Hope you’ll join us for Georgia Tech’s matchup with No. 11 Miami from Hard Rock Stadium.
One thing to note: It is really hot. As of 3 p.m., it’s 86 degrees and 68 percent humidity. I suspect it will be a factor to some degree. It probably doesn’t help that Tech’s sideline (at least now) is in full sun while Miami’s is under the shade of the Hard Rock Stadium canopy.
Tech is up against some history, not to mention a formidable opponent in the undefeated Hurricanes. The Jackets have lost four in a row to Miami in this stadium – they did win the Orange Bowl here in 2014 – and have also lost two consecutive in the series. (I wrote a story about that this week, talking to four former players for their memories of how calamity befell the Jackets.) Further, coach Paul Johnson is 2-7 against Miami and has the same cord against Hurricanes coach Mark Richt, going back to their in-state rivalry.
But, there’s plenty of reason to think that the Jackets will break through this afternoon.
Miami is beat up after its 24-20 win over Florida State last week. The Hurricanes will be down four starters, notably running back Mark Walton, an All-ACC pick last year who is out for the season with an ankle injury. Further, wide receiver Ahmmon Richards is questionable with a hamstring injury.
What I think I want to see most this game are two things: How much Tech’s guard box – left guard Parker Braun, center Kenny Cooper and the right guard rotation of Shamire Devine and Will Bryan – can get push up the middle, and how well Tech’s defense can limit big plays. The Jackets’ struggles against Miami (2-7 in the Paul Johnson era) have often been tied back to the Hurricanes’ ability to hit explosive plays with their fleet of skill-position players.
In warmups, Tech has been using Chet Lagod and Bailey Ivemeyer in drills at center behind Kenny Cooper. Both are walk-ons. Ivemeyer played some at offensive tackle against North Carolina with Jahaziel Lee and Andrew Marshall out.
That’s about it for now. I’ll be back with more once we get started. If you have questions, please ask.