Injury trouble continues to be a major issue for Georgia Tech as the weight of a brutal ACC schedule begins to grow, manifesting itself most recently in the form of an ankle injury to Quinton Stephens. These things are to be expected with a bench as short as Tech’s, but it’s never a good thing for a starter who often plays start to finish to be questionable for one of the biggest games of the season. That’s even more true when you consider the other injury updates that Josh Pastner provided during his weekly radio show last night, a long list including the likes of Ben Lammers (rolled his ankle against Boston College), Josh Okogie (tendonitis), and Justin Moore, whose grandfather passed away earlier this week.
Georgia Tech’s chances of making it to the NCAA Tournament very much exist, but it will be a tough road to navigate without a victory tomorrow night. To feel good about the team’s chances, you’d really need to get around 20 wins. It’s completely possible that anything from 17 to 19 wins could get us in, but the odds are not good until you hit that nice 20-win plateau — a daunting but feasible task. There are currently seven guaranteed games left on the schedule, six regular season matchups plus at least one ACC Tournament game, but many of the opponents are improving quickly. The ideal scenario would be a win tomorrow at Miami. From there, split the home-and-home with Syracuse and take care of business at home against Pitt and NC State before winning a game or two in the tournament. That’s not the guaranteed path, just the easiest given that winning both games against Syracuse and taking down Notre Dame in South Bend would be a tall order.
Meanwhile in the world of football, Georgia Tech’s offensive line has garnered some serious praise from ESPN for being the second-best unit in the ACC. Coming in just behind Clemson for the honor, the Tech offensive line finished the season very strong and promises to show more of the same this time around despite the departure of stalwart center Freddie Burden. Simply put, the whole team takes a step back if the O-Line does. There’s no way a brand new quarterback can succeed without a very savvy group in front of him, as we saw during the 2015 season when even a veteran Justin Thomas failed to run the offense efficiently. Hopefully the big guys can live up to the billing once again this season.