Georgia Tech fell to the Hurricanes last Saturday, giving them their second straight loss of the season. The Yellow Jackets, now 3-2, struggled immensely against an aggressive Miami team. The Hurricanes, who were down in the first quarter, tied the game up at 17 before halftime and rallied back to win the game by a final score of 45-30.
Although the Jackets came out of the gate with a fast start, offensively, they struggled to get anything going through the air. Vad Lee was 5/13 for 63 yards and an interception on the day. He also lost a fumble in the second quarter to the Miami defense, one of the three turnovers of the day for Tech. That fumble led to a score, pulling Miami to within three.
On the ground, it was business as usual as Tech rushed for 335 yards. David Sims had 16 touches for 77 yards and picked up two TDs on the day, although it helped very little in the effort to win the game.
The Jackets began to fall apart after halftime, which is where Miami picked up the pace and never took their foot off the gas. Stephen Morris had an impressive afternoon, completing 17 of 22 passes for 324 yards and 3 TDs. Once the Hurricanes found their rhythm, there was no turning back. Miami abused the Jackets’ secondary, which looked confused the majority of the game. Allen Hurns had no trouble getting open, as he finished the day with 4 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.
When the Jackets’ secondary wasn’t being exploited, Miami was running the ball down the defense’s throat with all-purpose running back Duke Johnson. Duke finished the day with 22 touches for 184 rushing yards. The credit for such a great day on the ground must be given to the offensive line of Miami, which created every running lane possible for Johnson. Thanks to a few miscues, including a missed extra point attempt by the Georgia Tech freshman kicker Harrison Butker and an interception by QB Justin Thomas late in the game, Georgia Tech never rebuilt momentum and the deal was sealed.
My biggest concern for Georgia Tech at this point in the season is their ability to maintain their composure and make adjustments when they find themselves behind in a game. The same way they looked against Carolina and against Virginia Tech is the way they looked against Miami. Unfortunately, Miami was a much more aggressive team and didn’t allow room for error in their comeback. This team is capable of getting off to a fast start, but can’t hold it together when facing a faster, more disciplined team.
Another concern is turnovers. The Jackets have had trouble with fumbles lately, and with their inability to regain momentum after falling behind, they are bound to continue to dig themselves into a deeper hole in every game. I’m anxious to know how Paul Johnson will address these issues and make the necessary changes, especially since Tech’s chances of winning their division are now slim to none. It’s obvious that there are issues on both sides of the ball especially in the secondary. Hopefully, CPJ will use the rest of the season to implement those changes instead of waiting until the end of the season. If he starts now, he can build upon those adjustments for next year.
Either way, there’s no doubt that Tech has to go back to the drawing board. That drawing board could very well start with BYU on Saturday afternoon.
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