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Mailbag 11/16

Of the quarterbacks we were sending out there under center since Justin Thomas graduated, would any of them have thrived in Buster Faulkner’s scheme and achieved the same productivity that Haynes King has demonstrated?

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: Would you rather:

  • Coach for Dabo money (multi year contract) or
  • Not coach for Jimbo money?

Ben: This isn’t even a question for me. I would rather not coach for Jimbo money. Why on earth would I want the stress of being a head football coach at one of the most preeminent football schools when I could simply not and take home $75 million over several years? With that kind of money, I could just become a booster and make sure Tech doesn’t hire either one of those bozos.

Logan: Do I want to get paid ridiculous amounts of money to sit around and do nothing or do I want to be paid less to coach college football? I’m taking the extra money and free time please.

Chris: Not coach for Jimbo money and have a fun job/hobby.

tyler_pifer92: The comments seem to be divided on this: The team is improved under Collins Key or the team is not improved under Collins Key.

Billy Connelly’s SP+ system has Georgia Tech as the 4th most improved power 5 program. Smarter people than me can dissect what SP+ means, but it clearly supports the “improved” argument.

In my opinion, the team is better despite possibly finishing with the same record as last year.

What are y’all’s thoughts?

Ben: Wait, some people don’t think this team is better than last year? Sure the defense has been rough, but the offensive improvement alone is enough to clear last year’s team. Hell, the offensive line improvement alone is nearly enough to clear that mark. They’ve had some head-scratching losses, sure, but that’s bound to happen under a first-year head coach. I think this team easily clears last year’s team, and I don’t know that it’s close.

Jack: The eye test more than proves to me this team made significant improvement. Mind boggling mistakes aren’t regular anymore, it’s mostly talent mistmatches that kill us. If they finish 5-7, it of course will suck, but we’ll know that a 5-7 record will not be emblematic of the kind of football we saw this season.

Logan: We have clearly gotten better this year, especially on offense. I think some people may be struggling to admit it since we’ve been down for so long. Regardless of how the last 2 games play out our program has shown significant growth this year.

Chris: I think the team is absolutely better. Ben nailed it, the offense is night and day from where it was and that alone is enough to justify labeling us an overall improvement.

tyler_pifer92: As a follow up, rank my Collins blunder on a scale of Awful to Embarrassing? Haha.

Ben: Not quite Collins-level embarrassing, but it’s not a good look.

Chris: Nothing can ever be Collins-level embarrassing.

Logan: Embarrassing, but not awful. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again.

TkTheGoat: Do yall have a favorite frequent commenter on FTRS? If so who?

Ben: Oh, I don’t know that I can play favorites and pick a specific commenter. What I’ll say instead is that I prefer commenters who meaningfully engage with the content we put out instead of just putting in a snarky comment that misses the whole point of an article. Also, Frodo Swagginz probably has the best username.

Chris: Yeah, can’t play favorites.

Logan: I don’t know who the actual commenter is, but this year Coin flip is my favorite person on the picks articles because I’m amazed at how accurate flipping a coin is at picking games. Generally I’m a big fan of everyone who interacts on the site, its cool to see what other fans have to say.

Frodo Swagginz: I understand that I’m putting the cart before the proverbial horse and looking ahead to the end of the most wonderful time of the year, but defensive coordinator. We know that Thacker has been thwacked from his position so where does Key go from here? Does he stick with Sherrer (God, please no) or does he hire an outside guy? Assuming outside hire, do y’all have a list of realistic wants? Maybe Zach Arnett?

Ben: I doubt you’ll see any non-holdover coach get the boot this year. Thacker will probably formally get the can, but I believe Sherrer will get a couple years to show what he can do on defense. If Sherrer did get the can, I don’t know that Arnett would be a realistic option since he was well-regarded as a DC before he took the interim MSU job. I think he’ll have a lot of schools coming after him. I would have to do some digging to really come up with some names, but I know that Sherrer came to Georgia Tech through Key’s relationship with Jeremy Pruitt, so he could go down that path again. Pruitt himself is out of the question unless he can get some leniency on his six-year show cause penalty. Pruitt’s is especially bad because it not only would bring NCAA penalties but a full suspension for his first year of employment. Just not worth it. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Key give Marco Coleman a shot. That’s not me saying he deserves it, just that I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen.

