It’s been nearly 9 months since the last time Georgia Tech took the field and played a real game of football, thankfully that long draught comes to an end today. Georgia Tech looks to build upon the late season success that they put together last year, putting together a 5-3 record over the final 8 games that culminated in the defeat of preseason #1 USC. This year Coach Paul Johnson looks to have perhaps his finest team since the 2009 squad won the ACC championship behind the likes of Josh Nesbitt, Jonathan Dwyer and Demarius Thomas. The biggest difference in this year’s squad will hopefully be addition by subtraction on the defensive side of the ball. Gone is the 3-4 defense that Al Groh was tramming to ram down the throats of the Tech defenders and in is the 4-3 of Ted Roof, which is much more suited to the personnel available to Georgia Tech. Only time will tell how quickly the defense can pick up on the new defense, but hopefully they will also be helped out by an improved offense. The idea of an improved offense should give ACC defensive coordinators nightmares, since last years team averaged over 33 points per game overall, and nearly 38 points per game against ACC teams. The real reason offense should be improved is because this will be the most experienced offensive line since Paul Johnson took the helm at Georgia Tech. The reason most fans hope is the “true” second coming of famed QB Joe Hamilton. Whether that new QB comes in the form of Vad Lee or Justin Thomas is yet to be seen, but both have shown amazing promise in limited action so far, enough to have Tech fans giddy over the possibility of Coach Johnson finally having a QB that “fits” his system. Unfortunately the schedule makers didn’t do Tech any favors this year, so while the team might better, the record might not improve. With most of the hardest games coming on the road (at Clemon, at Miami and at BYU) and historically how UGA has taken care of business against Georgia Tech, the Jackets could very easily lose 4 games this year and still be a better team. I think Tech will win somewhere between 7 and 9 games on the way to a bowl game. Anything less would be a major disappointment and anything more would have to be considered a fantastic year.
And now that you’ve been given a crash course in Yellow Jacket football, you know where Jes and I will be today. Game time for the today is set for noon, and we will be on campus at 8am to start tailgating. This truly is one of our favorite times of the year as it combines our desires to spend time outside, spend time with our friends, and (mostly my) desire to watch GT athletics. Jes will finally be able to see the games this year as she will be sporting contacts at the games for the first time since we started going to game together. Unfortunately the game is against Elon, who literally stands no shot at winning the game so there isn’t much suspense, but I am excited nonetheless.
Beyond college football, we will be spending the rest of the holiday weekend relaxing and/or working on the bathroom. We are finally nearing the home stretch on the bathroom project so a couple more long days should get it done. But since it’s a holiday weekend, those long nights might just wait until next week or even into next weekend – only time will tell.