About all one can do when the match-up is as out of balance as Georgia Tech-Alcorn State is to, first, recognize that the visitors brought a kick-butt band.
The Braves won the battle of background noise.
And the message on the back of the Braves band uniforms was priceless: “Sound of Dyn-O-Mite.”
There, the polite nod to the guests is done. Now all that’s left is to review a few bullet points from the evening to make sure the Yellow Jackets covered everything they needed to before moving on to more competitive days.
So, the Tech checklist:
*Suitable blowout (check). The 69-6 final may not have exactly been a Cumberland quality rout, but not even the most bloodthirsty Yellow Jacket fan could quibble with the point spread. The margin sufficiently screamed: Why are they scheduling this kind of opponent!
*Preparation (check). Perhaps one of the most impressive parts of the stat sheet, once you get past the ridiculous offensive totals, is the zero next to Tech in the penalty column. Against an opponent who demanded only passing attention, the Yellow Jackets were disciplined.
The mere one turnover, however, was still one too many for Paul Johnson’s taste. “If you can play with no penalties and no turnovers, you’re going to win a lot of games,” he said. That’s a mighty high bar.
*Justin Thomas (check). I guess. The Tech quarterback only appeared for one quarter, flashed his speed on a touchdown run, picked up 34 points in the blink of an eye, and then led the cheers for three quarters.
*Justin Thomas’ new toys (check). How ‘bout those B-backs, freshman Marcus Marshall (184 yards) and Stanford transfer Patrick Skov (72 yards)?
*Ted Roof’s defense (check). His first unit didn’t give up a first down in the first quarter. Overall, the Yellow Jackets won the turnover battle 3-1.
*Everybody healthy (check). Maybe the most important category. B-Back Marcus Allen was shaken up, but the injury was not thought to be serious (easy for those of us up here in the press box to say).
Just how important was this factor? Just listen to Paul Johnson on taking out Thomas so early: “If something had happened to him in that game I would have shot myself.”
So, really, the best thing to say about a 69-6 victory over a lower class opponent is the very simple summary of that one-quarter quarterback.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” Thomas said.