Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN likes Tech in Coastal, but not Ga. Tech

On her ESPN.com ACC blog, Heather Dinich makes three predictions regarding Georgia Tech. First, that the offense will be even better. Second, that junior Jonathan Dwyer will turn pro after this season. Third, that the Jackets, even with this upgraded offense and with Dwyer on his farewell tour, won’t finish first in their division. Virginia Tech will.

To be fair, most people pick VPI — we old folks still remember Virginia Tech as the Virginia Polytechnic Institute — to win the Coastal. I’m not among them. (Then again, I’m often wrong.) I’m picking G-Tech over V-Tech because V-Tech plays at G-Tech on Oct. 17. But Ms. Dinich offers a compelling reason for her forecast: The newness of GT’s offensive and defensive lines.

“It’s the most glaring weakness for Georgia Tech,” she writes, “and one that only time and game experience can overcome. Having to replace three of four starters on the defensive line will be no easy task, and the offensive line continues to be a work in progress. That’s something the Hokies shouldn’t have to worry about this fall.”

Elsewhere on her blog, we find a rundown of V-Tech’s defensive front and her ranking of the ACC O-lines. The Hokies are No. 5, the Jackets No. 7.

Who'll win Oct. 17 at Bobby Dodd Stadium?

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But here are two points I’d make in the form of (mild) rebuttal: Yes, G-Tech lost three of its front four on defense, but the one who returns — defensive end Derrick Morgan — is the best of the bunch. And last season’s offensive line had to learn a new and exotic way of playing. This year’s bunch already knows where to stand, which is no small thing.

And I just don’t believe in Virginia Tech’s offense. I do, however, believe in Paul Johnson’s. On Oct. 17, make it G-Tech 23, V-Tech 16. And pencil in G-Tech for a date against Florida State on Dec. 5 in Tampa. (Plenty of good seating will, I’m sure, be available.)

And another dissenting view: Writing for Sporting News Today, Dave Curtis makes the case for Georgia Tech going — pause for effect — undefeated. Writes Curtis:

“Virginia Tech has emerged as the popular pick to join the 13-0 club. But the Hokies come to Atlanta in October, by which time Paul Johnson’s triple-option attack should be thriving as the nation’s No. 1 rushing unit. Nice knowing you, VT. Georgia comes to Atlanta, too, and there’s not much evidence the Bulldogs will be able to tackle Tech any better than they did last Thanksgiving weekend. Look for Tech in the Orange Bowl with a Top 5 ranking.”

Speaking of Jonathan Dwyer: According to Monday’s live chat at RamblinWreck.com, he sleeps with his eyes open. Which is totally the opposite of me: I work with my eyes closed. Like right now.

128 comments Add your comment

John

July 21st, 2009
5:39 am

As long as there are no injuries leading up to Oct 17th, that game will be the biggest regular-season ACC game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in years. It will be a bowl-like atomosphere.

And….waiting on the usual insults hurled Tech’s way by ignorant, trailer-trash UGAg fans in 3………2………1…….

Way to go John...

July 21st, 2009
6:42 am

…the injury bug has already started!

Jeff Lawson

July 21st, 2009
6:58 am

Keep waiting John….. It’s the ACC – we don’t care.

Dobearsbare

July 21st, 2009
7:01 am

The whole “learning a new offense” thing is over. And GT-VT (or VPI, if you will) is the seventh game. By that time, experience issues won’t be issues at all. I suspect the Jackets will have lost to either UNC or FSU by that point, and if that happens, they’ll be in desperation mode. I’m picking the Hokies.

Hagood

July 21st, 2009
7:01 am

Oct 17th will not be a bowl-like experience. There will be more people there than at a GT bowl game. Heck it won’t even be like an ACC championship game!

Nerds!

Mr. Skynyrd

July 21st, 2009
7:03 am

Let’s see if I can get all the normal UGA crap out of the way for them:

High school offense, high school stadium, fluke win last year, 7 of the last 8 (never mind the streak record is GT’s), ghetto campus, terrorists, no girls, muggings, free hot dogs, the ACC will never compete with the SEC. I tried but I might have missed one or two.

And by the way, injuries are part of the game.

No excuses. Just get it done.

Steve

July 21st, 2009
7:03 am

GT… Who Cares…

Ken

July 21st, 2009
7:05 am

The Buford Wolves, a high school team would beat the bugs. John, the garbage mouthing from the Tech geeks is much worse on the UGA blog. (Not to mention the spelling and grammer)

T-Rav and the Eastside Grainger

July 21st, 2009
7:12 am

Ken…..its grammAr. You f’ing moron.

