As part of our complete coverage of the Georgia football rivalry with Georgia Tech, we talked to YellowJackedUp.com editor, James Fitzgerald, to get a sense from the other side.
Yellow Jacked Up is the FanSided Georgia Tech arm, and we were glad to exchange a little Clean, Old-Fashioned Q&A with them about this Saturday’s game in Athens between the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets. You can check out their questions to us about the game here.
DOTD: Georgia Tech wasn’t predicted to have a great season, less yet to be in the ACC Championship game. Is there any fear the team is thinking ahead to Florida State and even though Georgia is a rivalry game, that’s where their attention is set?
YJU: No fear at all. This game is more important than the ACC Championship in a way, given the fact Tech has dropped 12 of 13 to UGA. This team has two major goals, one is to beat UGA, the other is that ACC Crown. I don’t see the Jackets looking past this game at all.
DOTD: There hasn’t been a team to really stop Georgia’s running game all year, with or without Todd Gurley. How do you see the Yellow Jackets playing Georgia’s running backs on Saturday?
YJU: Georgia’s running game is my biggest area of concern. Paul “P.J.” Davis, Quayshawn Nealy, Matt Gotsis, Isaiah Johnson, among others, have improved against the run as the season progressed, in fact in the last three games they have allowed less rushing yards than in any other three game stretch this year. Ted Roof has made that an area of emphasis in these last couple weeks, so I think they will be fine.
DOTD: If Tech can’t run the ball with their usual effectiveness against Georgia, how confident are you that Justin Thomas can move the ball against one of the best pass defenses in the nation?
YJU: I would be highly shocked if UGA shuts the Tech running game completely down, but if Tech has to go to the air they will be fine. Thomas is a better passer than he gets credit for being. DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller are tough on the outside to cover, and Tony Zenon is a strong receiver out of the backfield. I am sure they will be able to go to the air. But knowing Paul Johnson, he will never scrap the run to become a purely aerial offense.
DOTD: How much will the Yellow Jackets miss RB Broderick Snoddy this week? That was a horrible looking injury by the way. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
YJU: The Snoddy injury hurts because he was finding his stride and becoming a home run hitter when he took the field. He is going to be sorely missed from the backfield. You cant replace speed like his. He would have been a great weapon for Paul Johnson to have at his disposal. He will be missed, but as everyone knows the show must go on and Tech still has a stable of capable backs.
Oct 25, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Paul Chryst (left) and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson (right) talk on the field before their teams meet at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
DOTD: With an ACC Coastal title already wrapped up, and a possible ACC Championship coming, do you feel Paul Johnson’s job is safe even if he loses to Georgia for the 6th straight season?
YJU: Paul Johnson’s job is in jeopardy with the haters among the Georgia Tech fandom. I am sure any letters that were on the pink slip have been erased by the admin if there were any letters to begin with and his job is safe. Paul Johnson is a very good coach! I am even willing to say that Tech in the next few years (if they stay the course) can contend for a college playoff spot sooner rather than later. This is a young team.
DOTD: Care to offer any game predictions?
YJU: I have a hard time believing that UGA is covering 13 points. This Tech team has unity and I honestly believe the losing streak ends this year. They play for each other and are a very resilient team. 45- 41 Tech.