After a hard fought battle in the win against Pittsburgh, the Georgia Tech football team has a week to let sore muscles heal, and to put together a comprehensive game plan to take on the No. 7 Clemson Tigers on Nov. 17. The week off also will allow for some other ACC teams to give the Yellow Jackets some help in their quest for a Coastal Division title.
In terms of having a week to get any players back from injury, it’s a non-issue with the Yellow Jackets right now. Nearly all of their current injury list are players who are (and have been) out for the season, with the exception of RB Broderick Snoddy who is listed with an undisclosed injury currently. So this will be a week that the team can just use to physically and mentally recharge.
The primary objective, other than healing, has to be figuring out a way to slow down Clemson QB Tajh Boyd and the rest of the Tigers’ high-powered offense. This will undoubtedly be one of the toughest challenges of the season for Tech’s defense, so having an extra week to prepare will come in handy.
What Georgia Tech has in their favor is that Clemson has shown they are susceptible to the run, and very few teams in the nation run the ball better than Paul Johnson‘s Yellow Jackets.
Tech has scored 39 total touchdowns–more than high-scoring teams such as Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Auburn, Houston, Nebraska, Miami and Oklahoma State–and only Oregon and Baylor have more rushing touchdowns than the Yellow Jackets. The offense has produced 13 plays from scrimmage of 40 or more yards, and only eight FBS teams have more plays of 40-plus yards.
Probably one of the best defenses against Clemson will be to utilize that strong running attack, and to keep Tajh Boyd and the Clemson offense standing on the opposite sideline.
The Yellow Jacket defense will have to continue their strong play of late, and the game-planning for what Clemson does on offense will be tough. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof is going to have to come up with schemes that will allow senior DE Jeremiah Attaochu and the rest of the defensive line to get pressure on Boyd, without leaving the Tech defensive backs on an island with some of the best receivers in the nation.
While the Yellow Jacket coaching staff is making preparations for the big game at Clemson, there will undoubtedly be some scoreboard watching going on.
Right now, the Yellow Jackets need to see Miami drop at least two more conference games to avoid a tie. This week the Hurricanes take on Virginia Tech – another team with whom the Jackets’ need to avoid a conference record tie. It’s really a no-lose situation for the Jackets, as they need both teams to fall behind them in the standings.
Those early season losses to the Hurricanes and Hokies are now looming large as conference play winds down. Of the three, only Miami controls its own destiny in the chase to reach the ACC Championship game.