We’re live from Tech, Jackets have chance to take charge

The Jackets need to wait for a BCS title shot, but not for bragging rights.

The Jackets need to wait another year for a BCS title shot, but not for bragging rights.

Welcome to Opportunity Night.

Georgia Tech’s ability to become a national program is dependent in part on the ACC’s ability to develop elite teams and elevate itself significantly higher than it has been this season. But the Yellow Jackets never will have a better opportunity to take hold of their local rivalry.

Georgia fans don’t want to hear that. They view the Jackets’ 45-42 win last season and their ensuing hedge assault in Athens as some sort of aberration. All evidence is to the contrary.

This season has confirmed what we suspected last season: Tech is a program on the rise and Georgia is the one sliding. The Jackets are scrambling to keep their head coach, Paul Johnson. Mark Richt is not in trouble at Georgia but is expected to make changes to his staff.

Even if Tech had beaten Miami earlier this season and was entering tonight’s game undefeated, there’s a pretty good chance it would rank no higher than fourth in the polls, behind Florida, Alabama and Texas. That’s because of perceptions of the ACC. The Jackets would be sitting in that cluster with TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State, screaming for a playoff.

But let’s focus on the local landscape for now. The Bulldogs won seven straight games in this series (2001-07) before last season, and 14 of the last 17. But what happened last season at Sanford Stadium was not a fluke. If the Jackets win tonight, it also won’t be a fluke (they’re favored by 7 1/2).

The 2010 season is months away. But Georgia probably will be starting a freshman quarterback and Tech will return Josh Nesbitt and a blur of running backs in an offense that just keeps getting better. If you had to guess right now, which school do you suppose is going to be favored when the teams meet again next season?

This is Tech’s chance. It is the cliche statement game. Nationally, the Jackets certainly can make this a special season and say something about the program  by defeating Clemson in next week’s ACC championship game and then winning the Orange Bowl. But closer to home, this is their chance to take charge locally.

Tonight’s game comes down to one thing for me: I don’t think Georgia’s defense can stop the Tech offense. The Jackets’ have defensive liabilities but I don’t see the Bulldogs matching the Jackets when they have the ball.

Do you agree? Weigh in and I’ll be back shortly.

1,373 comments Add your comment

gojackets

November 28th, 2009
5:23 pm

Yellow jackets roll!!!!!!!!!

kauai dawg

November 28th, 2009
5:25 pm

GATA and Go DAWGS…. Beat YECH!

Tech Tony

November 28th, 2009
5:26 pm

Not first but a respectable showing nonetheless.

Jacket Lawyer

November 28th, 2009
5:28 pm

Jackets just need to win, Period. But a smashmouth, in your face, beatdown would be awesome! But just win baby.

Tech Tony

November 28th, 2009
5:28 pm

Instead of first, I propose that the new mantra be either win, place or show.

Kane337

November 28th, 2009
5:29 pm

I agree Schultz!

Kane337

November 28th, 2009
5:31 pm

Oh, nice opening column by the way. I think you hit the nail on the head on all points. This is a BIG game for Tech whether Paul Johnson wants to admit to it or not. Lose this game and the ACC championship game or Orange bowl won’t mean so much.

Sonny Clusters

November 28th, 2009
5:36 pm

Can you see Mark from where you are sitting? Does he look slanted toward Georgia?

George P Burdell

November 28th, 2009
5:37 pm

God, I love Sonny Clusters. I should have gone to Clemson with him and Jeff.

Paul in RDU

November 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Jeff – Nice set up with your opening comments.

What’s the atmosphere like there tonight, or is it too early to tell?

Jacket Lawyer

November 28th, 2009
5:38 pm

Russ? The mutt is called Russ? Who calls a mutt Russ? Wuss, however, fits.

Alabamadawg

November 28th, 2009
5:41 pm

Good article Jeff, and very well put, but I still hope the dawgs can pull it off tonight !!!

Vote against Georgia Basher Dude

November 28th, 2009
5:41 pm

This dude spends hours every day coming up with anti-Gerogia 1 liners, making fun of our deceased mascot, Richt’s religion, Cox, and other stuff.

Go to this page, and vote down his lame Anti-Georgia 1 liners by voting with the triangle with the point at the bottom.

