Georgia Tech will play Virginia Tech on Monday September, 3rd in the so-call “Techmo Bowl”. This may be the best rivalry that the ACC’s Coastal Division has to offer. Not due to geography or even bad blood, it is a rivalry because of the success that follows. The winner of the annual game between the Yellow Jackets and Hokies has won the Coastal Division every year since 2005 (the year the ACC adopted the division format). Could the first game of the season possibly be that important? A game this early in the season does not make or break it. The Hokies are living proof of that fact, in recent history Virginia Tech has lost a game or two early in the season but come back to compete for the ACC Championship.
The Hokies won last year’s bout between the two by a score of 37-26 in Atlanta. Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas dominated the game, throwing three touchdowns and running for two more. His Georgia Tech counterpart, Tevin Washington, didn’t have a bad game, he ran for three touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough.
The main story in this game is, as always, the Yellow Jackets vaunted triple option offense. When GT head coach Paul Johnson introduced the triple option it became almost impossible to defend against if the opponent only had a week to prepare for it, but that’s a mighty big if. Georgia Tech’s winning percentage against teams who have more than a week to prepare is abysmal, and Virginia Tech’s defensive coordinator Bud Foster has all summer to prepare.
Foster also has one of the most talented defensive units he has had during his tenure in Blacksburg. None of this means that Georgia Tech can’t win this game, the Hokies offense is replacing a ton of seasoned starters, but it definitely gives Virginia Tech the edge.
The winner of this game may very well go on to win the Coastal Division but not simply because of this game. Both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech must play a game at Clemson and the Hokies have a November 8th date with Florida State. The winner can’t win and the loser can’t lose the division in Week 1, but it is the beginning.