UPDATE: When I put up the post, the link to the ACC Football Report from bullet two got deleted. I put it back in.(Photo from the AJC, Johnny Crawfordemail@example.com)
Time to talk about that (totally awesome) game. I've had rambly thoughts for this post since last night, so hopefully doing a bullet list will mitigate the ineloquence. For the "pure news" aspects and coverage of the game, I of course direct you to the AJC's Georgia Tech page. I also always dig The Macon Telegraph's coverage.
- First off, Tech defended the Drought. As you know, that was the biggest storyline of the game to me, and we still own the series record for longest streak. Sorry, pups, no "EIAR,B!"
- Another big storyline from the game: We just posted the ACC's biggest OOC win of 2008, pending any huge bowl game upsets. Last year, as we all know, the ACC got a lot of flack for its crappy non-conference record, and there was all this hoo-hah being thrown around about "The Big East is better"; "The Mountain West should get the ACC's BCS bid"; "I'm a jagoff and think one year trounces decades of history and don't realize that you need a much longer skid than that to actually mean anything"; etc. This year, the ACC is 37-11 (0.771) in non-conference games, 15-8 (0.652) against BCS teams, and 6-4 against SEC squads. The ACC Football Report blog did a rundown of ACC OOC games couple weeks ago, which showed our record stacked up well nationally, and it's only gotten better in the weeks since.
- Dwyer's TD run to start the 2nd half is a nominee for ESPN's Pontiac Game-Changing Performance. Go vote! As Rece Davis says in their video, "This one probably defines a game-changing moment... the entire momentum of the game shifted in Georgia Tech's favor."
- Yahoo/Rivals's Dr. Saturday--arguably the best college football blogger around--asks, "Is there a way to send Georgia Tech to the ACC Championship game by acclamation?" It's unfortunate (not just for us as Tech fan's but for the league's image) that the Coastal Division's only nine-win team will not be in Tampa to represent. Thankfully, BC also has nine wins, so it's possible that the Atlantic Division's best team will win the ACC. I still consider Georgia Tech the best Coastal Division--and ACC overall--team; we were the only division team to go undefeated vs. the Atlantic, but lost too many Coastal games. The good news, of course, is the Jackets should only get better in future years under Paul Johnson.
- That leads me well to my next point: Paul Johnson is the right guy at the right place at the right time. This season (and the way our fans have embraced the new coach) reminds me a bit of Mark Richt's first year at Georgia... except that they didn't really have the same first-season turn around that Tech did. (Georgia went 8-4 both in 2000 under Donnan and 2001 under Richt.) Of course, in Richt's second year, the Dawgs went 13-1 and won the SEC. Can Tech do something similar next year under CPJ? I see no reason why not, since we were a handful of plays away from 11-1 this year. (The UNC game, obviously, is the one that we really, really lost.)
- On to specifics about Clean Old Fashioned Hate 2008. In the sense of civility, I'll start with nice things to say about Sanford Stadium. I like that they replay nearly every play on the scoreboard promptly, regardless of whether it's a questionable call. It doesn't always seem like that at Bobby Dodd. Also, the Munson tribute after the second quarter was nice. Many of you hate him, I'm sure, but I've always loved his calls when Georgia's losing as much as Dawg fans love him when they're winning... Scope this one from 2000; you'll love it I guarantee.
- How about that Roddy Jones? I told a Georgia friend before the game, I thought the story of the game for Tech would ride on Dwyer's shoulders. Dwyer was a huge part of what the Jackets did, but I did not expect Roddy's 214 yards or 16.5 (!!!!!) yards per carry average. Big ups to him and the whole offense, not only for all the huge runs and scores, but for protecting the ball. One turnover in the game, a didn't-really-matter Hail Mary interception to end the first half. Wow.
- Tech's 45 points is the most the Jackets have ever scored in Sanford Stadium, and the fifth most in general (46 in 1905, 48 in '43 and '51, and 51 in '99). Earlier in the week, Tech fans were asking what's the most points eevr scored against GA in Athens, and Westerdawg thought that was ridiculous... Honestly, so did I. But, with one more TD, Tech would have tied the record: 52 by Spurrier's Gators in 1995.
- Speaking of points scored, we can all count ourselves lucky that the offense blew up like it did. You're not going to win many ballgames where you allow 42 points. Of course it's a concern that the defense allowed so many points, but I discredit them much less than I give it up to Georgia's offense. Knowshon, Stafford, and MoMass played the kind of lights-out football that you almost cannot defend. Especially with some of the Stafford-to-Massoquoi passes, the level of precision the Dawgs showed on offense was remarkable.
- I've gotta admit, I think it's too bad that so many Tech players were snagging bits of the hedges. One of our commenters (Anon @ 8:28 AM) expressed that regret, saying "Magnanimity always - in defeat AND victory." I entirely agree, but I also realize this is a bunch of college kids, many of them 18 and 19 years old. Oh well.
- Last but not least, I'd like to remind you that the option will never work in major college football, especially against speedy SEC defenses.