Year one of the Nate Woody era has been a statistical mixed bag, but we have plenty of reason to believe that the former Appalachian State defensive coordinator has Tech on track to be a sounder defensive program in the coming years. Ken Sugiura rightly notes that while sacks per game are a tick lower this season than last (1.4 versus 1.5), quarterback hurries are up substantially (2.8 per game versus 2.0 last year) and the Jackets have made progress in allowing fewer big scores at the close of halves. It is also worth nothing that Tech replaced its entire secondary and some defensive line depth this season — a tall order for any team, much less one that’s trying to break in a new system.
Meanwhile up in Minnesota, former Yellow Jacket Josh Okogie has made early starts and played meaningful minutes that most rookies coached by Tom Thibodeau simply never get the chance to play. He’s done it with relentless defense at a time in NBA history where prowess on that side of the floor is often secondary (go Hawks) and also by working to improve his shooting, one of a few facets of his game that still need some fine-tuning. With the Jimmy Butler situation still unfolding in Minnesota, the TWolves are likely glad they drafted such a pro-ready player at 20. He’d be a gamechanger for the Jackets this year had he stayed, but it’s hard to fault Okogie’s decision to go pro given his early results so far.
It just wouldn’t be a Thursday without some light discussion of alternate uniforms, would it? Though we have our own in-house expert here at From the Rumble Seat, CBS Sports does a decent job breaking down some of the nation’s top uniforms as well. Tech’s throwback navy and gold uniforms from earlier this season actually come in at 6th on the list, proving definitively that navy is more than just an accent color. Deal with it.