In a game that wasn’t as close as the score, the Jackets delivered a 33-21 Homecoming victory over the Virginia Cavaliers.
Defense Steps Up Early, Carries the Offense
The defense played great in the first half and basically carried the water for the offense as the Jackets were able to move the ball at will, but not crack the end zone.
In that first half, the Jackets had drives that ended with a bad pitch, a fumble, a failed fourth down conversion, and an interception. Up until the very end of the second quarter, when Nesbitt dove into the endzone to cap a 59 yard TD drive, the offense was shooting itself in the foot left and right. They were moving the ball, teasing the Jackets fans in attendence, but had nothing to really show for it except for a couple of Scott Blair field goals. It was beginning to feel like Wake Forest all over again.
But miraculously, through all of the offensive mistakes, the Yellow Jacket defense pitched three three-n-out series plus a fourth at the very end of the second quarter. They also forced Virginia to use 10 plays to travel a mere 33 yards before the Hoos missed a 50 yard field goal. If not for one busted play which allowed the Cavs to run 37 yards for a TD, they would have pitched a shutout in the first half.
Even including that one big play, the defense had only given up about 120 yards of total offense through the first two quarters of play.
And with Nesbitt’s late plunge into the endzone, the Jackets walked into the locker room with a 13-7 lead.
Offense Dominates Second Half, Defense Steady
The defense continued to play well on the first possession of the second half as they sacked UVA’s quarterback and forced a third and 16 on which Mario Butler forced a fumble and gained possession for the Jackets.
41 yards later Anthony Allen scored his first touchdown of the season, the Jackets led 20-7, and the offense appeared to be on track.
The Cavs managed to match Allens TD on their next drive with one big run and a pass interference call that put them deep into GT territory but 20-14 was as close as they came as the defense kept them out of the endzone until their very last desperation drive in trash time.
Offensive, during this time, the Jackets were gashing the Hoos defense and eating clock en route to a day on which Paul Johnson’s spread option put up 477 yards on the ground and ate 36 minutes of possession time. And that was with Tevin Washington replacing Nesbitt on Tech’s last two drives…basically taking the snap and holding the ball without any real attempt to move anywhere offensively.
536 yards of offense…not a bad showing for a Homecoming crowd on a day that was perfect for college football.
Game Balls to Allen and Egbuniwe
Kudos need to go out to two players who have taken some heat this season.
On offense, Allen carried the ball 25 times for 195 yards and three TDs. Noone has really called for Allen to be replaced at b-back but he hasn’t really had that big break out game until this weekend. And after two season of being spoiled by Jonathan Dwyer, Tech fans were waiting for it.
Its possible that the passing game that Tech showed last week in the fourth quarter against Wake Forest forced UVA to respect the possibility that Nesbitt would throw the ball. That might have softened the Cav defense a bit for the running game. Its also possible that the Jackets finally started blocking better…
On defense, Egbuniwe really stepped up and had a big game. I’ve been vocally critical of #41 this season but he played great against UVA with five solo tackles and two assists to lead the team. He added a sack and a tackle for a loss to those numbers and was definitely the defensive player of the game for the Jackets. I’ll gladly eat crow and give Egbuniwe credit for playing a great game.
Local Radio Continues to…Stink…
This is the section of the blog where I rant a bit about the local radio and TV “media” outlets.
As usual, the official GT programming was excellent. Wes Durham and the ISP guys do a great job.
Unfortunately they have to hand the signal off to 790 and their UGA sycophant “Young Guns”. I’m not sure where they found these guys, but its obvious that they worship at the altar of all things red and black. Its so hard to listen to, that I find myself wishing David Pollack and Mike Bell were running the show. Bell is at least good for a laugh and Pollack at least has a real UGA pedigree such that you expect him to be pro-UGA.
Luckily, the game ended late enough in the evening that I began to lose 790’s “signal” about the time I hit I-285. And by the time I was merging onto GA400 North, it was more static than Young Gun drivel.
So I clicked over to 680 the Dawg to see if anyone was talking college football on a Saturday evening and what do I hear? I hear someone talking about NHL Hockey.
That’s right…on a Saturday night in the biggest college football city in the nation, 680 is broadcasting hockey.
At that point I just laughed and turned it over to one of the FM pop stations. I’ll listen to Katie Perry or Lady Gaga before I’ll listen to hockey on the radio…
And WSBTV (ABC/ESPN)… you’re on my list too!
I didn’t post this blog last night because I was watching the FSU vs Miami game.
Not only is my wife a rabid Nole fan, but that game had an impact on Tech’s chances at returning to the ACC title game. (And I like to scout our upcoming opponents as well…)
The Noles are leading 31-17 (that’s just two scores) with somewhere around seven minutes left in the game when suddenly the feed switches over to Stanford vs Southern Cal. My wife is irate and I can’t blame her.
Here’s a newsflash to ABC/ESPN…we don’t care about some football game out on the left coast.
And we especially don’t care when one of the teams isn’t even ranked and the result has absolutely NO national implications.
It might have been admissible to cut away from the ACC game just long enough to show us Stanford’s field goal attempt, but its not admissible to show us two minutes of garbage time leading up to the kick followed by highlights and scores from around the country…all while FSU and Miami are still playing!
This is twice that FSU games that are in progress have been switched to feeds from other parts of the country. Its unacceptable…