2005 Football: Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech

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Things are heating up in Blacksburg as ESPN GameDay comes to town to see
fourth-ranked Virginia Tech take on #15 Georgia Tech. Both of the teams are 3-0
with impressive opening road victories � Virginia Tech defeating N.C. State in
Raleigh and Georgia Tech traveling to Auburn and getting the win. The Yellow
Jackets then defeated a stubborn North Carolina team and a feisty Connecticut
squad at home while the Hokies rolled to consecutive 45-0 shutouts over
out-matched Duke and Ohio teams.

Georgia Tech�s aggressive defense will provide a stern test for Marcus Vick
and the Hokie offense, and Calvin Johnson, P.J. Daniels, and Reggie Ball will
challenge VT�s defense, but before getting into this week�s big game, let�s
take a quick look back at last week.

Virginia Tech vs. Ohio �post mortem�

For the Ohio game I identified two key areas to watch for each of the teams:
(1) matchups with the speed receivers from each team with the opposing
cornerbacks; and (2) matchups in the interior line, specifically at right guard.
Both of these areas played a factor in the game, though the Tech wide receiver
highlighted turned out to be different.

On the opening play of the game, Marcus Vick hit David Clowney on a beautiful
52-yard bomb that set the tone for the game. I had identified Eddie Royal as the
player likely to get deep, but Clowney certainly plays the part just as well. By
hitting the deep pass early, Tech sent a message that the Hokies would test the
talented corners for Ohio and kept the Bobcats duo from playing as aggressively
as in previous games.

The wide receiver matchup on the Ohio side was with speedy Scott Mayle, who
for the most part was held in check except for a nice post pattern late in the
game. Mayle was also tried on a reverse, as expected, and Darryl Tapp stayed
home trapping the Ohio receiver for a 10-yard loss.

Both of the right guard matchups were interesting to watch and I would have
to rate each as a push with neither left defensive tackle having their typical
disruptive game.