Holy cow, the first games are tonight. I’ll post my FSU prediction tomorrow, but here’s my 2010 GT forecast. Let me know what you think.
9/4/10 South Carolina State (Win)
First game of the year – I think the offense will roll, and we’ll see backups soon after halftime on offense. The defense will be tested early by a better team that you’d think (10-2 last year, but in the MEAC). Tech rolls, wins by 4 TDs.
9/11/10 @ The University of Kansas (Win)
This game has all of the markings of a blowout win. UK’s rebuilding on defense, they’re still trying to figure out who their QB is on offense, and the only real bright spot is their running back. Having a great back doesn’t help if you’re down by 21 at the half. Tech wins by 3 TDs.
9/18/10 @ The University of North Carolina (Win)
I wouldn’t say this is a ‘trap’ game per se, UNC is ranked for crying out loud. But, the media has been all over the heels because of the scandals surrounding the team. Even if they’re still missing some of their best defenders, this is one of the best defenses in the nation. I think GT will do enough to win, but it could definitely go either way. Tech by 10.
9/25/10 North Carolina State University (Win)
NCSU is awful on defense. Just awful. Tech is glad to be back home. Tech coasts, we might see backups again pretty early. We might see 50+ points on the board in this game from GT, and a good 30 from the ‘pack.
10/2/10 @ Wake Forest University (Win)
Wake always plays GT close it seems, and I don’t see this game being any different. Despite the fact that the Deacs are trying to rework their offense after losing their 16 year starter at QB, they should be a formidable offensive opponent. Tech wins a close game, but not as close as last year. Tech by less than a TD.
10/9/10 The University of Virginia (Win)
This could be brutal. UVA is trying to rework their offense and switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 under their new head coach Mike London, and Al Groh, GT’s new defensive coordinator, is UVA’s old coach (fired last year). Expect a bit of emotional play in this one. Tech by 21+.
10/16/10 Middle Tennessee State University (Win)
I would say GT by 100 here, but I just could see the team looking ahead to the ‘real’ stretch starting to cause an issue. Tech wins comfortably, we see some backups get some playing time, and hopefully a healthy team going into the next week. Tech by 17.
10/23/10 @ Clemson University (Loss *)
CU lost 2 amazing playmakers in Spiller and Ford, and it’s hard to replace arguably the best ACC back in the past 20 years. However, prepare to hear the name Andre Ellington a lot over the next few years. The guy is a stud, and will only get better over time. The offense won’t slip as much as you’d think, this game is on the road, and GT is just due to drop a close one to Clemson. On top of that, GT has a propensity to win one game every year they shouldn’t, and lose one they shouldn’t. On paper, GT will be undefeated coming into this game, more talented at most positions, and should win. But I think Clemson wins by less than a TD.
11/4/10 @ VT (Loss *)
This game will be close, and in my mind whichever team’s defense improves the most by this game will win. VT’s offense is going to be multi-dimensional, tough as nails, and will run the ball down your throat all game. Then, when they try to pass it, Tyrod Taylor will dance around in the pocket avoiding pressure for what seems like 5 minutes. They just keep the chains moving. Sound like another team we know?
Whichever team can force punts and get the ball in their offense’s hands will pull this one out. I think GT’s D will make great strides this year, but something tells me VT does just enough to pull this one out.
VT wins by 10.
11/13/10 University of Miami-Florida (Win *)
2 straight ACC losses has coach pretty peeved, and I sense a big home win against a highly ranked UM team to get the team back on track. Miami has a lot of talent but I think the 3-4 scheme will be really effective against this team, as Jacory Harris wilts under blitzing pressure and turns the ball over a lot. Tech wins by 10.
11/20/10 Duke University (Win)
Cruise control after a big win last week. All eyes on UGA. Duke is improving, but they just don’t have the horses to compete on either side of the ball yet. Tech by 21.
11/27/10 @ University of Georgia (Win *)
It’s amazing how much GT’s goals have shifted in the past few years. This game is still huge, but Tech’s focus has shifted to winning titles, and there is no title for this game. However, if they end up losing 2 ACC contests late in the year, the Jackets won’t have much to play for, and UGA should have 3 losses at this point. This game could go either way, but I think that late in the game Nesbitt’s experience will be the difference in the game. Tech wins with a late TD. This might be the last time for a few years Tech has a shot at beating UGA in my opinion – they’ve got a lot of young talent coming along but this is a transitional year for them – so hopefully they take advantage of it.
So yeah, that puts Tech at 10-2, just a game out of the ACC title game. I think we’ll see VT from the Coastal v. FSU from the Atlantic. If, IF this were to take place, GT might be an at large BCS team, but I’m thinking we might see a Gator bowl or Chick Fil A bowl sort of year.
The last 4 out of 5 games have an asterisk next to them. That’s me hedging a bit. I think that GT will split those games 2-2 somehow. The results are my best bet, but I could see them beating Clemson on the road and dropping the home game to Miami, or really any other odd combination of 2-2 there. They’re all ‘winnable’ games, but I just don’t see GT having enough talent to pull all of them out.