Ahead of tomorrow’s game against Georgia Tech, The Daily Stampede asked the folks over at From The Rumble Seat, the Yellow Jackets SB Nation site, about all things GT, Atlanta, and the future for the Ramblin’ Wreck.
Excited to not be a triple option team anymore?
Personally, not exactly… our fans are still a little split on this. The option is what made me fall in love with college football years ago, and with Paul Johnson as head coach, every game felt winnable with that offense, no matter how big an underdog we were. Did this program need to recruit better than it was under Johnson? Certainly. The energy and hype and recruiting prowess Collins has brought has been refreshing, but his nothing but coach-speak is going to get old if it doesn’t start translating to wins.
What kind of kids can you recruit long-term to a school with academic standards in the ACC?
Tech won’t ever be able to recruit to a consistently Top 10 level or anything with our academic restrictions… There’s a reason we’ve never had a 5* recruit. Realistically, staying in the top 20 or so in recruiting would be an upgrade from where we usually are and would be a reasonably achievable goal.
What are realistic expectations for this program in a clear year 0 (hell, year -1) situation?
It’s certainly not a specific number of wins or anything. Collins has done a very good job of controlling the narrative and bringing some excitement to the program without setting any on-field expectations. We just wanting to see improvement over the course of the year, especially in the trenches and from whoever finally earns the starting QB position. We still have a decent amount of talent on the field, especially on defense, so we just want to see growth this fall as everyone learns entirely new schemes.
With all of the marketing and initiatives Collins has done in trying to make Tech Atlanta’s team during the offseason, have you noticed an uptick in interest in the program around the city?
Ehh I think that will take time. There’s been an uptick in interest from our fanbase with ticket sales, but no matter how much energy, marketing, or even wins that Collins brings will be able to make Tech Atlanta’s biggest team… It’s a city of transplants, the home of college football, and Tech grads famously get hired all over the world and don’t often stay in the city after graduating. I would assume attendance will be about the same as always at the games, especially if we start stringing together losses
Everyone’s heard of The Varsity. Is that really the best place for visiting fans to go?
Please, for the love of god, don’t eat at The Varsity. It’s trash.
You can check out my guide to chicken wings in the city here, if that’s your thing. Otherwise, Cypress St Pint and Plate is close and has great drink specials and above-average bar food. The Canteen at Tech Square has excellent burgers and Philly cheesesteaks. If you need a sports bar, Hudson Grille, Taco Mac, and McRays Tavern are all good options and close by. There’s also like a dozen taco places of varying types in midtown within easy walking distance of the stadium… just please don’t go to The Varsity! Y’all are also welcome to hit me up on twitter @joshbrundage if you need any other suggestions or recs by area of town.
Defensive line depth got ravaged through players graduating, transfers and an unfortunate death in the offseason. Who are you looking towards to step up on that front?
We really, really badly need our defensive tackles to step up and get some pressure and stuff the runs. We have a very talented secondary, but if the QB is never facing any pressure, it won’t matter. I’m really hoping Justice Dingle can develop at the position since he probably has the highest upside of any of our players there.
Prediction for the game?
First, I think this game is going to be unspeakably ugly, and we’ll all be worse people for watching it. We’re basically still running the flexbone, just out of the shotgun now, so I think Tech rushes for over 300 yards and wins something along the lines of 31-21.