A lot of ‘ifs’ cloud Dogs’ chances against Jackets

What are the odds that Jeff Owens and the Georgia defense can rise to the occasion against Tech? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

What are the odds that Jeff Owens and the Georgia defense can rise to the occasion against Tech? (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Saturday night’s debacle had been over only a few seconds when someone posed me the question that I’ve been asked several times since: Is there any chance Georgia can beat Georgia Tech?

My gut response: No way.

But that’s not the full answer. This is college football, after all, and a rivalry game. Unexpected things happen. And I’m a fan. We never completely give up hope. Yes, the Dogs could win the game …

If Tech implodes and plays its worst game of the season on offense.

If Georgia somehow manages to scheme the triple option correctly and play disciplined, mistake-free defense.

If Mike Bobo’s offense can avoid turning the ball over.

If, on both sides of the ball, the Dogs refrain from committing needless penalties.

OK, for those eternal optimists out there, I’ll grant that I don’t think it necessarily would take a combination of all those “ifs” for Georgia to win. A sub-par day for the Tech offense and the Dogs not turning the ball over might be enough. Or a really lousy day for the Tech defense and the Dogs clicking on offense could give Georgia a chance in a shootout.

I fervently hope those things happen. But I know the odds are stacked against the Dogs as they take on the seventh-ranked, 10-1 Jackets.

Maybe my pessimism will lessen as the week goes on, but the more I look back at this season, the more doubtful that seems.

What about you? Looking at how the two teams stack up realistically, what are Georgia’s chances against Tech? What has to happen for the Dogs to win? I’d even like to hear the Tech fans’ thoughts on this. Jacket lovers, what in your worst and most unlikely nightmares leads to a Georgia win?

178 comments Add your comment

Pete

November 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

GeorgiaGrad

I agree. While Tech may have a better overall coaching staff, as far as a head to head with CMR against CPJ, CMR is the better coach and more knowledageble.

jacketbacker

November 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

I just find it amazing that Ga fans are now asking if there is any way they can beat TECH!!…..This has swung so quickly thanks to CPJ……If Tech plays well we win, period…..If we turn the ball over and the defense goes into one of its funks, then anything can happen…..Ga certainly has enough talent to beat us if we are not playing well….The off week should be a big bonus for us…..CPJ and his coaches will have had two weeks to get ready for Ga….I like CPJ’s record in rivalry games and I like our chances on Saturday…….

Gooooo Jackets and THWG!!!

Sam

November 23rd, 2009
11:16 am

I am not exactly sure how it is “Bobo’s Offense” that is turning the ball over. Cox is making really bad decisions–the play calls might be good ones and Cox just gets frazzled or thinks he is Stafford.

Dooley's Cardiologist

November 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

Bill,

Dawgs have a chance if they score 58, cause GT’s gonna score at least 57. Not sure where I got the figure, it just sounded right. The problem though, is that UGA may score 58 points.

JacketBob

November 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

Bill King-

I’m a Tech fan.

Tech SHOULD win. That means nothing though. Georgia SHOULD have beat Kentucky. Tech SHOULD have beat Wake Forest without going to overtime. Georgia SHOULD have played better against Tennessee.

Bottomline is you have a bunch of kids on both sides that know each other and played against each other in high school. Throw the records out. Let the kids play and hope your coaches don’t do something stupid to screw up your players chances!

DawgFAN

November 23rd, 2009
11:20 am

The only reason I believe we have a chance is that we are playing against Tech. Tech is having a great season. We are not. But I’ve been watching this rivalry since I was one and a half years old (I’m now eighteen.) In those games, Tech has often found some way to lose. So just because of the way Tech (normally) screws up against us, I believe we have a chance.

JasonTechFan

November 23rd, 2009
11:21 am

I was really worried about this game. However…after watching the Kentucky game I’m a little less worried. Not because Georgia can’t win..they can. But I saw a quarterback for Georgia that looks very fragile right now. One screw up, a interception, fumble..whatever…that kid turns into a basket case. We shall see.

Ozzy

November 23rd, 2009
11:21 am

This is not going to be an easy game for Tech! You guys that think you know what’s going to happen are dreamers. If you knew, you’d all be millionaires with the money you made betting on college football in Vegas.

Tech’s defense has looked every bit as bad as Georgia’s at times this year, and Georgia’s special teams are head and shoulders above Tech’s.

Anything could happen. I like Tech’s chances, but this is a scary game. And if we lose it, I could see us losing the next two also. Clemson’s playing well, and if we lose to Georgia and Clemson, the bowl game will be “who cares”.

It’s gut check time. Go Jackets!

uuughh...