T-Rav and the Eastside Grainger

July 21st, 2009
7:17 am

Jeff and Steve…..I suppose thats why you’re on this blog reading and posting then? Please STFU.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2009
7:21 am

Buford has a fine program. But it wouldn’t beat Tech. Come on.

Willie Coyote

July 21st, 2009
7:23 am

“Not to mention the spelling and **grammer**.” I needed that laugh.

Scott Petway

July 21st, 2009
7:29 am

“GT… Who Cares”

- as in who cares what the second half score was betwixt the hedges last November?
- or who cares how many wins Coach PJ exceeded expectations by despite the bowl blowout?
- or who cares that VPI was only VICK-torious over the Jackets last year in Blacksburg because of the big, bogus personal foul flag?

Just want to clarify. Thanks for the genius and original contribution to this blog, Steve!

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 21st, 2009
7:36 am

Ken, and that is the reason no one goes to Buford for an education.

GTpak

July 21st, 2009
7:36 am

I think Heather is right about the O Line. I hope they have spent a good bid of time in the weight room, especially after LSU man handled them.

Should have a competition between the O line and D line in the weight room so both will get stronger.

dd

July 21st, 2009
7:41 am

no matter how you cut it, slice it or dice it

tech has ugly women

Adam

July 21st, 2009
7:43 am

The difference in this game will be Tyrod Taylor. GT has always had trouble with the mobile QB (i.e. Woodrow Dantzler). You combat this threat with rangy outside linebackers and mobile DE’s. As much as I like Derrick Morgan, his weakness seems to be lateral quickness. There’s no doubting when he gets a full head of steam he’ll collapse a pocket but he needs to show more agility. If we get the LB’s moving around more and can clamp down with our young DB’s, we’ll be some kind of good. We have WAY too much size and depth in the middle to allow RB’s to gouge us. If we’re able to take Taylor out of his game and keep him in the middle of the field, we’ll be successful. GO JACKETS!!!!!

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2009
7:45 am

Georgia Tech indeed played Virginia Tech very well last season at a time when the former was still finding its footing. Let’s not dismiss that, either, as Scott Petway suggests.

And I’m old enough to recall the real Scott Petway. Sixth man on a six-man team that won the ACC championship and reached the East Regional finals and played then-defending-champ Georgetown within six points.

reebok

July 21st, 2009
7:45 am

Love that photograph. Nice to see a coach who actually cares, after years of being subjected to Chan Gailey and Paul Hewitt.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2009
7:47 am

Chan Gailey cared. He just wasn’t a yeller.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2009
7:48 am

And Paul Hewitt yells all the time. Mostly at refs.

UGA 13'

July 21st, 2009
7:51 am

Nice blog i hope Tech does well..mayb we can win more games then the UF/FL ST tandom…but come November 28..u guys are assed out

mmjhokiegirl

July 21st, 2009
7:58 am

Oh please, this is pathetic. Va Tech routinely plays in one of the loudest stadiums in the nation. It’s a crazy atmosphere. Playing at Ga Tech is like playing at the sandlot. Two years ago we played on a Thursday night, it was on ESPN, should have been an exciting game. We won 27 – 3. The Ga Tech fans are pathetic – I know quite a few that sell their tickets when they play UGA at Bobby Dodd because they can’t handle the atmosphere. We will annihilate them.

mtraininjax

July 21st, 2009
7:58 am

No Stafford, No Moreno, No Massa(whatever)….5th year backup QB, I mean, UGAg will be lucky to field a decent JV team. Forget Grant Field in Novemver, UGAg is going to get crushed in Jax.

Jeff Sanchez

July 21st, 2009
8:01 am

The big question: Will the Joke by Coke be sold out for the “big” game against the Hoakies?

Can they do it without giving away food?

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2009
8:03 am

I’ve lived here since 1984. I figured I’d heard every Tech-Georgia insult. But Jeff Sanchez — pretty good DB, as I recall — sprang a new one on me. “Joke by Coke” — is that one I just missed all this time?

Brent

July 21st, 2009
8:03 am

Tech can’t beat Buford, but they whipped, make that WHIPPED the dogs, so does cmr team make the AA playoffs? With that defense I’ve gottem a 7 point “dog” to Calhoun.
On a serious note, does anyone have a copy of last years “Bludgeoning Between the bushes”? Mine is worn out. I’m Serious, I want another copy.

john

July 21st, 2009
8:15 am

Hokiegirl: I agree that VT has an incredible atmosphere. And GT has a long way to go to catch up. But..in regards to the game two years ago, please remember we were having a disappointing season and Chan Gailey was on his way out. He had two weeks to prepare for VT and basically stunk it up.

