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Technical Tidbits 10/31: Jackets top Duke, J. Johnson arrested for simple battery

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It took a miraculous performance from Justin Thomas, but Tech pulled away with a victory on Saturday afternoon.

NCAA Football: Duke at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Jackets escaped with a narrow victory over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, nearly blowing a 21-point halftime lead to David Cutcliffe’s team. There’s a lot to unpack from that performance in the coming days, including a historical performance from Justin Thomas, but the main takeaway has to be the absolutely atrocious performance by Ted Roof’s defense. Duke gained 559 total yards and converted 8 of 13 third down opportunities, nearly toppling the Jackets in what could have been a season-endangering loss. Keeping true to form, Tech simply couldn’t stop Duke quarterback Daniel Jones on the ground (10 carries for 73 yards) or through the air (305 yards and 2 touchdowns). He’s a plenty talented player, but he shouldn’t be made to look like a top-tier quarterback, particularly on the road. Something needs to change, because there aren’t many other offenses that will go for over 550 yards and lose.

Georgia Tech seems to constantly get the short end of the stick when it comes to conference scheduling, as three of the Jackets’ 2016 ACC opponents have played or will play Tech after coming off of a bye. The first such opponent was Miami, a game which resulted in a Tech loss, and last weekend’s opponent — Duke — was the second to have a week off. Johnson and crew will do it again this weekend against North Carolina, once again facing a team that has had a full week of preparation and rest. As ESPN’s Andrea Adelson points out, Tech is 5-11 when playing under those conditions since Johnson assumed command in 2008. It would probably be helpful to compare those numbers to how other teams have performed against well-rested opponents, but playing 16 teams coming off of bye weeks seems like a high number regardless.

Some bad news broke yesterday when it was revealed that Georgia Tech safety Jalen Johnson had been arrested for simple battery following an early-morning frat house incident on Tech’s campus. Johnson, a redshirt sophomore this season, has played in each of Tech’s eight games this season as a special teams contributor, recording five tackles. The details of the incident have not been released quite yet, but it’s never good to see a player arrested for any type of violent offense, no matter how minor. I suspect that Johnson’s status as a player on the team is currently up in the air pending the outcome of his case; Paul Johnson doesn’t appreciate any type of distraction.