With a match-up against a very physical Pitt team looming for the Jackets, the big decision for Ted Roof and the defensive staff will be just how much pressure to bring against quarterback Chad Voytik. Tech has obviously failed to get any kind of pressure on opposing quarterbacks so far following the losses of Jeremiah Attaochu, Emmanuel Dieke, and Jabari Hunt-Days among others, but that trend will almost certainly have to change against the Panthers. Blitzing seems like the best course of action in this case -- Voytik is one of the least mobile quarterbacks on the schedule and the extra heat dialed up by Roof will also help to stifle the strong running back James Conner.
Every single game for the rest of the season will be a big one for the Jackets. This is true not only for the sake of Tech's season, but also for the well-being of Paul Johnson's job security -- Tech stands at 5-2 after a red-hot 5-0 start and cannot afford another conference loss if they want to stay in the ACC Coastal hunt. To be totally honest, another 7-5 finish will likely buy Paul Johnson at least one more season on the Flats. The athletic department really seems to be content with the way the program is going (even though it is not really going anywhere) and a top-ranked recruiting class such as the one that Johnson has put together is nothing to sneeze at either. Johnson's current contract runs through the 2016 season, but I'd be willing to bet that he will either be out or extended by that time.
ESPN's week nine ACC predictions have two of the four experts picking the Jackets to prevail over the Pittsburgh Panthers this week. The only reason that this game should be a loss for the Jackets is if they give the ball away multiple times. The defense simply isn't good enough to play extended minutes or get stops on short fields following giveaways from the offense.
As you may have heard, Georgia Tech released a slew of future non-conference opponents who will play Paul Johnson's boys in the coming seasons. If you are interested, take a look at this complete list of each OOC opponent which as been confirms -- it looks much better than what we have become used to seeing in recent seasons as far as quality of competition so far. I'm really excited to see Vanderbilt on the schedule. It should provide a cool atmosphere at Bobby Dodd Stadium -- two SEC games in a season is always good for attendance.
Should Tech focus on dialing up the pressure again Pitt? Is this season critical to Paul Johnson's job security?
Have a great weekend!