We recently caught up with the guys over at From the Rumble Seat. With the 'Canes traveling up to the ATL to take on the Yellow Jackets in a pivotal ACC Coastal division match-up we had plenty of questions. Who are the key players on GT Miami needs to contain? How will the game play out? Most important where are the best places to tailgate? To see these answers and much more, please continue reading.
JS: Which players/match-ups on the 'Canes concern you?
FTRS: The player I am most concernced about in this game is Anthony Chickillo. It seemed he was all over the field last year as a true freshman and if he can continue to grow and dominate he could be a special player. It is very important in our offense for our guards and tackles to scoop around the defensive line and prevent any penetration into the back field. If Chickillo can continually cause disruptions amongst the offensive line, our triple option could have a hard time getting going. On offense, I hate to say it, but Duke Johnson seems to be someone you do not want to let run wild. Our defense has played very well so far and has limited opposing running games from getting very much traction, thus forcing passing downs. We need to keep Duke in check to keep that trend going.
JS: Tech ran the ball for a whopping 461 yards against UVA last weekend? Will their legs be tired? All joking aside do you expect guys like QB Tevin Washington and A-back Orwin Smith to be able to duplicate that performance? Which other players should UM fans look out for?
FTRS: The great thing about our offense is that there is always a chance of going off for huge runs, like last week against UVA. I haven't been able to watch many Miami games up to this point and don't know if there is anything defensively that Tech would like to exploit, but it could happen. I expect them to have success against Miami though, maybe not 461 yards of success, because that is unrealistic to expect every game. Miami did allow 32 points against BC and 52 against Kansas St, so I expect us to play well on offense. A player to look out for is A-Back B.J. Bostic. He is going to bust a big play sooner or later. He already had a half back pass called for him, and continually makes great cuts across the defense. All he needs is a small opening to make a huge play and I hope it comes soon.
JS: I caught part of the UVA game on TV, and one player on GT who really stood out is ILB Quayshawn Nealy. Was he a one game revelation, or is Nealy expected to be one of the Yellow Jackets' top defenders?
FTRS: Nealy played very well against UVA in all facets (pass coverage, stopping the run, rushing the passer). However, I think he is still learning how to play the position at this point. There were a couple of plays against UVA where he seemed hesitant to attack the run or seemed slow to react to a play. Still, he is a quality starting linebacker and we are happy with his production. He will continue to play second fiddle to Jeremiah Attaochu though. Attaochu is a beast as an OLB in the 3-4, and in our Virginia Tech Film Review and in our upcoming UVA film review you will continually see his name called for making plays on the defense. Our entire linebacker crew has played well up to this point.
JS: The defense looked especially good in the close loss to Va Tech. Has the level of talent improved, or is more a case of the players becoming comfortable with Al Groh's defensive system?
FTRS: I think this is the most talented defense that Al Groh has had here at Tech, and it also comes at a time when a lot of the players are finally "getting it". Our defensive backs are very impressive and in my opinion are the strength of the defense. We have 6 players who we can count on to make plays both in pass coverage and against the run. There really hasn't been any breakdowns in pass coverage other than Rod Sweeting getting beat deep against VT (of course, all it takes is one, so). Our linebackers play well within their defined roles, RS-Freshman Jabari Hunt-Days has played surprisingly well. I wish we had one more play-maker on the defensive line and a little more depth at the LB position, but those are the worries that take us from a good/great defense to a great/elite defense. The defense has played very well so far.
JS: Is B Back David Sims expected back in time to play the Hurricanes? Are there any other key injuries of note?
FTRS: David Sims will be available for the game, though it is unclear how Sims and B-Back Zach Laskey will split playing time. Our other B-Back Charles Perkins will be out for the game. LB Daniel Drummond, who played one play before hurting is ankle, is questionable. I don't think safety Fred Holten will play either. No serious injuries to key players though.
JS: How do you see the game playing out? What is your prediction for the final score?
FTRS: It is tough not to sip the FTRS Kool-aid so far. Georgia Tech played VT very close in an extremely hostile environment and easily could have won that game. We took care of business against Presbyterian and then walloped UVA. I mean, we took it to them. It was fun to watch. Miami is a conference foe that beat us last year and I don't think we will have a letdown mentally. I think our offense makes some big plays and Tevin Washington continues to pass the ball efficiently and mistake free. I have a hard time believing that Miami's D will shut us down. As long as our defense has no mental lapses I think we contain the Miami offense well enough. The spread is around 13 in favor of GT, and I think we win 31-21.
JS: Lastly, For the UM fans who plan to travel to Atlanta, what is the tailgating like for a Yellow Jackets' home game? What bars and restaurants do you recommend?
FTRS: I love tailgating for Tech games. Everyone dresses up in Tech colors, gets up nice and early, pours some of their favorite drink, and then enjoys the tailgating tunes that we have come to love. Saturdays in the fall are really the favorite time of year for Georgia Tech students and I personally can't wait for this Saturday. Some great places to enjoy Tech tailgates are 5th Street Bridge right by Tech Square, Techwood Parkway next to the stadium where a lot of RV's park, and also the Greek Scene around East Campus is always alive and in full tailgating mode. For food you can't go wrong with a trip to The Varsity just off North Ave about a block from Bobby Dodd Stadium. Places to watch other games for the day are the Taco Mac and Hudson Grille located in Midtown or Ri Ra's Irish Pub. All in all I hope all the Miami fans enjoy the Georgia Tech atmosphere if they plan to visit, up until Kick-off that is, Go Jackets!
Thanks again to the guys over at From the Rumble Seat for working with us on this Q&A. We wish the Yellow Jackets good luck this season, with the exception of Saturday afternoon. Go 'Canes!!!!
Be sure to head on over to their and check out our answers to their questions.