I already posted my thoughts on the offensive effort so I’ll add a few bullet points about the entire game.
Great reads by all 3 QBs that played. Nesbitt made the cleanest reads and was one step ahead on every run. Everyone’s already talked about throwing the ball and I was honestly a bit surprised they didn’t spend more time working on that in live game action. You figure that if you are going to try to air it out a bit, why not do it in game one? Who knows. In any event I’m not that worried about it (yet). The first game of the season is always a bit unpredictable.
Looks like we have a lot more depth on the offensive line this year. I’m not trying to make excuses for the Iowa game – GT got their butt handed to them in every phase of the game. However, they had a skeleton crew at OL in that game, and it certainly didn’t help. Hopefully this year come bowl season the depth can help keep the team competitive.
The A-backs and WRs did not do a good job blocking the corners and linebackers on the perimeter. Despite that, Nesbitt was able to rip off huge runs but this is against lesser competition. UNC, Miami, or VT will shut down our perimeter game if Roddy Jones and company don’t seal off the edges better.
Overall, the entire effort has to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s the first game in a 3-4 with frankly, the wrong personnel. We’re undersized at defensive tackle and ILB, and this means the only way for Tech to really dominate is to have flawless technique when engaging the offense and playing smart. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the competition (or lack thereof), but I can’t even count how many plays I watched the defensive tackle over-pursue to one side or the other and then see the running back run thru the hole where the tackle used to be. That has to be cleaned up.
To Groh & the rest of the staff’s credit, they got it cleaned up by the half. I liked the effort by the guys to maintain leverage at the point of attack once they had a chance to see what a bunch of big 300 pounders would try to do to them on every play. The bottom line is that GT’s defense isn’t going to dominate every game, but they should do two things:
a) play more disciplined, focused, consistent defense
b) adjust based on what the other team is doing
Last year’s defense did none of that. They looked lost in over half of the games they played (Miami, FSU, both Clemson games, UGA, Iowa all come to mind) and the staff did nothing to adjust to what the other teams were doing. I don’t guarantee Tech will even be in the top 50 defenses in the country, but there is no way in hell Groh will ever allow the sort of disaster that happened against UGA last year, where they ran essentially the same 3 plays the entire game, and the Jackets did nothing to adjust at all.
Solid but unspectacular win for the Jackets. Expectations have been raised in Atlanta, so a lot of people found a ton to complain about (myself included). But overall, it’s the first game of the year, two of their best playmakers on both sides of the ball are being replaced, and they are running an entirely new defensive scheme. Mistakes are going to be made. But good coaches correct them and the next week they are improved.
I really do believe GT is going to stomp the life out of Kansas this weekend.