Sunday, December 03, 2006


If the theme of the day was “Finally,” Wake Forest was the first to be able to take advantage, getting its first ACC championship since -- since 9-6 scores were seen as not unusual instead of the result of sloppy play on a rainy day in Jacksonville, a town that is a lot like Charlotte -- no one knows why such a nondescript town should host any major events. But somehow it does.

In any case, the game showed Georgia Tech in all of its brilliance. The Jackets’ most productive plays through the air were “pass interference left” and “pass interference right.” One question: Why are you interfering with receivers when the opponent’s quarterback is Reggie Ball? Don’t you just let him thrown the ball into the first row and watch Tech revel in the glory of consecutive three-and-outs?

Ah, but Reggie would be Reggie. The Jackets moved inside the Wake Forest 35 on one drive, and as fourth down came up and Tech decided to go for it, Brad Nessler mused that the play was “not much of a field position gamble.” Ball promptly threw an interception, proving that, with Ball as QB, every play is a field position gamble.

And the Georgia Tech play-calling is still Gailey-riffic, even if Chan himself isn’t in charge. On third-and-one, you run ... a reverse?

A third-and-one reverse? Brilliant!

Down 9-6, Ball trots out and throws a long ball -- incomplete. He throws another long ball -- incomplete. He ... runs out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage?

Running out of bounds on third down when you’re trailing 9-6? Brilliant!

Wake Forest, meanwhile, continued to try to take advantage of its peacock offense. A peacock wants you to look at its exotic plumage and become scared. Because, when it comes down to it, a peacock can’t really hurt you.

Nice to look at, but it shouldn't scare you.

But then, in the second half, on one drive, something interesting happened. Wake started calling normal plays. Oooh, an I-formation! And then they got in the red zone ... and went back to the peacock. And had to kick a field goal. Again, the peacock’s pretty to look at. But unless you’re an edible seed, it ain’t going to hurt you.

So Louisville, try to crack down on the peacock and you can beat Wake 48-24, with all 24 points coming on field goals. And West Virginia ... just get out of Georgia Tech's way, really. With Reggie Ball and Chan Gailey in the mix, there’s no way they can fail to blow it.


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