He got booed and the fans were sick of his “playing not to lose” mentality and since Tech hired Paul Johnson, the excitement has returned to The Flats.

Paul Johnson is the real deal, folks. All the crap being thrown by the redneck UGAg fanbase shows how worried they are. A first year coach comes in and rallies from a big deficit to beat UGAg in Athens is cause for worry.

I look forward to a great season and a great game on Oct 17th.

Hammer

July 21st, 2009
8:17 am

It is sad that these blogs degenerate into profane childish exchanges. It is obvious that most of the UGA bloggers, whom likely never graduated from the school, equate their self-worth with how the Dogs do each season. My son is a collegiate, full-ride football scholarship player which is a great thing, especially for my wallet, but we must remember this is a game. We can all pull for our team, but to get in the gutter everytime on these GT/UGA blogs is really old.

VDAWG

July 21st, 2009
8:27 am

Dawg fan here. GT beating us last year was an accomplishment. GT beat us, a better team. A fluke, no, GT wanted it more and came after it and got it. I think it is rediculous how it is over celebrated and put into remembrance by forging rings, but a great win for GT all the same. I don’t look for a repeat this year. As far as VT. I say GT beats them. I think GT has the right coach and I think Georgia’s second best NCAA team is better that Virginia’s first. Smooch on that a while Poindexter.

David

July 21st, 2009
8:29 am

I’m an Auburn fan,..but this blog isnt about UGA. The GT UGA feud aside and stick to the topic. I also see GT beating VT. As stated their offense is more potent and its second year under Coach Johnson. ok,..for UGA fans…you guys will suck majorly this year. But, you have been continuing to get amazing prospects daily this year as well. once you get a QB and some experience may have national title hopes once again. As for AU…well..this is a GT blog and I will keep it that way.

Yes, Mark...

July 21st, 2009
8:30 am

…you have missed the “Joke by the Coke” reference all these years! That saying has been around as long as I can remember, and I am an Atlanta native who has been around for 50+ years!

m

July 21st, 2009
8:30 am

Mark Bradley…shame on you. “Chan Gailey cared?????”

All chan gomer gailey cared about was collecting a big paycheck and getting the game over so he could be home in bed in his jammies watching Little House on the Prairie reruns.

And Mark, it was complete tools like you that sat back and watched him dismantle all that George O’leary had built up and you didn’t even utter a word of protest.

chan gomer gailey is the worst coach in the history of football. Thank God and Greyhound that he is gone forever.

Paul Johnson is one of the very best football coaches. He is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers. Picking Virginia Poly over the real TECH is just plain lazy and lacking in the understanding of what Paul Johnson is building.

ThaMan

July 21st, 2009
8:33 am

If a high school could beat Tech, then it would stand that a middle school would beat the fleabags. Congratulations though, for holding Tech to under 500 yards rushing last meeting!

Bubba

July 21st, 2009
8:39 am

Profane childish exchanges are what make sports talk in the South so enjoyable. Funny how the acquisition of an education is viewed as a weakness. God forbid a Dawg would actually earn a degree. Get one? Sure. Earn one? Cries of, “Boy, what in the hell is wrong with you?” ring the the savannas of the South.

Good to see the rivalry get some teeth again.

TommyP

July 21st, 2009
8:41 am

Mark: Yeah, the “Joke By The Coke” has been used ever since I’ve been a Georgia fan in the mid 80s. You missed that one. Might need to get out with the masses, my friend. :) My suggestion: tailgate at a Georgia game and do a live blog. That would be priceless. :)

As far as Tech is concerned, you make a great point about them having to replace their entire offensive line. They did the same thing last year as far as the learning curve. So with that said, why is everyone suggesting the offense will be BETTER?

m: First off, extremely witty and creative handle. Especially the “lower-case” version. Wait a minute? That’s a variable, isn’t it?

Paul Johnson “is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers?” Get over yourself. Paul Johnson is a good coach but that’s an absurd statement. Was he lacking a few rooks and pawns in the bowl game?

I think everyone is picking Va.Tech because of their track record, the talent they have coming back, and they have fewer questions surrounding them than other teams have. The last one is the biggest piece of logic used by preseason mags.

Speaking of the Joke...

