Saturday, September 08, 2007

Football - Total Domination - As Expected

Well, let me redefine "as expected". The Jackets absolutely exploded offensively, winning by a final score of 69-14. It was 28-0 after the FIRST QUARTER!! The first half ended with a score of 45-0. When I title this post "Total Domination - As Expected", I meant the Jackets were expected to control this game from the start. However, did anyone really expect a Chan Gailey team to EVER score almost 70 points? To completely run away on the scoreboard like they did? This was the most points a Jacket team has scored in a half since a certain 220-0 Cumberland game. Wow. Here are some thoughts:

The Jackets did what they needed to do, and looked impressive along the way. However, let's not forget this is really a bad Samford team. Not just bad in a IA vs IAA kind of way. They are bad in their own league, and they play a lot of young guys. So as always, trying to draw any sigfinicant conclusions from this game is a little shaky. Having said that, let's do it anyway.

The running game. Oh the running game. A total of 380 yards rushing, and everyone got in on the act. Tashard Choice could have probably finished with 300 of his own on the day, but his day was over soon after the first quarter with a mere 110 yards on 11 carries, and 2 TD's. Then it was Jonathan Dwyer time. Folks, it is obvious this kid is going to be special. It's also obvious he's interested in doing it sooner than later. On a mere 9 carries he rushed for an impressive 139 yards, including some eye-opening runs (a 65 yarder was most impressive), breaking tackles and speeding his way to 3 TD's. Jamal Evans threw in another 42 yards, Jason Davis another 27, and Josh Nesbitt even rushed for 39 yards.

The Jackets scored 9 rushing TD's, which is a new team record. The running game was spectacular, and it is clear that Georgia Tech is an outstanding blocking team, from the line, to the backs to receivers. Everyone really pitches in and it shows. Now that leads us to the passing game.

You do what you have to do to win. If you can do it on the ground, that's always the first choice. Tech did that today. Taylor Bennett looked fine today, and finished early with a line of 8-of-9 for 85 yards, no INT's, no TD's. Most of his passes were short, or quick outs, nothing really deep or mid-range. He did fine with what he was asked to do, and that's all you can ask. So we head into next week still not really knowing what Taylor Bennett is really capable of. In fact, we've had two games in a row now where we haven't had to reveal much about our passing game. Should make for an interesting playcalling session next Saturday.

Another nice result of this game was getting the back-up QB's some work. Calvin Booker got some quality snaps, as well as Josh Nesbitt, who actually made a throw (a laser complete on the sideline).

The first team defense was dominant. I think Samford only had about 2 1st downs in the entire first half. The 2nd half was the 2nd and 3rd team playing, and that's where most of the Samford yards came from. For the entire game, the Jackets only gave up 83 yards rushing 159 yards passing (most of which came late in the game against 2nd / 3rd team).

Do we have ourselves a new retun man in Corey Earls? He had two very impressive returns today, averaging 55 yards and Dwyer even returned a nice one for 33 yards.

Kick-off coverage was very good again today as Samford had 11 returns but a long of only 26 yards. Nice tackling. Nice swarming.

Durant Brooks had two punts for a 47 yards average, and put them both inside the 20, one of which resulted in a fumble and Jacket recovery.

Tyler Evans had some impressive punt returns today, and if he can start doing that then - wow. Watch out.

One of the key things games like this do for you is getting snaps for the 2nd and 3rd stringers. Today lots of guys got in the action - in every position. Heck, Scott Blair even kicked an extra point. These are wonderful games to prepare young guys who will see a lot of action next season, because remember - we lose a ton of guys next year, especially on defense.

We'll have to see, but games like this are also ones where you want to get out without losing anybody to injury. The only significant injury I saw was Robert Hall, who I think ended up being taken off on a stretcher from the sidelines. They reported in ESPNU that he was getting some X-Rays. Hopefully it is nothing serious.

Ok, these first two weeks were important, but next week is when things REALLY heat up. This is game one in the ACC for GT, and just so happens to come against Boston College, who is a front -runner to win the Atlantic Division. These guys are already 2-0 in the conference, so they have been battle-tested. GT has not. It should be a fun game, and could be a preview of the ACC Championship game in Jax.

Overall, great dominating performance today. Time to step it up a few notches though. The Eagles are coming to town.


Travis Bell continue to make kicks