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Tuesday Muse-day 9/10: Always Be Closing

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In which we talk tennis and Rage Against the Machine

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 USF at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey y’all, welcome to the first winning week of the Collins era! Drink it in, this is our destiny.

Game Recap in Three Sentences

The defense got it done, holding USF to a 27% third down conversion rate and just 10 points.

Both teams ended up using three quarterbacks to not much offensive success.

A huge goal line stop in the fourth saved disaster for the Jackets.

Uniform Rating

2.3/3 stripes. The white out looks GOOD. I actually want to rate it higher, but I don’t want to put them above the 2.4 I gave the white/gold one. That was a low-ball blunder on my part, I’ll get better at this.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 USF at Georgia Tech Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

(that “404 Culture” sticker is sick, no one can tell me otherwise)

ATLeast We Ain’t Them of the Week

Nevada.

Good LORD did they get dusted by Oregon. The Wolf Pack (they actually spell this as two words and I hate it) gave up 77 points and 623 total yards. Nevada actually had more time-of-possession than Oregon, but the Ducks put together two 28-point quarters in the 2nd and 3rd, and oh my god this could’ve been so much worse if Oregon had their [Styx] together in the first quarter.

Above The Line of the Week

  • Charlie Thomas, ACC Linebacker of the Week!
  • Daniil Medvedev for playing absolutely out of his mind on Sunday against Nadal and only barely coming up short
  • Goal line stands - when was the last time we had one of these??? We’re a defense school now! Money down!

5 Star (7 Star, 5 Star) Developmental Program Haiku of the Week

Bulls not on parade

First win of Collins era

Many more to come

Deep Dive: Always Be Closing

After watching this movie I can’t figure out if it’s good or not

The 2018 team would lose that game against USF, I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. For years as Tech fans we’ve suffered through losing fourth quarter leads over and over and over again. I compiled a list one time and it’s a depressing character trait for our recent history. In my time as a Tech fan we have been absolutely awful at closing out games. Saturday feels like a shift from that dismal pattern.

I feel like this is one of those hallmarks of great teams; they play a full 60 minutes. They don’t get gassed after 50 minutes and lose control. They don’t let up and allow teams to creep back into games. This has been a huge problem area for us over the last few years and I think reversing that trend will be a huge key to us asserting ourselves as a consistently good program. I think the ability to close out a tight game is easily worth one win per season at least. Imagine the last five season but with one more win each year: that’s a substantial difference. Think about how different 2017 could’ve been if we had shut the door on Tennessee and Miami. Think about an alternate 2016 where we hold off Pitt. The kind of consistency that manifests in winning close games can make or break a program.

If I had to give one word to what Collins has brought to the program I’d go with “energy”, and I think that has everything to do with this gutsy win. Tech has trained me to be insanely nervous with a close fourth quarter game, but I think this game could start a new era of us being able to close. We’re more fit, disciplined, and confident than we ever have been. I have no doubt in my mind that every player on the sidelines was confident we would find a way to win, and I think that makes all the difference. It’s a mentality shift and a big one at that. I would love nothing more than to be known as the clutch program, the one that locks it down in the fourth quarter. We’re going to start getting that extra win per season, and I’m excited to see where that takes us (and for the heart attack relief).