Here’s the link, we need your votes Georgia fans:
http://projects.ajc.com/vent/sports/uga/2009/11/27/

falcon 71

November 28th, 2009
5:42 pm

Jeff you must have drawn the long straw. Poor Mark

nebraska jacket

November 28th, 2009
5:43 pm

theres nothing better than waking up in the morning and knowing today is finallythe day we beat down the dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
5:44 pm

SAW YELLOW FIZZ OVER AT THE VARSITY AWHILE AGO………. CUTTING THE FOOL OUT OF THOSE ONIONS SO THE DAWG FANS CAN EAT…

Buckhead Bulldog

November 28th, 2009
5:44 pm

Tech Tony – What happens to a substitute in the show? Is Russ aloud to win, place or show according to the PETA rules?

Sic”em GEORGIA BULLDOGS!

Sonny Clusters

November 28th, 2009
5:45 pm

Jeff, how did you get Tech and Mark, Georgia? Was it rock, paper, scissors? Does he have to do anything with Russ?

Jeff Schultz

November 28th, 2009
5:45 pm

Tech Tony – I like the win-place-show thing, Then if you’re first and second, does that give you an exacta?

Sonny – He’s behind me. Haven’t noticed.

Sonny – You went to Clemson?

Paul in RDU – Excited in the parking lot, way too early in the stadium.

.

November 28th, 2009
5:47 pm

Vote against Georgia Basher Dude: and you REALLY care? Get a life!

mountain_jim

November 28th, 2009
5:48 pm

Go Tech! To Hell With Georgia!

George P Burdell

November 28th, 2009
5:48 pm

He went to clemson to hopefully stay side by side with Jeff Franceuor (or however you spell it; I’m not into the whole spelling thing; more of a slide rule type of guy)

Sonny Clusters

November 28th, 2009
5:48 pm

We was almost Tigers, Jeff.

Sonny Clusters

November 28th, 2009
5:49 pm

Clemson could have used us today.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

November 28th, 2009
5:49 pm

The last 24 hours have been tough for ranked teams. It started with Pitt losing to WV. Then today we’ve seen Clemson lose to USC, Ole Miss fall to Miss State, NC State drop UNC, and OK beat OK State. Hopefully we don’t see a repeat of such performances in Atlanta this evening. Under previous administrations, I would feel much less confident. But winning is contagious, and this team has shown a resiliency that we wouldn’t have seen a few years ago. For that reason, I’m optimistic about our chances.

Go Jackets!

SugarHillDawg

November 28th, 2009
5:50 pm

So Tech has a chance to take control huh? Schultz, you are REALLY reaching dude.

Gt Sweet And Low

November 28th, 2009
5:51 pm

Run you yellow sugar pants and make me drool! Go both ways like me

George P

November 28th, 2009
5:53 pm

I wish Clemson held on to their end of the bargain, but I guess I’ll just have to settle with GT doing the only thing in its power and that will be the man-handling of Georgia tonight. I’m from Athens, but I want to wear my alma mater’s colors with pride when I go home. 1 win I still hear grumbles of a fluke. 2 wins and I hope they’ll can it. Go Jackets!

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
5:54 pm

HEY JEFF============ YOU SEEN LITTLE YELLOW FIZZ YET WALKING AROUND DRINKING HER BUTTERMILK?

joe cox will be fine

November 28th, 2009
5:56 pm

Dawgs win tonite, tech wins acc title game, dawgs and tech acc co champs.

joe cox will be fine

November 28th, 2009
6:00 pm

who am I kiddin-dawgs get blown out tonight. Nice year bugs

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
6:04 pm

AMBER ALERT———— YELLOW FIZZ SEEN HOLDING HANDS WITH GT SWEET AND LOW !!!!!! I THOUGHT AS MUCH….

Jeff Schultz

November 28th, 2009
6:05 pm

Sonny—Arm wrestled.

Sonny – Detroit?

SugarHillDawg – How so?

Boogies – What does someone named Yellow Fuzz look like? Do I want to know?

Jeff Schultz

November 28th, 2009
6:06 pm

Wait a minute — is there a Yellow Fuzz AND a Yellow Fizz? Are they related? Sonny, help me out here.

George P

November 28th, 2009
6:09 pm

Man, I’m going to watch the game at a big sports bar here in Boston, and I really really hope the UGA alumni group will be showing up to the same bar. I love their tears

Frank Lane

November 28th, 2009
6:13 pm

I think the Dawgs have a definite chance. Just hold on to the ball. I think our defense will rise to the occasion. Of course, I am a died in the wool bulldog, my kids are fourth generation. I think Dawgs 31-27.

