WE BACK BABY
Is Louisville terrible? Yes. Should we have won? Absolutely. Does this mean anything? Probably not. Does any of that matter? Noooooooopeeeeeee.
The hype train has left the station and is (*extreme Chris Boomer voice*) RUMBLIN BUMBLIN STUMBLIN RAMBLIN WRECKIN ITS WAY THROUGH THE ACC FROM HERE ON OUT.
This was such a fun game to watch (can’t remember the last time I’ve gotten to say that). Everything was working on so many levels, especially the offense. It was firing on all cylinders and absolutely whamsauced the Cardinal defense. @Stephen Murphey, I’ve got a pretty good idea for who the Tin Horn Team of the Week should be. My dad texted me one word after the game: “Blowout”. Let’s dive into some of the stats from this game and obsess over them irresponsibly.
542 Rushing Yards
You had to know I was gonna start here. This is the big one. An ungodly amount of yards. They literally could not stop the ground game, and that is exactly the type of America that Paul Johnson wants to live in. Paul absolutely took his seat on the plane back to Atlanta, put on some headphones (over-ear. Noise cancelling. Bose.), pressed play on some Ray Wylie Hubbard, and thought to himself hehehe I only passed two times, the fools. A modern day Amphion, Paul played his lyre and the yards just glided into place. This is the second most rushing yards Tech has achieved in the CPJ era (The most? 604 against Kansas in 2011 hahahaha Kansas is the worst). This game was a true example of how devastating the option offense can be when it’s working. Inside runs were working, QB runs were working, pitches were working, tosses were working, counters were working, everything was working. 8.3 yards per carry? Prettayyyy Prettayyyy good.
8 Offensive Touchdowns
Gaining bookoodles of yards is one thing, but getting into the end zone this many times is quite another. We scored on every single offense drive (outside of the final play of the game), with 8 out of 9 drives ending in six (good for gaining 97% of possible yardage). Yeah we got the same number against Bowling Green, but this is a P5 conference opponent. It’s not often you see a conference opponent give up this many TDs (unless you play Rutgers or Kansas, then you might see it pretty often actually ***Author’s note: I’m sorry I always seem to pile on Kansas so much. But it’s not my fault that they’re so bad). What’s more, five different players scored offensive touchdowns, three of them scoring multiple.
7 Third Downs
It wasn’t just that we were methodically moving down the field, we were explosively moving down the field. Our yards-per-play were the following for each down: 7.6, 10.3, 5.1. I’ll take 7.6 yards/play on first down any day of the week. Great gains on first and second down means we only averaged 3.5 yards to go on those seven first downs, something well within our wheelhouse even on days where we don’t play this well. I’m a little surprised Paul didn’t go for more in the passing game given how much chunk yardage we were getting on first and second downs, but hey, I’m always down for just running it down a team’s throat. In fact, I prefer it.
My (Ray) guy Pressley Harvin had nothing to do all day. We didn’t punt once. If this ever happens again I need to see Pressley hop in at B-back or something. Maybe let him attempt a 65 yard field goal. Could be fun.
175 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am all in on the Quon hype train, and this game was just more coal on the fire (it’s an old-school LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard hype train). Quon tore it up today and was deadly with the ball in his hands. He was making all the right pitch decisions while also averaging a smooth 7.6 yards per carry himself. If this Quon shows up for the rest of the season I think my original prediction of 8-4 is still in play. Today was another showing of how tough he is to stop when he’s on. His speed, elusiveness, and vision were on full display as he added another trophy game to his resume. I was particularly impressed with his decision making. He didn’t force anything, he pitched when he needed to, and he hit the gaps he needed to. This could turn into a special season for him if he keeps it up.
3:0 on Turnovers
This is a sight for sore eyes. While the defense didn’t play amazingly, they did come up with three strong turnovers, a sign that Nate Woody’s aggressive defensive style is slowly taking hold. There was a pretty consistent pass rush, and a great play from Juanyeh Thomas. This also marks consecutive games without an offensive turnover, a streak that I desperately hope continues. Every single shred of evidence in the college football world says that winning the turnover battle makes your chances of winning the game go up more than almost anything else, and it’s good to see us trending in a good direction on that front.
Les Propheties, LeProphe[touchdowns]
Now I’m sure, dear reader, you read our Bold Predictions article from before this season. Open that link real quick and scroll to my section. Check out prediction bullet point #3:
“18 different players will score a touchdown. NUMBER 12 WILL SHOCK YOU”
Now, we actually got our 12th different player touchdown against Louisville. What was it might you ask? A Juanyeh Thomas 95 YARD PICK SIX. Don’t call me Ishmael because whaling is a dead industry and that’s not my name, but call me Nostradamus ‘cause prophecies are my game.
Obviously we’re all excited; this was a defining moment for the offense. But what does it mean moving forward? Well that’s a hard question. Yes we looked unstoppable, but we did so against a pretty lackluster team. Still though, the confidence gained from this game cannot be understated. What’s more, things might actually be falling in place for our dear Jackets. We’ve got two soft games left against UNC and Virginia. I hesitate to say that these are guaranteed wins, but they absolutely should be. On the other side, uga has to be classified as a long shot. That leaves us with three games against three pretty confusing and inconsistent opponents. We have:
A Duke team that sometimes looks good, but also has played no one that substantial and got smoked by Virginia Tech.
A Virginia Tech team that lost to Old Dominion and has no wins against good teams other than Duke.
A Miami team that sometimes looks fantastic but struggled with a bad FSU.
Now all of these teams have winning records and have looked good at times, but there are certainly plenty of cracks in the their respective armor. I believe all three are highly winnable games. We’ve played well against Virginia Tech in recent years, and nothing about them looks special at all. Duke has been an Achilles heel for us lately, but we get them at home on Homecoming coming off of this big Louisville win. We only lost to Miami last year on a bad bounce, and they lost to the only P5 team with a winning record they’ve played. Plus we get them at home. We can certainly win all of them, and my minimum expectation is 2-1.
All the ingredients are there to finish 8-4, the team just has to take advantage. An ACC Championship Game berth is well within possibility. The Coastal is up for grabs this year, and there’s nothing stopping a Georgia Tech that plays it’s best in every remaining game. Pick yourself up a Storm, we’re goin’ bowlin’.