Georgia Tech Game Preview
Sept. 30, 2010
By Steven Johns, WakeForestSports.com
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - After dropping to 2-2 on the young season, Wake Forest returns home to take on defending ACC Champion Georgia Tech and its option offense at BB&T Field on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets (2-2, 1-1 ACC) suffered a setback of their own last week, falling 45-28 at home against NC State. Georgia Tech's defense surrendered 527 yards of offense to the Wolfpack in the game.
Wake Forest (2-2, 1-1 ACC) is also entering Saturday's game after a tough loss, as the Deacons fell 31-0 to Florida State in Tallahasse, Fla. last weekend - their first loss in Doak Campbell Stadium since 2005. Despite holding the Florida State offense to only 10 points in the first half, Wake Forest's offense struggled to move the ball against the Seminole defense.
"I thought defensively, especially in the first half, we played well enough to keep us in the game and to give us a chance," said head coach Jim Grobe. "Coming out in the second half, I really expected the offense to step up a little bit, but we were never able to do that."
"You have to give credit to Florida State," Grobe continued. "They're pretty talented on both sides of the ball, but we have to be team that helps each other. You can't just be a defensive team. You can't just be an offensive team. Both sides have to play if you're going to win."
Wake Forest's offense knows that it will have to improve upon its 185-yard performance against FSU in order to win games in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"The main thing with offense is you've got to get all 11 guys to play and make their blocks every play" said junior offensive lineman Michael Hoag. "And if that doesn't happen, maybe sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't, but when you play better teams with better athletes, they're going to capitalize on the one guy not making his block."
The talent doesn't diminish with Georgia Tech coming into town. The option offense of the Ramblin' Wreck, which ranks second in the nation in rushing, is a tough scheme to defend.
"There's just so many different looks, and it's different from what you see normally," said senior linebacker Lee Malchow. "It's different from what our offense does, and it's so hard to prepare for it because they're so fast and (the scout team) just can't give the exact look that they give."
"It's impossible to do everything that you'd like to do (to prepare for the option)," said Grobe. "We have ideas, but you just can't put it all in for the defense in one week. In a three or four day period, you have to just limit what you do."
Florida State controlled the time of possession Saturday, having the ball almost 10 minutes longer than the Wake Forest offense. According to Hoag, the Deacons will need to establish the running game in order to keep the defense off the field.
"It all comes down to us blocking, and making our blocks," said Hoag. "If we can go out there and block like we did the first two, and part of the third game, we can definitely have success because we know we can run the ball no matter who it is (we play). It's just a matter of getting out there and doing it. If we can keep the defense off the field and they keep us on the field, then we're going to win games" said Hoag.
Last season the Yellow Jackets beat the Demon Deacons in dramatic fashion when Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt ran for a touchdown in overtime to secure the 30-27 victory. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 21-8, but will be visiting BB&T Field for the first time since 2003.
Kickoff against the Jackets is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPNU and can also be heard on the Wake Forest ISP Sports Radio Network.