Heat Check: Hail Tech and the Dream, Atlanta’s shining lights!

Tech's Tevin Washington, dual-threat QB, sheds Blue Raiders in Murfreesboro. (AP photo)

Tech's Tevin Washington, dual-threat QB, sheds Blue Raiders in Murfreesboro. (AP photo)

It wasn’t the greatest week in the history of local sports. The Braves, who hadn’t been swept in a series all season, got swept twice. The Falcons’ Super Bowl Express suffered a malfunction in Chi-town. Georgia fell to 0-2 for the first time since Jim Donnan was a rookie Bulldog coach. Which impels our Monday Heat Check to turn elsewhere for glad tidings.

Georgia Tech: The Jackets could always run, and now they can pass, too. (Wait a second. Is that newfangled forward pass legal?) The chief reason they fell from 11-3 (forfeit not included) in 2009 to 6-7 last season was that Demaryius Thomas wasn’t around to catch wobbly passes and give the spread option an aerial option. Now Stephen Hill is making like Bay-Bay and Tevin Washington is emulating Daryle Lamonica — did you know the Mad Bomber was a high school rival of the famous prep quarterback Bobby Cox? — and Tech has beaten two lesser opponents the way lesser opponents should be beaten. Heat Index: Behold the hottest football team in an 80-mile radius.

Georgia: His team is 0-2, and Mark Richt predicts greatness. Imagine if the Bulldogs had been 1-1. Would he have crowned this a dynasty? Heat Index: That seat of Richt’s? It’s not getting any cooler.

Georgia State: The Panthers lost to Old Dominion 40-17 before an announced attendance of 11,701, the smallest home crowd in school history. (Which, admittedly, isn’t exactly voluminous.) It was speculated that some students mightn’t have attended because sorority rush was ongoing. Heat Index: Guess we can’t yet call GSU a hot ticket.

The Falcons: Maybe you saw it coming. I didn’t. (Not even after that 0-4 preseason.) The offense didn’t muster a touchdown for the second consecutive season opener. The defense watched benignly as the offensively challenged Bears made big plays. Might want to wait a week before making those Super Bowl reservations, folks. Heat Index: I’m guessing Sunday’s prime-time game with Philadelphia will be a hot ticket.

The Dream: It has made the playoffs after a lousy start and is the third seed in the WNBA East. It will face the Connecticut Sun in Round 1, which is best-of-three. Heat Index: Pretty warm, by way of comparison. Let’s note that the Dream played for a championship last season, which is more than the Braves and the Falcons and the Hawks have done lately.

The Braves: On the morning after Labor Day, the Braves led the wild-card chase by 8 1/2 games. Today they’re 4 1/2 up. They got swept in St. Louis, which was the one place they couldn’t get swept. Craig Kimbrel blew his first save since June 8. Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are still on the DL. Martin Prado and Brian McCann aren’t hitting. Heat Index: It’ll be a long cold winter if they blow this now, and we’ll be calling their manager Fredi The Snowman.

By Mark Bradley

217 comments Add your comment

pepe

September 12th, 2011
9:51 am

GT Fan

September 12th, 2011
9:52 am

LMAO

September 12th, 2011
9:52 am

GT Fan

September 12th, 2011
9:52 am

Damn you Pepe!!!!!

Mark Bradley

September 12th, 2011
9:53 am

A heated race for first. Pepe takes the kudos.

OneFingerTypingDawg

September 12th, 2011
9:53 am

ritchie

September 12th, 2011
9:53 am

GT Fan

September 12th, 2011
9:53 am

At least Mark Richt would be proud of me for just competing!

OneFingerTypingDawg

September 12th, 2011
9:54 am

dang me, need to learn how to type with more than one finger…. cost me a “first”…

GT Fan

September 12th, 2011
9:54 am

Onefingertypingdawg,

Maybe if you typed with two fingers you would have had it.

BulldogBen

September 12th, 2011
9:55 am

WORST. WEEKEND. EVER.

Bubba Bean

September 12th, 2011
9:56 am

If the braves dont make the playoffs………..fill in the blank

Mark Bradley

September 12th, 2011
9:56 am

GT Fan with a good line. Kudos for that.

Moorman

September 12th, 2011
9:57 am

If matt ryan loses to michal vick……………..lol

AFDawg

September 12th, 2011
10:00 am

MB, You’re way off again — as always. UGA needs Mark Richt — you’ll see by the end of the season. The way the banged up Bulldogs played for Richt on Saturday is a true testatment to how much he means to the team. He did have his team prepared and he still knows how to motivate. The fans might be giving up on him, but the palyers aren’t — and that is what matters. No one can recruit in-state players as well as Richt either (including Kirby Smart — bringing him in would be a disaster). You’ll be eating your words by the end of the season.

Bama in Atlanta

September 12th, 2011
10:01 am

OneFingerTypingDawg

Maybe if you had a shorter Name it wouldn’t take so long to type!

