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Mailbag 11/16

When will news about the head coaching search start to come out?

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-Brigham Young at UAB Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Frodo Swagginz: When do y’all expect news and rumors to start to leak about the head coach search?

Ben: I expect a coach to be named sometime in the two weeks following the UGA game, so I think as we draw closer to that game, more will start to leak out. It is also worth noting that J Batt is keeping this all very close to the vest.

Chris: UGA week.

Logan: I think they’re going to wait till the regular season is over so the current players don’t get distracted (not that I expect that to be an issue anyway).

Jellopacket98: Zach Gibson has entered two games needing 1 TD to tie. Against UVA he managed to get sacked about 8 times and scored 0 points. Against Miami the score ballooned from 14-7 to 35-7 in a matter of five minutes. Did it look as if the team pretty much lost hope as soon as Gibson entered and played with little to no intensity to close the game out (I’d say they borderline quit on him).

Ben: I think it is more that the offense—in its current state—is not built for Gibson. Gibson is a pure statue in the pocket and holds onto the ball way too long. With a subpar offensive line, that’s just asking for a bad time.

Chris: I’m not sure that has anything to specifically do with Gibson. Letting games slip away late has been something of a calling card for the past few years regardless of who’s in at QB.

Logan: I want to point out he had to come off the bench in both those games. I’m not in the locker room so I can’t speak to other players perceptions. Gibson is a young player who has struggled, that is not in doubt. This week is his chance to step up and prove the haters wrong.

Jellopacket98: Does that guy who runs the offense have any other play calls than run up the middle for no gain, throw behind the line for -3 yards, launch the ball 40 yards down field on 3rd and long, and punt?

Ben: I was a big fan of the “Jeff Sims running and making something happen” play.

Chris: You’re forgetting about “slow-developing screen that gets blown up” and “QB scramble for his life with four defenders chasing”.

Logan: Play calling has been limited. Part of that has been the coach making to most of the weapons we have. Injuries certainly haven’t helped make things better. Based on how the trick plays have gone the past few games I kind of prefer simplicity since I know it won’t end horribly.

Jake: My favorite play is the “just wing it” play.

Jellopacket98: Key said they had prepared for what Miami had in store with Brown starting at QB, yet allowed Miami to shove it down our throats 2 of the first 3 possessions for long TD drives. Wouldn’t that call into question how they “prepared”? Because they didn’t look prepared. It actually appeared that they had no clue what to expect and didn’t make adjustments until after Miami had enough to win the game.

Chris: Not looking prepared has been a pretty consistent knock against this team since 2019.

Logan: Yeah… not much to say there. The defense got better but those first few drives were a mess. I’m not sure what the game plan was for us, but Miami had the better one.

Jake: This team has essentially depended on turnover margin to stay in and win games, too, on top of the observations you noted. Every instance like this over the last four years has just built on the same foundation, or so it seems.

Burdell91: Pyron suffered a broken collarbone, apparently on the play before he threw the interception, and is done for the year. Do you think we’ll just see Gibson for the last couple of games, will Sims make a return, will Phommachanh make an appearance?

Ben: I think we see mostly Gibson, but I would not be surprised to see Taisun make his debut.

Chris: As of now (Tuesday), Sims is officially out for the season. At this point yeah, throw Phommachanh in there and let’s see what happens.

Logan: I have no idea at this point. Its like that surprise present from your aunt. It could be anything, but it’s probably an itchy sweater.

Jake: After today’s news, it certainly won’t be Sims. I think Brody Rhodes could legitimately be in play at this point.

gtbadcarma: Question about the NIL. As “student” athletes move deeper into exploring just how much money can be made with NIL and pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable to make that big money (athletes making risque’ choices), just how far is too far for an athlete that is representing the school?

Chris: I believe athletes have to disclose deals to the school compliance department so I’d expect that process to filter out anything the school thinks they shouldn’t have. Probably not the intent of that process, but that’s definitely where that feedback is going to be given.

Logan: Chris gave the reasonable answer. Personally I would rather not see any of our players on Onlyfans. I’ll draw the line there.

Jake: I am sure that there is some language worked in about representing the school. At the end of the day, everyone representing Tech in a formal capacity, be they a varsity athlete or researcher or design-build team member has some sort of formal tie to the school and how they carry themselves is duly important and likely stated in a formal manner in some form or fashion.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Besides a quality HC and some good ACC Hoops wins, what else would you like to see in your Stocking?

Ben: I am hoping to get my hands on the new Pokemon games, but we shall see on that one.

Chris: I’d love a jersey but I don’t love someone having to pay $150 to give it to me. I’ve got a couple good hats coming though!

Logan: I would like money for my upcoming wedding. Need a bunch of money since it is going to be expensive.

Jake: Section 103, the site that keeps on churning out quality Tech merchandise. A business casual set of shoes that aren’t formal oxfords or the always-green fun socks or pajama pants would be appreciated as well. Oh, and my book list is as long as ever these days.

Jack: Look at Jake doing ad reads in the mailbag ;). In actuality I would also take some Section 103, but a Falcons playoff appearance maybe? The Hawks in first place on Christmas day and become the talking point of the day withouth playing would be incredible. Also a million dollars.

