Georgia Tech Swarm
CLEMSON, SC – In a game featuring two teams going the opposite direction this season, Saturday’s showdown in Death Valley was no different. The Clemson Tigers (5-0, 2-0) avoided any sign of a letdown coming off last weekend’s emotional high and handed Georgia Tech (2-4, 0-3) its worst loss yet of the season by a final score of 43-24.
Senior Safety #4 Jamal Golden pursues Clemson's ballcarrier
Saturday’s tilt was another in a string of games where the Jackets broke down in all three phases of the game. It began on Clemson’s first possession where the Jackets had an opportunity for a 3-and-out, only to allow Clemson to convert its longest offensive play of the year as Wayne Gallman broke through the line untouched for a 66-yard touchdown run.
One mistake, no big deal, however the issues continued early and often. On the Jackets’ first offensive possession an ill-directed 3rd down pass from quarterback Justin Thomas was intercepted on their own 36-yard line. The offense struggled from there on out and was limited to their lowest rushing yardage total (71) of the Paul Johnson era.
The trifecta of the three phase breakdown culminated on special teams where, prior to the 1st quarter clock striking zero, an errant snap over punter Ryan Rodwell’s head resulted in a blocked punt and safety.
“We really don’t have anywhere we can rely on,” said Head Coach Paul Johnson after the game. “You can’t count on the offense for sure, can’t count on the defense, [nor] special teams either. It’s really frustrating.”
When all was said and done, the Jackets trailed 19-3 at the end of the 1st quarter. There was little reprieve to follow as Clemson retained a vice grip on momentum, clean play, and ultimately the scoreboard.
“We looked like a very poorly coached team, and it starts with me,” Johnson said.
For a team that appears to be lacking confidence, a bye week might be ideal. There are three more weeks and three more games before the Jackets will get their first.
So how do the Jackets mentally adjust? Said senior captain Adam Gotsis, “We want effort. But there’s got to be a point where you’re doing your job with effort and you’re not just running around like a headless chicken trying to make a play… Guys need to do their assignment, handle [their] job, and make a play when it’s there.”
Perhaps all it takes is a play to snap the Jackets’ current skid. Perhaps simply limiting errors will accomplish the same. Either way, coaches and players alike agree there’s room to improve, and next Saturday’s game versus Pittsburgh is their next opportunity to prove they're doing just that.
Photos from the Georgia Tech vs. Clemson Football Game on 10/10/2015 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC
Head Coach Paul Johnson
Adam Gotsis & Brant Mitchell
Freddie Burden & Clinton Lynch
Photos from the North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech Football Game on 10/3/2015 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, GA
ATLANTA, GA – Despite racing out to an early 21-point lead by way of an uncharacteristic hurry-up offense, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-3, 0-2) were unable to keep pace with the North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1, 1-0) Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Tar Heels responded to the early deficit with a 38-10 run and intercepted a last second Georgia Tech Hail Mary to win their ACC opener 38-31.
Senior DT #96 Adam Gotsis is ejected after a targeting penalty
The Jackets’ loss is their first at home this year and first at the hands of the Tar Heels in Atlanta since 1997. Those milestones pale in comparison to the way the game was lost. Georgia Tech’s offense was seemingly unstoppable, scoring touchdowns on its first three drives. The defense was equally impressive, forcing punts on the Tar Heels first two drives.
It wasn’t until the Tar Heels third drive of the game, one which began with just 4:34 remaining in the second quarter, when their offense hit their stride. Carolina drove 75 yards for a touchdown in just over 3 minutes. Following a Georgia Tech 3-and-out deep in their own territory, the Tar Heels took advantage of field position and drove 6 plays, 44 yards, and converted their second touchdown in less than two minutes.
It was a whole new ballgame. Georgia Tech led 21-14 at the half but it was Carolina with all of the momentum.
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Head Coach Paul Johnson
Jamal Golden and Ricky Jeune
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