Chris: Money is tight, so I agree with Ben that signs point to Sherrer getting to stay on a bit.

Anuj Bhyravabhotla: Of the quarterbacks we were sending out there under center since Justin Thomas graduated, would any of them have thrived in Buster Faulkner’s scheme and achieved the same productivity that Haynes King has demonstrated?

Ben: This is a tough question for me because none of those players really got the same level of coaching that King has currently. Looking at those quarterbacks, we’ve got TaQuon Marshall, Tobias Oliver, James Graham, Jeff Sims, Zach Pyron, and Zach Gibson. I think Pyron is the guy that would definitely be playing well. I don’t know that he would be playing as well as King (as evidenced by King beating out Pyron for the job), but he would still be playing well. Same for Gibson, though I think he certainly lacks some of the pure talent that King and Pyron bring to the table. Marshall and Oliver are full option quarterbacks with poor arms, so I don’t think either would be playing QB in this system. That leaves James Graham and Jeff Sims. These are two guys who I believe had a lot of potential but never really had good coaching. It’s tough for me to say that they would play as well as King has this year given that what we saw from both of them was pretty bad, but if they had gotten proper development, I think they both could have been solid quarterbacks in this system.

Chris: I think I agree with Ben, Pyron has a decent mix of throwing/running ability that would work well in this offense.

jabsterjacket: What would be the minimum “acceptable” outcome against the dwags in COFH? Beating the spread? Hang with them for 3 quarters? No more than a 2-TD loss? Just don’t embarrass ourselves and get shut out again?

I know, I know, MIND RITE, win or bust.

Ben: On offense, I want to see us be able to complete some drives before garbage time. That was one area where we struggled a lot against Clemson. Tech will be at home under the lights, so hopefully the atmosphere will help inspire a higher level of play against the best team they’ve played all year. On defense, I just don’t want to be embarrassed.

Logan: Putting points on the board would be a good start.

Chris: I’m probably okay with a 3 TD loss as long as we look competent for most of the game.

karmen: The team has taken a noticeable step forward this year as opposed to last. To get above .500 next year, what are the positions the Jackets need to target in the portal?

Ben: This defense needs a pass rusher really badly. Really, they need more than one, but Keion White is the single biggest loss from last year’s team. Kyle Kennard has six sacks, and that’s great, but it’s less great that outside of his four-sack game, he’s only got two, which is in line with the rest of the team. Aside from that, I would love some help at linebacker and maybe an offensive lineman.

Logan: Ben nailed it, Pass Rusher is a big need on defense, probably the biggest one. O-line is serviceable but needs more help, but that’s kind of a known quantity. LB has shown a downturn now that Eley and Charlie Thomas are gone so reloading there would be good.

Chris: OL and any defensive position.

TkTheGoat: Jeff Sims played like 3 games for Nebraska and he blew ass in all three of them so he got benched, 1 TD and 6 PICKS!! Considering he will likely transfer, what do you think is next for him? Go to Army and be the triple-option QB? Transfer to an FCS school or group of 5? Or just do what he did with us and give up on football entirely?

Ben: I don’t think he’ll give up football entirely, but I think if he transfers, it will be to FCS or G5. Sims does have a lot of talent, and when he plays well, he plays really well. His issue is that he has never gotten a good QB coach. I could see him doing something similar to Vad Lee and dropping to FCS and finding a good QB coach and some success, but I don’t see another P5 team taking a chance on him unless they’re desperate.

Chris: I’d be intrigued to see him move positions and maybe try just being a RB because he’s still very talented with his legs. Maybe he can get some consistent snaps at a low P5 or G5.

Burdell91: With the rough start for men’s BB (losing to one lower-tier opponent and struggling some with another), what kind of predictions do you have for ACC play?

Asa: I think ACC play could be rough. This team is really struggling to protect the paint and rebound consistently, which will only be further exposed by ACC frontcourts. Perhaps Baye Ndongo is the answer to these struggles, but I wouldn't count on it. This team is built to win with its perimeter offense and when that struggles as much as it did on Tuesday, wins will be tough to come by. Hopefully, the poor shooting is more of a fluke than a feature.

