GT Beat: Post-Presbyterian, Pre-Hoo

The two best schools in the ACC will do battle on the gridiron in Atlanta–my hometown–this weekend. I was transported to Charlottesville a decade ago, and much like a Heinlein stranger, I’ve enjoyed my stay in this strange land. I’ve worked for, worked with, rented from, bought from, sold to, waited on, and played bridge with Wahoos. I even married one. She’s smart and pretty- -two qualities apparently requisite for UVA admission. She’s sitting next to me in bed as I write this. Lo, I love Charlottesville and her people! In the bucolic paradise that radiates about town- -you just can’t help but find a good reason to be happy, even when the damned tractor won’t start. Mr. Jefferson knew what he was doing. I am still a Yellow Jacket, though.

The Cavaliers are coming off a very close win at home against a beleaguered Penn State. I’ll pull for UVA when they aren’t playing Georgia Tech, but I was on the fence this past weekend. The Penn State kids sure could use some sunshine. The Cavalier team, though, wasn’t in the business of showing mercy. Except to people who bet under the spread, maybe.

Cavalier Junior QB Mike Rocco threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns. He threw for over 300 in their first game, against Richmond. He’s productive. The Cavs have a solid tight end and some fast receivers, as well. Darius Jennings, in particular, appears to be one of Rocco’s favorite targets. I doubt Yellow Jacket corners and safeties are reading this, but that’s okay, Al Groh will tell them.

The entire UVA team rushed for 32 yards. Yeah, that’s low. I had to look twice. It was on 25 tries. I guess the Penn State line and linebackers didn’t take advantage of the sit-out-free transfer NCAA-forced offer, but the backfield did? I don’t know. Kevin Parks could have a breakout game any day, though, so the Jacket front better not take it easy. Parks is 5-8, 200 pounds, and fast. The elusive shorter guys can surprise. Think Chuck Norris. BAM! It’s probably best that you go take some Advil now, because that mindhurt won’t go away on its own.

In order to gain page views, a fledgling, amateurish, out-of-shape sportswriter might surprise his readership and do something provocative, like cursing or telling filthy jokes. He might even tell a crazy story wholly unrelated to the matter at hand. I am sitting on one such story. It is about me, biscuits & gravy, a nalgene bottle full of sweet iced tea, and two elderly people who were almost certainly *not* Presbyterians.

Georgia Tech trounced the Blue Hose of Presbyterian this past weekend. Forced, inverted, post-non-sequitur-paragraph segues aside, if UVA Coach Mike London is looking for actionable intelligence, he’ll need to look further back by about five days. We were weak in the backfield toward the end of the Virginia Tech game (tired?), but were missing significant personnel. Even if UVA is able to control possession and make our defense sweat, we are two starters deeper than we were in Blacksburg. That means we should be better in the endurance department, if I may patronize you a bit.

Our offense gained 469 yards on the ground against PC. It was spread amongst several backs, but Zach Laskey, Vad Lee, and QB Tevin Washington were the top gainers. Washington was also 7 for 11, netting 160 yards in the air. Vad Lee, too, got in on the air action and connected once of thrice for an 82 yard TD toss. I wondered why Paul Johnson wouldn’t throw more than 14 times in a lopsided game, if only to test his offense, but I guess that he’s just sticking to what he’s going to do. That’s his game plan.

Look for UVA to face the toughest defense they’ve yet seen this year. However, their passing game will challenge the only apparent weakness in the Yellow Jacket D, and, truth be told, they were actually pretty strong on the ground against their first opponent. Georgia Tech should be able to earn some yards and some scores, even against a quality UVA defense. The Cavs know the run is coming. Everyone knows the run–just like more inflation–is coming. But it’s still hard to effectively mitigate. Hey, guess what? The run is coming.


  • Francis Kallon is rumored to be taking a redshirt this season. When that kind of athlete–who went from 245 as a senior in high school to 290 at the start of this season–is redshirted, you know your defensive ends are working hard and being productive. His impact was manifest as pressure on the incumbents.
  • Former Yellow Jacket WRs Calvin Johnson, Stephen Hill, and Demaryius Thomas had pretty good NFL openers. Each led his respective team in receiving yards.
  • I had hoped to throw a stellar recommendation to Wahoos travelling south; but unfortunately, Mudcat’s Saturday show conflicts with the game. You can still go to The Varsity and get an FO, though. They’re delicious.
  • Prediction: it will be a fun game in Hot’lanta on Saturday!

Thanks for reading and 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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