R2 Bee2: I believe it was in the 2nd half of the Miami game, we had a penalty called against our defense for “delay of game”. The TV announcers did not know and did not explain what they thought the penalty was for. What did our defense do to have this penalty called?

Logan: didn’t see the play you are referring to. Per Google “A defensive delay of a game occurs when a defensive player prevents the ball from being placed or an offensive player from getting back to the line of scrimmage so they can run the next play. To call or not call this penalty is ultimately up to the referee’s judgment on a player’s actions.” So maybe that?

Jake: I honestly forgot this happened, but I recall our row being baffled as well. My angle isn’t too tremendous in the stadium, so I didn’t have a visual on it, either.

gtbadcarma: I see the media giddy with the excitement that 3 SEC teams could make it into the playoff. If that scenario happens do you feel there would be any fall out from that happening?

Ben: I have gotten to the point where I do not really care what happens in the playoff. Maybe I will care more when it’s 12 teams, but I’m not convinced that’s a given.

Chris: The return of T H E A L L I A N C E. But actually, yeah I think you’d see a lot of blowback from the other conferences and it would probably act as a catalyst for the eventual super league breakaway.

Logan: there will be a collective groan from all non-SEC fans that will shake the earth.

Jake: I would love to say I think there would be. I think everyone who reads this blog would know that that kind of circular talking just feeds the over-hype, but until I see something formal last among the other conferences longer than it takes for the Big Ten to scoop two Pac 12 members, I’ll be skeptical anything would.

Jellopacket98: I’ve read a lot about J Batt’s qualifications as a fundraiser, but has he ever had to hire anybody? I don’t think anyone will care if he raises $800 million if we go through another 4 years like the last 4 (although he probably doesn’t get to $5 million if he hires the wrong guy).

Ben: I don’t know that he absolutely has, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was at least involved with hiring.

Logan: as far as I’m aware he does not. So we’ll see how that goes. Hope that was the answer you were looking for.

Jake: I do not believe he has.

Yeller Bug: Has Sims been released from the team? Heard a rumor of indefinite suspension.

Ben: Nothing has been announced officially about him being dismissed from the team.

Chris: As of now (Tuesday), the official statement is that he’s not “with the team” but doing rehab, etc. full time. What that actually means is anyone’s guess.

Logan: No one seems to have the full story. Safe to say he probably won’t be back on the field this year.

Jake: Seems muddled, but he seems more or less gone.

Submitted via email: With football all but guaranteed a triple digit underdog status on Thanksgiving weekend, how are our hoops OOC odds looking? Who are the biggest challenges-pre ACC schedule?

Logan: Utah is the scariest OOC opponent on the schedule. They have an intimidating offense full of experienced players. They will be a challenge. Most of the other OOC games I think we at least are on par with our opponents.

Jake: All three teams Tech could face in Fort Myers are Power 5 or Big East teams, so it should make for good basketball. However, I think that Iowa on the road in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge will make for the most interesting matchup. Iowa seems like a stout team to put the young Jackets up against to find out a bit more about the team. I think I would be ecstatic with a 9-2 or 8-3 non-conference slate, if you include the ACC midseason break and Clayton State/Georgia State already played games in the mix. 7-4 might be a bit more likely.

Ben: Absolutely none of them. While I think some coaches have show their worth this year, I want to let the new head coach create his own staff without being forced to retain anyone on staff.

Jake: Honestly, more than anything, I lean to the camp that the slate needs to be fresh, and I want the new guy who comes in to be able to chart his own way. I just feel like it is time.

Ben: At this point, let some younger guys get experience.

Jake: Onside every kick puts the opponent offense a little too close to the end zone for my liking. That might result in the result being even more garish, oh boy.

Logan: Exotic plays have kind of bit us. Jet sweeps and flea flickers have ended poorly for us.

Submitted via email: Hi Guys,

Busy this week so I’ll keep it short (for me). Looking at basketball instead of the obvious struggles ahead for football. Our basketball team clearly hasn’t been the greatest team in the land after their first two games; but given the struggles of teams like FSU and Louisville are you feeling better about GT’s prospects in the ACC this year? Rebounds continue to be a struggle. We seem to be running mostly iso ball on offense, but that might be ok if we keep shooting from 3 like we have been.

My other question is do you see a potential star rising up from our program? Currently it seems like Pastner’s prediction of this being a team to share the spotlight is correct. Will we eventually see someone rise to the top of the team or is this going to continue being a team where all our guys contribute equally?

So not that short actually... Later,


Logan: I’m starting to feel more confident. The Georgia State game was scary, but usually we find a way to lose games like that so I’m impressed that the players gutted it out. I wouldn’t put us at the top, but I do feel like at the moment we’re not the laughingstock everyone expected us to be. For the second question I hope the team can find a leader but not a star. I feel like relying on one guy has gotten us in trouble in the past. I like that our current players each has unique strengths and have their ways of contributing without overshadowing each other. I’m hoping they stay confident and keep supporting each other.

Jake: Miles Kelly, he’s my pick to click for the season. I am even more confident in that pick after the Georgia State game this past weekend. Otherwise, Deebo Coleman is a pretty safe pick. I think Tech will need those two to have very good seasons for us to be in the mix in February. It isn’t out of the picture, and stranger things have happened, but this team still has a lot of growing to do, despite how inconsistent the ACC has looked to start the season.