After a very frustrating game through and through, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-6, 1-5 ACC) fell to the Virginia Cavaliers (3-5, 2-2 ACC).
Georgia Tech seemed to be in a good place following a first half that ended with Tech leading 14-10. After halftime, though, Tech came out completely flat, going three-and-out in their first drive of the second half.
The defense didn't quite give up. On the ensuing drive, UVA drove down the field thanks in large part to a 34-yard run by Olamide Zacccheaus that put the Cavaliers at the one-yard line. From there, UVA got called for a holding penalty to put them back to the 11. A run and two pass break-ups from Chris Milton later, and UVA would have to settle for the field goal.
At the time, that seemed like a win for the Jackets since the holding call negated a one-yard touchdown run, but things only got worse for the Jackets. On the first play of the next drive for the Jackets, Justin Thomas faked the dive and ran right up the middle for three yards and had the ball knocked out, which UVA subsequently recovered.
That was a major turning point in the game, as UVA would take just two plays to score a touchdown, this one on a 30-yard pass.
Tech would respond with a seven-play drive that ended in a punt, and UVA would continue to rack up points. UVA took that ensuing drive 13 plays for 91 yards and a touchdown that chewed up over eight minutes of clock.
At the end of the third quarter, UVA had racked up a total of 30 minutes of time of possession. That's TWO WHOLE QUARTERS. That's what Tech is supposed to be doing. Tech could never do anything consistently do anything with the running game and ended up having to pass the ball more than 30 times (one of the first times that's happened under CPJ that I can remember).
Still somehow, Tech nearly won this game. With just over four minutes left in what seemed like a hopeless situation, Tech got the ball at their own five-yard line and was pushed back to the one before Tech methodically worked their way down the field and scored a touchdown to bring the Yellow Jackets within six points.
Things only got more hopeful after the Jackets recovered the ensuing kickoff. Unfortunately, though, that momentum from that scoring drive could not carry over and Tech would ultimately turn it over on downs and give the Cavaliers the ball back with just over a minute left and with Tech not having any timeouts.
Tech lost. Again. This has been a very frustrating season to say the least. There's a lot that is wrong with this team and plenty of areas that can be blamed. Injuries. Poor offensive line play. Poor quarterback decisions. Vanilla play on defense. Take your pick of what should get the blame this week. It doesn't change the fact that this team lost.
I wish this bye week came a bit sooner, but we're here now, and I think it's probably the best thing that can happen right now. Hopefully, they'll use this to recover and work towards improvements in all of the areas that do need improvement. We're not going to see immediate solutions and fixes. It's a process and certainly not a fun one. I'm pretty certain the rest of the season may be a lost cause at this point, but I won't stop cheering on my Jackets to victory. I'm just going to also have my eyes on the offseason to look at some potential changes that I think should be made. Look for a post about that during this bye week.
Until then, let's dwell in commiseration. Look on the bright side, it's almost basketball season, and I can't believe I just said that. Eesh.