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3 Thoughts From Georgia Tech-Wake Forest

Body Swaps, Special Teams, and The Red Zone Of Terror

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Wake Forest Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday I was pumped to watch Georgia Tech get the big 30-16 win against Wake Forest. That brings them to 2-2 on the year and 1-1 in the ACC. The vibe shift has been enormous. Before this weekend I was resigned to a poor season as Brent Key found his footing. Now I’m looking at the schedule and thinking we’ve got a good shot at a bowl. But, back to this week.

1. The Bizzaro Jackets

Who is this team and what did they do with the Yellow Jackets? Through three games Georgia Tech was a team that moved the ball very well, but struggled defensively. The defense in particular struggled with the pass rush and making game changing plays. Special teams had been a mixed bag.

This game was the dead opposite. The offense struggled to move the ball at times. But what a game for the defense. Coming into this week they had 1 sack in three games. They had 8 sacks against. 8! Kyle Kennard alone had 4! They forced 5 turnovers. 5! Sure, some of that was on Wake. Mitch Griffis was holding onto the ball forever and one interception was because a good Wake Forest tight end just kinda drop the ball up into the air. But, still this defense was out for blood and they made the difference in this game.

2. Kicking Coup

Aidan Birr was 3/3 in this game including a fantastic one from 48 yards. David Shanahan had maybe his best day at Georgia Tech especially when he bombed a 54-yard punt over the head of the returner. The returner tried to do an over the head catch and ended up fumbling to give the Jackets the ball back. I haven’t been this confident in Georgia Tech kicking and punting in years. It feels good.

3. Red Zone Schmed Zone

Georgia Tech has had a consistent issue this season with finishing drives. The Yellow Jackets had 22% red zone conversion in this game. This was also a serious problem against Ole Miss. I’m not smart enough to blame play calling or anything in particular, but I do wonder what the issue is here.

If Tech wants to get to a bowl this has to be a point of emphasis though. We’ve already seen GT lose two games against better opponents in part because they couldn’t finish drives. They’ll probably need at least one win against a better team to make a bowl. You have to take advantage of your chances against better teams.