And just like that, Jowls O’Chopblock© is gone.
Gone are the days when we have to
waste time practice throughout the season for an offense that celebrates cut blocks, chop blocks and ACL counts. And there was much rejoicing in the land...
2018 Record: 7-6
Series Record (Clean Old Fashioned Hate): Dawgs on Top - 67-41-5
Last meeting vs. Georgia: 45-21 loss. Tech was down 38-7 at the half. It could’ve been worse.
Home Stadium: Mark Richt Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000). Built in 1913. Last renovation 1914.
Notable Alumni: Arthur Murray (The Dance Instructor. Yes, him). Beyond that, everyone else pales in comparison.
Tech won 7 games in the regular season and finished 2nd in the weak ACC Coastal Division, but could not send Paul Johnson out a winner in the Quick Lane Bowl, losing handily to Minnesota 34-10.
Why This Game Matters:
We haven’t lost on Tech’s home turf since 1999. You remember: The Jasper Sanks non-fumble game. Tech is an ancient rival and the new coach has designs to build them back up to respectability and beyond. However, this game is likely only important as it pertains to potential playoff seeding. The rivalry is still intense, but has been usurped in the pecking order by Conference opponents, and that is just the facts. Tech would rather beat Georgia than anyone else on their schedule. We’d simply rather not lose to them.
Yes, Paul Johnson and his triple option experiment at Tech is over. Enter, Geoff Collins and his pro-style offense as Georgia Tech looks to re-enter the modern 21st century game of college football. Trouble is, as Collins begins the arduous task of rebuilding, his cupboard is full of guys who were specifically recruited to play in the old system, and now must learn how to embrace an entirely new scheme. It’s going to be a long season.
Above The Line (ATL):
Why was this preview so difficult to put together? Well, no one really knows who’s gonna play right out of the gate, except for a few dudes. Geoff Collins doesn’t believe in the traditional depth chart. He prefers to list guys who are giving great effort and play “Above The Line,” a clever acronym for ATL. That’s cute.
Tech on Offense:
In the triple option, the quarterback was just a means to and end. In the pro-style system, the quarterback is everything. Tech is going to have to rely on offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude to get Lucas Johnson (6’ 3” 215) and/or Tobias Oliver (6’ 2”, 210) acclimated to the new era in a hurry. Johnson has good size, Oliver might be the better athlete. Both will play.
The running back corps lost a lot of experience from last season, but has talent returning. Jerry Howard (6’, 210) did start 7 games last season and rushed for almost 600 yards. Freshman Jamious Griffin is a good back with good size (5’ 10”, 210). Jordan Mason also returns. Tech has depth here.
Tech has to employ a tight end for the first time since the early Obama Administration. Graduate transfer Tyler Davis will get the nod here. Behind him, I’ll be damned if I can find some depth. Tyler Cooksey, Dylan Deveney will have to get some reps. And we think we’ve got issues...
Jalen Camp (6’ 2”, 215) has the most experience. Tech has a tall kid in Steve Dolphus (6’ 5’, 215) and a capable threat in Malachi Carter.
The offensive line lost a lot of guys to graduation, but do have some guys with starting experience. Scott Morgan at center, Jared Souther (Vandy transfer) and Kenny Cooper will be at guard. Junior Jack DeFoor (last played at Ole MIss in 2017) will play right tackle. Left tackle features Zach Quinney, a sophomore who played in all 13 games last season.
Tech on Defense:
On the D-Line, Tech has to rebuild here and is void of experienced starters. DT Brad Morgan recently had to retire for medical reasons, leaving a ton of youth to have to step up. In March, Tech’s most experienced defensive lineman, Brandon Adams, tragically passed away. Florida transfer Antonneous Clayton, Jr. was recently denied eligibility and Tech is appealing. Antwan Owens (6’ 4”, 270) has the most experience, seeing action in all 13 games last year, but is undersized for the nose tackle position where he might have to play at times. Tech will have to get creative on their line by converting some offensive guys to defense. That’s never a good recipe for success. We’ll find out much this Thursday night.
The linebacker picture isn’t quite as bleak. Senior MLB David Curry (6’ 2”, 225) brings his 13 starts and 47 tackle experience back in 2019. Charlie Thomas will play the weak side and Nickel will feature 13-game veteran Kaleb Oliver. Tech’s defensive backfield will look to replace last year’s entire starting unit. Myles Sims is a redshirt freshman, Tre Swilling carries on the family legacy, Christian Campbell will play strong safety. Juanyeh Thomas will occupy the free-safety slot.
On special teams, Punter Pressley Harvin, Jr. was 3rd team All-ACC as a freshman. Sophomore Wesley Wells was 9 out of 9 in field goals; 39/39 in PATs. The dangerous Juanyeh Thomas was 2nd team All-ACC as a kick returner, evidenced by his 100 touchdown return in Athens last season.
What will happen at Mark Richt Field in November?
If Tech has a functioning defensive lineman left on November 30th, that’ll be a minor miracle. If ever the disparity between our depth vs. theirs was on display, this is the game. Tech is in for a long season and by the time we roll into Atlanta, they’ll be just another squished bug on the windshield as we march towards greater things. Dawgs 48, Tech 7.
This wraps up the Opponent Previews for 2019. We’ve got a game this Saturday, err’body!