BulldogBen

September 12th, 2011
10:01 am

Seriously though, if the Braves blow making the playoffs, the collective psyche of this town may be borderline suicidal. Keep in mind, we still have 3 games with Philly.

Not that any of that matters because NO ONE is getting by Philly.

Innocent Bystander

September 12th, 2011
10:03 am

GT Fan-

I think his other index finger is a little preoccupied up his nose…

Old School

September 12th, 2011
10:04 am

Dawgs lose, Braves swept and the Falcons thumped. It’s going to be a loooong Monday….

Still can’t believe the decision to try the onside kick with 3 time-outs remaining!

NorthAveKillerBeez

September 12th, 2011
10:07 am

I just hope tech fans are not getting to excited. We don’t play a meaningful game until at least MIAMI, then our season really starts with that stretch of games. UGA has opened up with two legit top 15 teams.

Mark Bradley

September 12th, 2011
10:08 am

I had no problem with the onside kick. Thought it was the right call.

Had a big problem not calling the second timeout after second down.

Brandon

September 12th, 2011
10:10 am

Think you can write about something else besides Mark Richt’s seat? A young team made some mistakes, but played four quarters for once…mention the progress and let’s see the season unfold.

BulldogBen

September 12th, 2011
10:10 am

AFDawg, spare us all the warm and fuzzys. Dawgs should’ve won that game by 2 touchdowns.

We’re going 8-4 with another loss to Florida and I think I’m being optimistic.

Herschel Talker

September 12th, 2011
10:11 am

AFDawg:

I think you’re the last Richt supporter left. Please turn out the lights when you leave.

HT

DawginLex

September 12th, 2011
10:12 am

Ivan Maisel says if the UGA fans would match the intensity of the football players, we might have something in the way of a home field advantage.

I think he is on to something.

Richt doing the onside kick was the right thing. The tiemout delay was because the defense gave up 7 yards on 1st down

DawginLex

September 12th, 2011
10:13 am

It might just be his time to move on but I was proud of the effort, the play calling and the defensive game plan.

The mistakes killed us. You can’t outcoach turnovers.

funny...

September 12th, 2011
10:16 am

I agree, the onside was fine, they’d already executed one very well earlier in the game.

You know the SEC officials don’t give Georgia an inch since the endzone dance.

If Aaron Murray could tuck the darn football the onside kick is probably a moot point. Just for kicks Murray spotted South Carolina 21 points (fumble, pick six, fumble).

Also, why is no one talking about the first Murray fumble? The play before he got rocked by the USC defense very late. He was face down on the turf and was walking around dazed. Next play, botched handoff.

Tech '10

September 12th, 2011
10:17 am

HAHAHA What is this passing I see?? And why are we decent at it so far ? ;)

stendek

September 12th, 2011
10:18 am

Hello again Mark. Just commented on your Falcon column. Long time no see. Since it appears that no one who can do something about the Dawgs sinking into oblivion seems interested enough to do so then I will watch unamused at another lost season. Saint Mark Wrtech will run it up against the Coastal Carolina School For The Blind then struggle mightily against Mississippi. Maybe 2-2 but do not discount 1-3. Just do not foresee a lot of wins after that. Weak schedule being wasted by undercoached team with no fire in its belly. My sympathy to Russ. No mascot deserves this type of abuse. I can only hope the Dawg offense can offset all the points it is sure to prove foes with pick sixes and fumble returns for TD. I guess Aaron Cox is doing his best. Will never be good enough! Sigh. Once proud Bulldog Nation growls now only almost inaudible whimpers. Sigh again. Have a good one. I would say something to all the Wretch apologists but I do not use that kind of language. Much. :)

funny...

September 12th, 2011
10:19 am

So wait, now we’re supposed to like Richt/Bobo/Grantham for ONE GAME with a good game plan?

The South Carolina game was literally Richt and Bobo’s best effort. They know their jobs are on the line. Their best effort lost.

People, 20-19 since the 2008 Alabama game.

Gator Nation

September 12th, 2011
10:19 am

Had no problem with the onside kick down three with all all three timeouts and the college stop of the clock with a first down????????

It was the wrong call. Good lord anyone with any football knowledge knows that. It may not have mattered, but it was bad bad thinking.

jacket

September 12th, 2011
10:21 am

Paul Johnson for President!

funny...

September 12th, 2011
10:21 am

Central Florida
Boise State
South Carolina

Yeah, that’s list of college football tradition

stendek

September 12th, 2011
10:21 am

Think Georgia Tech can spare Dawgs some of their points? Just asking!

John Ellison

September 12th, 2011
10:21 am

Do people actually sit in front of their computers all day waiting to be the first person to type “first”?

How much do you win for being the first person to type “first”?

