Well…at halftime, two things are evident.
1. Patrick Nix is no longer calling the offense in Miami.
2. The Tech defensive line, which was already suspect, is gassed playing their third game in about 12 days.
The Jackets seemed to impose their will on the opening drive, starting with good field position and grinding down into the redzone before settling for a field goal.
The defense then forced a 3rd and 11 on Miami’s first possession, but allowed the Canes to convert…and then score on a deep pass soon after. The defensive line was a non-factor on the first drive.
The Jackets then squandered another bad kickoff, gave the ball back to Miami, and allowed them to drive and score again.
Then, trailing 14-3 the Jackets mounted a drive and would have scored except for a bad blocking decision on a big Roddy Jones scamper.
Instead of six points and a likely 14-10 score, the Jackets found themselves in long yardage at about the 30…where they fiddled around and eventually made use of a Miami pass interference call on 4th down to get into field goal range and miss the change to make it 14-6.
Miami took advantage again….driving down the field into the GT red zone before the defense finally held and forced a field goal.
17-3 Miami. I found myself wondering if GT had enough gas in the tank to mount a charge and run out the second quarter. The Jackets had to score or at least keep Miami out of the end zone and keep things close.
The Miami D responds, playing smart assignment football and using their speed to stop Tech’s efforts to get outside on offense. Three and out.
The Tech defense has to come back out with four minutes left in the game…plenty of time for Miami to score again. And if they do, they’re far enough ahead of make Tech throw the ball and get outside of their comfort zone.
If that happens, it could be the LSU game all over again.
Against all hope, the Jackets get a defensive stop and force a punt but can’t do anything on offense and end up giving the ball back to the Canes with about 24 seconds left.
Its crucial for Tech to get into the locker room with the score 17-3. That’s not insurmountable. If not for the block in the back we are looking at a 17-10 game, which is well within reach and very respectable on the road against Miami at this point.
Now, at the half, one thing is certain…Paul Johnson and his coaching staff will have to coach their BUTTS off to get back into this game and keep it respectable.
Picking up in the third quarter…
The Miami offense has picked up where it left off and the GT defensive line has no answer. There are huge running gaps and way too much time for Harris to find receivers.
Even without the block in the back on the Jones TD run, Tech would still be looking a 31-17 game and a two score deficit on the road.
If anything, I am taking solace in the fact that on the GT scoring drive we were making use of two walkons at C (Bedford) and WR (Cone) in addition to a Colgate transfer at B-back (Lyons).
So in addition to being out coached right now…Tech is being out athleted as well. Fatigue has become a double whammy.
Wonderful, a false start on a converted fourth down…and a bad snap on the punt effort…
Its a comedy of errors Tech fans…lets settle in for the fourth quarter and take our medicine…its not our night.
Well played Miami…well played…