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Sep
05
2017

Should Georgia Tech be encouraged after loss to Tennessee or are Jackets in big trouble?

If you are Georgia Tech fan, and as an alum I definitely count myself as one, you had to just feel sick that a 4th quarter collapse negated what had been one the best 3 quarters of football we’ve seen from Georgia Tech in some time.

The game was microcosm of everything we’ve seen from Georgia Tech the last 3 years. At times as dominant as the 11 win Orange Bowl team in 2014, at other times gasping for air on defense with a dose of bad luck like the 2015 3-9 team, and finally the Blue Collar 9 win team of 2016 that was better than the sum of it’s parts.

How should Georgia Tech feel after rushing for 500 yards, physically controlling the game with the Volunteers and yet still finding a way to lose? What can we expect from Georgia Tech the rest of the way? Let’s start with what we do know.

Taquon Marshall was a revelation at quarterback. Marshall had a simply heroic performance rushing for an ACC record 249 yards, and running the Paul Johnson’s option offense brilliantly. Tennessee looked helpless to defend him. The Georgia Tech offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. While I doubt Georgia Tech will put up those kind of offensive numbers consistently, there isn’t any reason to think that the offense will struggle to score points. That’s the good news.

The defense for nearly 3 quarters controlled the Tennessee offense. They had a good game, but Tennessee also helped with questionable play calling, and a shaky looking passing game. The early interior push we saw from Georgia Tech was real, and that’s not something we’ve seen often out of them. When it counted though they couldn’t make a stop especially in the 4th quarter. It looked every bit the defense that was one of the worst in the country against 3rd down last year. The Jackets are going to see several offense better than the Vols this year and that’s a concern.

Finally special teams was complete disaster. That’s what happens when your previous kicker Harrison Butker is in the NFL. There were 2 missed FGs including one that was blocked that would have won the game. The kickoffs were short and ineffective often giving Tennessee great field position.

When I look at Georgia Tech, I see an offense that will be vintage Paul Johnson stuff. It’s going to put up points, churn out yards, and for the most part as it usually is be pretty successful.

The defense is hard to get a gauge on. I believe it is going to have some decent efforts, but there will also games it will be torched.

The special teams will certainly drop off following Butker’s departure. That mean 1-2 close games you would have won will be losses. We already have 1 loss it played a big role in.

Tennessee will be one of the stronger teams Georgia Tech will face this year, but Clemson for sure is better, and Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia are arguably better. That’s 5 losses there. The Jackets usually beat someone they aren’t supposed to and lose to someone they shouldn’t too.

This feels like a bowl team, but still too many holes to go more than 7-5 which will leave Georgia Tech fans grumbling what could have been had they won game #1.

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