Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- The 7th ranked Georgia Bulldogs were too much for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets as the Bulldogs defeated the Jackets 38-7 to claim the Governor’s Cup in the 112th meeting of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.
During his post-game press conference, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson was disappointed in the way his team performed saying, “I think we got beat just about every way you can get beat.” He continued, “They certainly outplayed us, outcoached us. It wasn’t much fun out there.”
The Georgia Tech offense was unable to gain any real momentum as they were held to just seven total points and 225 total yards. Georgia Tech quarterback Taquon Marshall finished as the leading rusher for the Jackets, finishing with 17 carries for 72-yards. In the passing game, Marshall finished only completing two of his nine passes for 38-yards but was able to score the only points for the Jackets when he completed a 10-yard pass to redshirt Senior wide receiver Ricky Jeune. This was the only real highlight of the game for the Yellow Jackets as the Bulldog Defense otherwise shut them down.
Taquon Marshall did, however, break the Georgia Tech single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, breaking former Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas’ record set in 2014.
The story of the game was how well the Georgia Bulldogs played in all facets of the game. From a steady offense and stout defense, to even momentum-building plays on special teams, the Bulldogs were in control early, breaking the game open in the third quarter and cruising to the finish line.
The Georgia offense looked to use the running game to open things up in the passing game for freshman quarterback Jake Fromm. Using their duo of senior running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the Bulldogs did just that. Michel led the team with 13 rushes for 85-yards and a touchdown, while Chubb finished with 12 rushes for 55-yards and a touchdown. The tandem was a large part of a rushing attack that gained 247 of the team’s 471 total yards in the game. Freshman running back Deandre Swift also joined in with a touchdown of his own late in the third quarter, but it was the senior duo that did the most damage.
When asked about Georgia’s rushing attack and the struggles the Jackets had slowing them down Coach Johnson said, “They’ve got good backs and we missed a ton of tackles. There were times when we were in position to make plays and we didn’t make them. You have to give them credit, they’ve got good backs and we didn’t tackle.”
Fromm continued his stellar freshman campaign completing 12 of his 16 passes for 224-yards and two touchdowns. The play of the game was a 74-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the win for the Dawgs. Fromm connected with junior wide receiver Ahkil Crumpton, who escaped a would-be tackler and went unchallenged the rest of the way to the end zone. This was the final score of the game, extending the Bulldogs lead over the Jackets to 38-7.
Georgia has seemingly regained all of their momentum after their loss to Auburn two weeks ago. The Bulldogs will next head into the SEC championship next week to take on the winner of the Iron Bowl, which will either be top-ranked Alabama, or a rematch against 6th ranked Auburn.
For Georgia Tech, the season is likely over after the loss. With a record of 5-6, they will most likely miss out on a bowl game and be left with a disappointing end to their season. Coach Johnson talked about how he will address the offseason saying, “I think like any season, when you finish you have to take a long hard look at everything.” He continued, “You have to go back and look at everything, no question. Especially when you have a disappointing season like this.”
Writer Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- It’s rivalry week in college football, which for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and 7th ranked Georgia Bulldogs means the return of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, as the two teams square off for their annual matchup in the fight for the Governor’s Cup.
The Yellow Jackets will look to play spoilers to the Bulldogs, who are looking to keep their College Football Playoff dreams alive on Saturday. The 112th matchup between these long-standing rivals will come to a head on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, as one of the most intense rivalries in college football is renewed.
During his weekly press conference, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson spoke about the rivalry and what his message to his team was heading into Saturday, “It’s like I told them on Monday, this is a game that you’ll remember for a long time, especially if you win.” Johnson continued, “It’s really important to our players, to our alumni, to people in general, that you play well. You’ve got to go out and play with some intensity and try to play your best game.”
The Jackets, who are coming off a tough loss to Duke last week, will indeed need to play the best game of their season if they are to upset the Bulldogs for the second-straight year. Last year’s thrilling victory for Georgia Tech saw the Jackets rally from a 27-14 fourth quarter deficit, capped off by a Qua Searcy touchdown in the final 30 seconds of the game to seal the victory.
