GT Beat: Jackets on a Roll, ‘Canes Next

The Yellow Jackets looked great Saturday. It seemed that every player remembered their assignment and everyone was up for the game. We saw a good reminder of what happens when the flexbone hits paydirt through the air–you knock the defense back half-a-step and that opens up the running game, big-time.

And run we did. 461 yards on the ground was split amongst 10 backs, with Orwin Smith the top gainer. Welcome back, Orwin! The WRs had nothing better to do, just about, so they got in on the action by blocking and then blocking some more. Calvin Johnson was excellent at this when he was a Yellow Jacket, and it’s always nice to see the guys away from the ball still carrying water for the team. The backs also did a superb job away from the ball, and ahead of it, too. 5-7, 190 pound Robert Godhigh had at least one knockdown block, clearing the lane for Zach Laskey’s catch and touchdown.

How good was that offensive line? They deserve all the credit in the world. Blocking in the flexbone is not plain vanilla; rather, there’s all sorts of pulling, shifting, and stunting. It’s a rocky road. (aren’t I clever?!) The intelligence required is significant. So they were awesome *and* smart! Kudos, too, to Will Jackson for being named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

The defense had their day in the sun, as well. Al Groh had to be happy. Everyone looked good. The line absolutely shut down the run. Virginia only gained 98 yards on the ground. T.J. Barnes was credited with one tackle, and yet he had a great game. As with the WRs & others, the entire front line are players whose stats just don’t anywhere near reflect their true contribution.

Quayshawn Nealy led the team in tackles, with 6 (solo). He lifts like a lineman in the weight room and is fast. He’s playing well, too. We’re glad he’s a sophomore. The rest of the backfield did a fine job against a good quarterback, holding him to 143 yards and forcing two picks. Miami will be an even tougher test, though.

Miami has a good quarterback who throws to any of a number of players–he has broad field vision, so this will spread the secondary. They also have a young running back, Duke Johnson, who’s gained over 100 yards in two of three games this season. Our defense will need to stay on their toes. Tevin Washington will need to be more cautious about the pass. I know–it sounds funny.

Despite being lit up by Boston College in the air, Miami has speed in the backfield. They’re down a linebacker, but are deep enough for it to not be an issue.

Paul Johnson, referring to their talent: “They’ll have as good a players as anyone we’ll play.” It’s true. They are terribly fast. The Florida teams always seem to be stacked. This one’s got a good coach, too. Miami’s head coach Al Golden turned the Temple program around, and before that worked as Al Groh’s defensive coordinator at UVA. He also has a master’s in sports psychology from UVA.

A huge part of this game is mental. Have the Jackets become complacent after one big win? Coach Johnson says no. When quizzed about the players possibly getting cocky, he replied, “I don’t know why they wouldn’t be grounded. We haven’t done anything.”


  • The new helmet rule is stupid. Football is inherently violent. There are risks: injuries and longterm consequences. Making a guy sit out for one play when his helmet comes off is not going to prevent anything. It’s encouraging helmet-ripping in scrums; that’s all.
  • Daniel Drummond, Charles Perkins, Fred Holton, and David Sims were out with injuries Saturday. Current status of each is unknown.
  • Miami, again, has quality athletes and a coach who knows how to win. The Jackets need to start the game hungry, strike early, and stay up the whole way. Game time is 3pm in Atlanta. It’s also the first day of Fall.

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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1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I didn’t mean to convey any prospect of a rolling streak. Two wins in a row is a streak, by definition; however, I think that “a roll” requires >2 consecutive wins.

    Also, regarding the careful about the pass sentence–the “funny” part is that we pass so little. Like Eric Burdon said, please don’t let me be misunderstood.

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