Dec. 31, 2009
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MIAMI – As anticipation grows for the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl, one story seems to remain the same. What will prevail, Georgia Tech’s offense or Iowa’s defense?
The Yellow Jacket offense is unique in the sense that they are one of a few teams left in the entire country that still runs the triple option, which was popular in the 1970’s. The Hawkeye defense prides itself in stopping anything an opponent throws in its path. Defensive coordinator Norm Parker isn’t known to change formations and personnel, regardless of what the opposing team runs, and that attitude helped Iowa land in a BCS bowl.
Another staple of the Iowa defense is toughness, and Georgia Tech is expecting nothing less from the Hawkeyes. The Yellow Jackets practiced for the first time in Miami Thursday, and were quick to point out Iowa’s stout defense.
“I’m going into the game thinking it’s going to be the most physical game I’ve ever played in,” Yellow Jacket quarterback Josh Nesbitt said. “So, I’m just going to keep that mind set.”
Georgia Tech defensive back Jonathan Dwyer is also expecting a hard fought game at Land Shark Stadium January 5.
“Iowa is a team that is going to play hard, give it all they have,” Dwyer said. “They play team oriented ball. They are athletic. They are talented. They are a well coached team and they are going to be ready to play, so we are going to have to strap our pads on and be ready to play as well.”
Nesbitt is the key to the explosive Georgia Tech offense, and his head coach, Paul Johnson, has high marks for his signal caller.
“The key in any offense is to have a quarterback,” Johnson said. “Josh has certainly played well this year and he has done a good job running the offense and hopefully he will have a big game next Tuesday. He is a good athlete. Josh is a strong guy and he is very competitive. He is an athletic guy so he is a good runner as well as being able to throw the ball.”
Johnson also believes that Georgia Tech’s success this season has been through simple execution of the offense. It may look complicated on film, but according to Johnson, it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.
It’s like anything else,” Johnson said. “If you understand what you are doing maybe you have a chance to fix it so through the years, and people have adjusted. We have added things. There is no magical answer. The offense is not magic. We have to block and execute, but if you do that we have the chance to spread the field and make some big plays.”
So what will happen January 5, a big play night for the Georgia Tech offense, or a hard-hitting contest by the Iowa defense? Whatever does happen, it guarantees to be an exciting game for the Hawkeyes on the BCS national stage.