1) Can you give a brief review of the game against Pitt?
Kieffer Milligan: I was encouraged by the strides taken by the offense against Pitt. Blocking was much better in the run game, especially against the edge. However, the OL still needs to learn how to run a pass block scheme. Way too many guys had free release while others were double teamed. Gotta block everyone. Mikell Lands-Davis impressed me again. For someone so young, he is quite adept in all 3 phases of the AB game(running, blocking, receiving). I think he stays out at AB permanently with Marcus Marshall proving that he's the man at BB.
Defense was frustrating to watch. We played this game way too safe. The safeties were played deep, taking them out of the run game, and playing deep didn't help much in the pass game anyway. Because of the lack of adjustments on defense, Pitt was able to play numbers games with us, and it was quite frustrating. Missed tackles were also a major issue. Even when we were getting there, we weren't making the play. A similar performance against FSU will lead to a blowout.
Benjamin Tankersley: The offense took a huge step forward with this game. As Kieffer said, our blocking looked much better. Now that might have been because of the level of competition, but I'm also not that knowledgeable about Pitt. Our younger players still looked fantastic.
On defense, however, we are still getting pushed around. It felt like we were only ever bringing four guys and could never get off blocks or anything. It was frustrating.
2) Does an earlier bye week make a difference in our season? Most of our injuries wouldn’t be fixed with a bye week but I feel a week off, say after the Duke or unc game, would’ve helped put the brakes on the downward slope. -- GTnuke12
KM: A bye would have helped, but I think the bigger issue has been who we've played these last few weeks. When the team finally starts to show progress, it's time to play Clemson or FSU, which is a tall order that can kill the confidence of the team. The team would be better off playing Virginia or Miami through this stretch to finally fix the blocking issues and gain confidence for the tougher opponents on the schedule.
BT: Using your logic, I think the best place for a bye week would have been between Duke and UNC. Even a few weeks later, I'm not convinced that UNC is a better team than we are. Yeah they've got some good players, but we had a bunch of blunders and literally gave them a few of their scores.
3) How much do you think that all the pre-season hype contributed to our dismal 2015 results on the field? -- YJAlleyCat
KM: I don't necessarily think that had a huge effect. The injuries and lack of experience have been the bigger issue by far. Maybe they were overconfident against Notre Dame, but all of that should be long gone by now, and we are still facing the same issues. I'm also not pleased with the positional coaching in some key areas this season, and I think come changes may be coming soon.
BT: I would say at first it affected us, especially against Notre Dame. We were riding high and mighty into South Bend, and there were people (myself included) that expected Tech to waltz in and win by two touchdowns. The Jackets definitely needed that and I would say they quit feeling so good about themselves after that.
4) Would you rather beat UGA or make a bowl? -- intrect
KM: Oh man this is a tough one. My head says make a bowl, since it allows for valuable extra practices that can make a difference for next year, but my heart says beat UGA. I have way too many relatives who are UGA fans, so beating them is always a must. Guess I'll go with my heart. Beat UGA.
BT: I've never been the prototypical Georgia Tech fan as I don't hate UGA as much as my fellow fans. No, I would never cheer for them, but mostly I'm indifferent to them as a sports team. I respect the school enough to get my degree from here, and honestly, looking at the team, the extra month of practice that we would get for making a bowl game seems pretty nice, so I'll say I'd rather go to a bowl game than win against UGA.
5) What did you think of Will Bryan's first start? It seems CPJ is content to start giving more of the young folks on the line more playing time – I think I’ve seen folks like Klock out there a bit more. Is this a case of CPJ giving younger folks more playing time to develop into 2016 after some of the veterans used up all his patience? -- BooBooBoo
KM: I was impressed by his tenacity. He still hasn't mastered the finer points of option blocking, but the 5th year seniors haven't been getting that right either. When he did get his hands on someone, he would drive block them into the ground. I'd be comfortable with giving him significant playing time from here on out, but I'd be a bit wary of playing him against Florida State extensively. That's a fast defense for someone who hasn't completely caught up to the speed of the college game.
BT: I was impressed simply because he was playing better than the alternatives. If he can turn into our next bell cow on the offensive line, then he's gotta start some time and there's no time like the present. I'm excited to see what he's going to do at Tech down the line, but he still has a good way to go. I think he'll stay in a starting position for the rest of the season and be the starter at left tackle next season until the end of his career at Tech.
6) How do we look this week against FSU?
KM: With the offense starting to show some life last week, This week is not the week I want them to be playing Florida State. Their DTs are large and athletic, and will be able to wreak havoc on our offensive line,even if they manage to remember their blocking assignments. On the edge, the speed of the Florida State defense will be an issue. Against Pitt, the offense occasionally got away with not blocking the Mike LB because he wasn't all that fast. This week that will not be the case. The offense will need to return to 2014 form to move the ball effectively the entire game, which is a tall order for this unit.
On the other side of the ball, where do I begin? The defense looked soft against a Pitt squad that wasn't really known for its offensive prowess. Enter the Seminoles, a team faster on offense that any we've faced all year. Many of the questions here have to do with Dalvin Cook. Is he healthy? Can we tackle him? How many carries will Fisher give him.
One thing I'd like to see from the Tech defense this week is creativity and aggression. Both were lacking against Pitt. If Roof can come up with a scheme this week to beat the Noles, my confidence in him will be restored.
I liked what I saw from the offense last week, but I just don't have faith in this defense right now. Hopefully they can prove me wrong. Florida State 35, Georgia Tech 24
BT: Guys, this season is not over yet. We had our best game to date against a P5 opponent, in my opinion, and I still believe that we have a chance in every game left this season. Now, to some, I may just seem like I'm just chugging gold kool-aid, but I think it's more than that. I've been given hope by some of the freshmen that have played this season. Marcus Marshall, Mikell Lands-Davis and Will Bryan have all played about as well as one could expect for freshmen at this level. They still have room for growth, but the season isn't over. For the offense at least.
On defense and special teams, it seems like it is or nearly is a dumpster fire, especially special teams. As Joey wrote earlier this week, special teams have cost us in each of our losses, and in less they start to get better, we're going to keep losing. Yes, our offense and defense have struggled quite a bit this season, but I think special teams has been the main killer in our season. If that changes this week, we have a legitimate chance to win. I don't see it happening. Not this week. FSU wins 38-24 because of a couple special teams blunders that pretty much give the Seminoles a few touchdowns.