Haynes King might be the best Georgia Tech QB in recent memory
There have been fans on Twitter saying that Haynes King is the best quarterback in the ACC, and I believe there is some merit to that. Considering ACC quarterbacks, King leads in passing yards and touchdowns. He’s also second among ACC quarterbacks in completion percentage for quarterbacks with over 100 attempts. In short, he’s been really good. In fact, and I don’t think this is a hyperbole, King might be the best quarterback Tech has had in recent memory.
I understand that we are only three games into the season, and the toughest defense Georgia Tech has faced was Louisville. That’s why I am not yet ready to definitively say that he’s the best in recent memory. I think he certainly has a chance, though. What is really impressive to me is that he’s doing all of this with a so-so offensive line. I think the line has improved from last season, but it’s still not amazing.
Andrew Thacker should be coaching for his job for the rest of the season
On the opposite side of the coin, the defense has been powerless for the entire season. Andrew Thacker was given another opportunity this season after the defense showed signs of improvement at the end of last season. But I think he’s proving right now why he shouldn’t have gotten that opportunity. I won’t even discuss the Ole Miss game because they are far and away the best offensive team Tech has played this season.
Against South Carolina State, Thacker’s defense struggled to contain the run, especially when the Bulldogs employed option plays. All season long, Georgia Tech defenders have struggled with tackling. Georgia Tech has allowed 7.2 yards per play. They have just 1 sack and 7 TFL. The Georgia Tech defense has regressed tremendously from the adequate play they had last season. Every single stride they made last season is gone. The offense being as good as it is this season ultimately means nothing if the defense is non-existent.
Wake Forest is not as good as the record indicates
Wake Forest comes into their match-up with Georgia Tech at 3-0 on the season. Those games come against such powerhouses as Elon (37-17), Vanderbilt (36-20), and Old Dominion (27-24). I’ll touch more on the specifics of Wake in the next section, but three paltry wins do not a great team make. I’m confident Georgia Tech would be 3-0 in these three games too, and I’m not sure they’d be as close.
Georgia Tech needs to win this weekend to make a bowl game
The Demon Deacons are breaking in a new quarterback this season following Sam Hartman’s transfer to Notre Dame. That quarterback is Mitch Griffis, and he has been perfectly adequate. To put it shortly, he has not had the impact on Wake’s offense that Haynes King has had on Tech’s.
On defense, Wake has performed well against the pass, limiting teams to -0.27 EPA/pass. Part of this is probably because they have been very good at creating havoc plays. As a team, they have 16 sacks, which is more than Tech has total havoc plays (I’m pretty sure, I’m not actually checking because I don’t want to be more depressed about Tech’s defense).
Georgia Tech is at the edge of a precipice. They currently stand at 1-2 heading into the rest of the season. It is imperative for Georgia Tech to walk away with a win this weekend. A loss would make reaching a bowl game nearly impossible, but a win could build a lot of confidence in this team.