Rbissman: Basketball question—- GT almost loses to Howard and loses to Mass-Lowell at HOME. How painful is this season going to be??? Come on- never should lose these games.

Asa: I don't think the UMass Lowell loss is as catastrophic as some are making it out to be. The River Hawks are a top 100 team by pretty much every rating system and they are projected to be favored in all but 3 of their matchups this season. However, when viewed in tandem with the Georgia Southern and Howard games, there is certainly cause for concern. This team has been sleepwalking through these games and only waking up for the final 10 minutes, give or take. That is not sustainable over the course of a season and it has already cost us one game. With all of that being said, we are only 3 games into the season, let’s not abandon ship just yet. Things are never as bad (or good) as they seem.

Jellopacket98: Is this GT football team the most .500 team in the history of football?

Ben: Not anymore! I say that only because they got off the streak of winning every other game.

Jellopacket98: I’m looking into my crystal ball and I see a spirited GT team gain bowl eligibility by thrashing a bad Syracuse team at home, then per usual, they follow it up with a dud against the most complete team on the planet and lose 65-0, giving up 900 yards on defense and racking up 74 total yards on offense (-5 total yards at half). How accurate is my crystal ball on a scale of 1 - 10 (most accurate)?

Ben: I’ll say somewhere between a 5 and a 7. I think Georgia Tech will beat Cuse, though I don’t know that it will be super easy. Cuse’s offense is built around the run, and Tech struggles with that. But I don’t think Cuse’s defense will be able to contain Tech’s passing game. As for UGA, my gut tells me that Tech is going to get stomped. But, my gut told me that last year too, and Tech stayed in the game for a little bit, so I don’t know how that game will go.

Jack: I hope it’s a 5, in that Syracuse is 100% accurate and Georgia is 0% accurate! That feels like the extreme version though of what will likely happen. If either score is going to end up in a blowout, I think we all safely can say Georgia is the more likely option.

Logan: I have learned that predicting what GT football will do on a week to week basis is an exercise in futility this year. I’ll give it a 1 because the one thing you said that I know for certain will happen is that we are playing Syracuse, everything else is up in the air.

Chris: 7/10 accurate, it would make so much sense. I’m expecting the opposite performance against Georgia though: I think we come out of the gate in the first half and get one or two scores but then completely get shut down in the second half.

gtbadcarma: This is the third game , BG the first BC the second, I have gotten the bad juju with the all tech has to do is strap the helmets on and preparation isnt needed because its time to prepare for the other school. (Don’t get me wrong I would much rather have the win against the other school but....) If Tech does drop the Syracuse game the same way they dropped the BG and bc games, do you feel this would be a black mark on key? Would it be cause for worry?

Ben: Tech should win this weekend, but I don’t think it comes across as much of a given as the other two games you mentioned. If Tech does lose this weekend, I think it points to a disturbing trend, but I don’t know that “worry” would be the right word unless it continues into next season and beyond.

Chris: I think it’s slightly different, but yes, I think dropping this game would be a bad look. You’ve got a team that’s proven they can hang with good teams and you’re playing a home night game with bowl eligibility on the line against a bottom tier conference opponent - these are the ones you have to win with consistency to build program momentum.

Logan: I’m not viewing this game like BC or BG because I don’t view it as a game we should think of as an easy win. Syracuse has the same record as us and should be viewed as being at the same competitive level, regardless of how they got that record. I think losing against Syracuse would be a black mark for Key in the sense that he will unlikely make a bowl game in his first full season, beyond that I’m not sure I can take much more away from the game other than Syracuse played better if they beat us... at least not at this point in time.

GTalbatross: How far does the volleyball make it in the post season?

Jack: Before the season, I predicted they’d fall in the Sweet Sixteen. As of now, the team is currently #9 in the country, far better than I anticipated they would be. But, without Liv Mogridge, it only takes a size mismatch for Tech to look far worse than the #9 team in the country. They should be hosting in the first and second rounds, which is huge for home court advantage, but the fact they dropped to #9 is rough because they likely wouldn’t host the regional semifinals and finals. Currently, I stand by my preseason prediction that their regional semifinal will do them in.