July 21st, 2009
8:43 am

…by the Coke, the best story I heard about Coke had nothing to do with GT, but with the venable institution tied so closely to them by location, and that is The Varsity Drive-in. Seems that way back when Mr. Gordy, the owner of The Varsity, had a brother or cousin, or maybe it was himself, who owned Gordy Tire Company,, located near The Varsity and Coke headquarters. Gordy tire company had a contract to service the entire Coke fleet of vehicles. One year the powers that be at Coke decided that they could get a better deal at another local tire shop; when Mr. Gordy of The Varsity found out, he called the powers that be at Coke and said he would be cancelling his Coke contract and would commence selling Pepsi products.

As you know, The Varsity STILL sells Coke products to this day, so you see who had the most pull in these parts, and how much Coke product The Varsity sells.

And, you can ask Nancy, Mr. Gordy’s daughter who currently owns and runs the downtown Varsity, if this is gospel or urban legend!

The Wishful Dawgs

July 21st, 2009
8:45 am

Are the Dawg Nation still using the phrase “wait until next year” for a National Championship? I have heard this quote thousands of times. I am still waiting for that allusive Title for the Dawgs.

MightyQuinn

July 21st, 2009
8:46 am

I’m a native Atlantan who grew up in the ’60s going to the Thanksgiving JV game that was a benefit for the children’s hospital between the Dogs and the Jackets.(”Strong legs runs so that weak legs can walk.”) But I had never heard “joke by Coke” either Mark.

MightyQuinn

July 21st, 2009
8:47 am

Thats “run” not “runs”. Thought I’d better correct that before the UGA fans go nuts.

??

July 21st, 2009
8:49 am

Why is everyone saying Tech has a new offensive line? The only starter we lost off that line was Andrew Gardner who didn’t even play the last half of the season. What am I missing here? There absolutely nothing “new” about our offensive line. They will be much improved, as will the backs and WR’s since the entire unit is returning.

The Varsity

July 21st, 2009
8:51 am

I heard that The Varsity sells more Coke than any other eating establishment in the world. So I believe your story.

MatthewH

July 21st, 2009
8:51 am

A win over VT on Oct 17th and then a win over UVA on OCt 24th? That would be great! It will be so much fun coming to work here in Virginia. I’m not sure that the Hokies offense is that scary. The receivers are young (all freshmen and sophmores-except for one senior who is coming off an achilles tendon tear), and so are the running backs. So, I’ll put GT’s young defense against VT’s young offense all day.

SuperB

July 21st, 2009
8:52 am

Dave Curtis of The Sporting News picks the Jackets to go 12-0 this year. He affirms what everyone has always said about his paper: “Stick to baseball.” TSN has an anemic record on forecasting college FB.

Curtis says GT will again top UGA because there is “no evidence” the Dawgs can tackle any better this year than last. How in the Hell would Curtis know this and make that statement? One missed tackle cost the Dawgs that game But GT yielded 42 points and their tackling was just as poor.

Mark Bradley

July 21st, 2009
8:54 am

So: The worst coach in college football history never had a losing season. Gotcha.

Paddy

July 21st, 2009
8:58 am

What am I missing? Help out here. Even though GT’s line was C for average last year, were they not like 2nd in the country in rushing? They had to be blocking folks at a rather good rate. Granted everyone on the field is required to be a proven blocker in CPJ offense. IMHO those lineman are being sold short. I like their chances this year after intense weight room work and 12 months to get better at this difficult blocking plan. It’s rather scary to think what may be coming out of that huddle this season.

m

July 21st, 2009
9:00 am

Mark…try not to be such and idiot.

chan gomer gailey took over a program that had been built up by George O’leary and had finished in the TOP 25 for 5 YEARS IN A ROW.

chan gomer gailey took over and MEDIOCRED TECH to death and NEVER finished in the TOP 25.

SO….YES…chan gomer gailey is the WORST coach in history….and apprently Mark…you are the chan gomer gailey of journalists (sic).

Thank GOD and Greyhound that chan gomer gailey is gone forever….he should have take you with him.

TommyP

July 21st, 2009
9:03 am

MatthewH: “The receivers are young ….. and so are the running backs” referring to VT. Uhhh….if that’s what you’re going to hang your hat on, be my guest. Wasn’t their “young” running back a 1,200+ yard rusher last year?

Oh yeah….VT is a running team. Tyrod Taylor will even run for a 1,000 this year at QB. I don’t think the WRs are that big a concern in Blacksburg.

ThaMan

July 21st, 2009
9:03 am

dd – Tech has ugly women? dd stands for “digs dudes”, so you haven’t been looking anyway.

TommyP

July 21st, 2009
9:05 am

m: “…such AND idiot?”

Priceless.