The Tommy Bowden years had this era beat in at least one way. It was like a box of chocolate. We would upset a top 10 team one week then lose to an unranked scrub the following. Now we’re the top 10 team. Sure, we could have a letdown game, but pretty much everyone does. Could Georgia Tech be it? Quite possibly. It’s also unlikely. As a 16.5 point favorite, Vegas gives us an 85% chance to win. Add in Dabo’s preference to substitute early and often and it is probably a bit higher. With Brent Venables and our front seven, I have a very hard time seeing an upset.
A&M tested us horizontally and downfield. Furman and Georgia Southern tested us with the triple option. None of those teams had success running on us and that’s what Georgia Tech will need to do to have a chance of success. Even though they have two losses, Georgia Tech is an excellent rushing team averaging 7.1 yards per carry. That ties for fourth in the country. Where Georgia Tech struggles is passing. With 7.92 yards per attempt and a 47.1% completion rate, their passing attack is downright bad. Add in 4 interceptions on 51 attempts, and they are throwing an interception 7.8% of the time. Our DB’s will get to practice their ball skills.
This isn’t a typical Paul Johnson team. It’s not just the high interception rate, but also high fumble rate. They lost the ball six times, turning it over four times in three games. They allowed two special teams touchdowns to South Florida. Even Pitt out-gained Georgia Tech on a yard per play basis (6.20 vs. 5.44). Their recruiting talent is very similar to what it has been since 2010. It’s just sloppy play.
Georgia Tech can’t afford to turn the ball over and will need help with special teams plays and turnovers by Clemson. I have a very hard time seeing them develop a schematic advantage, but it’s always possible. Unfortunately, we’re at the point in a program where we as fans can snooze on Georgia Tech and most other teams on the schedule. I’m sure we will see a lot of backups in this game. It’s nothing like the exciting years of Tommy Bowden.
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