Friday, November 25, 2011

Key players and matchups Georgia Tech edition

1. Georgia Tech offensive line versus Georgia defensive line - This one is simple. Georgia plays a 3 man line. If those three can do a good job of containing the majority of Tech's inside running game that will free up linebackers and safeties to take care of the outside run game. If the three linemen get pushed around and let Tech linemen get to the linebackers it is going to be a very tough day. The line has greater bulk this season and has been much better this year than last. Having Jenkins and Geathers on the inside has freed up Jones and Tyson to make more plays. If that trend continues it will be a great day for Georgia's defense.

2. Boykin and Commings versus Tech receivers as duel threats - Both Boykin and Commings are above average in helping in run support. Tech's receivers are blockers first. The ability of corners to shed blocks and help in the run game are a major factor in keeping the Tech offense from having big plays. The hard part though is to not lose track of the receivers when they fake a block then take off for the passing game. Tech only completes slightly less than half their passes but they do it for a very high yards per catch led by Stephen Hill's 30 ypc. He only has 23 catches on the season but 4 have gone for touchdowns. Although Tech rarely passes they are in the top ten in the country in passes over 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 yards. A few of those on Saturday can change the game in a heartbeat.

3. Murray versus himself - When Murray is at his best he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. The only problem is there are times when he is very erratic. Some of the time it is because the pass rush is getting to him but some of his bad stretches he just looks off for no reason. Georgia has the players around him to move the ball if he is simply consistent with his throws. If he happens to have one of his great games, all the better.

4. Georgia's running backs versus the bench - Crowell has missed parts of many games and all of one game due to injury and suspension. He is less than 100% with an ankle injury last week. Thomas has been suspended three times and may be still be in the bad graces of the coaches. Samuel is out for at least another week and probably until the bowl game. Harton has averaged 100 yards in the two games he has had major carries but also has fumbled three times in those two games. Ken Malcome did well in his only game with any important carries but he also had a fumble on his first carry. Bobo will have to find a combination of these backs to make sure there is a significant threat of running the ball against Tech. Their pass defense is pretty good but their run defense is pretty bad. If Georgia's lack of a running back that can get the job done turns them one-dimensional that plays right into Tech's relative strength on defense.

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