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Mailbag 10/23

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We get food AND uniforms in this mailbag! It’ll be a good time!

Georgia Tech v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Worst/funniest dining experience?

Ben: One time I went to a restaurant and got shrimp served to me in a bag full of Cajun butter. Yes, a bag. It was...uhh...something.

Jake P.: When I was 8 my family went to IHOP, and I kid you not, they messed up my order 4 different times. All I wanted was some strawberry pancakes with bacon on the side.

Which FTRS writer/contributor is the best at:

-Chess?

-Beer pong?

-Video games?

Ben: I’ve never met any of the writers in person, so I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, so I’m going to take a wild guess at each of these: Chess - Nishant; Beer Pong - almost certainly not Jake P.; Video Games - We’ll say Stephen. I’ll let the folks confirm or deny how good they are at these.

Jake P.: Ben might not know me as well as I thought he did. Just kidding. Maybe.

Chris: Stephen is absolutely not good at video games unless we’re talking NCAA 14. None of these are me though, that’s for sure.

Nishant: I’m honored that Ben thinks I’m good at chess, but I’d probably lose to at least half the staff. A few of us talked about playing Smash Ultimate recently, so maybe we can figure out who’s the best on that front.

Among our last five opponents, which mascot would win in a five way fight?

Ben: In true bye week fashion, I’ll power rank the mascots:

  1. The Blue Devil (Duke)
  2. Rameses (UNC)
  3. Sebastian (Miami)
  4. Hooter the Owl (Temple)
  5. Spike T. Bulldog (The Citadel)

Jake P.: The Blue Devil because all it has to do is make you sit and listen to a Miami fan for eternity.

Chris: If we’re just talking physical prowess, I think Rameses is the clear winner. The interesting twist is that I assume the Blue Devil has some kind of magical powers, so if those are allowed I’d go with him.

Nishant: Are we talking about the physical mascots or what they represent? A literal hurricane would win this brawl easily. You could potentially make a case for the Blue Devil having supernatural powers, but he was last seen down in Georgia getting his [Aerosmith] handed to him by some kid named Johnny.

What’s your worst food take that you truly believe in and are brave enough to post?

Ben: My go-to pizza order involves topping it with pineapple, bacon, and red onion. Also copying Jake below me: boneless wings >>>>>> bone-in wings.

Jake P.: Boneless wings are 100x better than bone-in wings.

Chris: THANK YOU JAKE. The one that my friends and family make fun of me the most for is this: sandwiches are a lunch food. I will refuse to eat a sandwich for dinner. People act like this is the weirdest thing they’ve ever heard.

What is your favorite uni choice so far this year?

Ben: I’m not one to buy jerseys, mostly because my life often finds me dressing business casual or nicer. Since Tech joined the #ThreeStripeLife, I have purchased one jersey: it’s the Cape Day jersey. No regrets.

Jake P.: I really, really liked the gold. The jersey shading was a bit light for my taste, but I hope that we get to see that combination a lot more in the future.

Chris: I think I’d get voted off of this blog island if I actually said the Cape Day ones (even though that is my real answer), so I’ll go with the gold as well. I agree with Jake that it was a tad light, but the helmets were absolutely stellar.

How’s ah-di-DAS doing so far with the relationship? Creativity, Buzz (I see what I did there), Teamwork, commitment to truth in Pantone?

Chris: I’m not ~~plugged in~~, so this is all opinion, but I think 2019 has been way better than 2018. We actually got some nice variations and a real alternate/special. I’m excited to see what they continue to come up with.

We are 1-0 on the season for game that were played while I was flying. Who wants to fund some more travel for me for the next month?

Ben: Gotta get that kickstarter.

Jake P.: Just use those sweet, sweet airlines points/miles. Whatever your airline of choice calls them.

Chris: I’m just trying to come up with the worst possible destinations that are roughly a game’s length of time away from Atlanta. Detroit. Wichita. Fort Wayne.

Nishant: Turns out there’s a site that lists direct flights from a given airport. The answers appear to be Rapid City, SD (3:17); Fargo, ND (3:18); Missoula, MT (4:34); and Sacramento, CA (5:15).

Is UCF going to be any good next year after this year’s seeming step back?

Ben: Almost certainly. The offense isn’t what it was when they had McKenzie Milton, but it has still moved effectively, and I expect them to be favored over Tech next year.

Nishant: They have a very good shot at finishing this season 10-2 even after losing their all-world quarterback. To answer the question behind this question: I expect them to be heavily favored against Tech next year.

Chris: Yeah. I think a few of these AAC teams have entered the territory where it’ll actually take a lot to set them back in a big way. Even after down years they’ll be back.

Is [TRIGGER ALERT] Gardner-Webb going to be good next year?

Ben: Don’t you dare speak that name on this blog.

Jake P.: Watch this.