November 23rd, 2009
11:21 am

GeorgiaGrad…That Johnson sure out-coached Richt and his staff last year. He gets more production out of less and Richt gets way less out of way more…except for penalties, Richt gets more out of more if we are talking penalties. Also, Johnson and his coaches make these things called adjustments within the game. The UGA coaches are not capable of this. Johnson also plays to win (see going for it on 4th down in OT) while our coaches play not to lose (see the ineffective, yet safe, draw play we run in every single 3rd and long situation all year long).

I think we go down hard this weekend and our lack of discipline will be the reason. Johnson knows–well everyone on the planet knows–we are undisciplined and will take full advantage, like good coaches do. We on the other hand will try the thing that our coaches think we do well over and over and over again, whether it is successful or not, while ignoring what the other team’s weakness is.

Derrius

November 23rd, 2009
11:23 am

DawgFAN

The way Tech “normally” screws up is out the window. This isn’t 2002. This isn’t 2006. Chan Gailey is gone and I’ve yet to see where a Paul Johnson team just “screws up”.

Can they be beat? Yes. But I don’t think it will be for some Les Miles type play.

War Jacket

November 23rd, 2009
11:23 am

No long time Tech fan ever thinks a win over the Dogs is ever “in the bag”. The times when Tech was consistantly the better team occurred decades ago. Even when Tech most recently had the better team (the last one Gailey took to Athens), Georgia found a way to win. You can’t take anything for granted in this game.

Or maybe those of my ilk need a reality check. CPJ has never seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by the Dogs, and the players know they win if they just execute.

Here’s hoping that CPJ exorcises all lingering doubts of Georgia superiority on Saturday!!!!

GeorgiaGrad

November 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

uuugghh-

I’m not talking about the entire staffs. I’m talking about head coach vs head coach. Richt is far superior as one coach compared to another in Johnson. Richt can definately make big gametime adjustments. He did it when he was running the offense. Its a chess match and he can beat CPJ. Period.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:28 am

Keys to a Georgia win.
1. Tech’s entire starting offense comes down with Swine flu concocted by UGA’s Large Animal Teaching hospital.
2. Coach Richt dusts off an NCAA rule from 1903 that states that a visiting team can end the game at the end of the first half to catch a train. Georgia pulls the plug at the half and wins 17-14 and loads up in a boxcar for the trip back to Athens.
3. Paul Johnson in a tearful farewell on Friday announces he will return to Georgia Southern as it’s head coach. “It is what Erk would want” he chokes out.
4. A meteor impacts at the fifty yard line at Grant Field on Thursday causing the game to be rescheduled as a arena football game in Phillips Arena. AJ Greene scores 26 touchdowns to win a close one 182-175.
5. Waushan Ealey channels his inner-Herschel and runs for 400 yards. Georgia wins 51-48.

hardmanb

November 23rd, 2009
11:29 am

Even if UGA starts strong, by the third and fourth quarter, PJ’s adjustments and the triple option time-consuming offense will have the UGA defense worn out and sucking wind.

UGA has no chance, unless they can sustain some long ground drives and give some rest to their defense.

War Jacket

November 23rd, 2009
11:29 am

GeorgiaGrad, what are you smoking?? Richt and Johnson have gone head-to-head one time, with Johnson clearly getting the best Richt in that game. Them’s the facts. Let’s see what happens in the rematch. Until then you’re just blowin’ smoke.

Mikey

November 23rd, 2009
11:30 am

UGA- Please kick the damn ball deep!
We play scared of what the other team MAY do rather than busting them in the mouth.
If we play scared against tech they will likely score 10 times.

dagnabit

November 23rd, 2009
11:34 am

Why don’t you bulldoggies appreciate what a great coach you have. My lord; look at Richt’s overall record. I just don’t understand you people.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:34 am

I bet Paul Johnson thinks he has gone head to head with Coach Richt twice. Ask him.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:36 am

dagnabit, I am a huge fan of Coach Richt. I appreciate every thing he has done for the program and I know that he will do whatever it takes to get the program back on track. Which is why I think Coach Martinez is not the DC next year.

HBTD

November 23rd, 2009
11:40 am

As a true dawg, I’ll always hold out hope, but realistically, this team just simply has not shown the ability to get the job done for an entire game against anyone.
1. No offensive rythem or consistency. Our QB has looked good at times, but the mistakes he’s made have killed us all year. They did again last Saturday.
2. Overall the defense has played much better, but one particular safety simply cannot make plays. He’s often in position to make the play which tells me that CWM scheme is ok, but the player does not execute. DL is playing strong.
3. KO coverage is surely the worst in the country and IMO has been for at least the last 2 years. It is way past time for CMR to take charge of this issue and make it a top priority. Constantly giving the opponent a short field eventually ends up putting the defense in a bad position of having to defend a very short field.

