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Mailbag 5/19

In which we talk about mascots and physics.

It's a little dark, but that's Patrick Skov
It's a little dark, but that's Patrick Skov
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When does Patrick Skov arrive on campus? Will JT5 greet him with his right hand extended holding a football?

Skov is set to graduate in June, so he'll be arriving on campus some time before that for workouts prior to starting work on his MBA in the fall.

I get the feeling that when he and Justin Thomas meet for the first time, he will fake the handoff to him and then run a midline right behind him for a 70-something yard touchdown, with Skov barrelling over linebackers and safeties. It should be pretty fun to watch.

Will the beatdown in Coral Gables make the team angry or depressed? Who would you pitch against UVA?

Yeah, getting swept by a combined score of 42-5 over three games is never fun. I imagine the midset of the team right now is very, very frustrated. I also feel as though they could use that frustration as a drive for the ACC tournament. It was only a year ago that Tech was in a similar situation. They came into the tournament with nobody expecting a thing from them at all. What happened? They won the ACC!

Now, I'm not saying hey're gonna win the ACC, but I'm not convinced they'll come out flat against anybody. As for who I'd pitch against UVA, there's really two options: Jonathan King or Brandon Gold.

They have been our best two starters this season. Starting on Fridays, King has pitched to a 4-4 record with 3.24 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 23 walks. He's also held opposing batters to a .245 batting average.

Starting Sundays, Brandon Gold started off nearly unhittable before returning to Earth. He finished the regular season with a 7-3 record, a 3.26 ERA, 71 strikeouts and 25 walks. He has held opposing batters to a .229 batting average.

I'm not sure who Danny Hall is going to go with, but I do think it will be one of those two.

Let's say we are heading into the third week of football season, is Tech ranked in the top 15? Top 20? "Receiving votes"?

It depends on where we're ranked by the time the season comes around. I'll make the general assumption that we start off the season in the 20-25 range. Based off of that and the fact that our first two games are against non-P5 opponents, we probably won't be moving up very highly. So unless there are some major upsets, I expect us, should we not lose any games, to be ranked in the top 20 by the time we play Notre Dame.

Your honest assessment, with all pros, cons and intermediates appropriate thereto, does MBK have a chance at a decent season? How might that change if we get another transfer or two?

Congratulations, you win the award for the question that looks most like a legal statement.

Anyway, I think we certainly have a chance to improve from last season. Personally, I don't think this season was nearly as bad as others do. Then again, I'm optimistic. We played a lot of close games this season, going nose-to-nose against some of the better teams on our schedule. Depending on who else we can add, I think that this year's Tech team has a chance to be at the very least decent.

With the dwags playing Georgia Southern the week before they play us, do you think they will be much better prepared to face our option? Because last time they played Southern, didn't end well for us.

It will do them about as much good preparing for us as it did for Florida State to get ready for Oregon by playing us. We don't run the same offense. They are similar, but they still have huge differences -- like that whole "shotgun" thing.

Then there is the tempo of the offense. Southern has an offense that will burn you every chance they get. Now, while Tech can do that, they are more likely to pound it up the middle and break your defense.

Do we know for sure that Griffin will be out for the season?

I thought I read somewhere that Griffin tore his ACL. Now that I try to find that, I can't. The only thing I could find was that he was likely out after having surgery on a knee he messed up playing basketball.

What is the No. 1 improvement our defense needs to make this next season to improve significantly over last season? It was painful to watch us get gashed consistently, especially in third and in the next zipcode situations when we should have at least stopped the team from getting another first down.

They were a lot worse on third downs than I thought they were last season. They finished with a 46.1 percent rate, which doesn't sound terrible, until you see that that ranks 114th out of 125 teams.

As for what needs improvement, the answer is simple: pass rush. Our pass rush was the main reason we were continually gashed on third downs. If we don't improve on it, our third down woes will only continue.

Which ACC mascot -- other than Buzz, of course -- is your favorite?

