16 pm

Tech has NOTHING to lose!I hope they remember that.Just go in there,play loose and have fun.Just play out their assignements and get it DONE!

A-mazed

November 23rd, 2012
11:36 pm

93 Dawg;
As for your “shame on you”, look around while you are at the game at the boorish behaviour, the trash, the sloppy drunks and the loudmouths, and tell me why I should not just sit in my chair at home and watch. Been there, done that. And I can hold my own in a brawl or a country club.

Jefferson Davis Hogg

November 23rd, 2012
11:49 pm

As A Dawg fan I occasionally come over here to get a second oppinion. Most Dawg fans are thumping their chest not expecting a close game. I for one hope it’s not, but in my teams favor, but the realist in me expects a really close shootout of sorts with the Dawgs winning, but with it being a rivalry and both teams highly motivated, nothing would surprize me. As I read on these blogs GT fans are selling themselves short. I believe you guys have a legitimate chance and that scares the hayell out of me. Us Dawg fans have waited a long time for a moment like this and GT knows it. Something tells me CPJ has a few surprizes in store for us but I also think if UGA plays up to their potential we can win easily. Neither fan base knows which team will show up tomorrow which makes this game all the more interesting. Good luck guys, just not tomorrow….Go Dawgs!

Clyde

November 23rd, 2012
11:53 pm

Goodness graciuos, GT isn’t playing the Invincibles. They can be beaten, GT just needs to show up and play their game, not UGA’s game. This is always the problem every year, this inferiority complex. They’re a bunch of guys on the field than can lose on any given day just like GT can.

gt40pinhd

November 24th, 2012
12:06 am

i know that sims is heavier, but it seems to me that laskey runs better or gets more yards. am i missing something?

Supersize that order, mutt

November 24th, 2012
12:15 am

@ gt40……the difference is that Sims can escape when he’s stopped by digging in and continuing to drive. I think he’s stronger than Laskey is. But Laskey can break through a gap and accelerate with the best of them. Sims can do that too, but his strength is his strength. That’s not taking anything away from Laskey……just two different type runners. At least that’s my take on things.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 24th, 2012
12:16 am

@ Jefferson Davis…….I don’t say this about many dawgs, but you’re a good man.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 24th, 2012
12:18 am

@ A-mazed …. I’m with you on that. I got spit on once in Athens after a Tech win there. I have no desire to subject myself to scum like that, and like apparently the majority of fans there are.

Tech Forever

November 24th, 2012
12:29 am

Georgia – 45
Tech – 24

Jacket Time

November 24th, 2012
1:48 am

Will be at the game if by some miracle we win and i get spit on, its worth it.

If do right, no can defense

November 24th, 2012
2:54 am

Okay, I’m about to get super-geek on y’all…

I see a lot of parallels between this game and the Battle of Helm’s Deep in the Two Towers. Outnumbered. Outmatched. No hope. But there is always hope. Against the 90,000 marauding Uruk-hai (uga fans & players), the game won’t even be close. On paper.

But highly-skilled Elven warriors (our wide receivers) who have not fought alongside humans in a long time will come to our aid before battle. We could have a “huge” passing day (200 yards plus) simply because their linebackers and D-line will be zoned in on the option. We will give them a good fight, but superior numbers and athletic ability will wear us down…

Soon it will become apparent that we will lose, and the Rohirrim will ride out on a suicide charge (onsides kick to get the ball back because Murray & co. are picking our defense apart). And then lo and behold! Eomer and his troops, banished earlier (our defense) shows up and routs the Uruk-hai with help of the White Wizard (Attaochu)!

And we get multiple stops through sacks, fumbles, INTs, penalties, tipped passes, etc. and finally the Ents (Adam Gotsilla) mop up the fleeing Uruks.

And that is how we have victory.

you can't fix stupid or Democrats or bulldogs

November 24th, 2012
5:41 am

52-49 Georgie Defense returns to its Tenn. roots

Crazy Robert

November 24th, 2012
6:44 am

Never thought about a Tolkien reference here; hmmmm… Ditto that Yeller Bug, a good focused, hard hitting,clean game with a victory for TECH will be a blast to watch.

Real Jacket

November 24th, 2012
6:53 am

Tickets- Check
Bloody Mary’s- Check
Fried Chicken-Check
Finger Sandwiches- Check
Hot wives-Check
Limousine (with off duty police officer in tow)- Check
Let’s Roll

I never post but I always read these threads. I read it this AM to get fired up.I am leaving Macon with my crew shortly. I was there in 2008 (with a 12 month old baby in the rain and cold) and it was the greatest GT experience as I have ever had at a football game. I hate UGA, I hate going to Athens, and hate their pathetic fans. I haven’t missed a game but once since 1969 (I was 5 then). We will be outnumbered 15-1. But let me tell you all 8 of us that are going, are doing so because we have this strange sense of confidence that we are going to win. It is so exciting to have this feeling. We have absolutely nothing to lose and UGA has it all sitting there in front of them. Can you imagine how this will wreck their dream of a NC? We maybe only win once every 8 or 10 years, but when we do, it sure does feel good. I do not know a bigger fan than me and I can’t tell you how excited and optimistic I always get on these days. Hopefully today is the day. THWG and Go Jackets, Sting’em.

MC

November 24th, 2012
7:35 am

Or the Battle of Thermopolye where the 300 eventually get wiped out to the man. Kinda like the 2nd half of today’s game will be for the GT 300, If do right, no can defense.

