It’s Homecoming Weekend for the Old Gold and White of Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are looking for their 2nd consecutive win against the visiting Panthers. Georgia Tech (5-3, 4-2 ACC) is set to take on Pittsburgh (4-3, 2-2 ACC) on Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The nationally-televised game is set for 7pm on ESPNU.
The Ramblin’ Wreck is coming off of a shaky win against the Virginia Cavaliers last Saturday, where starting QB Vad Lee was benched for backup Justin Thomas. The last meeting between Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh occurred on September 18, 1976 in Atlanta. Pittsburgh won the contest 42-14 and leads the series 5-2. This is Pitt’s first trip to Georgia since the last meeting, which should make for an interesting game. Pittsburgh is coming off of a close 24-21 loss against the Navy Midshipmen. A field goal as time ran out by Navy gave them a last-second win over the Panthers in Annapolis. The Yellow jackets come into game looking for their 700th win in school history. Their current record is 699-471-43 in 121 seasons, and they have won their last 15 of 17 homecoming games, minus last year’s loss to BYU.
The Pittsburgh Panthers’ starting QB, Tom Savage, has thrown for 1,546 yards and 13 TDs this season. He spreads the ball around between 3 different receivers, making up the bulk of their offensive production. That stat, to me, says that Georgia Tech’s secondary has to make the adjustments that they’ve been needing. If Pitt watched film, they’ll clearly see that they have a problem keeping plays in front of them and keeping up with receivers. Pittsburgh ranks 92nd overall in rushing, with only 985 rushing yards on the season. For Tech, they shouldn’t have a problem with the rushing game, as they’ve done a solid job of defending the run all season. The front four has no problem getting into the backfield and disrupting plays.
My biggest concern, as it has been since the game against Duke, is turnovers and the defensive schemes. I’m not confident that Coach Paul Johnson and the defensive coordinators are consistently going over the mistakes that are occurring in the games and teaching how to fix them. If they were, we would be seeing constant improvement. I blame the coaching staff for the failures on defense because there has been plenty of game film to examine to make the necessary adjustments. If Tech didn’t learn last week, Pittsburgh will certainly take advantage of the secondary and exploit them yet again. The keys to this game are very simple: Georgia Tech has to keep everything in front of them and limit the penalties.
Happy Homecoming, Jackets!!