Mark C.

November 23rd, 2009
11:42 am

We need a complete meltdown from the Tech offense. The penalties and defense has been a problem for two years now. I’m done expecting those to turn around all of a sudden.

reebok

November 23rd, 2009
11:45 am

cuz, i am laughing so hard i am crying. that 11:28 post is hilarious. good luck Saturday!

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:46 am

I anticipate our players being wound up so tight that we lose the turnover battle again. If they play loose and we win the turnover battle then yes we could win. Turnovers, more than anything, have been our Achilles heel this year.

j

November 23rd, 2009
11:48 am

Someone give collegaball fan a drug test. He has to be on something! only way UGAy wins is if they switch unifrms with Tech. This is where Paul Johnson reall shines. He loves the rivalrys!

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:49 am

reebok, you don’t have to wish us good luck this one game. It is the in-state rivalry. You are a class act and remind me of my Jacket friends. How about a good luck to the Jackets in Tampa. Shut em down so the Clemson band will stop playing “Catch that Tiger”. That has to be the ACC version of Rocky Top.

dead dog

November 23rd, 2009
11:50 am

UGA VII saw all of this coming.

Georgia is cursed and UGA took the last train to the coast.

IF you can`t beat Kentucky on the day UGA VII is put to rest, then you will fail for at least 7 seasons.

The darkness is here.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:51 am

reebok out of the five I listed I think the best chance is number three.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
11:54 am

dead, is that some kind of Voodoo curse? Somebody bring me a chicken to counter the spell. I will take cole slaw and mashed potatoes as my two sides.

Natureboy809

November 23rd, 2009
11:57 am

It looks bleak for DawgNation, but the line opened at GT -9.5 and has already moved to -7.5. Maybe Vegas knows something we don’t.

uuughh...

November 23rd, 2009
11:58 am

GeorgiaGrad…A head coach decides who his coordinators are going to be. Johnson has hired people around him that implement his scheme. Richt hired the people around him and let’s them implement their scheme. No matter whose scheme it is, the HC is responsible for the performance of his coordinators. Ours suck…it is Richt’s fault for hiring them and not getting rid of them last year and the year before.

…and if we are talking about Richt’s stellar adjustments at FSU, why are many FSU fans still mad at Richt? Maybe because he had just as many no shows during big games down there as he has had up here?

If everyone, including our coaches, were as focused on making corrections rather than excuses, maybe we could get headed in the right direction.

uuughh...

November 23rd, 2009
12:00 pm

…maybe Vegas wants Dawg fans to take the bet. Who would bet on this team to be successful? Start off with a line that is out of the ordinary for a rivalry game and you pull in a few more bets. Good thinking Vegas.

Minnesota Dawg

November 23rd, 2009
12:03 pm

This game will tell us who Georgia Tech is and how good they are. It also will tell us a lot about the ACC. I’ll root for Georgia Tech as long as they are not playing Georgia. Go DAWGS and play your best game, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
12:06 pm

I guess that Golden Gopher-Bulldawg matchup is out Minnesota Dawg.

reck style

November 23rd, 2009
12:07 pm

I give thanks for having this week off so that I can look at GT highlights…this is for GT fans..got to take a look at 2nd half highlights of 08 Tech UGA game. If that doesn’t fire you up nothing will!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJPTYTswPCI

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
12:08 pm

Any word on whether the Seilers will have a stand-in for Uga at the Tech game. We need all the mojo we can get.

uuughh...

November 23rd, 2009
12:10 pm

I heard they do have a stand in Cuz…aside from the result, did y’all have a good time at the game?

How loud were the boos on Bobo’s 3rd and long play call in the Press Box?

techie on the coast

November 23rd, 2009
12:10 pm

here is up to date strength of http://www.kiva.net/~jsagarin/sports/cfsend.htm link……Ga is way back of tech so scroll down.

techie on the coast

November 23rd, 2009
12:11 pm

http://www.kiva.net/~jsagarin/sports/cfsend.htm link for strength of schedule….scroll down cause UGA is well below tech…lol

U-no

November 23rd, 2009
12:13 pm

Having watched both teams all season I think the game will be competitive, especially in the first half.

Georgia can take a W home if they can get the running game established and with play action work the Tech pass defense. That is our weakest area on defense: pass defense. With Butler punting, the war of field position could also keep Tech working with the long end of the field, but that would mean the Pups would have to take advantage of every possession and score quickly because the Jackets excel in time of possession.

As all the Pup fans know penalties and turnovers have taken close games away from the Puppies and that would have to be limited or completely eliminated to have a chance. CPJ knows how to take advantage of the free gifts, and the Tech defense is not bad that it can’t take a Pick-6 or two if Cox is not on his passing game.

