Saturday, November 26, 2005

Would Mark Richt Get Fired If He Lost?

vs

According to Georgia hard-hitting Safety Greg Blue he would.

Clean Old Fashioned Hate Meets for 100th Time

Matchups
Georgia Tech Offense vs Georgia Defense
Tech will use a ball control offense and take shots downfield to Calvin Johnson to move the ball. Georgia's defense has shown some soft spots late in the season, especially against the run. Georgia will probably double team Calvin Johnson most of the game. It will be important for Tech to take advantage of the run on the opposite side of Calvin Johnson double teams where they should have a numbers advantage. Georgia will need to force Reggie Ball to beat them with his arm by stuffing the run.

Georgia Offense vs Georgia Tech Defense
Georgia Tech will blitz Georgia QB DJ Shockley on probably 75% of the plays from scrimmage. Jon Tenuta has had great success against pocket passers, but not so much success against mobile QBs like Shockley. Georgia should gameplan to have Shockley scramble when the pocket breaks down as opposed to throwing quickly. Tech has always been very stout against the run, but will be facing a big, experience offensive line. With Tech bringing the blitz mostly from the outside, it will be important for MLB Gerris Wilkinson to contain the draw play up the middle. The X-factor is TE Leonard Pope. At 6-7, 260 lbs he is a mismatch against most anyone he steps on the field against. Last week, Tech limited Miami TE Greg Olsen to zero catches. It will important for Tech Safeties Chris Reis and Dawan Landry to let Pope know early and often there will be no easy catches for him.

Coaching
Both of these coaches call their own plays and both have come under criticism for doing so. These staffs and players know each other well. Both teams are well coached and I would not expect any major coaching breakdowns in this game.

Odds and Ends
- Both teams will be going bowling for the ninth straight year after this game.
- Georgia will be playing LSU in its third SEC Championship Game in four years.
- All 3 of Georgia Tech's losses have come when the opposing team scores the first TD
- Georgia has given up the fewest sacks in the SEC, 16
- With a victory, Georgia Senoir Class tie the record for most wins by a class, 43
- Georgia Tech is fifth in the nation in interceptions and tenth in turnover margin

Prediction Time
This game will come down to whether or not the Georgia Tech blitz can get to Shockley and how well Georgia defends the run. If Shockley is able to escape the pocket, he will likely be spied by only one defender. By keeping Shockley in the pocket, Tech will be able to sack Shockley and force him to beat Tech with his arm, not his feet. Georgia showed a porous run defense against Auburn, but then again Kenny Irons has made alot of defenses look bad in the second half of the season. Tech relies on the running game first to open up the downfield throws and to take pressure of Reggie Ball. This game will come down to the wire. Look for a late turnover or big play to be the difference.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 21 Georgia 20

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