Any school that employs the flexbone offense like Georgia Tech does will undoubtedly face multiple third/fourth-and-inches scenarios over the course of the season. The 2014 campaign has been no exception to that rule for the Jackets -- they have been absurdly efficient on third and fourth down -- and a big reason for that success has to be the fantastic play of senior guard Shaq Mason. Mason has been the go-to guy for Paul Johnson all season, whether it be on fourth-and-inches or first-and-goal. He has done a consistently fantastic job leading Tech's rushing game and is a huge part of why they have been so efficient and effective so far this season. We are really going to miss this guy next season, especially when we need a mobile lead blocker on the goal line.
A thirty foot brick wall couldn't stop Georgia Tech's offense with they way they've been playing lately. Paul Johnson's flexbone scheme has been unbelievably consistent over the last few games following the Duke loss, compiling 611 yards of total offense against UNC, 612 against Pitt, 409 against UVA, and most recently 549 against NC State. Those number seem totally unsustainable, yet the Jackets have been absolutely dominating opposing defenses regardless. Tech is currently ranked second in the nation in terms of rushing yards per game at 335.6 per contest, trailing only Navy. No team in the NCAA has rushed for more touchdowns than Georgia Tech either; the Jackets have gone for a whopping 34 so far.
The newest SB Nation playoff and bowl predictions have the Jackets going to the Pinstripe Bowl to meet up with the Penn State Nittany Lions, who are currently 5-4 and fighting for bowl eligibility. I would be really excited for a Georgia Tech vs. Penn State bowl game, just preferably not one played in Yankee Stadium. That is not terribly convenient for anyone involved. All things considered, an appearance in that bowl would be quite disappointing for a Tech team which could win as many as 10 games going into bowl season -- the Pinstripe Bowl is supposed to pit a middle-of-the-pack ACC team against a similarly mediocre B1G school. Last year's matchup was between a disappointing Notre Dame team and Rutgers, for example.
Sound the alarm, we have a potential ACC Coastal logjam on our hands! If the Miami Hurricanes can somehow manage to upset the undefeated Florida State Seminoles (and they are in the perfect position to do just that), then we could be in for a very fun ride the rest of the way. The season very well could end in a three-way tie at the top of the standings, which would obviously cause mass chaos to ensure. Here's what needs to happen:
1. Georgia Tech wins against Clemson and finishes 6-2 in the ACC.
2. Duke loses to either Wake Forest, UNC, or Virginia Tech and finishes 6-2 in the ACC.
3. Miami wins out against FSU, UVA, and Pitt and finishes 6-2 in the ACC.
Hooray for the trifecta of sadness!
What situation would most likely propel Georgia Tech into the ACC Championship Game?
Have a great Monday!