Today we present something new on the ol’ MB blog: A post written by someone other than MB. (For many of you, this will represent the best development yet.) Our first Guest Blogger is Matthew Harrison, who won the right to write by answering a trivia question that turned out not to be so trivial. He grew up in Atlanta and lives in Midlothian, Va. He started going to Georgia Tech games at age 5 with his grandfather, who had season tickets.
Matthew’s two favorite things regarding Tech games: “Before the games we would sometimes go to Krystal [or the Varsity]. I remember how excited I was when I could finally eat 2 Krystals! Another thing that was neat? I got to say a bad word at the Tech games with my grandfather. ‘Helluva engineer’ — love that fight song!”
As was part of the guest-blogging arrangement, Matthew got to pick his topic. And here, by golly, it is:
In 1990, gas was $1.16 a gallon; “Murphy Brown,” “L.A. Law and “Northern Exposure” were on TV and the top movies were “Dances with Wolves” and “Goodfellas.” In the fall of that year, Scott Sisson kicked a field goal with seven seconds left to lift Georgia Tech over then No. 1 Virginia. That was the last time the Yellow Jackets beat Virginia in Charlottesville. That’s a long streak, and one that will come to an end this year.
There are several reasons why Tech will beat Virginia:
• UVA will be running a new offense this year — a spread (I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) and Jameel Sewell, the projected starting quarterback, has not played in a year because he was not in school last season. He has to get back into playing shape while he learns a new system under a new offensive coordinator. So the area that is the one question mark for Tech — the defensive line — should see an offense that is a pale imitation of what it’s used to seeing in practice. That also means, hopefully, that Coach Paul Johnson and Coach Dave Wommack will be better equipped to defend against this offense.
• Three starting Virginia linebackers completed their eligibility, so if Tech can keep the Cavaliers guessing, they should be able to run the ball into the secondary.
• Tech has had a year to grow with this offense and Paul Johnson has said that he will be throwing the ball more. Virginia’s secondary is young with one senior starter, so that will also be an advantage for the Yellow Jackets. The one question mark will be Tech’s offensive line especially since it lost both starting tackles. Let’s hope Dan Voss at center is healthy.
• The biggest reason is this: Coach Johnson plays to win, as opposed to Chan Gailey playing not to lose. I was at the game in 2007, and Tech had plenty of chances to win. After taking a three-point lead, it began to play conservative football and that ended up contributing to the loss. I am aware Tech lost to Virginia last year in Atlanta under Coach Johnson. Cedric Peerman had a big day, rushing for 118 yards; Mikell Simpson, the tailback slated to replace him, gained 262 yards all last season.
Virginia is a struggling program that really should not have won last year. Tech is a contender in the conference, while UVA will finish with five wins. Al Groh is on the hot seat while Tech has its coach for the future.
There will be two streaks broken in 2009. The Atlanta Falcons will finally have consecutive winning seasons, and Georgia Tech will finally beat the Cavaliers in Charlottesville.