When Georgia Tech takes on Mercer this weekend, the team will be going for the win without contributions from a pair of newly-suspended B-Backs: starter Dedrick Mills and backup KirVonte Benson. The punishment was announced yesterday afternoon by Paul Johnson following a couple of undisclosed violations of team rules committed by the pair. The news of the suspension, as disappointing as it is on principle, likely won't have a large impact on the outcome of the game one way or another simply because of the talent discrepancy between Tech and Mercer, but we've seen a number of upsets and near-upsets so far this season. Missing half of the offense's thunder-and-lightning duo of Mills and Marcus Marshall certainly doesn't do anything to help the team's odds in that regard.
Outside of just the B-Back position, Georgia Tech's week two depth chart will feature some significant shakeups at a few key areas as a result of the ugly 17-14 Boston College win. Most notably, redshirt junior offensive lineman Shamire Devine will be challenged at his right guard position by true freshman Parker Braun. Devine didn't play to his ceiling in week one, but he wasn't a liability either; it seems that this is more a testament to Braun's development than anything, unless Devine's conditioning has come into question again. On the special teams side, Paul Johnson has made it clear that the punting job -- which has been held down by Ryan Rodwell for a few seasons now -- is up for grabs. The main competitor seems to be walkon punter Grant Aasen, who has never played in a game before.
I'll leave you today with a look at Paul Johnson's weekly press conference, featuring a look back at the Boston College game and some insight into what we should expect this week versus Mercer. You can access a full transcript of the video right here in case you don't have time for a video.
Johnson hits on the fact that many of Mercer's players actually come from the Atlanta area, reflecting on his time at Georgia Southern as evidence that the Bears will be plenty excited to play on The Flats. It will be interesting to see what the gameday climate will be like because of that; hopefully there will be fewer Mercer faithful this time than there were Southern fans in 2014.
Have a great Thursday!