Georgia has a good punt returner and kick returner.
Georgia Tech’s kickoff-coverage team has been mostly solid this season. Its punt-coverage teams….not so much.
The Yellow Jackets can’t afford to give up big plays in either area in Saturday’s game.
Georgia’s Brandon Boykin is the school’s leader in kickoff return yards (1,708 in 62 attempts). He has returned four for touchdowns in his career, including three that covered 100 yards. He’s averaging 25.7 yards per return this season.
Tech has allowed one return for a touchdown this season, the 90-yard game-winner at Virginia Tech. For the season, the Jackets are limiting teams to 19 yards per return.
Dominique Reese, a member of the kick coverage team, said the key to stopping Boykin is to get to him quickly.
“You have to get him stopped before he can get started,” he said.
Tech’s issue this season covering punts fall to penalties and missed tackles. The Jackets are allowing 10.8 yards per return. Georgia’s Branden Smith is averaging 16.1 yards per return.
“You just have to go back to keep practicing what you do, practice the basics, the fundamentals and hope you can execute,” coach Paul Johnson said. “They have great athletes, returners with great speed. It presents a challenge.”