If Georgia Tech is to be victorious they will need great play from their quarterback TaQuon Marshall, who was a bright spot for the Jackets despite last week’s loss. Rushing for 140-yards and surpassing 1,000 yards rushing for the season, Marshall, along with sophomore running back KirVonte Benson gives Georgia Tech two 1,000-yard rushers for just the second time in school history. Something to look out for on Saturday is that Marshall needs only 13-yards rushing to break Georgia Techs single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
Defensively, the Jackets need a bounce-back performance after last week’s loss. Allowing eight scores on ten total possessions, including 500 total yards, Georgia Tech needs to return to form if they are going to slow down a Georgia offense who is averaging 35.3 points per game on the season.
Despite last week’s performance, the Georgia Tech defense still ranks as the fourth-best defense in the ACC and 29th nationally in total defense, allowing 342.6 yards per game. Led by an experienced secondary, including four starting seniors, the Jackets need these seniors to step up on Senior Day to slow down the big play ability of the Georgia Offense.
The Bulldogs, who are coming off a bounce-back performance of their own after their 42-13 victory over Kentucky last week, will look to regain control of the Governor’s Cup on Saturday, and head into the SEC Championship with momentum and a shot to reach the College Football Playoffs for the first time in school history.
Led offensively by the running back duo of seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the Bulldogs rank second in the SEC in rushing offense with 267.4 yards per game. The running attack is key for the Bulldogs, who use it to open up the offense for Freshman starting quarterback Jake Fromm. Fromm has been impressive in his first season at Georgia, leading the team to 9-1 in games he has started and 10-1 overall on the season.
The defense for Georgia has been key to the team’s success under second-year head coach Kirby Smart. Allowing just 14.4 points per game this season, the Bulldogs rank fourth nationally in scoring defense and will look to keep Georgia Tech, who is known for long sustaining drives, off of the field as much as possible on Saturday.
An experienced group throughout, the Georgia defense needs a big performance from its interior defense to slow down the triple-option offense of Georgia Tech. Linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy will be keys for the Bulldogs, and will both have major responsibilities in slowing down the Yellow Jacket offense.
The last four meetings in this rivalry have been decided by a touchdown or less. Coach Johnson spoke about the close matchups saying, “Other than the one year here that they were really good , the games have been pretty close. I think that’s indicative of a rivalry game. I couldn’t tell you why other than it’s a rivalry game and both teams want to play and it’s a big deal.”
Georgia may lead the overall series with a record of 65-41-5 over Georgia Tech, but there is no love lost between the two universities, and Saturday will feature some Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Georgia Bulldogs will kick-off at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday from Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- Another close game in the Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech rivalry is in the books as the Yellow Jackets pulled off the upset over the 17th ranked Hokies, 28-22 in a back and forth contest.
Games between these schools always seem to be decided in the final minutes. In fact, heading into today’s contest, each of the last nine matchups since Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson took over the position in 2008 have been decided by 10 points or fewer, and today’s matchup was no different.
Coach Johnson spoke about the rivalry saying, “It’s always a spirited game when we play them. It’s turned into a pretty big rivalry.” He continued, “They’ve all been hard-fought, tough games, and I think both programs have a lot of respect for one another.”
The game started out as a defensive battle, as neither team were able to gain much ground after the first quarter ended with the Jackets leading 7-3. As the game wore on, both defenses began to wear down and be susceptible to big plays toward the later stages of the game.
Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack was steady throughout the game, and they were able to finish with 401 total yards of offense. Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall had a big game in both the running and passing game. Rushing 22 times for 64-yards and two touchdowns, the effectiveness of Marshall was a big part of why the Yellow Jackets were able to come out victorious, but it wasn’t the big story.
The big story was the effectiveness of Marshall through the air and even though he only completed two of his eight pass attempts in the game, both completions went for big plays that proved to be the difference in the game. The first came in the first half, as Marshall connected with junior wide receiver Brad Stewart for a 60-yard touchdown. The score was Stewart’s first of his career and the longest completion of the season for the Yellow Jackets, until it was surpassed later in the game.
