In the game of football, a win or loss almost always comes down a razor-thin margin of victory. While you could easily apply this assertion to Tech's basketball team from a season ago, the ugly nature of those thin margins are really showing themselves during the 2015 football season. The Jackets, who a season ago found seemingly every possible way to win games on their way to an 11-win campaign, have done just the opposite so far this season. Whether it be a dropped pick-six against UNC or a school-record field goal from Pitt, the toss-ups have just been going the other way all season long. As hard as many people try, you just can't put that kind of tough luck on coaching or anything else. It just has to happen. Maybe this week is Tech's turn to catch a break.
Even with all of the buzz surrounding LSU's Leonard Fournette all season long, the best runner in college football has been playing for a different school all along. I wrote about Tech needing a good break just a second ago, but that break likely won't come this week -- at least for the defense -- because that aforementioned top-notch rusher is Florida State's Dalvin Cook. Ever since being cleared of criminal charges in the preseason, Cook has been playing absolutely out of his mind. Just how out of his mind, you ask? Out of his mind to the tune of 955 yards so far on just 110 carries. That is good for an amazing 8.7 yards per carry, and the Jackets don't figure to be immune -- Cook ran for 171 yards on Tech in the ACCCG last season.
If everything doesn't go according to schedule on Saturday night, the Jackets could very well be on track for embarrassment number 6 of the season against a stout FSU team. The Seminoles, one of the best run-defending teams in the nation, very well could be the most talented team the Jackets have faced all season long. That doesn't mean I expect them to be the best, but in terms of pure athleticism the Noles stand above most. They also lead the nation in turnovers, having lost the ball just once all season, on a fumble. Those two things are not great indicators and make me extremely nervous for what could happen. An ugly sixth-straight loss is not what Tech needs right now.
The Falcons made a solid depth move yesterday when they announced the signing of former Yellow Jacket Phillip Wheeler, a veteran linebacker who was a longtime starter on The Flats before being drafted by Indianapolis back in 2008. Wheeler, whose biggest asset has been his ability to cover tight ends in the passing game, returns to Atlanta by way of the Colts, Raiders, and Dolphins. He was released by the San Francisco 49ers in early September and has been a free agent since that time, but will hopefully get a chance to revive his career in front of a friendly crowd at the Georgia Dome.
Can Georgia Tech contain Dalvin Cook? What will have to happen for them to do so?