Man, that was fun! I was pretty concerned coming into this game. Georgia Tech had just come off of a less-than-stellar performance against Duke, and has not performed well on the road. Or on Thursday nights. Needless to say, I didn’t have much reason to believe in the Jackets tonight, but they very much proved me wrong.
So...what did we learn?
Bud Foster still doesn’t know how to defend Georgia Tech’s offensive game plan from 2016.
Y’all remember 2016? Now, that was a fun game! Justin Thomas had gotten hurt the week prior, so Matthew Jordan was forced into action. Paul Johnson called the game with a very limited playbook, and the Yellow Jackets offense played it to perfection. Jordan led the offense to a 30-20 victory while rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Marcus Marshall also added 143 yards and a touchdown. Outside of those two players, two other players carried the ball five times.
This game played out a little differently in how many players got the ball, but the strategy was virtually the same. Johnson called a lot of designed quarterback keepers and B-back gives. Oliver finished the game with 40 carries (the most by a Georgia Tech player since TaQuon Marshall went for 44 carries against Tennessee) and 215 yards and three touchdowns. Like Jordan had with Marshall, Oliver also had a good B-back compliment with the combination of Jerry Howard and Jordan Mason, who combined for 158 yards and four touchdowns.
And what was Bud Foster able to do to slow either of those game plans down? Absolutely nothing. cue maniacal laughter
Tobias Oliver is otherworldly when he gets the ball in his hands.
Y’all, Oliver is really good when he has the football in his hands. All throughout the game, Oliver was able to slip through tacklers, run over tacklers, and just turn seemingly dead plays into positive yardage. The play that comes to mind immediately is a third-and-long play towards the beginning of the game. Oliver dropped back to pass, but two defenders got into the backfield pretty easily, but Oliver was able to shake them off and then proceeded to rush for the first down to keep the drive alive. Just an incredible game by the redshirt freshman.
Pressley Harvin III is a wonderful punter.
Harvin III didn’t punt much in this game, but his first punt (that actually counted) could not have been aimed more perfectly. Virginia Tech had gotten the first defensive stop of the game, so Tech had to punt. After back-to-back penalties from both teams, Harvin III punted and hit the Hokie return man right in the facemask. Tech recovered the muffed punt and was in the endzone a couple plays later.
The defense needs to learn how to tackle. Desperately.
This was a really fun game to watch on offense. On the defense, though, things were a little different. There were missed tackles throughout, and had luck not been on Tech’s side, this game would have been a lot closer. The tackling miscues were very clear any time Tech attempted to tackle Hokie running back Steven Peoples. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry, and a good portion of that came after first contact.
What did you learn from today’s game?