That score came in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Virginia Tech had just regained momentum and their first lead since their opening drive of the game, after Marshall threw a pick-six to Virginia Tech cornerback Greg Stroman. In dire need of a big drive to stop the momentum swing, Marshall connected with redshirt-senior wide receiver Ricky Jeune for an 80-yard touchdown that retook the lead for the Jackets and eventually, the victory.
Coach Johnson joked about his quarterback only completing two of his passes saying, “He only had two completions, but both were touchdowns and ended up being 140 yards? So, we’ll live with that. That’s a pretty good average.”
Along with Marshall, Georgia Tech running back Kirvonte Benson continues to be successful running the football. Rushing 22 times for 86-yards, Benson was a big reason why the Yellow Jackets were able to control the ball and have long sustaining drives to tire the Hokie defense. Fellow Georgia Tech running back Nathan Cottrell also assisted in the rushing total with a 69-yard rush that set up Marshall first quarter rushing touchdown.
The Georgia Tech defense kept the Virginia Tech offense in check, holding them to just 258 yards of total offense for the game. Georgia Tech linebacker Brant Mitchell led the team with nine total tackles, including a sack on Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson.
Coach Johnson spoke of his team fighting through adversity to win the game after the pick six. “I was proud of our guys. I think they showed a lot of grit and determination. We got up and then we threw the pick-six and got down, it would’ve been easy to hang our head. Then we hit a big play to get the lead back and [were] able to hold on this time.”
Georgia Tech will look to build on this victory as they travel to play at Duke next week. With a season record now of 5-4, the Yellow Jackets will need to win one of their final two games to guarantee bowl eligibility.
Georgia Tech and Duke will kick off on November 18th at 3:30 p.m. from Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.
Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are set to take on the 17th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in an Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division matchup between two teams playing for different reasons this late in the season.
With the Coastal Division all but wrapped up by the Miami Hurricanes after their 28-10 victory over Virginia Tech last week, the season goals for both the Hokies and Yellow Jackets have shifted. Georgia Tech, who is sitting at a record of 4-4 on the season after their loss to Virginia last week, is fighting for bowl eligibility, and need to win two out of their final three games to guarantee themselves a spot in a bowl. The Hokies, whose record now sits at 7-2 after last week’s loss, still has an opportunity at a 10-win season, the second in as many seasons under head coach Justin Fuente.
Since the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech have been one of their biggest rivals in the Coastal Division, with many of the games coming down to the final possession. Virginia Tech leads the overall series with nine wins in 14 games, but Georgia Tech won the matchup last season with a final score of 30-20. The 10-point victory was the largest margin of victory between the two schools since 2007 when Virginia Tech beat the Yellow Jackets 27-3.
Longtime Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster has coached in every ACC matchup between the Hokies and Yellow Jackets in his 22-years as defensive coordinator. Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson spoke about coach Foster in his weekly press conference saying, “I think it makes it a challenge and he’s definitely a challenging guy. We were talking this morning and the things that you have success with one year, you can count on they’re going to be taken away the next. You figure how they’re going to counter and it’s like any game, you have to be able to adjust on the fly. If you can’t adjust on the fly, you get behind the 8-ball.” The counter moves and adjustments made by both coaches speaks to how close each matchup has been, and the respect each side has for the other heading into Saturday’s matchup.
Virginia Tech’s defense is led by linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who leads the team with 77 tackles on the season. Edmunds’ 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles (tied for first in the ACC) had made him a force in coach Foster’s defense. He will have a key role in trying to slow down the challenging triple-option offense of Georgia Tech.
There are two guarantees with a triple-option offense: the offense is going to run the ball, a lot, and they will hold onto the ball forever. This year is no different as the Yellow Jackets rank in the top three in rushing offense (331.9 yards per game), and time of possession (34:39 per game). The offense is led by quarterback TaQuon Marshall, whose 870 rushing yards on the season continues the success of running quarterbacks under coach Johnson. Marshall will have to be smart with the football if the Georgia Tech offense is going to be successful on Saturday.
Running back KirVonte Benson has risen to ACC and national prominence with his 105.5 rushing yards per game. This puts him at third in the ACC and 21st overall nationally, and his 5.6 yards per carry average places him fourth in the ACC.
