Dec. 13, 2010
As Jason Peters and his teammates prepare to take a dose of their own medicine, the junior defensive end has something extra to look forward to these days: he practically gets to go home for the holiday.
Shreveport, La., is about 265 miles from Peters’ hometown of Baton Rouge. He’ll make it home for a couple days after finals at Georgia Tech this week. Players return to Atlanta before departing for Shreveport on Dec. 23 before the Dec. 27 Independence Bowl so it’s highly questionable whether he’ll get to spend any of Christmas day in his family’s home.
But he knows for sure that the bowl game against Air Force will feel more like a home game than any he’s played at Tech, which is about 550 miles – or twice as far as Shreveport — from his hometown.
“A large number of my family is going to be able to be there. My parents always try to come up [to Atlanta for Tech home games],” Peters said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to have a couple of my friends at the game. I’m excited about it.” There will be a unique similarity about the next opponent as well.
Air Force (8-4) runs quite a bit of option offense, similar to Tech’s, and the Cadets often deploys a 3-4 base defensive alignment like the Jackets.
There are variations on both sides of the ball.
“There are so many similarities that sometimes it’s hard to see a difference. It’s going to boil down to us doing what we have to do,” Peters said. “They do run some tight end in certain situations . . . and some I formation, some other stuff.”
Peters and the defense will see more cut-blocking in this game than all others this season, as two of the nation’s top cutters meet. Defending the Cadets will not be as easy as jumping over cutters, however. As the Jackets should know, defending against an option attack requires nuanced preparation and execution.
“Our biggest thing is [usually to] read the man in front of you. There are situations where anticipating will help you, but you have to be careful because they have some options off of what they do,” Peters said. “I think they’re going to rely on their toughness. They’re going to come off the ball 100 mph. They may not have the size that everybody else does, but they make up for it in how hard they play.”
We’re still looking for road trip photos. If you’re going to the Independence Bowl, and you have pictures of your travel party at previous away games, please send photos, perhaps of the RV, the tailgating set-up, etc. We’ll run them between now and next Tuesday. Also, if you are making the trip and you have special plans that you’d like to share, please do that. You ought to know the address by now: firstname.lastname@example.org.