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    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    Head To Head Matchup: Quarterbacks

    The strength of the triple option for Georgia Tech is that the offense has three ways to beat a defense every play. The quarterback can hand off quickly to the fullback, take off running or pitch to one of two halfbacks. With that offense you have to have a special kind of quarterback to implement it.

    Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has put his trust in 6-1/214 pound sophomore Josh Nesbitt. There has been some rumblings regarding whether to start backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw. This is partly because Nesbitt looked rusty at Clemson (because it was his first game back from injury after missing almost four), and he turned the ball over three times against Virginia. Of Georgia Tech's 17 turnovers this season, Nesbitt has accounted for five fumbles and three interceptions.

    However, Johnson remains convinced that Nesbitt is the one for the job. Says Johnson,"I watch practice every day and I play the guy that looks to be the best in practice."

    For the season, Nesbitt has thrown the ball for 463 yards and 2 TDs. His percentage completion is 46.7% and he has 3 interceptions. Nesbitt in the triple option does run a lot and he has rushed for 375 yards and 6 TDs. He is averaging 4 yards a carry and almost 63 yards a game.

    Backup QB Jaybo Shaw has thrown for 321 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. He has completed over 65% of his passes and has also has rushed for 125 yards and 3 TDs.

    Georgia Tech's offensive line is only allowing 1.25 sacks a game which ranks #4 in the ACC. In addition the line has allowed Tech to be the leading rush offense also so Nesbitt has a solid offensive line in front of him when he employs the triple option.

    In the ACC, Georgia Tech is at the bottom in pass offense averaging 115 yards a game and having 5 TDs on the year. In scoring, Tech ranks #7 in the ACC averaging almost 24 points a game.

    Defensive matchup: Georgia Tech will face one of the best defenses in the nation and the ACC when the offense takes on the Seminoles. The Noles rank #1 in the ACC in total defense allowing 247 yards a game.

    In passing defense, they are ranked #2 allowing 167 yards a game and 8 TDs on the year. In scoring defense, the Noles are giving up 16.6 points a game. In sacks, the Noles rank #2 in the ACC with 22 sacks and average 3.14 sacks a game.

    Defensive end Everette Brown is #3 in the ACC with 6 sacks for the year. FSU also ranks #2 in tackles for a loss with 56 for the season. Two Noles are in the top 10 in the ACC in tackles for a loss. Defensive end Everette Brown has 11 tackles for a loss and linebacker Derek Nicholson has 9.

    In the secondary, FSU ranks #1 in passes defended with 37 passes broken up and 4 interceptions. The Nole secondary counts on Tony Carter and Myron Rolle to make the big plays.

    For the Noles, Christian Ponder will start his eighth game of the year. Ponder is looking more comfortable and is managing the game better than earlier in the season. For the season, Ponder has thrown for 1,119 yards and 9 TDs. He is completing almost 54% of his passes and thrown 6 interceptions. Ponder has also rushed for 278 yards and 0 TDs. He is averaging almost 40 yards a game carrying the ball. Backing up Ponder will either be Drew Weatherford or D'Vontrey Richardson.

    The Noles rank #6 in the ACC in pass offense passing for almost 197 yards a game and 11 TDs on the season. The offense has also given up 8 interceptions.FSU ranks #1 in the ACC in scoring offense averaging over 36 points a game. The Nole offensive line is only allowing 1.14 sacks a game and have given up only 8 sacks on the year that puts them at the top of the ACC.

    Defensive matchup
    : Ponder and the offensive line will be tested this week big time. Georgia Tech to say the least has a very talented defensive front four. Their stats are very impressive:

    DE Derrick Morgan has nine tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
    DT Vance Walker has 30 tackles and seven tackles for loss.
    DT Darryl Richard has 23 tackles and seven tackles for loss.
    DE Michael Johnson has 27 tackles, 10 for loss and four sacks.

    Ponder will be facing a pass defense ranked #3 in the ACC that is allowing 168 yards a game and given up 7 TDs on the season. The stat that jumps out is that of interceptions. The Yellow Jackets have 14 interceptions for the year which is the second highest in the ACC. In total defense, Georgia Tech is ranked #3 allowing 272 yards a game.

    Georgia Tech is ranked #3 in the ACC in sacks and have 21 sacks on the season and average 2.63 sacks a game. In tackles for a loss, Tech is #1 with 71 tackles for a loss. Defensive end Michael Johnson and defensive end Derrick Morgan rank #4 and # 5 in the ACC for tackles with a loss with 10 and 9 respectively.

    Defensive end Derrick Morgan is ranked #2 in the ACC with 6.5 sacks. Close behind him is defensive end Michael Johnson ranked #4 with 4 sacks. This will definitely be a huge test for the young and relatively inexperienced Seminole offensive line.

    Ponder when he passes had better be accurate in that he will have to face the number one ranked defensive back in the ACC in sophomore Morgan Burnett who leads the nation and the ACC in picks with 6.

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