The Hokies offense continues to be successful under second-year head coach Justin Fuente, as they rank third offensively in the ACC in points per game averaging 32.6ppg. They are led by quarterback Josh Jackson, who has thrown for 2,229 yards and 17 touchdown passes this season. Jackson’s favorite target has been senior wide receiver Cam Phillips, who has caught 58 passes for 793 yards and six touchdowns. Like Georgia Tech’s TaQuon Marshall, Jackson, who threw two interceptions against Miami, will need to protect the football to take advantage of any opportunities they receive on Saturday.
The rivalry that has grown between the Yellow Jackets and Hokies is undeniable, as both schools mark this game on their calendar’s as a big game. The history between these programs and the close games that always seems to happen shows that no matter the records, either team can win any matchup, and both teams deserve respect. This matchup has the makings of another close one in Atlanta, and it will come down to whoever can protect the football better will come out victorious.
The Jackets and Hokies will kick-off Saturday from Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta at 12:20 p.m. on the ACC network.
Written by Derek Robbie
Atlanta, GA - Georgia Tech faced off against Wake Forest in a fantastic contest of two fairly even ACC teams. The Yellow Jackets outlasted the Demon Deacons 38-24 in an offensive thriller.
On their first drive, Georgia Tech was running all over the Demon Deacons’ defense. Although, as soon as the Yellow Jackets got inside the red zone, Wake Forest’s defense tightened up significantly, and forced Tech to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Brenton King. Yellow Jackets took 3-0 lead with just under seven minutes in the first quarter.
Georgia Tech had all the momentum until they chose to go for it on 4th and 7. Demon Deacons defensive end Duke Ejiofor found himself in Georgia Tech’s backfield and brought down quarterback TaQuon Marshall for a 13-yard loss and a turnover on downs. At that point, Wake Forest had seized the momentum. Wake Forest got the ball inside the 50-yard line, and it only took them seven plays to march down the field and score. The touchdown came on a seven-yard pass from quarterback John Wolford to receiver Scotty Washington. Washington’s touchdown gave the Demon Deacons a 7-3 lead with under 20 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Yellow Jackets made sure to respond on their next drive. They tried to retake control of the game by keeping things simple and getting back to their signature triple-option offense. So, the Yellow Jackets ran on 12 of their 13 plays. The touchdown eventually came from B-back Jerry Howard on a two-yard rush right up the gut for the second of his career. Howard’s rush gave Georgia Tech a 10-7 lead with nine and a half minutes in the first half.
Wake Forest’s next touchdown came from Wolford’s slant pass to wide receiver Tabari Hines for a 15-yard score. Hines slipped right through the arms of the Georgia Tech defensive back and saw the field wide open for him to find the end zone. Wake Forest retook the lead at 14-10 with six minutes left in the second quarter.
The Demon Deacons scored another touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter. A 16-yard completion to wide receiver Greg Dortch and a 16-yard rush from running back Cade Carney helped bring Wake Forest within striking distance. Wolford sneaked the ball into the end zone for the score to give the Deacons a 21-10 lead.
Georgia Tech quickly marched down the field with a minute left in the first half. Although, they did receive help from a penalty when linebacker Jaboree Williams hit Marshall out of bounds. The penalty brought the Yellow Jackets within field goal range, and Brenton King proceeded to make the 42-yard field goal to cut Wake Forest’s lead to 21-13 at the end of the half.
Georgia Tech’s Marshall ran for a 49-yard touchdown on their first play on their opening drive of the second half. The Yellow Jackets decided to go for two to tie the game at 21 apiece, but they could not convert. Tech reduced the lead to 21-19 with 13 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Marshall’s touchdown was his tenth of the season, making him one of only three quarterbacks in the program’s history to rush for ten in one season.
A couple of drives later, Wolford found Dortch for a big 42-yard connection through the air to bring the Demon Deacons inside the red zone. However, Wake Forest could not take advantage of their good field position and had to settle for a field goal from Mike Weaver. Weaver’s 29-yard field goal gave his team a 24-19 lead with seven and a half left in the 3rd quarter.
