Yellow Jackets Out of the Top 25
Well, the latest AP Top 25 rankings are out and the Jackets aren’t on the list.
Its funny how quickly you can go from knocking on the door of the Top 10 to being an also-ran that doesn’t get a mention on the list at all.
If Tech had defeated Miami we’d be discussing a Top 10 ranking right now. If Tech had played Miami competitively and not gotten shoved all over the field we’d still be talking about a Top 25 rating.
Instead…Tech isn’t ranked…
And why is that?
A combination of things, in my opinion:
- The Jackets defensive line has been dominated and rendered a non-factor for six quarters of football now. Only Derrick Morgan’s first half against Clemson prevents me from giving the squad a poor review for the entirety of the past two games.
- The new “wolf defense” looks ineffective overall. With pitiful defensive line performances, the Jackets need another linebacker on the field making plays instead of a hybrid defensive back that is less than useful and stout in short yardage situations. Can Tech go back to a base 4-3 defense where we can blitz linebackers and defensive backs in order to get some pressure?
- The Jackets offense has sputtered since the second half against Clemson, with Dwyer being shut down and Nesbitt looking tentative and ineffective.
- The Jackets passing game consists almost entirely of vertical passes down field that are highly inefficient and unreliable in an offense that only has one viable receiving threat. Until Melton, Hill, Cone, or someone else other than Thomas starts catching balls, this won’t change.
So what’s going right for the Jackets? I can rustle up a few things off the top of my head that might end this blog on a high note…
- Orwin Smith and Jerrard Tarrant look great on kick returns. We just need to make sure Tarrant is getting more touches than Smith…more punts than kickoffs please!
- Thomas is looking really polished and dangerous at the wide receiver position. We just need to get him the ball on some shorter or quicker routes so that he can make something happen with his feet in open space rather than compete for jump balls 40 yards down field.
- Coach Johnson isn’t the type of guy to accept the performance and effort from the past two games. That much is evident from the fact that the team doesn’t appear to have given up and quit in the Miami debacle. As long as they keep playing hard, we need to keep cheering hard.
- As bad as the Jackets defense has been the past six quarters, Tech isn’t saddled with Willie Martinez…things COULD be worse..