Thursday, November 25
Manic-Depressive Preview: Servin' up a little bile and condescension for Thanksgiving.
The Manic-Depressive Previewers have had a week off to lick their wounds from the Auburn game -- well, Depressive Doug licked his wounds, Manic Doug got blazing drunk and loudly predicted to anyone who would listen how it's only a matter of time before Cam Newton gets declared ineligible and the NCAA blasts Auburn's football program back into the leather-helmet era. Either way, though, they've had some time off and are now tanned, rested, and ready to go full speed ahead for this weekend's clash of the titans -- or, perhaps more accurately, clash of the Titanics? -- between Georgia and Georgia Tech this weekend.
Manic Doug: Woohoooo!!!! Time for some Clean Old-Fashioned Hate, bro! Man, this is always my favorite time of the season, 'cause it means I get to whip out my best insults and give those pretentious, pasty-skinned, no-social-life-having dicklicks at Tech the carpet-bombing they deserve.
Depressive Doug: Yeah, and it's always my least favorite time of the season, because I have to sit here and cover my head while you jinx the crap out of us with your overconfidence.
MD: First of all, every time is your least favorite time of the year, from the looks of things. Second of all, how have I "jinxed" us, exactly? Oh, no, we've only won eight out of the last nine times! Clearly I'm the kiss of death!
DD: OK, so you got a pass for the Chan Gailey years. Between him and Patrick Nix, even your bad karma couldn't power them to a win. But even you have to admit that it's kind of a new ballgame with Paul Johnson as their head coach.
MD: Did we beat them last year or didn't we? Then clearly it isn't that new a ballgame.
DD: Maybe not, but you can't seriously sit there and call Tech a gimme win anymore. Even last year, they still managed to ring up more than 200 net rushing yards on us, and they came very close to erasing that two-touchdown lead we had at halftime on a number of occasions.
MD: "Came very close" still adds up to "lost" in my book. I mean, if even Willie Martinez can eventually figure out how to handle Paul Johnson's triple-option, I think Todd Grantham can probably pull it off.
DD: In a year when we're still trying to master the 3-4 defense in the twelfth game of the season? And still don't have a clue as to how to stop a mobile QB?
MD: OK, sit down a second, 'cause daddy's gonna tell you why this "mobile QB" thing everybody's been worrying about with respect to Georgia Tech is a load of bunk. The mobile quarterbacks we've had problems with this year have all been guys who could throw -- Tyler Hansen, Trey Burton, Cam Newton. But this Tech offense can't throw to save its life. Losing Demaryius Thomas to the NFL draft has completely taken away their only sure-fire deep threat; it's dropped their per-game passing yardage by more than 50 and their team pass efficiency from 12th in the nation to 110th. And that was even before their starting QB went out for the season with a wrist injury. With Josh Nesbitt gone, they're even less inclined to pass, meaning we can devote our full attention to loading up on the line and playing assignments against the triple-option.
DD: Yeah, which worked out just swell two years ago, when their passing game was just as much an afterthought as it is now and they still managed to roll us for 409 yards. While completing one pass the entire afternoon.
MD: Again, though, that was with Nesbitt, not to mention Jonathan Dwyer, who's also gone off to the NFL.
DD: Their leading rusher in that game was actually Roddy Jones, who went off on us for 214.
MD: And who barely has more than that for the entire 2010 season. I'm telling you, dude, people have started figuring out the Tech offense, just like I said they would. They're going to get some yards this weekend, but not nearly enough to matter.
DD: You don't think so?
MD: No, because a run-dominant, grind-it-out offense isn't gonna be able to keep up on the scoreboard with an offense that has as many weapons as we've got. Remember, Tech's trying to transition to a 3-4 front too, and they haven't mastered it any better than we have. They certainly don't have the personnel to cover A.J. Green, pressure Murray, and stack up against the run consistently.
DD: A.J. I'll grant you. The other two I wouldn't be quite so sure about -- you know how up-and-down our running game has been, and we haven't been all that consistent in pass protection, either.