Yellow Jackets’ A-back, Qua Searcy received a pitch from Marshall and broke free for a 42-yard touchdown. Searcy’s trip to the end zone gave Georgia Tech their first lead since the middle of the first quarter. Head coach Paul Johnson decided to go for two again, and they failed to convert for the second time. Georgia Tech’s failed two-point conversion gave them a 25-24 lead with over four minutes to go in the third quarter.
KirVonte Benson ran an 11-yard rush for a touchdown with 12 minutes left in the game, but the extra point was blocked, so the score was 31-24. Benson finished the game with 136 yards on 26 carries with one touchdown
Marshall ran for another massive touchdown, this time it was for an impressive 70-yards. Marshall’s long rushing touchdown was enough to put the game out of reach for the Deacon Demons and giving the game the final score of 38-24.
When asked about his two-long touchdown runs, Marshall said, “Great blocking up front. The guys opened up some holes for me, Ricky [Jeune] made a great block on the perimeter, and I just tried to make a play. Tried to get the game in our favor.”
“That was a heck of a football game,” Paul Johnson said “I was really proud of the guys in the second half. I think Wake Forest is a good team. They’ve played everybody close all year… To come out in the second half, the defense did a nice job of holding them to three points and got some fourth-down stops. On offense, we were able to get some big plays and get in the end zone.”
Georgia Tech’s next game is a big test at Clemson next Saturday at 8:00 p.m. EST at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Written by Derek Robbie
Georgia Tech looks to rebound back from its second heartbreaking, one-point loss of the season as they host Wake Forest for the Yellow Jackets’ yearly homecoming game on Saturday night. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST from Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Demon Deacons come into Saturday’s game off of a bye week and will look to use the rest to their advantage. After a 4-0 start to the season, they have dropped two straight games to perpetual ACC Atlantic division powers Florida State and Clemson. Additionally, Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford is set to return from a shoulder injury he suffered against Florida State.
The Yellow Jackets saw the chance to seize sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal Division in a devastating 25-24 loss to Miami. Georgia Tech led for the whole game before the Canes drove down the field to kick a 24-yard game-winning field goal with four seconds to go in the game.
Georgia Tech quarterback, Taquon Marshall, is keen to move on from the Miami result and focus on Wake Forest. Marshall stated, “We’re just going to have to flush that one and get ready for Wake. They’re 4-2, just coming off a bye week.”
It is evident that Paul Johnson’s message to the team is to learn from past mistakes while not dwelling on them, and to stay focused on the task at hand.
Of the 300 minutes the Yellow Jackets have played in regulation this season, they have only trailed for a total of just over 20 minutes, including all but four seconds after halftime. Though this stat is impressive, it must be frustrating for Georgia Tech players because of their 3-2 record and hovering outside of the national rankings.
“Obviously, we’re frustrated that we lost in the ways we did, but at the same time, we did compete with two Top 25 teams. So, we look forward to seeing what we can do in the future when we play another ranked opponent,” sophomore left guard, Parker Braun said.
Saturday’s meeting between the Yellow Jackets and the Demon Deacons is set up to be an intriguing affair. It will be a grind for Georgia Tech’s offense to put up big yards against a talented defensive front for Wake Forest.
Jackets’ Head Coach Paul Johnson praised Wake Forest’s defense and said, “I think they lead the nation in tackles for loss, they’re in the top 20 in scoring defense … Again, it’s a big challenge. I think #53 the defensive end [Duke] Ejiofor, he’s a really good player but the other guy that’s caught our eye is the other defensive end, Wendell Dunn, he makes a lot of plays…They’ve got a lot of guys that have played a lot of football.”
It will be interesting to see if the Yellow Jackets can shake off the disappointing loss to Miami and beat a Wake Forest teams that can cause Tech some problems. Georgia Tech will look to use the homecoming game atmosphere to their advantage Saturday night. They will also try to control the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively if they wish to get a positive result against the Demon Deacons. This is a game where Georgia Tech is the favorite, though they cannot take Wake Forest lightly or they could very well lose. Saturday has the makings for a very entertaining ACC matchup, so be sure to tune in.