The biggest challenge for the Pups is adjusting to Tech’s adjustments. CPJ doesn’t wait till half-time to make adjustments to what the defense is trying to do to stop the option. He knows the offense so well and has seen all the ways to defend it that he makes adjustments throughout the game. He’ll draw up a play on the sidelines to take advantage of a defensive trend that is stopping certain plays. The biggest edge for the Jackets is the genius on the sidelines in Coach Paul Johnson.

Tech is in thier second year of this offense and has matured in it to produce a high output offense that as the year has progressed become more balanced and effective. The Pups can’t just focus on the run, as the Jackets have shown in the past two to three games the ability to pass the ball effectively, and for large yardage gains. Go to sleep on trying to stop the run, and they will burn you on the pass.

The Pups will have to stay disciplined and play their assignments on defense with no free lancing. They will have to stop the initial attempts to run up the middle, and at the same time keep an eye on the corners when the pitch is attempted. The linebackers will get a workout in this game.

Tech just has to keep doing what it has been doing all year, particularly the second half of the year. Play mistake free ball, run the option and use the pass to keep the defense honest. Limit the penalties and don’t turn the ball over and the game should end up turning in their favor in the second half of the game.

I just don’t see the Pups staying as disciplined for the entire game to pull out a win. The defense will have a lot of pressure on it all game long. One or two mistakes and Tech will be on their way to a big win. Past performance by both teams would seem to dictate that the Jackets will wear the defense down in the second half and get some separation to make the outcome pretty obvious.

However, if the Pups come in and play in a funk it could get out of hand early and CPJ would run it up to make some style points for the BCS. UGA can’t afford to get too hyped or come in too down. It will take sixty minutes of their A game to win it. I just don’t see that happening this year.

GeorgiaBorn

November 23rd, 2009
12:15 pm

Tech with a tougher schedule? Not that any of that matters, but there is NOT ONE SINGLE web site that lists FBS SOS that shows Tech with a tougher schedule that UGA. A few posters here say the complete opposite, but when you Google FBS or NCAA 2009 Strength of Schedule there is not one single poll that shows Tech with a tougher schedule. As a matter of fact, most polls show UGA in the top 10 in the country in SOS and Tech is far far down the list. Again, it doesn’t really matter but I had to make that correction.

third quarter fan

November 23rd, 2009
12:16 pm

I watched your KY game and was thinking that “bugkiller” was wrong about Cox (in the first half).
And then….

Dogs can win…but it seems doubtful to me that they can stop the Tech run. You cannot predict what CPJ will do with the pass….perhaps not even one or ?? just cannot predict that coach. Thank goodness!

I’ll be there so be nice.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
12:18 pm

uuughh, we, especially Baylie, had a great time in Athens on Saturday. The only sore spot was the game. Baylie got to be “Queen for a Day”. Probably the most exciting day of her life. Hats off to Bill, he is an excellent host. I will go into more details in the second blog of the day.

techie on the coast

November 23rd, 2009
12:19 pm

Ga born, here ya go….you must be reading last year…lol http://www.kiva.net/~jsagarin/sports/cfsend.htm

Franklin Co.

November 23rd, 2009
12:20 pm

I figure it will be a really close game, if the dawgs are spotted 55 points. THEN, it will be close, but I still wouldn’t bet on them.

Cuz

November 23rd, 2009
12:21 pm

Jacksonville State did whip up on Tennessee Tech, that says something.

St. Bernard

November 23rd, 2009
12:24 pm

It’s notable that only 3 of the four keys have anything to do with the way Tech plays. I would even say that IF Georgia could do those three they could beat tech. Just don’t htink we can do it.

techie on the coast

November 23rd, 2009
12:26 pm

I cant wait for the game to start…..sad it’s too late to teach UGA to lay down, but it is a handy trick…

techie on the coast

November 23rd, 2009
12:27 pm

lay down….roll over….play dead….is it to early for that one?

DAWG87

November 23rd, 2009
12:28 pm

Still laughing that my fellow Dawg fans would actually post that Richt is a better coach than Johnson. Even a monkey as head coach would have a few great seasons with the talent advantage we have at Georgia.

There are actually UGA fans who think Richt is capabale of outcoaching Paul Johnson. Unbelievable. Do you people even watch the games or just buy the decals to put on your cars?

It’s going to be a LONG SEVERAL YEARS.

Minnesota Dawg

November 23rd, 2009
12:29 pm

Hey Cuz, Minnesota is actually bowl eligible. We may still get our match up. We will find out Dec 6, at least that’s what it says on the Gophers website gophersports.com