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Mailbag 5/13

What was the best performance for No. 21?

NCAA Football - ACC Championship - Wake Forest vs Georgia Tech - December 2, 2006 Photo by Kevin C. Cox/WireImage

Name a better game for a player wearing #21 than UNC November 2003.

Ben: While I can appreciate three touchdowns in three different ways, I think I’d be remiss to say that the best game from a Georgia Tech player wearing 21 doesn’t belong to Calvin Johnson or Jonathan Dwyer. I’m a little too young to remember most of the Calvin Johnson days, so I’ll pick a game for Dwyer: 2008 vs. Florida State. Dwyer was an absolute monster in that game, going for 145 yards on just 11 carries with two touchdowns.

Robert: Some Calvin games I would nominate: GT vs. Clemson, September 2004. CJ = 8-127-3. GT vs. West Virginia, Gator Bowl, January 2007. CJ=9-186-2. GT vs. UVA, September 2006. CJ = 6-165-2.

Jeff: All of Calvin Johnson, but this game holds a special place as my first live college football game and when I really became a true Tech fan. Something that is noteworthy that I remember, the punt return by Jonathan Smith was first ruled that he stepped out of bounds. They later reversed the call after much booing and yelling by the coaching staff. Replays were not yet a thing. UNC staff was livid after that.

Levi: I can only think of two stars that even wore #21. Dwyer and Megatron. And I really only saw Dwyer play. I can say that the most exciting thing about him is he had an ability to go up the middle and suddenly emerge from a dog pile for an 60-yard touchdown. Very exciting times because any play could be a gamebreaker. However, I think any answer that isn’t a Megatron game must be wrong. He didn’t just gain yards and points, he did it with indomitable force.

Can you compile an awesome watching season for us?

Ben: Here are some games I would want on that list: 2008 Georgia, 2009 ACC Championship, 2014 Clemson, 2014 Miami, 2014 Georgia, 2014 Orange Bowl, 2016 Georgia, 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl, 2019 Miami.

Robert: I’ll go back a little bit further to add some. 1990 UVA. 1990 Nebraska Citrus Bowl. 1997 WVU Carquest Bowl (Joe Hamilton coming out party). 1998 UVA. 1998 UGA. 1999 FSU (best Joe Hamilton performance ever, even though in a loss). 1999 UGA. 2000 UGA. 2003 Auburn. 2008 FSU.

Jeff: A lot of good games have been mentioned, but 2009 VT was probably a key moment in Paul’s era. Trouncing Notre Dame in 07 was a favorite of mine. I would also recommend the five year win streak against Miami from 04 to 08.

Levi: I’ll throw in more. Some great ones above me, btw ‘08 FSU was my very first Tech game. That one is special. and if you can stomach it, really the entire ‘09 season was special except uga, and the Orange Bowl. I really liked Wake ‘09. Boston College in Dublin, Ireland (2016). UNC in 2012. and don’t forget about FSU ‘09 and the Miracle on Techwood Drive (FSU ‘15). Tennessee 2017 in MBS was pretty fun.

Jake: Came here to say the Dublin game is underrated. Gee, was I happy to have four years of Dedrick Mills after that game. Miami and Virginia 2018 just for the sheer weirdness of the games. That about does it from my four years that hasn’t already been mentioned. Miss me with that Tennessee game, though.

With only five rounds and very cheap bonuses for undrafted signees, who do you see leaving?

Ben: I don’t keep up with Baseball recruiting super well, so I don’t know of specific names, but I think having only five rounds, a majority of the class will end up at Tech, and I’m not super sure any of them will be drafted.

Jake P.: From my limited knowledge of the Beesball team and their recruiting, I know Marquis Grissom Jr. is a name to watch during the MLB Draft.

Jake: Parada is a name to look out for. I think he’s the only one I’m nervous about not making it here come the start of school.

Which GT player do you think is most likely to end up on the Falcons in the next few years?

Ben: I’m actually going to disagree with the idea of it being Pressley Harvin. The kicker you referenced is actually a punter, and he’s a dang good one. Of his nearly 70 punts, 22 of them went for 50 yards and 29 of them were pinned inside the 20.

Jeff: Georgia Tech is starting to stack receivers and perhaps Ahmarean Brown can be someone they look at as a slot receiver. Julio will be up in age by then and Ridley will probably move to his spot.

Levi: I think Juanyeh Thomas has UDFA Falcon written all over him. A shot at special teams and maybe, just maybe even backup safety.

Looking back on the 2006 football team, I genuinely feel like with a better quarterback we had a legit shot at a National Championship. Balanced offensive attack with Choice and Megatron and a really good defense. Thoughts?

Ben: I would actually put more blame on the offensive coordinator. Sure, Reggie Ball wasn’t a great quarterback, but I think a large part of that is because he wasn’t developed well. Give Tech a better OC that year, and I think you have a borderline BCS team, easily.

Robert: My gut reaction was, no way. But let’s look a little deeper. S&P+ has us 30th that year, with the 16th best defense and 47th best offense. Reggie’s stats were...not great. Let’s say you have a quarterback who can complete 62% of his passes instead of 44%, and an AY/A around 8 instead of 5.2. Picture 2006 South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell. You have an incredibly weak ACC (2 teams in the S&P+ top 25) combined with a relative down year from UGA (19th in S&P+). My guess is this gets you to a top 15 offense and probably top 6-8 overall team. Not quite national championship caliber, but 12-2 perhaps?

I’ll share an anecdote to back up Ben’s argument, though. From a player on the 2006 team, the DC threw a chair at the OC in the locker room during halftime of the ACC Championship Game. Check out the box score if you aren’t sure why.

Carter: OH BOY. That 2006 team was agonizingly close to being 12-1 and BCS bound rather than the 9-5 glob of Gailaise sauce it ended up being. You don’t even have to change that much:

  • don’t let Notre Dame score at the end of the first half
  • have refs in Athens who understand that you can’t just pull a ball out of a dogpile and have the play still be considered live
  • don’t let anyone in or out of Reggie Ball’s room the night before the ACC championship

The result is a 12-1 ACC championship team that opened with a win over #2 Notre Dame and has two more top 16 victories under its belt. Would that have been enough to make the BCS championship game? Well, that year’s championship featured undefeated Big Ten champ Ohio State against Florida, who had a very similar resume to the imaginary one I just described. So, yeah, maybe. My god, we really could have seen Chan Gailey pull off a football Paul Hewitt. Thankfully, we don’t live in that world.

Jake: I don’t think everything lining up right gets us there, but I was not informed enough at the time to make as convincing an argument as Carter.

With being online so much during the plague, are there any clickbait attributes that can lure your attention?

Ben: I haven’t really read anything I wouldn’t normally read.

Jeff: Anything that mentions sports are getting closer even though it’s vague conjecture. I just want to believe...

Levi: I routinely find myself clicking on Yahoo articles about a video, only to find the video isn’t even embedded. That’s a gigantic waste of time. Lots of misleading headlines these days too. Don’t even get me started on “Redrafting the 2017 NFL draft” type posts. I go down that slideshow rabbit-hole every time.