Written by Derek Robbie
Miami Gardens, FL - Coming into their ACC Coastal division matchup a lot was on the line Georgia Tech and Miami. The Yellow Jackets were rested up from a bye week, and sporting a three-game winning streak. The undefeated Hurricanes were riding high after their emotional come from behind victory over FSU. Miami was able to outlast Georgia Tech 25-24 to claim first place in the division and keep their unblemished record intact.
The Yellow Jackets won the coin toss and chose to defer. On first down, Miami quarterback Malik Rosier dropped back to pass, but the Georgia Tech defensive line caused Rosier to slip for a loss of 12 yards. Miami could not recover from the negative yards on first down and be forced to punt the ball away.
On the following drive, the Yellow Jackets struggled to put together positive plays. After rushing twice and quarterback TaQuan Marshall getting sacked they were forced to punt back to the Hurricanes.
As Miami received the ball to start their next drive, running back, Travis Homer broke free for two rushes consisting of ten-plus yards to bring them inside the red zone. Rosier then took a shot into the end zone, but his receiver, Mike Harley could not keep hold of the ball and were forced to settle for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
Once Georgia Tech got the ball back, they seemed to have settled into the game. On their first few plays, the Jackets got two nice rushes from running backs Qua Searcy and Clinton Lynch. The following play Lynch took a handoff and rushed for 48 yards before being brought down inside the red zone. A few plays later, running back J.J. Green ran the ball in for a 5-yard touchdown. Green’s touchdown gave Georgia Tech a 7-3 lead with about four and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Jackets forced Miami to go three-and-out once again and got the ball back with three minutes left in the first quarter. They had four big rushing plays from running backs Nathan Cottrell, and KirVonte Benson to take Georgia Tech inside the red zone. Once inside the five, Marshall dropped back to pass and found Green for a three-yard touchdown to take a 14-3 lead over Miami with just over 14 minutes left in the second quarter.
By the end of the first, Georgia Tech had already accumulated 137 yards on the ground on 16 rushing attempts. Furthermore, the Yellow Jackets were enforcing their will upon the Hurricanes with their dominant first quarter ground game.
Early in the second quarter, Miami pieced together a beautiful drive consisting of eight plays and lasting just over two and a half minutes. The most significant play of the drive came from Homer when he ran to his right for a huge 32-yard gain to bring the Canes inside the red zone. Unfortunately for Canes fans, Miami could not capitalize on their field position and was forced to kick a field goal. Kicker Michael Badgley’s 32-yard kick was good to make the game 14-6 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
The Hurricanes got the ball back on their own 25 with just under two minutes remaining in the half. Rosier finally started to find his rhythm on the final drive of the half. The drive-defining play came when the ball was snapped over Rosier’s head, and he had to scramble to pick up the ball. Once he secured the ball, Rosier rolled to his right and found receiver Dionte Mullins for 10 yards and the first. On second down inside the red zone, Rosier dropped back and saw Homer to his left whom brought the ball into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown. Homer’s touchdown made the score 14-13 with just 12 seconds left in the half.
Right off the bat, Georgia Tech’s Lamont Simmons returned a squib kick 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Yellow Jackets a 21-13 lead. Miami got the ball back, and could not move the ball at all, so they had to punt back to the Jackets.
Georgia Tech got the ball back and had some success running the ball on Miami’s defense, as they had all afternoon. Once Miami had shown they were stacking the box, the Yellow Jackets took a gamble by throwing deep to receiver Ricky Jeune, and it was definitely worth the risk. Jeune brought the ball in for a 48-yard gain, also putting them in the red zone. Though, the Yellow Jackets had to settle with a field goal increasing their lead to 24-13 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
On the Canes’ ensuing drive, they gained most of their yards on one play. Rosier dropped back to pass and threw a bomb to his receiver, Jeff Thomas for a 70- yard completion. Thomas’ catch brought Miami inside Georgia Tech’s 10-yard line, but Miami could not exploit the field position and settled for a field goal. Badgley’s field goal made the score 24-16 with three and a half minutes left in the third.
On Georgia Tech’s following drive, Miami’s defense forced them to punt after only six plays. Miami got the ball back at the start of the 4th quarter and marched down the field gaining a decent number of yards on most of their plays. Eventually, the Canes handed the ball off to Homer who took the ball to the house on a 27-yarder. They went for two but could not convert making the score 24-22 with 13 and a half minutes left in the game.
