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February 28, 2006

Georgia Tech Pre-Spring Preview: Checking in with the Enemy

The second installment in the Georgia Sports Blog's series of interviews with bloggers from Georgia's rivals. The interviews look at pre-Spring expectations. Click here for the UT installment.

Today's featured guest is Nathan from Excerpts below:

- What are your expectations for Spring Ball for your team?
Honestly, I don't really have expectations simply because there's been so much turmoil around the program, and the rumors of an offensive scheme change (supposedly Nix will be taking over as full OC and using a spread offense - we'll see). I just hope we make it out of Spring without any serious injuries and that we have some kind of chemistry on offense.

Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine

- What is the most interesting position battle brewing for spring?
I wish I could say QB, but I have the sinking feeling that Reggie Ball can't lose the job no matter what he does. If we truly are moving to a spread offense, he's the right QB - but if not we really need to take a long hard look at Garner and see if he can get the ball down the field more reliably.

As for actual position battles? #2/#3 WR could be interesting, but to me it's all about who's in the mix for safety. We lost both starting safeties from last year, and it's going to be interesting to see if anyone steps in and fills those shoes. Tenuta's blitz schemes without solid safety play could be a recipe for disaster.

Give the devil his due. He can really play.

- What position do you feel most confident about?
No question, Wide Receiver. We have one of the deepest groups in the country, and this should be a solid strength of the GT team. Calvin Johnson headlines a group that is deep enough that talented freshmen Correy Earls and Demaryius Thomas might not see any time on the field. I have no idea why, but this is the one position that Gailey can recruit well (considering our struggles throwing the ball, that makes no sense but beggars can't be choosers).

I feel pretty good about the o-line as well, they are young but we have a pretty deep collection of what looks to be quality players in that group. Overall, this should be one of the better units we've had in Atlanta in a while.

At least one person on the planet is glad Greg Blue graduated.

- What position are you most nervous about?
Safety, by far. We got a whole lot of nobody there. Defensive line depth as well, we have quality starters but I'm not sure what's behind that. We simply cannot afford injuries or academic problems along the d-line like we had last year.

Darryl Richard missed last season, but he's very talented.

- Are you expecting any new wrinkles this Spring in scheme?
Well, we are talking about Chan Gailey ... so, no - I'm not expecting huge changes. Supposedly we'll see more of a spread look (which would make sense with our personnel), but I'm not holding my breath.

Given what WVU did to UGA, Gailey will probably get hundreds of copies of this video mailed to him by GT fans.

- Are there any big coaching changes that will impact your team this spring?
Nix will have more of a role in play calling (again, supposedly). We'll see how that works out, but it can't be worse than it was before. More importantly though, WE HAVE A NEW SPECIAL TEAMS COACH!!!!!!! Hopefully our special teams will be more excellent "special" than riding the short bus "special" like they have been in the past couple of seasons. We lost the UGa game this year on special teams play, and it wasn't the only one.

Not a DB

- What is the biggest question that you do NOT expect to get resolved this spring? (for instance at UGA it would be the QB battle)
Defensive secondary. I don't expect it to be answered at any point in the season. That's going to be a year long question mark.

- What is the #1 thing you're hoping to see at the Spring Game?
Lots of snaps for Jonathan Garner with the first team.

Gailey ponders life after football.

- Is there any program that you're following this spring other than your own? Looking for tidbits?
Georgia. If Gailey can beat them this year, he might save his job. If he loses his 6th in a row ... he's gone.

Thanks to Nathan for taking the time for this interview!

In the coming days, you will likely see a similar report on the Gators.

Photos and Captions by PWD


Nathan said...

This GT team has the talent and experience to be a solid top 25 team, play in a New Year's Day Bowl and beat UGa. Of course, we probably won't accomplish any of those 3. This is by far Chan's "best" team in his time at GT.

Jeff said...

Nathan said one thing wrong. He said if he loses his sixth in a row. Wouldn't that be the 16th in a row that they haven't beaten us?

Unknown said...

In fairness to Gailey, he has only lost 4 times to Richt. O'Leary lost the first game in 2001.


Anonymous said...

Jeff is absolutely correct.

Sixteen In A Row, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just think. The last time GTU beat UGA in football, Reggie Ball was overthrowing his crib with his rattle. In another year or two, there will be a high school senior class in this state that has never known a GTU win over UGA in their entire lives.

That's just beautiful.

As for the spread offense being some magical formula for victory, dont get your hopes up, nerds. Tricky little offenses come in and out of vogue all the time. Remember Pepper Rodgers and the wishbone? Sure, he beat us his first year at GTU without even attempting a pass. He was a hero! Pepper's put the sting back in!!!!

5 years later, he was a bum, fired, and had to sue the GTAA to get the cheap SOBs to pay off the balance of his contract. Meanwhile, GTU continued to lose 70% of its games versus UGA.

It doesnt matter who you hire as coach. It doesnt matter what offense or defense you run. Until you start getting players that are better than ours, and coach them as well or better than our coaches do with our guys, we are going to own you.

That may upset the 60 year old guys who sit in the West stands wearing tweed blazers they bought 25 years ago at Muse's, and who remember the glory days when Billy Lothridge was the Man, but those days are loooooooooong gone. Harvard and Yale were colossal powers once, too. Dinosaurs once ruled the earth. The asteroid hit in 1964, and you science whizzes havent figured it out yet. You've lost the evolutionary battle, and slowly but surely are being ground to a fine powder by your betters. Which, I must say, is pretty much everyone.

Nathan said...

--- Until you start getting players that are better than ours, and coach them as well or better than our coaches do with our guys, we are going to own you. ---

We had a coach better than yours and players better than yours (unless you think Quincy > Little Joe) as recently as 6-7 years ago. We have a national championship as recently as 1990, you last won one over 25 years ago now.

