Saturday, November 05, 2005

Football - Game Notes

Some interesting points about today's non-televised Georgia Tech / Wake Forest game:

1. Run, run, run......... Who will establish a running game? Wake's goal is to run first, run second and run third. Chris Barklay is the real deal and leads the ACC in rushing by a large margin. Stopping him will be ultra-critical to shutting down the Deac offense. Heck, he's already had 2 200+ yard games this season................ WF has a strong, experienced O-Line, so they won't stop trying to run. Wake is #1 in the ACC in rushing and 18th in the nation, while GT is #11 in the nation at stopping the run.

2. Time-of-possesion. Because of both team's desire to run, both teams lead the ACC in TOP (WF 1st, GT 2nd). However, here's how I see the difference. Wake leads because of their success running the football. GT is in 2nd because our defense's ability to keep the opposing offense off the field. There's a big difference there. Yes, Tech runs the ball well, but thank the defense 1st for T.O.P.

3. Red-Zone. This is key. This is where the game will be won or lost. There will be fewer offense possesions per team, so they must capitalize. GT is 11th in the ACC in red zone offense - not good. Wake is last in the ACC in red-zone defense - very good. Who is going to bend inside the 20?

4. Watch to see if the personnel changes on the kick-off return team will have a positive impact. R.Grant will take C.Woods' place and other players will join the team as well.................... In addition, the punting games should be interesting, as Wake has the #1 punter in the nation, while Ben Arndt is in the upper echelon of the ACC. In fact WF kicker Ryan Plackemeier is the ACC's all-time leading punter and has a better career punting average than the guy who has the award named after him that he's up for - Ray Guy.................... In other special teams info, WF's Josh Gattis leads the ACC in special teams tackles............. Our kick0ff coverage should improve, as WF is last in the ACC in kick-off return yardage.

5. Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe has an interesting philisophy - redshirt everyone - no matter what. I can only find about 12 players on their roster total who did NOT redshirt. His philosophy is to be patient with his talent and fill his team with 4th year juniors and 5th year seniors. In fact, only one true freshman has seen action this season for WF as opposed to the 8 for GT. Duke leads the way, playing 14 true frosh.

6. WF QB Cory Randolph leads the ACC with a 3rd down completion % of 86.2%......................

7. The WF passing defense happens to be last in the ACC - which should give GT some room to roam.............. In addition, Wake gives up more first downs on D than any other team in the ACC.

8. How about this weird stat - GT opponents are the most penalized in the ACC. Wake Forest opponents are the least penalized...........

This will be a tough game - neither team will probably score much more than 20 points, but the Jackets SHOULD win at home. Jackets 21 - 14...........