Initial Thoughts on Georgia Tech

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I have caught bits and pieces of a few Georgia Tech's games this year, mostly just to check out Paul Johnson's old school triple option offense. I must say, it is pretty fun to watch. Amazingly, EStuPidN360 (not as stupid in this case) has all 13 of Georgia Tech's game from this season available to watch. So you can imagine what I'll be doing over the next 4 weeks. My initial thoughts though, without much analysis, is that of the teams that Iowa could have faced in the BCS this year, Georgia Tech is the most favorable.

The Yellow Jackets certainly have a unique offense and a few players that must be accounted for, but with 4 weeks to prepare, Norm Parker and company will have the defense well prepared. A couple of keys for the defense:
  • Spievey must shut down Demaryius Thomas who accounts for 1154 of Georgia Tech's 1762 receiving yards. He is really the only threat at receiver.
  • Limit the big play. Georgia Tech can sustain long drives with short runs, but the real threat is the big play. I tallied up GT's touchdowns this year and of the 60 there were 12 that were over 40 yards and 5 of 11 passing TD were over 60 yards.
  • Get pressure up front and force losses. GT is very good on 3rd downs (53.5%, 2nd in the nation) but that's because they put themselves in many 3rd and short situations. If Iowa can force into obvious passing downs, then GT will be in a tough place.
Defensively Georgia Tech has been mediocre. They give up just over 24 points per game. Their weakness is against the run, giving up over 150 yards per game. In their past two games, Clemson had 323 rushing yards and Georgia had 339. If Iowa gets over 300 yards rushing, then Georgia Tech has no chance. Keys on offense:
  • Block Derrick Morgan. Morgan has 12.5 sacks and 18 TFLs. He has also forced and recovered 2 fumbles. He's the last thing we want running after Stanzi who will be coming off his ankle injury.
  • Run the ball effectively. As I pointed out, GT is not exactly good against the run. If Iowa can establish a solid run game and keep GT's offense off of the field, then Iowa should be in good shape to win the game.
  • Limit turnovers. This is obvious every game but has really been hurting Iowa lately. GT has forced 24 turnovers this year so can definitely take advantage of a miscue.
Overall, I have a good feeling about this game. I think Iowa will be better prepared than they were in 2003 against USC and will be able to shut down Georgia Tech's offense. If everyone is finally healthy, it should be a fun night on January 5th.
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