Virginia Tech – Georgia Tech Preview

16Oct09

Starting this week, FDS will have game previews for the Virginia Tech and UVa games.  For the utmost objectivity, Shraf, a UVa Alum, will be doing the Virginia Tech previews and Doug, a VT Alum, will be doing the UVa previews. We both follow both teams pretty closely so there shouldn’t be a drop in the quality of the previews. Personally, I always find it interesting to see another fan base’s opinion on our game. Although for me, I get the satisfaction from the knowledge that someone else other than me is watching us play.

Without digressing any further about the state of UVa football, I’d like to share my thoughts on the Hokies and their match-up with the Jackets this weekend. Last week, I was able to catch my first Virginia Tech game in Lane Stadium as they put on a dominant performance against one of the weakest BC teams I can remember.  I had always avoided going to the UVA-VT games there because the thought of 65,000 Virginia Tech fans laughing at me was too much to bear. The thing that impressed me most about the experience was not Enter Sandman before the game (which I think was a little tempered by the noon start), the “Go!” “Hokies!” chant before the game, the wall of maroon shirts that was staring at me from behind. Rather, it was the play of RS Freshman Ryan Williams (Stonewall Jackson). After some deliberation, I can honestly say there is not a running back in the country I would rather have than Ryan Williams. Sure, Jahvid Best is fast and can break out for a 95 yard run at any time, CJ Spiller might be the top running back selected in April’s NFL draft, and Mark Ingram toughs out the yards for the best team in the country (yeah, I said it), but RW possesses the best combination of speed, power, toughness, and vision that I have seen from a VT running back in a long time. In fact, I am not sure who it annoyed more that he was a Hokie on Saturday, me or the BC coaching staff? BC came in second in the Ryan Williams sweepstakes and he didn’t do them any favors on Saturday, rushing for 159 yards in 18 carries mostly in the first half. He will face the 74th ranked Yellow Jacket Rushing Defense that allows 4.2 yards per carry by running backs far inferior to Williams.

Virginia Tech’s offensive stats have been slightly inflated by their buttwhupping of Marshall but they have been surprisingly effective this year through the air. The Georgia Tech defense, while athletic, lacks the playmakers that could potentially spy on Tyrod Taylor if he breaks from the pocket and runs. The VT Offense has torched teams for 3 straight weeks dating back to the Miami showdown but this is their first true road test against a ranked a team at night. (Note: I know that VT played at Duke but Wallace Wade is no Cameron). While Bobby Dodd stadium won’t ever be mistaken for the Big House, Georgia Tech’s defense should come out emotionally charged after getting their ass handed to them on a platter by the Florida State offense (yes, the Florida State offense that got handled by USF’s defense, the same USF defense that seemed to lack linebackers last night).  Georgia Tech fans might still be having nightmares about the break out game Eddie Royal had as a freshman in 2004 but they might have some new night time material after this game. I suspect Tyrod Taylor to pass for over 300 yards again against a putrid defensive backfield that ranks 104th against the pass and has already given up 15 passing touchdowns this season.  The same formula that FSU used last week would probably work. I predict 100 yard games by both Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale and a lot of carries for David Wilson when this game is all said and done (Read: Blowout)

The matchup that will decide this game in my opinion is the Georgia Tech offense vs the Virginia Tech defense. The VT defense responded to being called out by Bud Foster by putting up a stout display against Boston College. BC barely escaped the red in total yardage going into the halftime last week. Virginia Tech’s defense is led by Cody Grimm, the gritty senior from Ashburn, Virginia and son of former Hog Russ Grimm. While it is cliche to praise a kid because he is a coach’s son, in this case, it really does hold true. In the past, VT linebackers have been blessed with speed and freaky strength, such as Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall.  Cody Grimm just seems to find himself in the right place in the right time in almost every play. If this only happened once or twice in a game, it would be considered coincidence. However, this happens on almost every play I watch the VT defense on the field. He will need to have one of his best games as a Hokie to stop this Georgia Tech rushing attack. With another year in Paul Johnson’s complicated system, the GT rushing offense is ranked second nationally (Air Force) with 1662 yards for the season with the combination of Josh Nesbitt and Jonathan Dwyer running wild on opposing defenses. Now before you say they have done that against weak opposition, Clemson and UNC both have higher ranked rush defenses than the Hokies. With that said, I think VT contains the Yellow Jacket offense enough to win the game.

Let’s just hope that the VT equipment team brings their A game to Atlanta too.

Game Details:

(4) Virginia Tech at (19) Georgia Tech

6:00 ESPN2 (Must be nice)

Prediction:

Virginia Tech 34 – Georgia Tech 13

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2 Responses to “Virginia Tech – Georgia Tech Preview”

  1. I am going to go with Ryan Williams all the way. What do you think guys?


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