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September 3, 2012

Know Your Enemy: Georgia Tech

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Each game, we'll get the inside look at Virginia Tech's opponent by talking with the opposing team's beat writer. This week, we spoke with JacketsOnline.com publisher Kelly Quinlan to get the skinny on Georgia Tech.

1) What's the biggest key for the triple option to have success for GT?

Quinlan: It all comes down to the quarterback making the correct reads. At times, Tevin Washington has struggled with that and Coach Paul Johnson will call specific plays instead of running option plays. The Jackets offense will fail or succeed based on how well the quarterback is playing.

2) How has Tevin Washington improved since he began with the option at GT?

Quinlan: Tevin was really recruited to play the slot back or A-back position but he got a shot at quarterback and he beat out three other quarterbacks over the course of two years. He knows how to maximize his skills and how to manage a game.

Tevin has also improved his passing a great deal, but he is still not quite on par with the rest of the quarterbacks in the ACC when it comes to slinging the ball around.

3) Were there any surprises or standouts in fall camp?

Quinlan: Things pretty much went the way everyone expected. I think people who aren't following the team closely will be surprised to see backup quarterback Synjyn Days at other positions this fall.

He can play the slot back position and could appear at other spots in the offense. He struggles making reads at quarterback, but he is Georgia Tech's most dynamic player with the ball in his hands.

4) What have Paul Johnson & Georgia Tech learned from playing Virginia Tech the past few years & what adjustments do you anticipate?

Quinlan: Coach Johnson knows that VT will be fundamentally sound and that Bud Foster's players excel at following the ball.

The key to moving the ball against Virginia Tech is using all aspects of his playbook rather than just featuring a specific group of players. The other thing is completing some passes to keep Foster from stacking nine in the box and playing a cover two with the corners.

5) How does this team compare to the more recent successful GT teams, like the ACC champ teams?

Quinlan: I would say this is the most talented team that Coach Johnson has had at Georgia Tech, but they are very young. The Jackets only have five seniors that really play and the quarterback play isn't ideal yet.

I think Georgia Tech could surprise some people and be a top 25 team and compete for the Coastal Division, but Monday night's game is very important.

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