Here's a Hastily Put Together Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech Preview

DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Logan Thomas #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies hands off near the goal line in the fourth quarter against the Duke Blue Devils October 29, 2011 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. The Hokies won 14-10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Yeah. This was supposed to be the big, extensive "What to Watch" post that I do every game. Then the Penn State BOT presser happened and I really just want to watch TV and Twitter in shock and amazement right now. Here's the important stuff:

  • Tackling, especially by the cornerbacks, will make or break this game. You have to minimize big plays and the effect they have. Wrap up, especially before guys can turn the corner.
  • Georgia Tech's defense has improve dramatically against the pass, but I think the Hokies can have some success throwing to the flats on quick outs and if they can get David Wilson involved in the passing game.
  • Also, I'd like to see Tech run out of pro sets and run it between the tackles. Running laterally is tough against this team because the Jackets' outside linebackers and corners are very good in supporting the run defense.
  • Turnovers and penalties will be huge. In Georgia Tech's loss to Miami, a fumbles punt return led to a touchdown and changed the game. In its win over Clemson, a Tiger fumble deep in its own territory did the same thing.
  • I think the talent level of Georgia Tech's QB and B-backs is down from last year, but those A-backs are really, really good and are most likely to be the ones providing the explosive plays, along with wide receiver Stephen Hill.
  • Teams have had success when they've been able to hold the B-back give play under three yards and have been able to get to the quarterback quickly to force him to either turn upfield to try and get as many yards as possible or pitch the ball. Basically, we need to hit Washington as often as possible.
  • I'm not very confident about this game. I think the move to put more agile defenders in there is a good one, but I just don't have a good gut feeling on this one going into Atlanta on a Thursday night game. I'll take Georgia Tech 35, Virginia Tech 24. We'll know within the first two possessions by each team which Virginia Tech team has shown up. Again, turnovers, penalties and other such mental errors will be huge in this one.
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