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Georgia Tech Week One, Previewing South Carolina State's Offense: Big Line, Big QB, And Balance

The South Carolina State offense is aggressive but balanced, with 260-pound quarterback Malcolm Long (seriously, look at this guy) throwing for 2,488 yards last year and the running game accounting for 1,862. They posted 30.4 points per game last year, good enough for 24th in FCS football.

Jackets defensive back Dominique Reese on the Bulldogs’ deep passing game:

“Their quarterback has a very strong arm, and he’s very confident. You can tell, whether it’s deep or short, he’s very accurate and he may be the best quarterback we face,” Reese said. “They run it all [in terms of routes]; we have to be prepared to cover it all. The guys are wide open all the time.”

The Bulldogs’ offense dominated an intrasquad scrimmage last Saturday. They’re hoping their offense can keep Tech’s off the field, similar to the strategy employed by the last Bulldogs Tech faced:

“It would be nice if our offense can get in and do a little something to kind of keep the ball away from them a little bit because the longer they keep the ball, they keep getting the ball enough, they’re going to have success,” he said.

One advantage SC State will certainly have: girth. Their offensive line averages 307 pounds (that average would only dip to 297 if their quarterback became a sixth lineman). Tech’s front seven is notably Tech-like in its relative smallness, though they’ve bulked up some throughout the offseason. In recent years, the Jackets’ worst games have come against teams with powerful lines, so it will be interesting to see what kind of difference Al Groh’s new 3-4 system may make.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.