SWAT Native

September 12th, 2011
10:22 am

Wow, Mark, a rare acknowledgement of the Dream! I have a good feeling about that team, they may win it all this time. Too bad no one is paying attention.

Call it like it is

September 12th, 2011
10:25 am

Braves…are they still playing? The National league choke masters. Yeah we have 3000 division wins, and one ring. Yeh!! Its fall, same story different year. Braves will choke again. Baseball should end anyway the week before college football starts.

Falcons. Wow, do they look bad. And people talk about Atlanta Fans being wishy washy. Hell our teams are wishy washy. No legacy, no rings, no nothing.

Dawgs. It is what is is. You have played two great teams, and it shows. Your not as good as them, get over it. Lots of football left, and yes several more losses for you. All you can do is strive to get better each game. Maybe you guys shouldnt havent been so quick to get rid of Coach Donnan, you know the guy who took you to 4 consecutive bowl wins, the firt time in Dawg history. What was his last 2 seasons, 8 wins each? Oh well hindsight is 20/20

DC

September 12th, 2011
10:25 am

How can you be proud?..any other team would have dominated Garcia’s mistakes…any other team would have won the game by 2 touchdowns…Garcia is one of the worst QBs in the SEC..period. As an outsider looking in..while watching that game I thought UGA would dominate..but no that never happened..War Eagle!

Alphare

September 12th, 2011
10:26 am

I predicted a 2-0 record for Tech and 0-2 record for UGA. Kudo to myself.

I admit I sweated a few times Saturday during SC-UGA game.

Gdawg

September 12th, 2011
10:26 am

even funnier
Air Force, Western Carolina, MTSU on their field????
funny, get back in your parents basement before they lock that door on you!

calvin

September 12th, 2011
10:26 am

What’s this ‘forfeit not included’ stuff? It is
NOT and NEVER WILL BE the place of AJC writers to
deny Tech acknowledgement of the 2009 ACC Championship.
Whatever sanctions the NCAA ends up imposing, they
say what the SCHOOL has to do, not what the AJC
writers have to do. Can you imagine you ever saying that
Georgia didn’t win a championship just because the NCAA
might have told Georgia it can’t mention it? Of course
not. Tech won the 2009 ACC Championship, and that is
an irrevocable fact for all time.

dawggirl

September 12th, 2011
10:26 am

If you couldn’t see it coming for the Falcons, then maybe you need a new day job.

PMC

September 12th, 2011
10:27 am

It’s going to be sad to watch the last QB who won in the playoffs in this town come in and eviscerate the miserably inadequate Atlanta secondary yet AGAIN. I’m sure the locals will love it.

Return to Glory

September 12th, 2011
10:28 am

Wooo break out the gold and white pom poms and GT flags your going to win the 5a high school state championship….

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 12th, 2011
10:30 am

Bring it on, Bradley. You finally see the light. Don’t let up YELLOW JACKETS, roll over Kansas. This time leave Washington in and finish strong.

17 of 20

September 12th, 2011
10:32 am

Steve Spurrier owns Mark Richt and Georgia.

Dirty Dawg

September 12th, 2011
10:42 am

GatorNation…you mean that 800 lb lizard they ‘caught’ down around the Okmulgee, or the Ogeechee, or someplace I might actually be able to spell, wasn’t you? Too bad, I was looking forward to fryin’ up some gator-tail, but suppose that’ll have to wait till Halloween. As for the decision to go for the onside instead of kicking it deep, as Richt pointed out on his show last night they had just found out another of their key defensive guys was now out for the remainder of the game, thus reducing the chance that we would be able to stop them from getting a first down and running out the clock…so you go for it – even a lizard-brained idiot could understand that…couldn’t one?

As for Mr. Bradley, you really are scraping the bottom ain’t ya’? Tech beats two ‘lesser’ opponents, as you say – a couple of directional schools that won’t win a combined total of ten games this season, and they’re suddenly ‘hot’. Good thing that that bandwagon you’re so adept at hopping on board has a rear, exit, door, cause you’re gonna be using it soon enough. Kansas may not be the Kansas that whipped your ‘fair-haired boys’ last year, but they don’t have an East/West/North/South – or Middle – attached to their name.

Of course, Coastal isn’t so much a direction as the name of an entire sub-conference – one whose members that ‘other’ team within the 80-mile radius could whip one at a time, but we’ll settle for just the one come Thanksgiving.

Doofus

September 12th, 2011
10:43 am

St Louis still has to play 4 games at Philly. They aren’t catching the braves. Im hoping AZ finishes with a better record than Mil so we play them!!

ryano

September 12th, 2011
10:43 am

Now it starts Techies – No more wins the rest of the year, now that your high school schedule is over… All good at bashing GA until we pound you again….

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 12th, 2011
10:45 am

GEORGIA TECH, with it’s 3* athletes, would play a better game against Boise State than UGA did, with it’s 5*’s. What’s wrong, dawgs?