The long offseason is finally over, and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets showed up and beat the Alcorn State Braves by a final score of 41-0.
This first game of the season got to showcase Nate Woody’s new 3-4 defense, as well as seeing the other areas where Tech has been looking to improve (i.e. kicking and passing).
The defense opened up the game with an easy three-and-out, and ended up shutting out the Alcorn State offense for the whole game and grabbing three turnovers.
On Tech’s first offensive drive, redshirt-freshman Jordan Mason got a chance to show exactly what he’s made of. Clinton Lynch took the pitch for 25 yards to set up the rest of the drive. After that, Mason got three straight carries to take the Yellow Jackets the remaining 43 yards for the touchdown.
After that drive, things got a little slow on offense. Tech forced another punt and started the drive at its own 43-yard line. Mason got the first carry, before TaQuon Marshall fumbled the ball on the mesh with Mason. The Braves picked it up, and promptly punted it right back to the Yellow Jackets after a short drive.
Tech and Alcorn State traded punts before the Jackets were able to get another offensive drive going. The Jackets drove 81 yards for a touchdown and would have taken a 14-0 lead, but kicker Shawn Davis bounced the PAT off the upright.
The Yellow Jackets and Braves traded interceptions before Brenton King lined up to try a 50-yard field goal as time ran out in the half. Shocking as it may be, he did not make it.
In the second half, the Yellow Jackets got off to a quick start, scoring in three plays. The drive was sparked by a 56-yard run from Qua Searcy off a pitch. Benson finished the drive for the Yellow Jackets.
They kept it going on the next drive, with Brandon Adams forcing a fumble that David Curry picked up for a touchdown, and that was about the death nail for Alcorn State.
What did we learn?
- The defense is not an overnight fix. The defense certainly looked better than it did last year, but there is still plenty to work on. The biggest issues were wrapping up in tackling and getting pressure on the quarterback.
- The young DBs looked pretty dang good. Two words: Kaleb Oliver. He had the team’s lone interception and save for a holding call, would have had a pick-six. He also did a good job of consistently wrapping up in space. The best news is that these kids are only going to get better.
- The kicking is still pretty meh. Shawn Davis missed a PAT, Brenton King missed a 50-yard field goal, and there was a total of one kick-off that went for a touchback (from PWO Wesley Wells). King looked the most promising to me. The 50-yard miss had the distance, but it was kicked from the hash and went perfectly straight which caused the miss.
- TaQuon Marshall still needs to work on passing. Marshall did a good job on the passing touchdown, and it was nice to see some semblance of a short-passing game. There were still plenty of passes that were over or underthrown as well as some miscommunications between Marshall and the receivers.
Be sure to check back in later next week, and we’ll be breaking down the game in a whole lot more detail.
One game in, how do you feel about the team?