Another week, another delightful conversation with our opponent. We get free Friday night football this week....soak it in folks.
This week we get a chance to hear from Josh Brundage, a contributor at ‘From The Rumble Seat’ our SB Nation brethren for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and what screams ‘yellow jackets’ more than a ‘30 Ford Model A driving down the middle of the field prior to kickoff! Let’s get weird.
1. Both Georgia Teach and Louisville are in the midst of establishing a new program baseline, having taken on a new coaching staff in the last couple seasons, and in Georgia Tech’s case a complete rebranding of the program and their offensive identity. How do you feel the new staff is doing in that transition process thus far?
I have lots of mixed feelings about this. On one side, the branding, embrace of the city of Atlanta, and social media / digital promotion aspects have all been great. Collins has done a really nice job on that side and has made the program more visible to higher-caliber recruits who wouldn’t have considered us before. We’ve also seen an uptick in recruiting under him, which has been sorely needed.
On the other hand, Paul Johnson won 7 games in his final season and always had a fun offense that scored a bunch of points. Tech under Collins has not cracked 30 points once, and he’s 4-11 as a head coach so far. How many seasons will it take Collins to win as many games as Johnson did in his final season? He keeps blowing smoke about this “historic rebuild” as if the cupboard was empty when he got here, and he still regularly blames things on the previous regime.
Paul Johnson wouldn’t have lost to The Citadel and would’ve scored an offensive point against Temple. Ugh.
So basically, Collins is doing some good things, but none of them have been on the field yet.
2. Louisville came into the season as a big offensive threat in the ACC, with known issues on the defensive side of the football. In a somewhat discouraging display against two very good defenses in Miami and Pittsburgh, the Louisville office has struggled at times. If Louisville tries to get back to the core of their offensive approach and establish the run game with Javian Hawkins early and often, what can we expect to see from GT’s defense to try and stop it?
Facing a QB with mixed success passing, I would expect Tech to play the run pretty hard and force Cunningham to throw. Our run defense has been just okay so far in this young season, but we’ve seen some definite improvement on the D-line this season, so that’s been super encouraging. Our linebackers, though, are a mixed bag, and picking on them is where I could see Louisville having the most success.
App St under Satterfield ran a decent amount of option and zone-read elements, which Tech has struggled with so far. So if I’m Satterfield, I’m calling a lot of read-run plays and picking on our LBs.
3. Louisville has had it’s most success on offense by hitting the big plays, but in turn, their defense has forced me to watch more chunk plays than a ‘Goonies’ marathon. Who on the GT offense am I going to see go for a 75+ yard score this week?
I’m going to say Ahmarean Brown. He’s a slot receiver speedster who tied Calvin Johnson’s receiving TDs for a freshman record last year. He’s been a little quiet so far in this young season, but I think that just means he’s due. He’s probably the fastest guy on the team and is prone to leaving safeties in the dust. I’m hoping for at least 1-2 huge chunk plays from him this weekend.
4. Quick side note, for research purposes only, are those ‘Magic City’ wings really that good? Like worthy of a special trip, good? And don’t worry, your family will never read this so you can skip the “I’ve never been there” response.
Yes! They are haha. Also, The Cheetah, a club of similar sorts walking distance from Bobby Dod has excellent wings as well... that is if you’re into that sort of thing. I also wrote the definitive guide to Atlanta wings here, should you be attending the game.
If that’s not your scene, my favorite wings in the city, and the #1 spot on that list, is a short drive down Ponce away at The Local. Go there and thank me later.
5. At the time of this post the spread is hovering around Louisville being a 5 point favorite. A road visit to Atlanta on Friday night would normally worry me a bit but I feel a tad more confident this year as I know Georgia Tech is still building up their program on both sides of the ball. If Georgia Tech plans to pull off the upset how is that going to happen in your mind?
If Tech is going to pull the upset, they will have to win the turnover margin, which will be tough to do. I really enjoy watching Jeff Sims at QB... he has an incredibly high upside and has looked surprisingly good in this new offense as a true freshman behind an iffy O-line... but he’s good for a pick or two every game so far. So it will take him having his best game of the season, while the defense forces some turnovers.
We really don’t know what to make of this Tech team after beating FSU, hanging with UCF for over 3 quarters before being doomed by turnovers, and then the Syracuse loss just made no sense whatsoever. So for the upset to happen, many things will have to go right in Tech’s direction. The talent is there to pull the upset, and hopefully the bye week helps some as well.
If Sims doesn’t throw a pick, I would be surprised if we don’t see Tech pull the upset.
Big thanks again to Josh for his time and insight. Feel free to give him a follow right here for more Georgia Tech and chicken wing takes. Also, be sure to check out ‘From The Rumble Seat’ for all your Georgia Tech pre-game and post-game coverage, and while you’re there feel free to drop a subtle jab in the comments about them having Josh Pastner as their head basketball coach. They’ll love it!