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Georgia Tech Football: What Should We Learn This Week - Duke

Last week was far from fun, but let’s hope this week is more fun!

Miami v Duke Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

So while it was not the performance anyone wanted to see, there’s still a lot we can take away from last week’s game against Pitt.

Will Georgia Tech ever decide on a quarterback?

So it would seem the answer is a resounding yes! After starting the game with back-to-back interceptions, Georgia Tech decided to stick with Sims at quarterback. And ultimately, it proved to be a great decision. Yes, Tech lost, but Sims was the main reason the game was as competitive as it was. Aside from his two picks, Sims was efficient, going 24-for-33 for 359 yards and two touchdowns. All of this was without Kyric McGowan who has proven to be a reliable target for Sims. He also added another 38 yards on the ground.

Is Pitt good, or do people just think they’re good?

I think Pitt might actually just be good. SP+ now has Pitt as a Top 15 team, and from the games I’ve seen, I don’t think anyone in the ACC Coastal is going to stop them. Kenny Pickett is a good quarterback and will do just enough to win games for the Panthers.

Were Tech’s eight sacks last week a fluke, or does Tech have a good pass rush now?


This week’s game against Duke is the very definition of a trap game. After riding an emotional high against Clemson and UNC, Tech had a bit of a letdown game against Pitt. This week, they will try to rebound against Duke. Let’s see what there is to learn!

Can Georgia Tech win in Durham?

This was talked about in the comments of Robert’s Advanced Stats Preview, but there is a large portion of the fanbase who always view Duke as an automatic win, no matter what. In a sense, it makes a lot of sense. With the exception of a few years during the David Cutcliffe era, Duke has been a very bad football team. On the other hand, Duke has won five of their last seven games against Georgia Tech, including the last three that have been played in Durham.

Cutcliffe is a very good football coach, and it seems like every year, no matter how bad Duke may be, the Blue Devils always play Georgia Tech a little tougher than anyone else on the schedule, and I expect that same thing this Saturday. If Tech isn’t careful, the Blue Devils will make it four straight in Durham.

Can Georgia Tech’s running backs have a bounce-back game?

Despite the talents of Jahmyr Gibbs, Jordan Mason and Dontae Smith, the Yellow Jackets’ three-headed monster at running back managed just a paltry 35 rushing yards against Pitt last week. For a team with this kind of depth and talent at running back, that is absolutely unacceptable.

So far this season, Duke has only allowed one running back to eclipse 100 yards on the ground: Kansas RB Devin Neal. While I would argue that it’s because they haven’t faced a lot of run-heavy teams, I still think it’s worth noting that this is a potential weakness that Davey P can exploit on offense. Looking at Robert’s preview, things don’t bode well for Duke’s defense against Tech’s running game. Let’s hope it’s a similar performance to last year, when Jeff Sims, Jordan Mason and Jahmyr Gibbs all posted over 90 yards rushing against Duke.

Can Georgia Tech contain Mataeo Durant?

If there is anything that frightens me this week, it’s Mataeo Durant. He has been an absolute monster for Duke this season and is drawing NFL scouts’ eyes. Durant has posted at least 100 yards rushing in nearly every single game this season, except for NC A&T, where he bizarrely carried the ball 15 times for 41 yards and three touchdowns.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has struggled against some of the better running backs they’ve faced. Against Northern Illinois, Tech allowed Harrison Waylee to rack up 144 yards, and Tech looked powerless to stop him. Against Clemson, Will Shipley went for 88 yards and two touchdowns before Tony Elliott decided to just try and force DJU to pass the ball. We have seen glimpses of Tech’s defense being strong against the run, but this will be the first opportunity since Clemson to try and shut down a truly great running back. I would expect to see a lot of three linebacker sets as Tech tries to do just that.

What are you trying to learn this week?