Or nerd herding, dork directing, or whatever other euphemism you prefer. I think I speak for many in Bulldog Nation when I say that I don't consider Georgia Tech our chief rival, but I do consider them the team I most despise losing to. Of course, I don't have a whole lot of practice in dealing with a loss to the trade schoolers, but I seem to recall it's not a lot of fun.
There's obviously some uncertainty surrounding this matchup. The coaches have made no secret of the fact that practices for this one have been physical. The defense has worked on dealing with Georgia Tech's cut blocking, but we don't know precisely how Coach Grantham will deal with the Georgia Tech flexbone attack. One presumes that he has been in contact with his old college coach Frank Beamer, and that Mark Richt and Rodney Garner have some thoughts to share from last season. Perhaps the best news for the 'Dawgs is the fact that this Tech offense has no Jon Dwyer, a big back who absolutely can't be tackled when he gets going downhill. Instead Tech has Anthony Allen, who's totaled 1059 yards this season. Allen has gotten his yards (averaging 5.6 per carry) but has broken the 120 yard mark only twice: 125 in a loss to Miami and 195 in a trouncing of Virginia.
And while Tevin Washington may be a very good option quarterback (I actually think he throws the ball better than Josh Nesbitt) he is not in fact Josh Nesbitt. Without a quarterback who's good for 5 yards up the middle on first down, Johnson's offense just doesn't work consistently. I expect that Paul Johnson will put the ball in the air more than the 7 times he did against Duke. But whether in the air or on the ground, for Georgia Tech to have a chance in this game their sophomore quarterback cannot turn the ball over. I feel confident saying that if Georgia Tech turns the ball over 3 or more times, they have little or no chance to win tomorrow's edition of Clean Old-Fashioned Hate.
On the flipside, I have little confidence that the Georgia Tech defense can stop our offense if we execute well. Seriously, there is not a man, woman, child or worgen in Gnat Nation capable of covering A.J. Green one-on-one. If there's one capable of stopping Orson Charles, I have not seen him. Perhaps the closest thing the Yellow Jackets have seen to the Georgia offense has been the North Carolina State offense led by Russell Wilson, who burned the Jackets for 368 yards on the way to a 45-28 Wolfpack victory.
Instead, the only thing capable of stopping Georgia from scoring a bushel of points on the Jackets is some infuriating combination of a) Aaron Murray being reinjured/unable to perform, b) Mike Bobo calling a crappy ball game, or c) the offensive line failing to open holes against a defense that gave up 277 yards on the ground to Miami, 198 to Virginia Tech, and 236 to Clemson.
If the offense performs up to capacity we'll be fine, and can send the Yellow Jackets back to their body-riddled sinkhole of a campus with a bloody gash across their collectively pasty chins and a song in our collective hearts:
Prediction: A.J. Green takes at least one short pass the distance against the tackling-optional Jacket secondary and the 'Dawgs prevail 34-24. Until later . . .