Nishant: Next year’s schedule is nightmarishly difficult, but if you asked me to remove one game, I’d pick this one with zero hesitation. They could finish this year 2-9 and I still wouldn’t want any part of them next year. The scars are still fresh.

Carter: [opens mouth as if to speak, but no words emerge; only a dark, thick, black liquid, and the sounds of a million swarming locusts.]

Now that we have some momentum from an ACC win, an offense that seems to have found at least a partial identity, and a QB who has showed progress every game, is it possible we lose some of that due to the bye week?

Ben: If anything, I think the opposite would happen. They have an extra week to really build up the hype before they play Pitt for homecoming.

Nishant: I don’t think so. If anything, winning an ACC game right before the bye will give the guys extra motivation to work hard over the next couple weeks. They’re looking at an opportunity to follow up a huge road upset against a 20-point favorite with a win over the defending division champs. The coaching staff’s motivational tactics are designed to feed off the players’ energy, and they’ll have plenty of that right now.

Chris: Same as the others, I think a bye week is exactly what the team needs. Rest, recharge, and keep developing the things that have been working lately.

Carter: Nah, a bye week right before the final stretch — which features four of five games at home — sounds pretty good to me.

Who’s your first half MVP and Most Improved?

Ben: Starting with MVP, on offense it’s Jordan Mason. He’s been the one constant on offense, despite a patch work offensive line. On defense, I’ll say Tre Swilling. He has balled out this year and has really benefited form moving to a more aggressive scheme. On special teams, it’s totally Brenton Ki—oh wait, sorry, I forgot Pressley Harvin III isn’t a quarterback.

For most improved, I think James Graham is the clear winner on offense. He went from reserve player to full-time starter and has gotten better in each game he’s played. On defense, I’ll say Demetrius Knight. The guy was recruited as a quarterback and has become one of the team’s best linebackers. On special teams, I actually will go with Brenton King here. He hasn’t been perfect, but he nailed a 53-yard field goal on Saturday, despite it not counting, and that is a tremendous improvement from anything we’ve seen from him.

Jake P.: First half MVP: None other than Pressley Harvin III. Most Improved: Everyone else.

Chris: I agree exactly with Ben. Mason has been phenomenal and a super underrated back in the ACC. He’s keeping our offense together right now. Same for Graham - the guy went from being just the backup to earning the starting role and then improving on top of that. I’m excited to see where he’ll be by the end of the season.

How cool is a win streak against Miami?

Ben: There are few things in sports that bring me as much joy as watching Georgia Tech beat Miami, so to see that happen more than one year in a row, well, it’s a lot of fun.

Akshay: Thank you, Manny - very cool!

Chris: Y’all, are we really excited about beating a team that’s in a rebuild? (no one get mad, I’m kidding)

Carter: Just don’t keep us waiting a decade for the next one, yeah?

Is the team wasting Tobias Oliver from a talent perspective by not lining up him with Mason in the backfield?

Ben: Right now, I think they’re trying to figure out how to use him still, so I think he’ll continue to see more playing time. When he’s in the game, he’s typically doing something good, and I love what he brings to the field. Remember, he was an overthrown pass away from catching a long touchdown against Miami, and if memory serves, that isn’t the only time that happened.

Jake P.: Oliver is probably a top-5 athlete on the team, so I feel that once he gets more comfortable in his role as a receiver, you won’t need him to line up in the backfield. (I’m assuming you mean as a RB, not a QB).

Chris: I’d love to see Mason line up right behind an under-center Graham, and then have Oliver slightly to the side and back of the offensive li-WAIT.

Why is it so satisfying beating the Canes?

Ben: It’s so satisfying for me because of how much I hate Miami.

Chris: I really just hate their fanbase so much. Honestly couldn’t tell you why. There’s something about their colors and sunburns that just triggers me.

Carter: A couple years ago (I forget which year exactly) Tech lost to Miami and their fans came back here every day for at least a week crowing about it. Which reminds me of the time the Hurricanes let a punter throw a touchdown pass on ‘em.

Now I just have to eat them: Whats your favorite either game day recipe for chicken (fried, baked, made into a dip) or flavor of wing for those of you who dont cook?

Ben: I’m a garlic parm guy for wings.

Of all the freshmen who have seen action this season and burned their redshirts, who do you think has the most upside?

Ben: Nishant talked about most of the guys I was going to talk about, so I’m going throw out Sylvain Yondjouen. He’s still learning the game, but he’s already made some huge strides and has been fun to watch so far this season.

Nishant; Ahmarean Brown is already one of the most dangerous players on offense. Landing him was an absolute coup for the Collins administration. Chico Bennett and Jamious Griffin also look like guys who could be impact players before too long. The wild card is linebacker Demetrius Knight, who switched over from quarterback in camp and has blown everyone’s expectations out of the water when he’s been on the field.

Chris: Ahmarean Brown is the clear one for me. The guy straight up balls and has been one of our most dynamic players. I think he’s going to be special on a national stage once we get our passing game on the right level in a couple years.