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Look ahead to week 1

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by Eric, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

    I talked to the Elon game announcer and 89.3 WSOE Sports host Matt Krause.

    Here is the interview.

    Q: What position is the strength for the Elon football team and what position would you consider the weakness?

    The strength of this team is certainly the offense, specifically the receiving corps. Aaron Mellette was in the spotlight last year en route to being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, setting school records left and right. This year, the receivers will be significantly more balanced. Last year, Elon passed for 297.82 YPG, nearly double that of their opponents. (Though Elon did play Wofford, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern- option teams). Elon is an up-the-field, air-it-out team, especially last season. The biggest weakness is the run defense. Opponents shredded Elon for 226.3 YPG last year, scoring points in bunches. (62 for North Carolina, 49 for Wofford, etc.) Defensive Coordinator Ed Pinkham moved on to Western Michigan, and Brad Sherrod has been brought in to try and solve the defense.

    Q: Who are the star or key players for Elon?
    Elon has no true stars- not a single all-SoCon pick from Phil Steele. There are plenty of keys, though. While no official word has been given, junior Mike Quinn is likely the new starting quarterback, replacing Thomas Wilson, who graduated. Quinn impressed in the spring game, much more than his competitors, sophomore Trevor Vasey and redshirt freshman John Loughery (the cousin of Matt Ryan, a QB your city knows something about). Quinn will be an x-factor along with whomever the starting running back is. The starting running back job is up in the air as well, though touches will likely be split by redshirt freshman BJ Bennett, who missed all of last year with an injury, and sophomore Tracey Coppedge. The run game was nearly nonexistent last year, so Bennett and Coppedge, both speed backs, will be key. If Elon can get them going and create a second dimension to the offense, the team will be significantly more competitive.

    Q: With a lot of the GT football fan base not aware of Elon can you tell us a bit about the team...What kind of offense and defense you run?
    Elon runs a very fast spread offense under third year OC Chris Pincince. The team took nearly every snap out of the shotgun last year, and worked in spring practice to speed up the pace of the offense. Last year, Elon ran a 4-3 under Pincince, we will see what Sherrod installs.

    Q: I've read Elon lost a good bit of talent due to graduation. Would you consider them a young team?
    Certainly. Mellette, one of the greatest players in Elon history is gone, as is the starting QB, defensive captain (LB Blake Thompson), and solid kicker Adam Shreiner. Starting QB will be a junior at best (see above), and much of the RB touches will be split among RS Freshman/Sophomore. The defense will return nine starters from its last game of last year.

    Q: What area concerns you most when facing the Yellow Jackets?
    The answer is simple: Paul Johnson's triple option. Last year against Georgia Southern, Elon got a few lucky turnovers to keep the Phoenix in the game, but the next week against Wofford, Elon struggled mightily and looked weak on defense. The idea of playing an option team at the FBS level, such as Georgia Tech, is scary given our history against those teams.

    Q: Three keys to the game for Elon?
    1) Establish a run game. It's the first game of the season, and being able to show signs of a two-dimensional offense, especially against Georgia Tech, will increase Elon's confidence going forward.
    2) Do not commit silly or untimely turnovers. Elon fumbled the ball 22 times and threw 10 INTs in 11 games last year and those turnovers often killed whatever momentum the Phoenix had going.
    3) Protect the quarterback. There will be at least two, probably three new starters on the offensive line, and sacks were prevalent in the spring game. With Jeremiah Attaochu leading a tough Tech defense, Elon will need to keep whoever the starter is on his feet, or else it will be a long day.

    Q: With Elon facing a few option teams lately do you think that helps the team? Did you notice any changes as far what as the defense tried to do against an option team or how they lined up different?
    There is an advantage in that Elon does not have to panic and learn how to defend the option in addition to the fear surrounding playing an FBS game. Elon's defense (again this was last year under an old DC) was run-stopping oriented to begin with, so there were no glaring changes when playing the option. Playing the option in week one will help Elon this year as sort of a test run for more pivotal conference games against Appalachian State, Wofford, and Georgia Southern.

    Q: Final prediction for the game?
    Yellow Jackets, 45-13. Elon plays hard, but the option eventually wears down Elon. A fast start for Georgia Tech could make the score uglier, though.
  2. gtpkt

    gtpkt Ramblin' Wreck

    Nice interview. Wish it was Week 1! No disrespect to Elon, but I'm excited to see the young backups in this game: especially the electric Justin Thomas.
  3. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

    Thank you.

    Same here...looking forward to seeing the young guys do work.
  4. xenoabe

    xenoabe Ramblin' Wreck

    I like that we're facing a pass happy offense. We need this game to be practice for rushing the passer and putting pressure on a QB.
  5. wingsrlevel

    wingsrlevel Ramblin' Wreck

    very nice analysis. The only thing is I think we score 60+ on them.

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