Well, last week was the opposite of fun, but let’s revisit it all one more time.
Can Justin Fuente go back to sucking against Georgia Tech?
Can Georgia Tech’s defense get back on its feet?
While Tech did manage to keep the Hokies under 30 points and a negative offensive EPA, that’s about where the positives end for the Tech defense. More so, the Tech defense just couldn’t get off the field or force any errors. Forcing errors is difficult if you only cause four havoc plays in a game.
Can the running game build on last week’s successes?
Well....sort of? On the surface, Jahmyr Gibbs had another good game, rushing for 113 yards on 11 carries. Take away Gibbs’ 61-yard run, however, and Gibbs is left with a paltry 52 yards on 10 carries with a long of 20-something yards.
The running game still largely struggled. Outside of Gibbs, Dontae Smith and Jordan Mason combined for 10 yards on eight carries.
With the last couple games, it’s become increasingly more difficult to stay positive about Georgia Tech’s season. This team showed some promise early on, but the last few games have just been more and more draining. Let’s see what we can learn this weekend.
Will Keion White finally play this week?
After starting off the season injured, White finally was placed on the Above the Line chart prior to the Duke game. And yet now, three games later, White has still yet to make his debut for Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech’s defensive line could use all the help it can get. While the eight-sack game against UNC was great, the defensive line has done little outside of it. Georgia Tech had more sacks in that one game (8) than they have had the rest of the season (7). There isn’t a defensive lineman with more than two sack (Jordan Domineck and Quon Griffin) or 3.5 TFL (Jared Ivey).
Coming into the season, many people, myself included, expected White to be able to come in and have an immediate impact. If he were to play this weekend, I’m not saying he will singlehandedly turn the defense around, but having an added bit of pressure up front could be very nice. This defense hasn’t been good at causing havoc, so if someone else can come in and cause some havoc, that could go a long way.
Can the defense find a way to shut down a hot Tyler Van Dyke?
Coming into the season, the bulk of Miami’s hype was was on the shoulders of quarterback D’Eriq King. When King went down, so did the hopes of a lot of Miami fans. Well that and the fact that Miami couldn’t tackle to save their lives.
In the last couple weeks, though, Miami has started to turn things around slightly. They’ve quietly won two games in a row, beating NC State and Pitt, which seems to be a pretty major upset. How have they done it? Well, freshman quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has been a large part of it. Van Dyke has completed nearly two-thirds of his passes and is sitting at 1,488 yards, 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
More impressively, at home, Van Dyke has been a great quarterback. He’s completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 798 yards (10.78 yards per attempt) with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. If Georgia Tech wants any chance in this weekend’s game, they HAVE to find a way to slow him down.
Can the Yellow Jackets build on their two-game win streak over Miami?
So believe it or not, Georgia Tech actually has a win streak over Miami right now. They managed to win in 2018 in Paul Johnson and Mark Richt’s last season behind the legs of TaQuon Marshall, who went for 91 yards and a couple touchdowns. And then in 2019, Pressley Harvin III’s touchdown pass on a fake punt carried the Yellow Jackets to the upset victory.
This year, things aren’t looking great. Georgia Tech is currently on the down-low while Miami is starting to heat up. As I mentioned earlier, Tech will have to cause some havoc against Van Dyke to have any hopes of building on their two-game winning streak over the Canes. Let’s see what they can do.
What are you hoping to learn this week?