It was a rough afternoon starting with the second half. After completely dominating the first half (sans that one 69-yard run by Southern), Georgia Tech came out completely flat and uninspired during the second half. They couldn't tackle, they couldn't block, they couldn't catch. It was miserable.
Now, instead of continuing to talk about how much we sucked in the second half (don't worry, I'll talk about it some more at the end), I will at least mention what we did well, which in the second half wasn't a whole lot.
The first half for the Yellow Jackets was extremely impressive. Justin Thomas was having a career day, taking 15 carries for 108 yards on the ground while also completing 8 of his 14 passes for 149 yards and three touchdowns. It was incredible. I thought we were on the way to an absolute rout of the Eagles. And then, the Yellow Jackets went into the locker rooms for half time and stayed there.
In the second half, the Yellow Jackets offense and defense came out completely flat. There was no intensity. There was no drive. They thought they had the game won in the first half and decided to take the second half off. It was the complete opposite from the last two games, in which the Yellow Jackets took the first half off.
Thankfully, as the fourth quarter was running down and the Eagles were driving again, Southern made an ill-advised pitch that they could not come up with. Instead, the Yellow Jackets came up with it. This proved to be just the spark the Yellow Jackets needed to finish the game. Justin Thomas methodically led his team down the field, and then, with only 23 seconds left in the game, Justin Thomas takes his final snap. A Southern defender looks as though he will have an easy sack, but Thomas proves to be just a little bit too shifty for him, so Thomas rolls out to the right side. As he is running, he sees Deon Hill open and running towards the end zone. He throws it, and Hill catches it. The crowd collectively holds their breath to see if he can make it. He does, and the crowd goes absolutely crazy.
My question for the Yellow Jackets? What happened? There was a team in the first half that came out and knew that this game was a must-win. They came out ready to prove that they were better than the team that came out slow against both Wofford and Tulane. And they had proved those things, at least in the first half. Players and coaches agreed in the post-game conference that Southern did not change very much during halftime. But Georgia Tech did. Georgia Tech went from being the team that a lot of us (myself included) knew they should be to becoming the team that all of us feared, the one that can't seem to play a full game.
There's not a lot to be happy about in this game. It wasn't an easy game to watch. After the first half, things were going really well. The Yellow Jackets were up by four scores and thought that there was no way Southern could make a comeback. They were wrong. Not only did Southern make too close for comfort, they even held a lead for a while. This is the same team that went 7-4 as an FCS team last year. This is inexcusable. If the Yellow Jackets continue to play this way, it will not only be a long season, but our entire coaching staff could be looking for a new job by the end of the season.
What say you? Am I overreacting, even in the slightest?