Without question, one of the hottest teams in the country during the second half of the season has been the Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech. George O'Leary's hard-nosed, very determined squad has plenty of firepower on the offensive side as well as a defense that has improved by leaps and bounds since the '99 campaign.
In fact, since a 30-23 overtime loss to N.C. State on Sept. 21, Georgia Tech has run off seven straight victories, averaging almost 40 points per game during that period.
|Kelly Campbell scores on an 18-yard fourth-quarter pass from George Godsey to cap Georgia Tech's scoring versus Maryland.|
After Joe Hamilton moved on after last season, the opinion from most observers was that the Yellow Jackets' offense would suffer a dramatic fall off in terms of points scored and overall production. That has been anything but the case. In fact, over the final six regular season games last season, Tech averaged three points less per game than they have over the final six games this year.
The key has been the superior play of junior signal caller George Godsey.
Godsey has benefited tremendously from the diversified system that is implemented by astute offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen. Against Maryland last week, Godsey spread the wealth once again, distributing the ball to a number of different receivers with accuracy and precision.
Super blue-chip junior wide-out Kelly Campbell hauled in five receptions for 90 yards, including TD receptions of five and 18 yards. Speedy sophomore Kerry Watkins caught five passes for 147 yards, while true freshman standout Nate Curry chipped in with three receptions for 64 yards. TE Russell Matvay also had two catches while RB Joe Burns was effectively utilized in the passing game as well, finishing with three receptions.
For the day, Godsey completed 19-of-26 aerials for 354 yards, heading to the sidelines early in the fourth quarter with the Rambling Wreck on top 35-7. In addition to his two TD passes, Godsey also rushed for another score.
Based on his superior performance this season, Godsey could end up as one of the five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. The award will go to one of two QBs, either Oklahoma's Josh Heupel or Florida State's Chris Weinke.
Friedgen should be at top of Maryland's list
As far as the Ralph Friedgen is concerned, it should come as no surprise that his name has been mentioned prominently with the various head-coaching positions that have opened up of late (particularly at Maryland).
Keep in mind that back in '90, the Rambling Wreck split the national championship with Colorado -- with Friedgen coordinating the offense.
A graduate of the University of Maryland and the former offensive coordinator with the Terrapins under Bobby Ross from 1982 through 1986, Friedgen also ran the offense for the San Diego Chargers under Ross in '94 when they ended up facing the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.
There is no question that the tremendous success Friedgen has enjoyed as an offensive coordinator at both the collegiate and NFL levels makes him worthy of strong consideration for a head-coaching position. As far as the Maryland Terrapins are concerned, in my opinion, Friedgen should be at the top of their list of candidates.