Watsonone

November 24th, 2012
7:43 am

If do right,no an defense, that is a nice fantasy, but fantasy it is. I am a dawg fan and wish you well (ie, no injuries) but fantasy it is. GT will once again leave Athens in defeat and you will go back to your dreams.

Sunbury Dawg

November 24th, 2012
7:56 am

Hey, i expected a heated game between two rivals for the state championship today.
But the dawgs will be primed up and ready, lets go you hairy dawgs!

Buggzii

November 24th, 2012
8:16 am

Tech mascot should really be a Cicada – large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, benign to humans, loud noisemakers, live underground as nymphs for most of their lives, shed their skins, emerge in July and August – gone by football season.

Useless Nut

November 24th, 2012
8:23 am

I’m a Buckeye fan and not opposed to seeing the SEC teams eat a little humble pie. I’d love to see the Bees help the Dawgs do just that.

CPJ will blame the kickers

November 24th, 2012
8:30 am

I didn’t go to UGA or Tech, but I have been to a lot of games in both stadiums for this and other games. For those fans fans staying at home because the other team’s fans are “too mean”, seriously? Like it or not Tech fans, as a whole you are not as loud, not as passionate, and not as numerous as UGA fans. For the minority of Tech fans who are, that has to be really frustrating. But you guys really need to stop all of your complaining about how UGA fans are too mean in Athens so we’re not going to go. And while you’re at it, stop complaining about how high academic standards prevent you from having the better team. As long as Stanford, Northwestern, and Notre Dame are out there, the argument rings hollows. Stop being “Internet tough” and go to Athens to support your team.

air of mendacity

November 24th, 2012
8:30 am

expecting a hard fought game – hope dawgs wear GT down and beat them easily in 3rd and 4th quarter. If Dawgs get behind and sleepwalk in beginning – then watch out. GT very capable of winning this game. Just don’t think they have the depth and talent to hang for 4 quarters.

a track meet UT will be

November 24th, 2012
8:45 am

UGA will see GT scoringg maybe 24-28 points but should win in a track meet, with possibly UGA hitting two quick TDs late, to wrap it up.
Turnovers will kill one squad, like oxygen to flames.
I see 44-29 thing.

Go Dogd

air of mendacity

November 24th, 2012
8:51 am

regarding UGA fans being mean – I have been to GT many times and observed poor losers acting like horses behinds. Best policy is too be polite and humble in victory at an opponent’s field – and relatively quiet in defeat. It works for me – just complement your opponent’s effort and get away from extremely drunk young people. Walk away if you can – not worth it believe me – this is from a former nut who would fight – Now too much at stake – I guess I just outgrew the childish behaviour.

A-mazed

November 24th, 2012
8:53 am

CPJ will…
I did not say the Ga fans were mean. In fact, they are not very mean at all, just boorish. They are mostly drunk, re…neck pansies.

air of mendacity

November 24th, 2012
8:58 am

real jacket – have fun – gave my tickets to some friends. After reading your blog – wish I hadn’t.

simply hooligan

November 24th, 2012
9:07 am

I am a Dawg fan, have been my whole life. UGA has alot to lose today and I expect emotions wi be high on both sides. I think the Dawgs will outlast the Jackets, but I do wish you luck in the ACC championship. My older brother is a tech grad and it makes our family Christmas so much more pleasant (for me) if the Dawgs prevail. Good luck today…….but in the end…..GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!

Veteran Fan

November 24th, 2012
9:09 am

The country boys in Athens better bring their A game when the city boys from The Flats come to town! Yellow Jackets are young and on a roll and have nothing to lose! Jarvis Jones the USC transfer is the best player in America but Coach Johnson will take advantage of his aggressive play and he will be tackling the wrong guy a lot. The key is Jenkins who will not like his future NFL legs being blocked below the knees. If he mans up and plays hard Tech will have trouble but if he listens to his agent and wimps out Tech makes it a very tough game! The other key is whether uga can run the ball against Tech. Bobo and Richt like to throw the ball and their line is weak and oriented to protect the passer. We finally have most of our guys healthy on defense and our freshmen and sophomores have grown up. Should be very interesting today! THWG!

TechTim

November 24th, 2012
9:15 am

Stay clear of the guys with the serial numbers filed off their guns.

mansup

November 24th, 2012
9:42 am

I am a Jacket fan. But, if the Jackets win the game, it wouldn’t just be an upset, it would be a miracle. It is simply a matter of possesions. The UGA defense will hold on more possesions than will the Tech defense….a sure thing. The Tech offense will move the ball, and score, as will the UGA offense. But UGA will score more often….a sure thing. All of that said, the UGA fans are still a bunch of _______s!

Techster

November 24th, 2012
9:44 am

Go Yellow Jackets! Swarm those bulldogs, sting ‘em good and chase them off the field.

Flak Jacket

November 24th, 2012
10:28 am

BEAT GEORGIA.Knock the GREEN BAY PACKER G off their helmets today.

Ol'JacketFan

November 24th, 2012
10:29 am

On paper GA should win but as many a coach has said, that’s why they play the game! My son is coming to join me to watch the game and I hope he and I have a reason to celebrate about 4:00 p.m. today. Win or lose I am a Jacket fan and will be to the day I am no longer here. Go Jackets, play hard give your all and come back from Athens with a hard fought win!!!!!

THWG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I-DOG

November 24th, 2012
10:35 am

TechTim:

That player was given the death penalty of college football. He was dismissed from the team within 2 days never to darken the door of UGA again. What else did you want Richt to do?

blazer

November 24th, 2012
10:48 am

Flak Jacket-You got the right idea!!!!!!!!