Did that game seem familiar? A blown second half lead? Horribly timed turnovers? Struggling with a mobile QB? Special teams dysfunction? Yup, seemed familiar to me too. There was some good in this game. Taquon Marshall lead the offense fairly well and they moved the ball quite easily even when there were injuries to Marshall, KirVonte Benson, and Jahaziel Lee. The defense did alright early in the game, but fell apart later in the game and suffered two ejections (Tariq Carpenter and David Curry for targeting) and an injury to safety Malik Rivera.
The biggest part of this game was USF’s back to back kick returns for touchdowns. That’s plain unacceptable. Special teams has been a recurring issue for Georgia Tech teams which raises the question of why we don’t have a dedicated special teams coach?
There were a lot of things that went wrong in this game that could have changed the result. What if Qua Searcy doesn’t fumble the ball when GT is driving? What if Benson doesn’t get hurt? What if GT had made a play on either of those kickoff returns? What if Rivera, Oliver, and Curry are able to stay in the game? This was a very frustrating loss, but there is somewhere to go from here.
Looking ahead to next week Tech faces a Pitt team coming off a crushing home loss to Penn State. Pitt was hanging with the Nittany Lions early in a heavy rain game, but when they fell apart, they really fell apart. It was only 14-6 at halftime before PSU dominated the second half 37-0. We’ll see if Pitt is able to get over the demoralizing loss by next week.
Potentially one reason for the late game defensive collapse by the Yellow Jackets was that the team was missing three defensive starters by the fourth quarter. Two of those were ejected for targeting. Paul Johnson was not a fan of the calls (honestly neither was I). “They were awful. Absolutely ridiculous. Especially the one on David Curry. It’s awful.” Johnson complained.
Tariq Carpenter was ejected for “Lowering his head before initiating forcible contact with the crown of his helmet.” He definitely lowered his head, but to say he initiated forcible contact is a big stretch. That one was confirmed upon review.
David Curry was ejected for leading with his head and hitting the ball carrier in the head or neck area. Replay does not clearly show the hit which makes it a tough call to get hit with. Curry is also out for the first half of the Pitt game.