Does Playing Georgia Tech Leave a Defensive Hangover?

Over at Gobbler Country, SB Nation's Virginia Tech blog, there's an interesting post about Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech teams. Or more accurately, what they do to opponents – ACC teams are 2-6 in the week following their game against the Yellow Jackets. The comments extend that beyond Johnson's tenure in Atlanta, and puts the total record of teams playing on six days rest after facing the Johnson offense at 15-41.

Now this is the kind of thing I love; after all I made a similar observation about UNC basketball back in 2007. I hadn't noticed a drop-off in play from UNC after playing Tech, though. Was I missing something?

I don't know. It might be the case in general, and the two games that followed for UNC were among the low points of football under Butch Davis – the 17-15 loss to Maryland in 2008 and the 16-3 home embarrassment to Virginia last season. Both games were horrible, horrible performances, but on the offensive side of the ball. Neither scores put up by the opposing teams seemed horribly out of line with what those teams were making in nearby weeks, but UNC scoring output against UVa was the lowest of the season, and against Maryland the second lowest. And in both of the those years, there's a good amount of competition for the lowest score of the season.

The Virginia game is also known for being the nadir of UNC's offensive line woes last season, and the same line did not acquit themselves very well in College Park. They were beat up pretty badly last week by Georgia Tech; is it possible that that is what has been slowing their opponents down in subsequent games? If so, look for the Heels to have more trouble against Rutgers than you otherwise might think, and T.J. Yates to have to work even harder to move the ball downfield. If it's the defense that's adversely affected, however, Carolina stands a better chance. Rutgers is 113th in passing yards, and scored 31 and 19 points respectively against the top-flight opposition of Norfolk State and Florida International.

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