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Georgia Tech Football: In Orlando, Jackets Fall 27-10

Georgia Tech was its own worst enemy in Saturday’s sloppy performance.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Central Florida Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Good Evening. For efficiency’s sake, I’ve strongly considered creating a template for these recaps. Honestly I still might. It could read something like a Mad Libs:

  • Georgia Tech, in its ______ consecutive loss against an FBS opponent, committed ___ penalties for _______ yards, a trend that hasn’t improved much during Geoff Collins’ tenure as Head Coach. His seat must be getting ____. The offense was ____, the defense played _____, and the special teams unit was entirely ineffective, missing ___ field goals and letting the [insert opposing team mascot] block _____ punts.

They may turn into Adult Mad Libs as the season wears on...

I suppose a positive about today’s matchup is that, unlike the Ole Miss game, this ballgame was within reach. But it’s a sad state of affairs when one of your top pros is “hey we could have won.” Tech had the lead (for a little), showed promise offensively (at times), and held a team that averages 500+ yards per game to under 350. That being said, more pre-snap, discipline-deficient, coaching-related penalties plagued the Yellow Jacket defense early. UCF was able to keep their first drive alive thanks to three third down penalties. They held the ball for the first ten minutes of the game. The big story, however, lies somewhere slightly more obvious - the punt team is averaging 1 punt blocked per game. This time, it resulted in a touchdown for the bad guys. To clarify for those who haven’t had the pleasure of watching - All three of Tech’s FBS opponents have blocked at least one punt against the Yellow Jackets. Unbelievable. We may set a Guinness World Record. Another potentially stellar headline from this one - Offense Goes 0/5 Inside the Red Zone.

Tech kept shooting itself in the foot, and it made the game frustrating to watch. Joy and excitement at the building momentum was consistently dashed by mental mistakes and missed field goals. Aside from Malachi Carter’s second-quarter touchdown, one of our best plays of the game actually came on a Tech fumble. After coughing up the ball inside the red zone (shocker), Jeff Sims and the Tech offense watched UCF pick the ball up and run 90 yards for a touchdown, or so it seemed. Nate McCollum’s speed was good for more than his six receptions on the day. There’s an overused adage about football being a game of inches, but I’m grateful for it, as McCollum caught up with the UCF defender and punched the ball out right as he was crossing the goal line. It was a spectacular display of effort and kept Tech in the game. Instead of a touchdown the other way, we got the ball back and put 3 points on the board. But. In the end, it didn’t even matter.

Here’s some more good news - Tech will now have to start its second game in five without its best defender. Charlie Thomas was ejected in the second half thanks to another head-scratching targeting call. I’m all for player safety and the prevention of CTE, but goodness gracious. We’re one or two steps away from Thought Police roaming the sidelines and penalizing players for aggressive facial expressions. This one hurts, because we’re going to need all the help we can get as we remain on the road next week. Pitt doesn’t have Kenny Pickett anymore, but they’re still very talented. And big.

Lastly, if you’re on the “Fire Geoff Collins” train, then I suppose this loss moves that locomotive down the track, but I always hate to see a Georgia Tech loss. Back to the drawing board. See you next week.