2006 Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech

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The “real” season begins, as Virginia Tech will receive a huge challenge
from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday. The Rambling Wreck will be
looking to avenge a 51-7 humiliation last year in Blacksburg, while the Hokies
will see if the momentum gained from the second half comeback against Cincinnati
can carry forward to this game. Both teams have had their ups and downs so far
this year, but both are still undefeated in the ACC and looking to take control
in the ACC Coastal Division. This one should be a slobberknocker, with a great
deal at stake.

Last week Virginia Tech received a scare from a tough, underrated Cincinnati
Bearcat squad, but the Hokies learned a great deal about themselves in the
second half. The running game was rejuvenated after a change in the blocking
scheme at half time, while Sean Glennon challenged the Bearcat secondary and the
Hokie receivers made plays. Cincinnati surprised Tech with a power running
attack and a poised quarterback, but VT made plays with the game on the line and
prevailed 29-13.

Georgia Tech lost a tough opener to Notre Dame 14-10, but has responded with
solid wins over Samford (38-6), Troy (35-20), and Virginia (24-7). The Yellow
Jacket offense has been spectacular at times, particularly when Calvin Johnson
has the ball in his hands, but Georgia Tech is still inconsistent moving the
ball. Memories of only six first downs against the Hokies last year still must
echo in the heads of the GT offensive players. Defensively, John Tenuta’s
blitzing defense has given every opponent trouble this year, and many Hokie fans
forget how the Jackets shut down the Hokies’ running game last year (44
carries for 97 yards).

I believe every fan is expecting a hard-hitting, physical battle with field
position playing a critical role. So, what do the teams have to do to establish
field position, and what are the keys to the Georgia Tech game?

When Virginia Tech has the Ball

1. Execute