Sonny Clusters

November 28th, 2009
6:14 pm

Jeff, we deal mostly in orange since we was almost at Clemson. Fizz sounds like something Dairy Queen to us.

Ree Roe

November 28th, 2009
6:14 pm

Mark’s blog>>> this nonsensel. Worst blog you’ve ever done Jeff. Here’s an idea: Come over to the UGA blog & have a good time. Your wasting your time ramblin with the bees.

One final word of encouragement, Go Dawgs!

-fREEquently Roe!!!

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
6:16 pm

YES JEFF ITS THE SAME MORONIC FOOL POSTING WITH HER NEW ETCHA-SKETCH SWIRLING YOURS AND EVERY OTHER SITE. SHE WILL BE THE ONE WALKING ,ONE HIP IN FRONT OF THE OTHER…….. OR IT MIGHT BE THE OTHER ONE

Proud Jacket

November 28th, 2009
6:18 pm

Prediction: High scoring game but Dogs have no solution for the high-school offense. Tech wins 51-28. CPJ shows class and puts in the second string in the 4th quarter to keep things from getting really ugly…because UGA will be strong again and one day the shoe will be on the other foot. I’m one of those GT fans that support UGA every game except this one. I think CPR can turn things around but you gotta give credit to what CPJ has done for the bees in the last two years.

GP Burdell

November 28th, 2009
6:19 pm

Georgia Tech has the advantage on the field tonight. Georgia Tech also has a long standing tradition of winning on the national level that drives the UGA folks nuts. Yeah, we’ve lost a lot of games to Georgia over the years, but Tech finds a way to compete.

I think most Tech fans are realistic about the program and understand the parity that exists today. Georgia fans have always been delusional about college football. 1 national championship in 100 years, yet every year is the same garbage. If you are a Georgia fan, you should seriously consider getting some help. Mark Richt is not the problem, you are.

JetBuzz

November 28th, 2009
6:20 pm

On target Jeff…Jackets rebuilding program way-out-front in this race. CMR has definitely met his match in CPJ. You gotta like Johnson and team’s comments this week giving UGA their due, and preparing for a tough game. Either team COULD win tonight, and because the Jackets know this – I’m predicting GT by 14+.

On more thing…from other blogs I smell some delusional pups barking in the neighborhood, and some downright pathetic in their defensive and condescending blather. No, we Jackets don’t live just to beat the dogs, it just makes life more interesting and enjoyable. IT’S A GAME, dognation.

Toe meets leather…GO BUZZ!

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
6:23 pm

JEFF============== HIDE AND WATCH====== CLEMSON WILL BEAT tech….

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

YOUR THOUGHTS,JEFF?

Jackette

November 28th, 2009
6:24 pm

all right guys I hope some of you put your time in at the gym today, I mean Dwyer can’t carry this load alone, lol. So, I was there this morning and since I live in SC was surrounded by your Clemson hopefuls those without tickets to Columbia. I wore my GT tank top and got some boos but I stood my ground. I can tell you it is like somebody knock the wind out of the Tigers sail today. GO GET EM JACKETS!

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
6:29 pm

TIGERS TO REBOUND…………… WATCH WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WEEK…. GO DAWGS……GATA

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 28th, 2009
6:32 pm

JEFF======= LEAVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS======== GONE TO WATCH THE TUBE…… CHECK BACK WITH YOU LATER,DUDE

GT is a football school

November 28th, 2009
6:34 pm

DOGS LOSE CLEMSON LOSES TWO STRAIGHT MAN DROWNS HIMSELF AT LAKE HARTWELL, SINCE WHEN DID UGA AND CLEMSON PULL FOR EACH OTHER, WHAT A BUNCH OF COWARDS SHAMEFUL B@#TARDS

GT is a football school

November 28th, 2009
6:36 pm

JEFF, LEAVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS, GOT TO GO LEAVE POST ON THE STATE NEWSPAPER, NICE SHOWING BY THE GAMECOCKS TODAY AND HATS OFF TO THE FANS THROWING THE ORANGES ON THE FIELD HAHAHAHAHA MAN THAT WRITES IN CAPS DROWNS HIMSELF AT THE LAKE

Jeff Schultz

November 28th, 2009
6:37 pm

Frank Lane – Those words, “Just hold the ball” – that hasn’t exactly been the easiest thing for Dogs to do.

Ree Roe – Now why do you gotta be like that?

JetBuzz –Thanks.

Boogies — I assume that would be a different Clemson team than we saw today.