Sunday, November 26, 2006

Reggie Ball's Legacy

The legacy of Reggie Ball as Georgia Tech may have seen its final chapter written on Saturday as the senior QB struggled mightily accounting for just 32 total yards in the loss to Georgia. Ball is now 0-4 as a starter against Georgia with just 1TD and 5 INT (8 Turnovers in all). The fourth-year starter played perhaps the worst game of his career in a contest with some unusual twists and turns. Tony Taylor recovered a fumble and ran 29 yards while players and refs stood around dumbfounded thinking the play was dead to give Georgia their first TD after being stymied all afternoon by the Tech defense. The Bulldogs came into this game ranked 94th in turnover margin, but turned the tables with a +2 margin against a team number 14 in that category prior to Saturday. Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice had probably the best game of his career with 146 yards rushing on 23 carries, but in the end this game came to the inability for Reggie Ball to find open receivers and take care of the ball.

I thought the key to the game was going to be the play of Matt Stafford and would he take another step forward or step back. Stafford took another step forward and the stats will show it: 16-29, 171 yards, 1TD, 0INT, 2 sacks. He outplayed his much more experienced counterpart and came up big on 3rd and goal with a beautiful play fake for the go ahead TD.

Ball has something between his ears when it comes to this game. He was visibly rattled most of the game like he had been in his previous three times against Georgia. This was his worst game of the year by far in his season where he has played pretty well for the most part. Tech-UGA is the same thing as UGA-Florida. The losing team in each of these series has something in their head to where they don't come out to win, they come hoping they can win and don't feel they can make it happen. Some Tech fans will be glad Reggie is done after this year, most Georgia fans will be upset Reggie is gone after this year. Jim Donnan got fired over the opposite scenario six years ago. An interesting line would be who wins first - Georgia over Florida or Georgia Tech over Georgia.

Going forward, Georgia looks like a lock for the Peach Bowl where they will likely match up with Virginia Tech. Ga Tech has to pick themselves up though as they have "bigger fish to fry" in the ACCCG next week versus a team in Wake Forest that won't be interested in any congratulatory pats on the back by just getting to Jacksonville. Tech has to realize what is on the line here... the difference between an Orange Bowl or a Music City Bowl is on the line next week. Don't take this loss so hard it ruins your season. That would be the mark of a mentally fragile team in my opinion.

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