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Technical Tidbits 9/8

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In which the ACC finally feels some love.

Jamie Sabau

Saturday's game versus Tulane was far and away the best performance in A-Back Tony Zenon's career, but what meant the most to him was likely not his on-field play, but rather the opportunity to take the field in his hometown of New Orleans. Zenon, who was forced to leave New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, rushed for 62 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries in front of a mob of family and friends who were cheering him on from the kickoff. Without his contributions (along with those of the other A-Backs), we could have seen a very different outcome from Tech's meeting with the Green Wave; the defense struggled early and Tulane did a relatively good job shutting down the middle of the field.

Georgia Tech recruit Jaylend Ratliffe, who sustained severe head trauma following an ATV accident just about a month ago, has been released from the hospital and allowed to return home. It is a very encouraging sign for Ratliffe considering how serious his injuries were and is hopefully an indication of a full recovery for the very talented quarterback prospect. He was even healthy enough to lead his high school team onto the field for their 52-10 blowout win on Friday night before a packed house full of fans cheering him on. Jaylend still has a long way to go if he hopes to take the field as a Yellow Jacket, but he seems to have the drive and the attitude to make a comeback to the gridiron sometime soon.

Without a good offensive line, any football team is bound to struggle. Ask the 2013 Falcons about how much of a burden a struggling OL is, or ask the 2014 Falcons how much of an asset an above average one can be (37-34!); it really can make or break a team's season. That said, it is good to see Georgia Tech's offensive line playing quite well so far this season. Anchored by Shaq Mason and company, the big guys up front have done a great job in both pass protection and run support situations, allowing Justin Thomas plenty of time to make good passes (or try to do so) and, most importantly, helping the flexbone scheme operate efficiently. Hats off to the "Goon Squad" for a job well done so far in 2014.

This week was, by all means, a fantastic one for ACC fans across the nation. The conference went 12-0 out of conference with an impressive slate that included wins over multiple FCS schools, San Diego State, and (of course) an upset of then No. 8 Ohio State by Virginia Tech. The newest Top 25 polls accurately reflect this great trend for the ACC; Virginia Tech cracked the top 20, Florida State remained at No. 1, and Clemson hung in towards the bottom. The dwags from Athens finished easily in the top 10 following their impressive start to the season, even receiving some first place votes.

What are your thoughts on the OL so far? What does this recent week mean for the ACC in the long run?

Have a great Monday!