For Georgia Tech, next season begins now
To put Georgia Tech’s situation into perspective, look at the Yellow Jackets’ last two hours and nine minutes on the field, from when Jahmyr Gibbs scored midway through the fourth quarter against Boston College on Nov. 13 until this past Saturday.
What transpired is almost unfathomable: The Yellow Jackets (3-9) were been outscored 110-0 to end the season.
Boston College scored the final 10 points in a 41-30 victory before then-No. 6 Notre Dame (11-1) stomped Georgia Tech 55-0 and top-ranked Georgia (12-0) came to town and hung 45 on it Saturday.
“I don’t want to start talking about the future right now because we have to deal with the present,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “We’ve got some things we’ve got to fix in the immediacy.”
But where does Collins, whom athletic director Todd Stansbury recently said would return for a fourth season, start?
Does he first look at a defense that ended the season by giving up an average of 41.3 points per game during a six-game losing streak — the Yellow Jackets’ longest since 1994?
Or does he glare at an offense that scored exactly six points in the last nine quarters? What’s he going to say to fix an offense that couldn’t even penetrate Georgia’s 25-yard line, let alone the goal line?
Or does he stare in the mirror at himself and his staff? The Yellow Jackets finished with a losing record just three times in 11 seasons under Paul Johnson. But Collins, who replaced him prior to the 2019 season, is now 3-for-3 for three-win seasons, complete with a 9-25 mark overall.
In his first season, his Yellow Jackets lost 52-7 to Georgia. They lost 45-0 Saturday, marking the first time they failed to score on the Bulldogs since 1964. The Bulldogs have outscored the Yellow Jackets 180-35 the past four meetings.
“The last two games were a setback — against two of the top six teams in the country,” Collins said. “We can’t let that alter everything we’ve been building toward.”
Which is what, exactly?
The Yellow Jackets won’t be playing in a bowl game for the third straight season, which hasn’t happened at Georgia Tech since the early 1990s. Prior to Collins’ arrival, the Yellow Jackets had played in a bowl game in 20 of the previous 22 seasons dating to 1997.
Here’s Georgia Tech’s season in a nutshell: The Yellow Jackets opened with a home loss to Northern Illinois, gave up 52 points in a loss to Pitt, yielded 48 in a defeat to Virginia and 41 in a setback to Boston College. They beat Duke, which didn’t win an ACC game, and North Carolina, which finished 6-6. Georgia Tech also beat Kennesaw State.
“Now’s the time to take the next step through recruiting,” Collins said. “We’ll take a deep dive into every area on the program.”
The Yellow Jackets’ offseason of uncertainty began late Saturday afternoon, in front of a stadium filled with more Bulldog fans than Yellow Jacket supporters, the latter hoping better days are ahead.
“It being Senior Day and seeing a lot of red,” cornerback Tre Swilling said, “truthfully, it doesn’t feel great.”
–Field Level Media