Georgia Tech's depressing loss to Duke on Saturday may have been many things, but pretty wasn't one of them. The Tech defense was totally useless on third down, even allowing a conversion on third-and-25 at one point, and a number of would-be-punts were erased on Georgia Tech penalties. On the offensive side, the Jackets turned the ball over three times, including two interceptions and a fumble by Zach Laskey, while just about being out-gained on the ground by Duke's Josh Snead and company. It is safe to say that "getting back up" will become the theme of week for Paul Johnson's Jackets, who will head up to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels, a team which magically became competent just in time to face off with Tech in a pivotal Coastal matchup. Hooray!
Believe it or not, there are people who feel that Tech's devastating loss to the Duke Blue Devils was actually a blessing in disguise for the young team. The more I think about it, the more I can actually sympathize with this viewpoint. There is a good reason why teams that get off to a hot start despite low expectations usually trip up (see: 2012 FSU vs. NCSU), and that reason is that expectations go from too low to too high very quickly. Many "experts" (because you know, we have expert fortune tellers who get payed a lot of money to guess the outcome of games) had the Jackets going 5-7, or 4-8 in some cases, and falling to the basement of the ACC Coastal. These same experts then told us that Tech was a playoff dark-horse, we listened, and Tech lost. Whatever the case may be, I'd expect everyone on the team to play at a much higher level from now on. The loss was, if nothing else, a wake-up call for a Tech team which was lost in a dream.
The latest round of bowl projections once again have Tech going to the Belk Bowl, only in this projection to face off with the Missouri Tigers. I'm honestly shocked that the Jackets are even projected to go to a bowl at all seeing as how they've now been outed as the worst team in America by most sources (they fell well into the 30's in most major polls) and are obviously destined to go 0-6 to close the season, starting with a loss to the eventual NCAA Champion UNC Tar Heels. The only problem I have is with Clemson going to the Orange Bowl for the ACC -- the Tigers lost phenom Deshaun Watson for at least five weeks, leaving the struggling Cole Stoudt to replace him.
In the next installment of the Jameis Winston saga, the prized quarterback will face a disciplinary hearing regarding the accusations of sexual assault from 2012. Head coach Jimbo Fisher says that Winston likely won't miss any game time, but if he does then it could really shake up the ACC and playoff picture -- FSU will face a tough Notre Dame team this week.
Was Tech's loss to Duke a blessing in disguise?
I hope you all had a great long weekend, assuming you had one at all (boo, stupid state governments), and have a great Tuesday!