Reviewing Tech’s 42-34 loss to Georgia:
The game that was
Georgia Tech looked sharper for 80-plus plays on offense than it has all season, but losing three fumbles and an interception were too much to overcome. The Bulldogs converted those miscues into 28 points. As focused as the offense was, the defense is still learning on the job, a kind way of saying it’s just not working yet. With the exception of half against Wake Forest and and a game against Virginia, it hasn’t worked consistently all season.
What we learned
1. The team can get up for big games, why not the rest? The Yellow Jackets’ three best performances this season occurred against three of its biggest rivals: Georgia, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Where was that emotion against N.C. State, Duke or Kansas?
2. The defense is a pick your poison. When Tech loads up to stop the run, which it did frequently against Georgia, it gives up the pass. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray completed 15 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs averaged 8.9 yards per play. And then the Bulldogs were able to run, accumulating 154 yards. Like Tech, Georgia averaged 5.3 yards per rushing attempt.
3. Tech’s offensive line can come off the ball. The front five have been much-maligned this season, but they looked sharp against the Bulldogs. Not only were they not called for a penalty all night (with the exception of two point-after attempts), they pushed around Georgia’s front seven. Johnson complimented his line after the game, something he hasn’t done this season. It was their best performance this season.
There were no significant injuries to report.
Plays run by Tech against Georgia. It was the most plays the Yellow Jackets have run since 2000, when they ran 94 against Virginia.
“I think you make your own breaks. You have to give them credit, they made plays. I’m just more disappointed for the kids because they played so hard. I just wish I could have found a way to help them win the game.”
– Tech coach Paul Johnson
Tech finished with a .500 record in the regular season for the first time since 2000. … Tech is 39-61-5 in its series against Georgia. … Its 512 yards of offense were its most since the game 1999 game against Georgia. … Its 77 rushing attempts were its most in the last 30 years. … Tech trailed in nine of 12 games this season. … Anthony Allen surpassed 1,800 yards rushing in two seasons. … Freshman outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu had his second sack in as many games. He has three this season. He’s one off the team’s leader, Brad Jefferson.
Tech must wait to find out which bowl wants it. Seven teams in the ACC are up for seven bowls, starting with the Champs Sports Bowl, which picks third. The conference championship winner will play in the Orange Bowl and the loser will play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Tech is being slotted by bowl forecasters into the Independence Bowl. Its performance against Georgia, coupled with the poor performances of other conference teams this weekend, may give it a bump to a more prestigious bowl.