Yes, the last few years have been the dog's days in the sun - so to say - and you guys lucked out in the "Chan Gailey Derby" by not hiring him and getting the extremely capable CMR instead. It's not like GT hasn't proven we can win on the big stage in recent memory though, and hopefully our new AD demands some performance out of the coaching staff or puts them out on the street looking for a new job.

There's no reason GT can't win in football. Heck, we do well in every other sport (Baseball, Basketball, Golf, even our women's sports programs are doing very well right now) - but the Braine/Gailey/Ball "poison pill" as PWD put it has almost nuked what was even recently a very good football program.

Unknown said...

"Ball was overthrowing his crib with his rattle"


Anonymous said...

It makes sense to run a spread similar to WV. However, to be effective GT needs a fast-ass RB. I don't know if they have that. For WR just run CJ and 4 decoys out their and throw airballs like a game of 500 to CJ. Also, keep GameBall's attempts to under 20 per game.

Anonymous said...

uhhhhhhhh try 98,99, and 2000 in which we won 3 games in a row. 2 behind joe hamilton and one behind "goose"!!!!!!!!!! get your facts straight. ohh and just for the idiot who said the lie about 16 years, here's a fact, uga hasn't won a NC 26 years. we did win 16 yrs. ago.!!!!! but keep trying. i mean ya'll have only a total of 2 nc's in your school's history anyways! gt has 4. you'll get there one day,,,,hopefully????

Dan said...

For the love of freaking christ if you're going to represent my school and try to play the high and mighty card . . . PUNCTUATE YOUR FREAKING POST PROPERLY! I'm sure you love making McDonald's jokes about UGA and your post looks like you couldn't get past the application process. Represent yourself and your school with a little more pride. They still sell an MLA handbook at the bookstore.

Secondly, those three games got vacated. We didn't win them, but neither did we lose. As far as I understand, it's like those games didn't happen. So 3 in a row and 16 in a row are both wrong.

As far as the spread with RB's. Rashaun Grant is fast and Tashard Choice is faster than PJ, but I don't know if either of them are WV fast. I'll believe the spread when I see it.

Anonymous said...

Courtesy of Shane Olivett,

Oooohhhh, that's gotta hurt!

Anonymous said...

ah, nathan, you mad impetuous nerd. It figures you'd cling to the O'Leary anomaly, which by the way, was officially erased by the NCAA because you used academically ineligible players FOR SEVERAL YEARS. I note with some amusement that first and foremost among those who was ineligible for years, yet played anyhow, was one Webster Hamilton.

Just for the record, Webster wasnt more talented than QC, and talent wise, your players from that shameful era of GTU academic fraud werent better than ours. Just look at who ended up playing in the NFL. How many Donnan era players are now still in the pros? We had much better talent, which is one reason that former coach Donnan is our former coach. That said, he certainly wasnt a bad coach.

The only coaching advantage you have had over us in the last 40 years was when the Fridge was your OC. O'Leary? That fat buffoon had a worse record against us that any of our head coaches since Johnny Griffith had against GTU.

The Skipper's legendary 3 game roll (now vacated, so it isnt claimable by GTU fans, except for the desperate ones who endorse academic fraud) was aided and abetted, you may recall, by the Al Ford Robbery in 99. I wont say more, other than to note the hypocrisy (again) of GTU fans who screech that GTU DID SO WIN FAIR AND SQUARE in 99, but on the next breath bitterly complain that GTU was really the 90 NC because Colorado "cheated" by getting the infamous 5th down, and should have forfeited the game when they learned what happened. Pardon me while I laugh.

and, nathan, since you seem like a principled nerd and a stout fellow, once your support of GTU is overlooked, let me gently suggest that you misunderstood how both Jeff and I calculate 16 in a row (it'll be 16 this year, by the way.)

True, the NCAA vacated the 3 game anomaly (proving there is some justice in the universe). That means GTU may not claim any of the vacated games as wins. Therefore, as both Jeff and I noted, GTU has not beaten UGA since 1990, and when you take the gas again this year, it will be 16 years in a row that GTU has not defeated us. Capice?

You say "the last few years" have been our day in the sun, and we lucked out by not hiring Gailey. While we have no doubt raised the level of the program here the last few years, and we surely are in much better shape with Coach Richt, you overlook a couple of things.

One, we've been regularly kicking GTU's ass in football since 1964. We did it with Ray Goff as our coach. He was 5-2 against you. What makes you think that Chan Gailey, a perfectly good coach, though admittedly not on the level of Coach Richt, wouldnt be kicking your ass if he was here?

Second, you imply that the process which resulted in the hiring of Coach Richt rather than Gailey was "lucky"....I can assure you, luck had nothing to do with it. Luck is the residue of design. That's why UGA hasn't missed a beat in the last 40 years as we have continued to dominate you in football. Sure, Jim Donnan was 2-3 against you.....and all 3 GTU wins (at least one of which was heavily tainted) were vacated because GTU used key players who werent academically eligible. In other words, you had to cheat to win, even with Al Ford helping you.

I admire your spirited defense of your team, and your boundless optimism. Both are misplaced, but that'll just make it more fun again this year. I dont mean to suggest GTU will never win another football game, or that they'll never luck up and win one against UGA. Stuff happens. However, if you think we won't continue to dominate you, you just havent been paying attention the last 40 years.

as for the anonymous illiterate frenzied GTU fan, my advice to him is to try the decaf. Keep wearing the mustard,'s nerds like you that make our annual victory over GTU so much sweeter.

Astronaut Mike Dexter said...

Speaking of which, whatever happened to JacketKey? I miss him.

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