ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Fans of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hold signs of support during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
If you want the recent history of this rivalry, I'd suggest you head over to one of Mark Bradley or Jeff Schultz's blogs and check out the comments section -- after wading through the illiteracy and incompetency, you'll probably find out something along the lines of "georgie's won 10 of 11" and "WE RUN THIS STATE LOL" and that the general population of the state of Georgia is unfortunately even stupider than we all thought it was to begin with (I'm still waiting on someone to say "uga is the best team in the country because David Pollack is on ESPN now SEC SEC SEC").
Basically, I won't run through the history of this game, but will walk you through how this particular instance is looking. First, we need to talk about the coaches. The recent 11-game run began when Mark Richt took over, and may have been the one thing that saved his job prior to last season. Coach Johnson is 1-3 against the Dwags in his tenure, though 2 of the 3 losses were one-possession games where we lost because of georgie's superior athletes, even though our team was clearly the better coached group. Last year, we were simply overpowered and not in a position to win, though even then we were only down 7 at halftime and lost by 14....which sounds a lot larger than I really consider it to be. I think that it's very clear that Johnson is the better of the two coaches, though Richt is blessed with more talent and Grantham seems to have done a better job so far than Groh as a defensive coordinator.
But wait, there's more!
This season, by the end of November Georgia Tech's offense will look different than the past couple of seasons. I'll say that I won't be shocked if Tevin is no longer the starting QB, in favor of the very talented Vad Lee. Also worth noting is the absence of Roddy Jones -- significant because uga fans are still shuddering to themselves over his 2008 performance. By this time, if Vad Lee is at QB, I'd expect to see more passing and general balance from our offense. Last year georgie was able to stop us by loading up the box and pressuring Tevin on passing plays -- with a better arm, will we be able to take more advantage of this selling out?
On defense, we take a step up in the front 7 (and therefore in our run defense) with the outbreak of T.J. Barnes at nose tackle, and the arrival of Jabari Hunt-Days, Quayshawn Nealy, and Brandon Watts at linebacker. Combine that with our very talented secondary, and georgie might have a few more problems on offense than they're used to against us.
I'm not going to say we'll win this game -- I've learned about how unintelligent of a prediction that is lately. But I WILL say that I like our chances better than the last couple of years. We have a lot of weapons on this team that could make a win for the Dwags much more of a chore than recent years. Get ready, the bell rings for the 107th time on November 24th in Athens.
What's the Good Word?