The kickoff to the 2014 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football season is only a day away at Bobby Dodd Stadium as the Jackets will be hosting the Wofford Terriers with the kickoff taking place at 12:30 PM EST.
The first game of the college football season is about establishing some things for your football team.
Of course, when Tech plays against Wofford, this will be the first time this year that Paul Johnson’s team will be hitting someone on both sides of the ball that is not a Yellow Jackets teammate.
Wofford is coached by Mike Ayers who is entering his 27th season at the helm of the Wofford program.
Last season, the Terriers finished 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the Southern Conference. In 2013, they averaged 21.2 points while allowing opponents to score 24.9 points per contest.
Wofford runs the triple-option as well, so Tech’s defense should not be taken by surprise by what they see. That is why game is about establishing things as a team.
There should be three things that Paul Johnson would want to see his team establish on both sides of the ball in this game that could set the tone for how the rest of this season goes.
First is physicality at the line of scrimmage by the offensive line.
The offensive line led by Shaq Mason needs to impose their will on the game early and often against the Terriers.
The faster the offensive line puts things together, the faster fans will get to see how this uptempo simplified triple-option offense is going to look on Saturday.
Second is a physical defensive presence by the Jackets.
It will be interesting to see how many “three and outs” the Yellow Jackets defense is able to hold the Terriers to on Saturday.
Wofford struggles against Division I talent overall with a 1-16 record all-time when they okay against this level of competition.
The defense will be familiar with seeing the option so they will know what to expect.
Adam Gotsis, Quayshawn Nealy, and Isaiah Johnson need to set the tone defensively for the Jackets.
It would also be nice to see sophomore Tyler Stargel have a solid game to open the season up with as well. He is going to be important to the Jackets success as the season wears on.
Finally, the last thing that needs to be established in this game is command of the offense by Justin Thomas.
His decision making needs to be sound when it comes to holding on to the ball for himself and giving it up to Synjyn Days or Zach Laskey.
You also would like to see decisive throws down field by Thomas to Deandre Smelter and Michael Summers when the Jackets do decide to go to the air.
Opening day is finally here. The first game of the season, in most fans eyes, is usually considered a “cupcake game”, but you really can’t overlook a team like Wofford just because they are an FCS school.