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Technical Tidbits 10/17: Tech limps to bye week, Vandy runs this state

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This weekend’s lack of a football game is great news for Georgia Tech.

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech completed the process of limping to the bye week on Saturday, sneaking past Georgia Southern by a final score of 35-24 in Atlanta. That’s not the final score we’d hoped to see against the Eagles, but the Jackets ultimately took care of business and came away with win number four of the season. We’ve now officially eclipsed last season’s meager win total of three, hardly an accomplishment to be proud of, and the future schedule looks a bit rosier than the tough start to the season with the likes of Duke, UVA, UNC, Virginia Tech, and Georgia to round out the year. Bowl eligibility should come rather quickly if all goes well, and Tech has the opportunity to prove itself worthy of a higher-tier bowl if the team can put up eight or nine victories for the season.

Tech may have finished off its pre-bye section of the 2016 schedule with that much-needed victory over Georgia Southern, but the Jackets are hardly out of the woods with a number of key games still coming up. It truly appears that the offense is on track despite missing a massive number of key contributors on the offensive, but the defense is another story. Tech gave up well over 300 yards to Georgia Southern on Saturday, a mark well above what should be considered acceptable for an ACC team going against one from the Sun Belt. Ted Roof’s unit has been particularly inefficient on third downs, where Tech ranks 125th out of 128 eligible FBS schools in terms of third-down conversions allowed. That’s egregious on its own, but the fact that some of Tech’s opponents have been Mercer, GA Southern, Vanderbilt, and Boston College makes it even worse.

Meanwhile in Athens, Georgia came away stunned after a midday loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores at Sanford Stadium on Saturday. The win was Vandy head coach Derek Mason’s first conference road victory ever, and it came via a final score of 17-16 over UGA. Days just don’t get any rougher than that. I mean, Georgia performed so poorly that nearly every news outlet’s takeaway from the game was that their struggling kicker made a few field goals and looked good on kickoffs. That really indicates how hapless the rest of the team appeared against such a horrendous opponent. For those of you keeping score at home, this is the same Vanderbilt team that Tech dismantled by a final score of 38-7 earlier this season in Atlanta. Transitive property, anyone?

Have a great Monday!