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Cross Hopes Familiarity Breeds Success

Dec. 19, 2010

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

It won’t exactly be like looking in a mirror when Georgia Tech plays Air Force next week, but when the Yellow Jackets try to slow the Cadets’ offense, they won’t be starting from scratch.

Both teams in the Independence Bowl run similar offenses, featuring the option/triple option, and Tech sophomore defensive end Izaan Cross is looking forward to what he sees as an opportunity.

Where many defenders – or at least defensive coordinators — dread facing the option because they see it infrequently, Cross likes both the idea that he has an idea what to expect, and that he figures to be left unblocked a fair amount of the time. That’ll be a change.

“If you look a lot of times when teams play against us, the defensive linemen get high tackle numbers,” he said. “I think we’re going to get a lot of chances to make plays.”

Cross said patience will be more important when playing Air Force, which much like Tech favors cut blocking on the edges in many situations.

“Usually, when you play against the option, we’ve got to worry about our lateral quickness as opposed to playing power,” he said. “A lot of teams just try to veer block us, when the offensive tackle bypasses us to go to the next level, to a linebacker. We’ve got to get a hand on them so they won’t get to our linebackers. We’ve got to get our feet square.”

Tech led the nation in rushing this season, averaging 327 yards per game on the ground, and Air Force was No. 2 at 317.92. The Cadets also passed for about 119 yards per game to Tech’s 87.

The Academy mixes up its offensive approach a little more than Tech typically does, blending in some I-formation, and using a tight end from time to time.

“We just have to be sound, and play our block,” Cross said. “We (the ends) are mostly concerned about the tackle; he sometimes leads us to where the play is going.”

Bonus . . .

Faithful reader Glenn Godbee weighed in Sunday on the question I asked yesterday about whether or not parents should step in when they believe their children are of a certain age and break the news about Santa Claus. Here’s an abbreviated version:

I, too, agree that Santa isn’t a discussion for parents or anyone else to be discussing with children, whether theirs or not, on the existence or not, of said personality. While it has been widely disseminated that this person may not exist, I am of the belief that no one has ever proven that as fact and there is, and always will be the possibility and likelihood of Santa’s continued relevance in this world and especially at this time of year and even more with the younger crowd. What kind of warped personality would want to destroy such a benevolent tradition and ideal in a child’s eyes and mind? Today’s world and news is heavy enough without adding unnecessarily to it any sooner than necessary.

P.S. I heard from a couple readers Sunday that they’d been dropped off the circulation list of Sting Daily. Hey, it’s happened to me as well. Some people far more technically-oriented are trying to get to the bottom of that. If you are still connected, but know somebody who has lost his/her connection with Tech reality, let them know they have not fallen into the margins. They’re victims of a glitch that will hopefully be addressed soon.

However, if for some reason you stop getting your Sting Daily, send an e-mail to this gentleman and he will fix it almost immediately:

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