ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Orwin Smith #17 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets rushes upfield against the Kansas Jayhawks at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
By now, you know the drill: we exchange questions (and answers) with Maryland's weekly opponent as a way to get a fan's perspective on the upcoming game. This week, we talked with From the Rumble Seat, the Georgia Tech guys on the network. Make sure to check out our answers to their questions over at FTRS.
Now, let's get to it.
Georgia Tech is the most efficient passing team in the country this year, with over 17 yards per attempt. Last year, they were 92nd in the nation. What's changed to make Tech so tough to stop through the air?
Paul Johnson has really come up with some fairly nifty pass plays that involve clear out routes, playfakes, and one on one hot routes. The complexity of the passing game has definitely picked up since last season.
Another huge factor is that Tevin is hitting touch plays that Josh Nesbitt would've likely overthrown. He doesn't have Nesbitt's arm strength but that doesn't really matter because we don't ask him to throw the football downfield 15 times a game. Most plays are 10 yards or so from the LOS.
Speaking of that: Georgia Tech's offenses under Paul Johnson have always been good, but they've never been "top 10" good. What's changed this year to make the offense so otherworldly effective? It's early, but this offense is averaging more than a yard per play over anyone from the past five years.
Execution is the big issue of 2011 and it all starts at the offensive line. The OL is finally populated by CPJ recruits. They fit the scheme, understand our blocking schemes like champions, and know CPJ's expectations.
Another explanation for the increase has been attributed to Georgia Tech's increased emphasis on the edge. We are utilizing Orwin Smith and Roddy Jones more as opposed to previous seasons, which featured the power running game.
Last year was Al Groh's first year at the helm of Georgia Tech's defense, and the results were middling - not bad, but not great. How's the less glamorous side of the ball looking in the Chessmaster's second year in charge?
I think the secondary is vastly improved but I think the Groh-fense is still searching for the right pieces at DL and linebacker. From an execution standpoint, this defense is vastly improved over 2010. We're finally seeing second half and in game adjustments and our defenders are responding to the coaching.
Tech is 5-0 and has dispatched some fairly decent teams to get here. Frankly, the offense looks nigh-unstoppable, at least from afar. How confident are you in this year's team, and where do you see Tech's final postseason destination? Are these guys ACC Championship Game material? The schedule breaks pretty good for it, I have to say.
The expectations prior to the season were 7-8 wins but have increased for most Tech fans to about 9 wins. The schedule lines up just like every other season: the winner of VT-GT will represent the Coastal division in the ACCCG especially Tech's victory over UNC. I think a 2 loss coastal champ is a high likelihood and it will likely come down to the November match up. Tech's goal is Sun Bowl or bust at this point, imo.
Give us someone we don't know, offense or defense, who'll have a big impact on Saturday's game.Rod Sweeting is the big hitter of our secondary while Isaiah Johnson is on par with Morgan Burnett in talent.
Offensively, the fullbacks aren't nearly as heralded as previous seasons but Preston Lyons and David Sims are quietly piling up yardage.
It was just revealed earlier in the week that Maryland alumnus Ralph Friedgen has burnt his diploma, rejected the university, and is "flying the Georgia Tech flag." Are you proud to claim the Fridge?
The Fridge was an integral part of the previously most successful offense in Georgia Tech history. Most Tech fans still have a soft spot for him even though he showed his ass last week. He would have to root for Georgia for Tech fans to turn on him.
Last one: prediction time. Give me a winner, and a rough margin of victory would be appreciated.
Tech wins high scoring game 35-34 with a late goalline stand in which our defensive end sacks your QB on third and fourth down. That sounds terribly familiar...