Both teams traded possession of the football several times until the Canes got the ball with two and a half minutes left, and started driving downfield. Once the Hurricanes got inside the 50, the Yellow Jackets’ defense tightened up significantly. Their defense forced Miami into a 4th and 10, where Miami had no choice but to go for it with only 44 seconds left. Rosier dropped back to pass and threw it to his right towards his receiver, Darrell Langham. Georgia Tech’s defensive back Lamont Simmons tipped Rosier’s pass up in the air, but Miami's Langham was in the perfect position to make a spectacular catch. Miami ran a couple of plays to run down the clock so that Michael Badgley could close the game off with less than 10 seconds on the clock. Badgley made his 24-yard field goal to give Miami a 25-24 lead which was their first lead of the game. Paul Johnson had this to say about Langham’s catch, “On 4th and ten their kid made a hell of a play.”
Georgia Tech received the ball on the kickoff and completed several laterals before a Miami player fell on the ball to end the game. Miami won 25-24 in an incredibly entertaining game at Hard Rock Stadium.
This game is a hard loss for the Yellow Jackets and their fans, but Paul Johnson and his staff know much more about this squad than they did before the game on Saturday. Though they lost, Georgia Tech fans now know they can compete with and beat the best of the best in the ACC.
Paul Johnson had this to say about Saturday’s loss, “Well, just really hurting and disappointed for our guys. It was a tough, hard-fought football game, and in the end, they made one more play than we did.”
Georgia Tech hosts Wake Forest next Saturday, October 21 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Written by Derek Robbie
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will play the University of Miami Hurricanes this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off of their second bye week of the 2017 campaign. Their first “bye” was when their game at UCF was canceled so the National Guard could use Spectrum Stadium as their base of operations after Hurricane Irma. When asked about coming off of a bye week, Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson said, “During the bye week, we worked extensively on special teams – some one-minute defense and some redzone offense, just to mention a few things. Hopefully, we get better at it. We’ll find out Saturday.”
This weekend’s matchup in South Florida is a battle over first place in the ACC Coastal division with Georgia Tech’s record at 3-1 (2-0 in the ACC) and Miami’s record at 4-0 (2-0 in the ACC). As of now both teams are tied atop the Coastal division and undefeated in conference play. Both the Yellow Jackets and Hurricanes are just a half game over Virginia who is only 1-0 in conference play
The Yellow Jackets are one of four teams in college football and the only team in the ACC that rank in the country’s top 20 in both total defense, where they are ranked sixth, and total offense, where they are ranked 20th. Georgia Tech’s top-10 defensive ranking can be credited in large part to forcing three-and-outs on 53% of their defensive series this season. The only other team in Division I football to force three-and-outs on at least half of their defensive series is Michigan at 58%. If the Yellow Jackets wish to win they will need their high-powered defense to continue their trend of forcing teams off the field in three downs against the exciting Miami offense.
Offensively, the Jackets rank among the top 10 in the country in eight different statistical categories along with rushing where they are ranked second and passing efficiency at fifth. With this being said Georgia Tech will look to dominate Miami’s front seven in order to run the ball effectively. Paul Johnson had this to say about Miami’s front seven, “They’re big and fast and explosive. They create a lot of negative plays and a lot of turnovers. Their three linebackers, probably as a group, are as good or better than anybody else in the league.”
Saturday’s contest will be the Yellow Jackets first big test of the 2017 campaign due to playing weaker teams such as Tennessee, Jacksonville State, and Pittsburgh. Coach Johnson touched base on playing a tough opponent like the Canes and said, “Yeah, we’ll know a lot more on Saturday night. But. Then again, you’re not going to put everything – your evaluation – on one game either, so it’s a process. But certainly, Saturday will tell us a lot more about it.”
Not only will Paul Johnson have a better idea on where his team stands, the Miami coaching staff will know more about their squad of players and what they are capable of on Saturday night. With all being said it will be an intriguing matchup Saturday to see who will be the premier team in the ACC Coastal division. So tune in because it is sure to be a very entertaining game between two strong teams!
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