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Thoughts On GT; A Look Ahead To VT

September 28, 2010
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Regarding the Georgia Tech game:

  • I was really impressed with how State’s defense played, particularly Nate Irving and the linebacking corps. Sixteen tackles from Irving–a career high–shows he’s truly “back.” I had questions heading into the game as to how the Pack defense would be able to keep up their aggression while still playing assignment football. Doggone if they didn’t do it. They brought heavy pressure up the middle and really did a great job taking away the dive from Nesbitt and the B-Back. That forced Tech to make more plays on the edges, and that in turn gave the outside backers opportunities to make plays.
  • The Pack has to shore up their kicking game. If it continues to struggle as it has, they’ll definitely wind up losing a game as a result. When State missed that second chip-shot field goal in the first half, I had a sinking feeling those six points would wind up costing the Pack the game. They were fortunate it did not.
  • If Paul Johnson could ever find a quarterback that represents a true run/pass threat, the Jackets’ offense would be darn near unstoppable. There were several plays where Nesbitt had opportunities to make plays with his arm down the stretch and simply couldn’t. When Tech found itself having to pass the ball repeatedly to get back into the game, it was almost a foregone conclusion the game was State’s.
  • Russell Wilson continues to dazzle. Three passing touchdowns; another rushing. Over 350 yards of passing to 10 different receivers. I’m telling you, if Philip Rivers weren’t so close in the rear-view mirror (and Wilson weren’t so soft-spoken), the buzz surrounding Wilson from State fans and local media would be through the roof. As it is, we’re all spoiled and Wilson continues to fly relatively under the radar. If State continues to win, the school will need to seriously ramp up the Heisman talk.

Some initial thoughts on VT:

  • Each week brings with it the biggest game in Tom O’Brien’s tenure. The Pack catch Virginia Tech in about as fortuitous a position as can be hoped–at home, against an unranked squad still smarting from losses against Boise State and James Madison. However, they’ve won their last two games, against East Carolina and Boston College. The former, they were losing at one point but clamped down on defense in the second half to eek out the win and the latter a game they played really well wire-to-wire in pitching a shutout. That may not look like it, but they played like the team folks thought they would be in their last three halves of football.
  • This will certainly be the best test this team has faced to this point. Frank Beamer’s staff is too good and too experienced to let the hangover of the James Madison and Boise losses hang over the rest of their schedule, and they’ll be hungry to beat a newly-ranked Wolfpack team on the road to reassert themselves to those out there who have written them off for dead.
  • The talents of Tyrod Taylor at quarterback will present another unique challenge for State’s defensive coaching staff. Like the two Vicks before him, Taylor has a cannon for an arm and makes plays on the edges with his feet. Aside from UCF’s Jeffrey Godfrey, Taylor will be the most athletic quarterback the Pack has faced this year and as poorly as State contained Godfrey, there’s reason to be concerned.

More to come on the VT game in the coming days.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mark permalink
    September 28, 2010 10:26 am

    James Madison, not Jacksonville State.

    • September 28, 2010 11:11 am

      You are correct. I got my FCS upstarts confused there. Thanks for the catch!

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