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R&R Q&A: From The Rumble Seat

September 23, 2010

As we enter into conference play, R&R will again take part in Q&A sessions each week (when possible) with bloggers covering our ACC opposition just as we’ve done in the past.

This week’s blogger(s) are the Helluvanengineers who put together From The Rumble Seat, a blog dedicated to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

You can find my answers to their questions at their site here, but following are my questions to them and their answers:

1. Let’s imagine you’re the N.C. State coaching staff. How would you address the “Wreckbone” offense? What game film would you watch for a template?

Kansas, for two reasons. First, because unlike most of the losses suffered at Georgia Tech, we were not overpowered by the defensive lines (think Iowa). Instead, the Jayhawks used extreme discipline with their linebackers who held their assignments and missed very few gaps.

Additionally, there was some conversation overheard the week after Kansas that they were bringing a 3-3-5 Stack or Gator defense. What supposedly pissed Paul Johnson off the most was that he could not figure out how to adjust his attack to it because he hadn’t seen it in 30+ years. If there is any truth to this rumor, I would find a defense that showed success against the option teams of old and is rarely used in today’s world, call it the triple option of defense, and find ways of how to implement those schemes into my team.  

2. Paul Johnson’s already got an ACC title in the bank after just two years in Atlanta. What has that done to the expectations of Georgia Tech fans? Is anyone expecting to see a darkhorse BCS title contender at some point in the near future?

The expectations under Chan Gailey were ones of status-quo, where 8 wins was considered very big accomplishment. It was the mentality here and it just festered in us. When Paul Johnson came onto The Flats, he brought a certain mentality that hasn’t been seen for years. I don’t want to call it swagger but it’s confidence. Paul Johnson is the Pied Piper and we are the children who follow him all around town. We no longer expect to go to a Boise-esque bowl. We want championships and we have a better reason to think we can reach them than say Michigan, Notre Dame, etc.

As for the BCS, why the hell not? Many of our math and science engineering whiz kids will show you that our offense has the lowest standard deviation, thus leading to the greatest chance of winning a national championship, we just need a ball to fall our way. Nebraska did it. Why not us? Whether it happens or not, it is this mentality that Paul Johnson brought to Atlanta and it’s where we will be for as long as he is our coach.

3. Skeptics might say last year’s title was won in large part to Josh(ua) Nesbitt, Jonathan Dwyer and DeMaryius Thomas–all players recruited by Chan Gailey for a different style of football. What would you say to folks who claim Paul Johnson can’t recruit elite skill players of their caliber to his unique offense moving forward?

I would say this is a good point. We’ve yet to see elite NFL caliber talent emerge from Paul Johnson’s recruits. He’s only been here three years so it’s still difficult to judge but Nesbitt, Anthony Allen, and Roddy Jones were not recruited by Johnson and they will get the majority of carries this season in CPJ’s offense.

Stephen Hill is our primary receiver but he’s yet to flash the physical dominance that we saw in Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas.

4. Seriously, how long did it take you to understand the ins and outs of Paul Johnson’s offense after he was named head coach? I’ve spent the better part of my free time over the last week trying to get familiar with it and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface.

I’m still learning it! It’s a great offense to study because the only one who has ever mastered the offense is Paul Johnson.

When I first stumbled upon sports blogs about 3-4 years ago, I found The Birddog, a blog devoted to Navy football. There, Mike has some excellent educational posts about the Triple Option offense. I would suggest you begin to read this article, this article, and this article to get your feet wet. This is where any person should start learning about Johnson’s offense. To this day, I still read his post-game recaps because he breaks the footage down very well.

5. There are certain teams that just seem to have your number no matter the year or coaches…for State, that team is Georgia Tech, especially in Bobby Dodd where we are a paltry 3-10. What team is that “kryptonite” for the Yellow Jackets?

Well one of those “paltry 3 wins” was when yall threw your voodoo magic on Calvin Johnson and he dropped that pass.

The Virginia Cavaliers are our kryptonite. Before 2009, we hadn’t won in Charlottesville since our MNC in 1990. In Atlanta, the ‘Hoos are a classic trap game. Since 2002, we are 2-2 against them at home and every time it is a reeling loss, specifically in 2008 where one could argue that game kept us out of the ACC Championship Game.

6. As they say, what’s old is new again. Paul Johnson has put a modern twist on option football; do you think college football will see more BCS teams adopt offenses similar to Johnson’s spread option?

Slightly similar. I think we are already starting to see the new wave of a spread option when you look at Florida, Mississippi State, and Auburn with the quarterback in the shotgun position and his team spread wide. I don’t think you’ll see any teams run an option offensefrom under center…that is until we win our national championship.

7. State finally nutted up and got a live wolf-dog mascot. When can we expect Georgia Tech to join in the live, nearly-the-same mascot trend and install a beehive on the sidelines of Bobby Dodd Stadium?

Dude: I’ve seen multiple proposals by students to install some sort of live yellow jacket nest around the gates of the stadium*. For some reason, they keep getting denied….The problem is that we can’t figure out a way to keep the bees from stinging us, the home fans! We need to train the bees to only go after the visitors.

* Editor’s note: Might I humbly suggest pouring out a six pack of Sunkist on the ground outside the opposing team’s locker room? Boom: Yellow Jackets.

8. Given John Heisman coached in Atlanta for 17 years, y’all are the perfect folks to ask about Reggie Bush deciding to return his Heisman trophy. He claims it wasn’t an “admission of guilt,” but one wonders why he would’ve returned college football’s most prestigious award otherwise.

My soapbox: He should have kept the trophy. Taking the money didn’t affect his play on the field. By giving it back he admits guilt even though he won’t say it. He rolled over when his endorsements looked dangerous.

The AJC’s Tony Barnhardt says it best:So let me see if I have this straight. You, Mr. Bush, are returning the single biggest individual award in college football but you didn’t do anything wrong. You just thought it was the right thing to do. You just did it out of the goodness of your heart.

Sorry, Reggie. I ain’t buying it.”

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