Georgia Tech vs. South Carolina State Football Preview

Head Coach Buddy Pough of the South Carolina State Bulldogs had this to say about Tech:

We have our work cut out for us, no less...Georgia Tech will present a drastic style of play that makes things tough on any opponent. It’s like preparing for some of those great Bethune-Cookman teams, souped up several times. We will face a well-oiled machine...It will be important that our offense go out and play well, do a little something to keep the ball away from the Georgia Tech offense. Otherwise, it could be a long day for us.


According to Coley Harvey, South Carolina State is the first Historically Black College that Georgia Tech has ever met on the gridiron. The Bulldogs are playing their second ever ACC out of conference game (Clemson in 2008). The Bulldogs have only played six games against I-A opponents all time. Georgia Tech will be the seventh.

SC STATE OFFENSE
South Carolina State is not your typical I-AA underdog. The Bulldogs have won back to back MEAC conference titles and received 24 of 30 first place votes from the preseason SBN Black College Football Poll.

The Bulldogs are a top 25 offense in I-AA football who averaged a MEAC-best 30.4 points per game in 2009. The team features a balanced offense as they threw the football around 44% of the time and scored 51% of their TD's through the air. Their passing offense was good enough to lead the MEAC in completion percentage, yards per game, and overall efficiency. The trigger man for this offense is Malcolm Long (#7), a 6'3" 257 pound behemoth disguised as a quarterback. Long led the MEAC in passer rating and was one of the most efficient passers in I-AA football last season.

Long's 2009 partners in crime have all graduated as he lost senior receivers Terrance Smith, Matt Washington, and MEAC receiving champion Oliver Young to graduation (all three combined for 135 receptions in 2009). Young is currently making his home with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent. The 2010 receiving corps will be led by Richard Christie (24 catches last season).

William Ford was the Bulldogs feature back in 2009 and set the MEAC all-time career rushing record. He is gone and he accounted for about 44% of the carries last season. Look for Citadel-transfer Asheton Jordan and fullback Chris Massey to carry the bulk of the load against the Jackets.

SC STATE DEFENSE
The SC State defense featured a fairly disciplined secondary in 2009, which picked off a MEAC-leading 18 interceptions returning 4 for touchdowns. Unfortunately, Winfield's prediction of a low threat level for the Bulldogs defensive backfield is pretty accurate. The secondary only returns one of four starters while the top 3 tacklers from the SC State defense return as linebackers on the 2010 Bulldog defense. The defensive line is relatively veteran but I don't foresee a defensive line whose average weight is ~250 pounds causing much disruption to our run game.

TV/RADIO
According to an e-mail I received via Formula PR, INC.:
ESPN3.com is the only place to watch Georgia Tech vs. South Carolina State this Saturday, September 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
ESPN3.com will be broadcasting the game live from Bobby Dodd Stadium with complete coverage of the game from start to finish.
The network is available at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider, and is currently available in more than 53 million homes – a majority of U.S. broadband homes. For a full list, click here.

Radio will be covered by ISP on Georgia Tech's local affiliates. Whenever I watch a Tech game, I DVR delay the game, mute it, and line up the video with 790thezone.com on a laptop. Wes Durham is always better than ESPN3, Raycom, or SEC Network announcers.

PREDICTION
In 2009, we predicted the outcome of every game and kept a running tally amongst commenters on FTRS. The top 5 from last season of those who participated every week were #1 Dane, #2 Me, #3 ChrisInIndy, #4 Jesse, and #5 Winfield. I factor in whether or not you picked the spread, over/under, and straight up correctly when tallying the predictions so one game can net you 3, 2, 1, or 0 points. Feel free to join in with a score prediction in the comments.

BIRD: Tech wins 48-14. If USC-East can handle the Bulldogs, Tech can as well.
WINFIELD: EDITED SON! 42-14, though I wanna see 50!

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