Dozer does it again. Bravo!
Now that I have your attention... This will be a new Friday (or Wednesday) post. I want it to be a quick reading, in-depth set of notes that'll get anyone up to speed for what to watch on game day. For the bigger games, there might be video too.
Brent Benedict and Michael Via will rotate snaps at right guard. Benedict is as strong as a bull, lean, and looked terrific in Virginia Tech's first public scrimmage. However, he struggled in the final scrimmage, then the tried and true Michael Via reappeared into the picture. All along It was obvious Via would rotate in somewhere, and play many meaningful snaps this season, he's too good not to.
James Gayle participated fully in Wednesday's practice. Prior to that, Gayle sat out of practice, or worked in a blue limited contact jersey because of an ankle injury. Charley Wiles said the starting four for Georgia Tech will most likely be Derrick Hopkins and Luther Maddy inside, and Tyrel Wilson and Corey Marshal at end. That leaves returning starters James Gayle, J.R. Collins, and Antoine Hopkins on the bench for kickoff. Gayle's bum ankle cost him the start, while the others are being rewarded for the performance in camp.
"That's kind of how I like the room to be," Wiles said. "I don’t want anybody to be comfortable with their playing time. I want them to compete on a day-to-day basis for everything."
Although the starting lineup might be shaken up, Wiles will still control the number of snaps that each player will get, which will put playing time more in line with conventional thinking.
"That part won’t be any different as long as everybody is healthy," he said.
Jeron Gouveia-Winslow is listed as the starting Whip. At ACC Media Day in July, Kyle Fuller said he would start at Whip against Georgia Tech, but that doesn't seem to be the plan anymore. The Hokies are thin at corner, and G-W has been a steady performer during camp. G-W's biggest weakness is coverage, and Georgia Tech won't look to attack the flats, or underneath very often. Although, it's still likely Fuller bumps down to Whip over the course of the game.
Georgia Tech returns four starting offensive linemen: Omoregie Uzzi (Sr.), Jay Finch (Jr.), Will Jackson (Jr.), and Ray Beno (Jr.) from an offense that was second national in rushing and third-down conversions. The would be new guy, Morgan Bailey, has been in walking boot. If he doesn't play, the contingency plan is to play redshirt freshman Bryan Chamberlain at left tackle.
Georgia Tech runs a 3-4 defense. They have a real space clogger at nose tackle to make it work. T.J. Barnes is 6-7 345. By comparison his backup Shawn Green is petite 6-0, 280. An important matchup will be Andrew Miller against Barnes inside. When Green is in the game, it might be easier for the Hokies to run inside.
The Bees will be without two starters on defense for off the field issues. Linebacker Daniel Drummond is suspended one-and-a-half games for boating under the influence. Returning corner Louis Young got whacked for selling tickets to last season's game against Georgia.
Keep on eye #10 Synjyn Days being involved in some trickeration. He's a backup quarterback, A-back, and a terrific athlete that Paul Johnson wants to get on the field.
A.J. Hughes will start at punter. Cody Journell will kick field goals. Michael Branthover will be the kickoff specialist. The kick returners will be Demitri Knowles and J.C. Coleman. Dyrell Roberts and Kyshoen Jarrett will shag punts. Joe St. Germain will be the long snapper, and Collin Carroll is in our hearts.
This is a must win game. Historically, the winner represents the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. Because of the divisional rotation, it's highly unlikely the Hokies could rebound from a loss and make it back to Charlotte.