For the first time this season against an ACC opponent the Yellow Jackets defense pitched a shutout of sorts, albeit if only for a single half of football winning 9 to 0 over the Florida State Seminoles when it counted the most in the second half of the ACC Championship Game. Had I not been in attendance at Charlotte at the Bank of America Stadium and not personally witnessed this game, based on all of the predictions and comments from the media and naysayers of what an embarrassing blowout would be taking place, I would have thought that the humiliating 70 to 31 Wisconsin over Nebraska score from the Big Ten Championship Game, or whatever that conference is now calling themselves, was the actual stomping imposed by the Noles over Georgia Tech. What a difference a game makes.
Obviously any loss hurts as Georgia Tech plays these games to win, but when you scrape below the surface of this season and all of the difficulties that have occurred to this team it was great to see them not only compete against a program loaded with very talented players, but fought to the point that everyone in attendance especially the Noles fans were nervously watching the Yellow Jackets moving the football on a potential game winning drive only to turn it over on an interception as they were approaching the fifty yard line with about one minute left on the clock. It was quite a game and every fan that made the drive to Charlotte saw an outstanding effort and took away from that performance great anticipation for the future of this program.
Perhaps the Yellow Jackets defense will start off their next game as aggressively as they did in the second half of this Championship effort. This defense has very talented players but in my estimation you cannot run the 3/4 as a read and react defense as you are able to do in the traditional 4/3 scheme. Maybe this same second half showing will become the starting point in their next game down in El Paso for round II of the Sun Bowl. As all coaches like to say; they would much rather go into their next game with some momentum than riding the coattails of a poor performance. Chili relleno’s taste much better after a bowl victory and that’s the next item left to achieve in this turbulent 2012 season; winning a bowl game.
In dissecting the 21 to 15 loss to Florida State it should be noted that for all of those Clemson Tiger fans that insisted that a rematch with the Noles was what the ACC Commissioner should have scheduled by issuing an executive order vetoing the Georgia Tech/Florida State matchup my only comment is; defense wins championships! The next comment probably being set forth after that is; Miami should have been playing instead of the Yellow Jackets. My response to that one is; we saw that matchup back in October with the “U” getting pasted 33 to 20 at home, so that should “put that puppy to bed” and end the discussion.
The earlier 49 to 37 FSU victory over Clemson in an offensive track meet while very entertaining and impressive in the statistics, it didn’t rise up to the nerve wracking level of a defensive confrontation that was highlighted this past Saturday evening between the Yellow Jackets and Noles. Frankly, given that Florida State lost their only game of the season to NC State 17 to 16 in a very exciting game also earlier in the year, these defensive nail biting struggles are much better for the television ratings than a score fest.
Let’s also recognize that Florida State is one of the top defensive teams in the country and played a very solid game in defending the Yellow Jackets offense. However, give the GT players credit for marching down the field in crunch time at the start of the 4th quarter with some great blocking by the offensive line who gave Tevin time to complete a critical 32 yard pass to B.J. Bostic getting down to the twelve yard line where Washington took it in himself on a B-Back follow from one yard out to narrow the score at 21 to 15. The defense then came up huge with Jemea Thomas making an incredible one handed interception at the fifteen yard line with 2:17 remaining in the contest to give GT an opportunity to go on a game winning drive.
While the offense turned the ball over trying to make a play, it showed that this very young team when given the chance will rise to the occasion and display the type of effort that everyone knows they are capable of demonstrating on the football field. They will need to bring that A-game once again later this month in El Paso against the pre-season and everyone’s undisputed BCS National Champion USC west and their Heisman trophy winner. The Trojans probably have even more talent on their roster than both Florida State and the University of Georgia. Making this another; David v. Goliath contest for the Yellow Jackets.
Also a big shout out to the very vocal and supportive Yellow Jackets fans who were really bringing the noise the entire 4th quarter as the game was coming down to the wire. It was very obvious that the entire GT sideline was extremely revved up watching them respond and that was wonderful to be a part of on Saturday from the stands. Given that outstanding level of support, as a bonus this week I will be doing a onetime report on the SEC Championship Game through the keyboard of a Yellow Jackets fan.
Since our previous University of Georgia Bulldog correspondent moved onto other challenges and I wish him the best of success in those endeavors as he is a first class person, I will also be preparing a write up of the Alabama Crimson Tide/dawg Championship Game since I, along with several other GT fans were able to watch that contest at a very nice Charlotte restaurant right down the street from the stadium. It might be nice to offer another perspective.
However, let me emphasize and add in this caveat so that nobody gets the wrong impression as I; “DO NOT INTEND” to become a correspondent for the dawgs. That position is still open and available at isportsweb.com to any fan of UGA IX and the University of Georgia Bulldog nation that is interested in following their team. If you are just follow the instructions on the site and write all about; them dawgs.
Time to get ready once again for that Marty Robbins tune; “Out in the west Texas town of El Paso….” Go Jackets!