GT Beat: Picking Up the Pieces

The opener is over. What’s been learned? The Yellow Jackets are a good team. We’ll have plenty of tape to review, and that tape has value – it is across from one of the better teams in the nation.

In front of a very vocal, very orange crowd, the Yellow Jackets struggled mightily against a very good team and lost. Man, what a game it was. It was close the whole way, then became a rollercoaster at the end. We had it stitched, it seemed, but Logan Thomas was able to march his troops downfield, and quickly. It is obvious that they are sorely missing David Wilson (NFL), but Thomas found the way when they needed him to. Yellow Jacket starters Louis Young and Daniel Drummond were missing for other reasons, but they’ll be back and that’s a good thing.

The Hokies shut the Jackets down on the ground. Orwin Smith only carried the ball four times for five yards (but got four catches for 52 yards). The team total was 192 yards on the ground. Bright side: It was good to see some of the younger guys get touches and gains against a strong Hokie defense that had lots of time to prepare for us.

The GT linemen on both sides of the ball look solid to me. Jay Finch coming out of the game was as frightening as Orwin Smith doing so. But both should be fine for Saturday.

The entire defense looked very good at times, but seemed to fall apart at the end. Again, Louis Young will be back soon, and that should help shore up the backfield.

I like Coach Johnson and Coach Groh a whole bunch. Coach Johnson shares North Carolina roots with yours truly (my Scottish quadrant hails from Fayetteville), and I like the way he talks. Coach Groh has a great deal of humility and knowledge. He’s there because he loves this game. Humor me a moment; please look at this and this. By my count, that’s two four-star recruits and otherwise mostly threes for GT, and then a list full of fours and fives for Alabama. Yes, extreme, but you see the point. These coaches face Moneyball-type scenarios every year and still manage to win some of them.

Special teams did well for the Yellow Jackets.

It’s not possible, but I’d love to see a rematch. Either way, we deserve to be ranked in the top 25 right now. We gave the Hokies a real fight, but we will get there, even if it’s not this week.

Looking ahead to Saturday, we face the Blue Hose of Presbyterian. We are called the Yellow Jackets not for any relation to insects, but because our guys used to wear nice yellow jackets. Some still do. The genesis of the Presbyterian mascot, though, is unknown to me and it will remain so. I am content with some of life’s little mysteries. I do know for certain that they dealt a drubbing to Brevard this past weekend, 45-10. The Presbyterian QB is 6-3 and can throw. The very tall (6-6, 6-7, 6-4) front line of the Yellow Jackets may find a method of getting to him and/or getting their hands in the air. We need to beat these guys and re-establish. One loss is one loss. There will be more ranked opponents, and other possibilities may emerge.

Go Jackets!

Geofferson P. Burdell was awarded a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech in August 1999. He is an Austrian Economics devotee, a shadetree mechanic, a hiker, and an improving bridge player. He resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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