Sorry for the late posting tonight, Tech fans, I got a little wrapped up in the big tennis match. Like everyone else, I was hoping the local girl would pull off another upset and keep her Cinderella run going.
Thursday night will see the Jackets get their first real challenge of the 2009 season, as Clemson makes the short trek down to the Flats for a nationally televised Thursday night on ESPN.
Everyone is making this game sound like its going to be a Dwyer vs Spiller title bout. Personally, I’ll be watching the under card…the Clemson offensive line vs the Tech defensive line. This is where the game will be won or lost. If the Jackets can’t produce pressure on young redshirt freshman QB Kyle Parker then the odds swing greatly in the favor of the Tigers. Without pressure, the Tigers will become more proficient in third down situations and will score a ton of points on the ground with Spiller or through the air to Jacoby Ford.
If the GT defensive line can put pressure on Parker (and force him to make mistakes) then the defensive secondary, a GT strength, will be able to make plays and secure turnovers. Of course, this is all predicated on the defensive line being able to generate push and get off blocks in the early downs each series in order to force passing situations. If Clemson is able to force feed us a steady diet of CJ Spiller and Jamie Harper then its going to be a long night and we’re going to struggle in short yardage defensive situations.
If you haven’t noticed yet…I’m not sold on the GT defensive line. Outside of Derrick Morgan I feel they’re pretty pedestrian. I hope and pray I’m proven wrong…and I’ll gladly eat my crow blackened with a little splash of lime if the Tech defensive line turns out a better than expected performance tomorrow night. (My GT friends keep telling me that the defense was very vanilla against JSU, but I maintain that vanilla should have performed better against the level of competition this past Saturday.)
But enough doom and gloom…lets end on a high note and talk about the offense…
I think everyone knows that the offense was extremely vanilla and buttoned down against JSU. I fully expect to see improved passion, effort, and blocking against the Tigers. We’ll see more pitches outside, counters, and improved production on the dive as a result. We’ll probably also see the ball thrown downfield a little more than we did against Clemson last year.
With Dwyer, Jones, Allen, Nesbitt, and Wright working out of Paul Johnson’s offensive backfield I believe we’ll score plenty. I believe we’ll see less rotation on the offensive line and a more coherent offensive effort. I’m sure Coach Johnson will do his best to keep our offense on the field and CJ Spiller sitting on the visiting bench.
Like I’ve said before…run the ball, stop the run, control the clock…WIN!
I’ll end the blog with a few must-see links that are available on the web…enjoy!