After the longest wait for college football it was finally time to...wait again a few more minutes. But then we finally had Georgia Tech football! Then we waited some more because we can’t play in Tallahassee without lightning delays. Then we finally got the game going two hours later.
It wasn’t always pretty and there are some areas that need more work but The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets stole a win away from a FSU team looking to get its feet back. Not only is Georgia Tech 2-0 in lightning delays against FSU but Collins is 2-0 while playing in the state of Florida with Tech. We did learn quite a lot from this game though such as WE HAVE A QUARTERBACK! Also, our receiving core is going to be nasty and the defense showed some steps in the right direction.
The beginning of the game saw Jeff Sims (23/34 277 yards 1TD 2INTs) get the nod to lead the offense. It didn’t take long for him to get into good rhythm and had the offense gaining chunks of yard down the field. It ended on a poor throw though that was returned back to midfield. FSU would waste no time driving it in for a touchdown, but it would be their last. Through the rest of the first half offense moved the ball well but penalties, another interception, and bad kicking kept Tech from putting points on the board. FSU managed another field goal after a steady drive but Tech’s defense started to hurry QB James Blackman (23/43 198 yards 1TD 1INT) just enough to force him into bad throws and we went to Halftime down 10-0.
To start the 3rd quarter the defense came up with a big sack by Curtis Ryans and David Curry to stall FSU’s drive on Tech’s side of the field. Starting from their own 20, Sims engineered a beautiful drive by spreading the ball around to several receivers and then Jordan Mason took the ball into the end zone from 19 yards out with a well blocked play by the offensive line. FSU would extend the lead back to 6 after a 53-yard field goal on their next drive. The next drive for Tech saw a nice short pass to RB Dontae Smith who took it for 20 yards. It was the Sims to Malachi Carter show for the rest of the drive where Carter made 3 receptions with the last being a 15 yard touchdown. The kicking game saw another miscue though as the XP was blocked to make 3 blocked kicks on the night.
With the game now tied FSU started with decent field position after the kick return. They would pick up one first down before Curtis Ryan picked up back-to-back sacks with the second stripping the ball from Blackman and Curry returning it into the red zone. Tech couldn’t advance and settled for Jude Kelley’s first career field goal to go up 16-13.
FSU was putting together another steady drive but Tech’s defense stood its ground on their side of the field and forced a fumble on a 4th down run by Blackman. FSU had been perfect on 4th down conversions to that point. Tech focused on using Mason to try and burn out the clock and FSU’s timeouts. Mason started well with the first two runs but several penalties backed Tech up to far and they settled with a punt with just under 2 minutes remaining. In the defense’s best series of the night they forced FSU into three incompletions with good pressure on the QB. Tech reclaimed possession after and with FSU having no timeouts left took the victory formation. FSU surrender cobras were aplenty among the stands.
There is no doubt that if Sims continues to play the way he did this is his team. The offensive line was a bit shaky to start but they look vastly improved upon last year and that bodes well for this offense. The receivers were running their routes well to get open and the running backs found holes behind the improved line.
We learned the defense would be without Antonneous Clayton, Tre Swilling, and TK Chimedza before the game. It could have been a serious blow to this team but the unit as a whole came together well and put pressure on a struggling FSU offensive line. Curtis Ryans really impressed in place of Clayton. He had 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles on the night to add with Curry’s sack. Quez Jackson recorded an INT and Tariq Carpenter made a booming hit on an FSU receiver to break up a pass that could have led to another FSU score.
Specials Teams need to most work but there was positives with Ezzard and Dontae Smith returning kicks. Harvin was as expected with punts but Jude Kelley will have to work on the angles of his kicks to keep them from getting blocked. He deserves credit though for making a clutch kick to take the lead after having the setbacks.
Georgia Tech proved they are on the rise once again in the ACC and should be looking for more wins this season after taking down FSU. There will still be bumps down the road but so far the 2020 season is off to a good start.