There is nothing clean about the old-fashioned hate on Saturday when the North Avenue Trade School visits between the hedges. As the tiebreaker in a family, I grew up absolutely hating Georgia Tech. When my dad would say that he didn't mind Tech other than the week of the Georgia game, it would make me sick to my stomach. After one of my older sisters went to UGA, she eventually developed the same disdain for Georgia Tech I had. When my mother suggested I apply to attend Tech, I probably offended her with my reaction. While we have other rivals as big, this game is the one I hate most to lose. With that, let's get to the critical success factors on Saturday.
1 - Be physical.
On defense, we have to be physical against the Tech triple option. I don't mean overpursue or try to blow people up on every play, but we have to maintain gap discipline and tackle crisply. We need to come out with the same intensity we showed in the 2nd half last week where we just gobbled up the GSU option. On offense, we are going to need to put a hat on a hat and move the Tech defense backward consistently. Tech is likely to sell out with the intention of stopping Gurshall and of forcing Aaron Murray to beat them through the air. If we can get appropriate balance on offense, we should be able to put up yards and points on a Tech defense that has struggled throughout the year.
2 - Let our play do the talking
This game will involve a lot of trash talking and play close to and after the whistle. Tech's best shot is to get into our heads with border line chop blocking on the interior and to get us retaliating rather than playing. If we come out with the workman like attitude of the Auburn game, I like our ability to put the game away slowly where we continue to build on a lead and force Tech to do things they don't like to do. When a Tech player starts the talking, I would love to see our guys be able to point at the scoreboard, go back to the huddle, and bust them in the mouth on the next play.
3 - Limit mistakes.
In 2008, the only way Tech won was to get a lot of mistakes from us. A gift-wrapped pick 6, a fumbled kick-off return, and missed tackles gave Tech the lift they needed to get back in the game and eventually take one away from us. A recipe for disaster would be the same lack of focus that gives them cheap scores or short fields. If we win the turnover battle or keep it even, I don't see any way we can lose because we will either be scoring or forcing the Tech offense to drive the length of the field consistently against our defense. I like the way our defense is playing right now with 75-90 yards on each possession.
We have been given and have earned an opportunity no one including me thought was possible late in the evening on October 6. We cannot allow the irritating little brother to ruin it for us. Let's GATA, Bulldog Nation!
What do you think?