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Georgia Tech Football: Things I Think I Know - Syracuse

What do we know heading into Week 12?

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

We are playing... Tech like

Hot and cold. Day and Night. Black and White. Opposites his has been the theme of Georgia Tech Football this year. So much so that we have been alternating wins and losses almost every. single. week. So, as we round out the season, all we can say about last week’s abysmal performance after two promising showings is that it was…Tech like.

In all seriousness, I cannot figure out Georgia Tech Football to save my life. We are a completely different team every single game. We are easily the most confusing team in all of college football at this point. In some games, we look like we can compete with anyone, and in others, we get beat by Bowling Green. I don’t think any of us know what team to expect on Saturday. I just know that I will no longer get my hopes up until we prove we can be consistent. On the bright side, we have come a long way since the dark days of our previous coach, but we still need to learn how to consistently win and put forth a complete effort each week. ESPN’s Billy Connelly released a model of the most improved Power 5 programs in 2023. Tech came in at 4th. So, even though this season has been frustrating, we truly have shown improvements all around.

This game against Syracuse is now scaring me a lot more than it was just a week ago. Our defense has struggled against the ground game this season, and Syracuse put up a whopping 382 yards on the ground against Pitt last week. They are overall much better at running the football than throwing it, as they average 176 yards per game on the ground. Sure, we are the better team all-around, but I just don’t know who is going to show up this weekend. I just know it will probably be… Tech like.

We saw the offense’s true colors against a good defense

Clemson was our first true defensive test, and let’s just say we failed that test like a freshman at Georgia Tech fails their first Organic Chemistry exam. Our game against Clemson was a complete domination. The offense racked up a petite total of 254 yards, while Haynes King was 13/31 with 4 interceptions. There were so many dropped balls and missed opportunities that put us farther behind in the game, and the defense just couldn’t keep up. We had roughly 1/3 of the rushing yards compared to our two previous games. The offense just wasn’t clicking, and really, we were dominated on both sides of the ball. It really doesn’t help when you have the ball for 23 minutes, leaving your opponent with almost 37 minutes of possession. Not many defenses can defend that. Let’s hope this weekend against Syracuse we can find a rhythm and hold the ball for a little longer to give the defense some much-needed rest. Speaking of defense, Syracuse’s is not nearly as daunting as Clemson’s, but they won’t be a complete cakewalk. Buster Faulkner and the offense will still need to perform well to put points on the board to win this game. Haynes King can’t only complete 42% of his passes, or we might find ourselves with another embarrassing loss on the year.

Syracuse will not be as physically dominating

Our defense drastically failed at stopping Clemson, and our offense just completely shut down after the first few drives. Thankfully, this week we have a matchup against a team that is not quite as fast or physically dominant as Clemson was. Syracuse has a very average offense. Their defense is also, once again, pretty average. While I spoke earlier about how their 382 rushing yards against Pitt was alarming, they had, drumroll please, only 17 TOTAL passing yards. Yes, you read that right. They don’t have an offense like UNC which consistently rips apart defenses, and on the flip side, they don’t have a speedy and athletic defense like Clemson. This is a prime opportunity for us to get our confidence back on offense and get some stops on defense. I think Coach Key will have all the players focused, but if we want to make a bowl game, we cannot look forward to UGA next week. This is a game we should win, and we must win if we want to play in December or be at or above .500 on the season. Let’s go out, play a complete game, and win.

Home field advantage is a real thing

I guess America loved our night game against UNC because we are right back here to take on Syracuse at 8 pm on the ACC Network. If we can steal a win this Saturday, we will be bowl-eligible and will be able to carry that momentum on to next week’s game. Homecoming against UNC was one of the best atmospheres Bobby Dodd has seen in a long, long time. The game being at night had a whole lot to do with that, and we need to bring that same energy back. Coach Key and all the players showed appreciation and emphasized how big of a role the crowd played in that win. Show up, support, and help us get the win we need to make a bowl game!