Good afternoon, ladies and gents. We've got another contest for you coming right up. The Yellow Jackets are here at Bobby Dodd Stadium this afternoon taking on Middle Tennessee State in a non-conference game here in the middle of the year. It is also the students' fall break, so that might explain why campus this afternoon was pretty quiet when I drove up. A lot more quiet than usual.
OK, as I'm typing here, we're about 65 minutes away from kickoff, and there's an ad on the video board citing the next Tech game as Nov. 13 when the Jackets host Miami. Wow, that's like 27, 28 days, if my math is right. It didn't dawn on me that it would be that long until we were back in Bobby Dodd Stadium, but that makes sense. Of course, after this contest, the Jackets travel to Clemson next week (the Tigers are looking good vs. Maryland as I type this) and then have their bye week before traveling to Virginia Tech for a Thursday night showdown in Blacksburg, Va. So yep, nearly a month until Miami comes a'calling for the Jackets' big 20th reunion celebration. What are they celebrating? The 20th anniversary of the 1990 co-national championship team; the same team that tied with Colorado for a share of the national title. The Buffalos held their reunion earlier this year, when they beat Georgia at home.
Alright, so now that I've set the stage for what's to come, here we are right now in the here and now. The Jackets are trickling on the field in full uniform for pregame warmups. There's very little energy in the entire building this early before the action -- even the press box buzz is a little drier than normal. Granted, we are still about an hour til kickoff. Let's just hope for the Jackets' sake that this energy I'm detecting does not find its way onto the field.
(By the way, Scott Blair, Jackets place-kicker, has been hitting some bombs this pregame. He just booted one successfully from beyond 50 yards. The guy is doing something right this year; 9-for-9 coming into this game).
As far as your pregame notes, the captains today include permanent captains Brad Jefferson and Joshua Nesbitt, and today's special captains are DT Ben Anderson and DE Robert Hall.
Today's play-by-play announcer is in the building also. Warrick Dunn, former Atlanta Falcons/Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back -- by way of Florida State -- is here. I used to love watching him play as a kid, so pretty exciting to see him walk in.
Here's an interesting stat for you:
Under head coach Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee State is 29-26, but the Blue Raiders are 8-0 under one of their uniform combination of choice (blue tops, white bottoms). What are the Blue Raiders wearing today as the road team? You guessed it.
The Blue Raiders have nine total uniform combinations, four of which feature white tops. Total, they are 13-17 in games where they wear white tops.
Of course, Georgia Tech has the practice of playing in white tops at home, and will continue that tradition today. At most schools, the home team wears the dark-colored jersey, while the road team sports white. Not the case for the Yellow Jackets. So there's a stat for you.
On Wednesday, Paul Johnson was optimistic that LT Phil Smith might be able to start on the offensive line this weekend, but it looks like he won't be. Phil is not dressed and will take this week to continue to rehab, with Austin Barrick slated to start ahead of him at tackle.