MD: But Tech's pass rush has been practically nonexistent -- they've only got 16 sacks for the entire year. As for their ability to stop the run, you know how one of the biggest complaints about our defense this year is that we still don't have a dominant guy at nose tackle who can draw double-teams and plug up the middle? Tech's guy in the middle is Logan Walls, who's no bigger than any of our guys are. I'm not saying we're gonna out-rush them like we did last year -- though that'd be awesome -- but between Caleb King and Washaun Ealey, I'll bet cash money that at least one of them goes over 100 yards.
DD: Well, I can see you've been cured of your overconfidence regarding Tech. Bra-vo.
MD: You know, the more I think about this game the more I wonder what in the hell you're so worried about. Their offense is performing at a way lower level than it did in Paul Johnson's first years, and they're missing three of their most important playmakers from those teams. Again, it's not like we're going to completely dominate them in terms of rushing yards, but as long as we nail the fundamentals and wrap them up when we're tackling -- which seems a lot more likely given that we've been having full-pads, full-contact practices all week -- they're not going to be able to do to us what they did in 2008. And they're certainly not going to be able to match the speed with which we can put points on the board. A.J. is going to have another career day for the NFL scouts, Caleb and Washaun are going to clean up the rest, and we're going to win 42-20.
DD: Somehow I'm not the least bit surprised that you see a blowout happening this weekend. I, on the other hand, see a shootout. Full-contact practices or no, we're still crossing our fingers and hoping that our D-coordinator, talented though he may be, can hold down a triple-option offensive attack he never had to game-plan against in the NFL. I see the Techies being geeked up at a chance to get revenge for last year's game and win one for their injured QB, and I think they're going to win 34-30.
MD: You Judas. It's one thing for you to pick a team like Florida or Auburn to win, but Tech is the lowest of the low, the program that combines worthless football team and pissy, annoying fan base like no other program on our schedule. And you're going to pick them to deny us a bowl bid?
DD: If you want to talk obnoxious fans, I think you're really splitting hairs if you're trying to draw any distinction between Tech and Florida. But yes, I think we're staying home for bowl season this year.
MD: Unacceptable. I've keyed people's cars for less.
DD: Well, considering that we drive the same car, I hope you'll manage to maintain some semblance of self-control in this case. And considering that our predictions average out to what looks like a pretty convincing 36-27 Georgia win, maybe you can just let this one go.
MD: Maybe. I can forget. But I can't forgive.
DD: So . . . you're eventually going to forget we even had this disagreement, but you're going to hold a grudge against me anyway?
MD: I know what I said.
DD: Yeah, and the sad thing is, I wouldn't put something that ridiculous past you, either. How about instead of not making any sense you grace us all with the Associated Hottie so that we can get out of here and crush some turkey.
MD: Not falling for that one, G. You know there aren't any hot girls at Tech. Searching for an Associated Hottie to represent the Jackets would be like trying to find a college graduate at an Insane Clown Posse show.
DD: Perhaps, but I did manage to find this on the Web somewhere.
MD: Huh. Wow. Who's that?
DD: Jamie Eason, I think her name is -- a "fitness model" by trade, or some such.
MD: Interesting. You realize, of course, that there's no way in hell she went to Tech.
DD: Oh, of course not. Really the only question is how much they had to pay her to wear that shirt.
MD: At least four figures would be my guess. Can you imagine what would happen if an actual male Tech student was ever approached by a chick like that?
DD: Barely, but either way, I'd want to grab some popcorn and watch the show.
MD: Yeah. See, you're getting into this.
DD: Hey, while I may be a voice of doom and misery when it comes to our football team, you will never hear me speak of Tech fans as anything other than annoying, comically maladjusted, disgusting people.
MD: That's the spirit! And on this day of giving thanks, I think it's appropriate to express our undying gratitude that, whatever happens on the football field, we're not them.
DD: Indeed. God bless us, every one.