I'd actually have to go with UNC's mascot, Rameses the ram. I also just love their color scheme, so that could also be a contributing factor. It also doesn't hurt that my second-favorite NFL team is the Rams.

Assuming PGBolden graduates and plays Master's level ball somewhere else, can we begin looking around now, or do we have to wait until he has the sheepskin before talking/looking/signing?

We already are looking around. Earlier in the offseason, we added Adam Smith from VPI. According to the AJC, Tech is also looking at two more graduate transfer possibilities: Richmond's Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and Arkansas Little-Rock's James White.

From the AJC:

Nelson-Ododa (6-foot-9, 235 pounds) averaged 6.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game for the Spiders last season as a junior. Nelson-Ododa, who started seven out of 27 games last season, is from Norcross High. He is second all-time on Richmond’s career blocks list with 185.

White (6-8, 220) averaged 11.9 points, 6.6 and 1.7 blocks in 27.1 minutes. White, from Jonesboro High, played only 15 games this season because of a stress fracture in his tibia

Is the CPJ spread option the String Theory of the world of football physics; is the triple option play the Higgs Boson? Is it the most beautifully complicated and misunderstood, 15-0 going offense in 2015, that will slay all villains & vanquish all foes because we are stacked at EVERY position except maybe wideout (that is the only position that has me even slightly worried) but because CPJ is the master of player turnover and talent development that it won’t matter anyway because we’ll have two new Smelters and Let the Rise of The Jackets begin in 109 days?

I think someone is very, very ready for the football season to begin. I'll let someone who's a little bit better than physics than I attempt to explain that first part. I do like the optimism that you show with the second part of your question.

Isn't it time for GT to acknowledge that Buzz is a female mascot?
Fun Fact 1: More women portray Buzz than men, due to the height requirement.
Fun Fact 2: Any insect in the order Hymenoptera with a stinger is female.
So why are we still insisting in our literature that she is a he? What would happen if GT started using the more scientifically correct gender pronouns tomorrow?

When I first read this, the first thing to come to my mind was, "Who on earth really cares?" It's clearly the offseason when people have nothing better to do than argue about the sex of the mascot (that's not actually the mascot; that would be the Wreck).

If GT started using the more scientifically correct gender pronouns tomorrow, I honestly highly doubt it would ever catch on. Because, back to my original though, who on earth really even cares?

Why did we ask Francis Kallon AND Jabari Hunt-Days to add weight and move to DT? I seems like our line would be better if one of them lined up opposite of Keshun Freeman. I understand that depth on the interior is very important, it just seems like we are shelving their talent, unless for some reason I have failed to pick of on Pat and Rod's talent. I understand why we would ask one of them to, but asking both makes me feel like we are leaving a bit of a void on the outside rush. I’d also like to point out that I’m in no was a good elevator of talent and maybe Rod is just flat out better. Either way I trust coach PJ!

With Kallon, he arrived on campus when Al Groh was still the defensive coordinator, so they tried to make him into a 3-4 defensive end. In doing that, it made more sense for Ted Roof to keep him around the same weight and move him to defensive tackle than put him through another change for a guy who is still trying to learn the game.

With Hunt-Days, I feel it's a little more complicated. His freshman season, he was a phenomenal inside linebacker for us; the next year, not so much. In fact, had Anthony Harrell not gotten hurt, he would have taken the starting job permanently.

I think part of what happened that season -- and this is total speculation; I don't actually know what happened -- is that Hunt-Days started to put on some weight in that season that he underperformed at linebacker. That plus the departure of Jeremiah Attaochu made him a good fit to move to that pass rushing spot of weakside defensive end, which was were he was slated to play last season.

And then he was named academically ineligible. I think that with all the pass rushing talent we had come in in that recruiting class and the lack of depth at defensive tackle made it an easy decision for Ted Roof to move Hunt-Days to defensive tackle.

Thanks for all the questions guys!