Sep 18, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) carries the ball against the Clemson Tigers during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech RB Jahmyr Gibbs to enter transfer portal

Running back Jahmyr Gibbs, the biggest offensive weapon for Georgia Tech in 2021, said Monday he will transfer.

“After a long and hard process and talks with my family, I have decided to enter the transfer portal,” he posted to social media. “I have loved my time here at Georgia Tech.”

As a sophomore this season, Gibbs carried the ball 143 times for 746 yards with four touchdowns, and he added 470 yards and two touchdowns on 36 receptions.

His best game came Oct. 23 in a 48-40 loss to Virginia, when he ran 13 times for 132 yards with a touchdown.

Gibbs accounted for more than one-third of Georgia Tech’s total 2,028 rushing yards on the season. The Georgia native was a four-star recruit and ranked No. 8 in the nation at his position in the Class of 2020.

The Yellow Jackets finished the season with a 3-9 (2-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) record. Their offense ranked No. 92 in the nation.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Durham, North Carolina, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins watches his team's offense during the fourth quarter at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

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

Nov 30, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets mascot Buzz and Georgia Bulldogs mascot Hairy Dawg after a game at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Top-ranked Georgia ready to feast on struggling Georgia Tech

Teams heading in opposite directions will meet on Saturday when top-ranked Georgia brings the nation’s longest current winning streak to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech, which has lost five straight games, including the last one by 55 points.

Georgia (11-0), which has won 15 straight games dating to last season, opened as a 35-point favorite against the Yellow Jackets (3-8), who haven’t defeated the Bulldogs in Atlanta this century.

The Bulldogs have turned Bobby Dodd Stadium into their personal playground during their 10-game winning streak on Georgia Tech’s campus dating to 1999, winning by an average of 16.1 points.
Georgia has won 16 of the past 19 meetings overall and the past three in a row by an average of 33.3 points.

“When I got here, there’s an ingrained, built-in belief that you had to beat your in-state rival,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said. “We also had conference rivals, so it became you play on something so many times that it falls on deaf ears, if you say, ‘That’s our rival, that’s our rival, that’s our rival.’ We don’t get into that, because it loses its effectiveness if you use it all the time. Who’s not our rival?”

While Georgia was amassing 488 yards of total offense in a 56-7 win against Charleston Southern last week, Georgia Tech was shut out 55-0 on national television at No. 8 Notre Dame. The Yellow Jackets mustered just 224 yards, gave up six sacks, had an interception and fumble returned for scores and gave up 45 points in the first 30 minutes.

If the Yellow Jackets struggled mightily to move the ball against the Fighting Irish’s 40th-ranked defense, how will they fare against Georgia’s top-ranked unit?

The Bulldogs lead the country in total defense (236 yards per game), yards allowed (2,596), offensive touchdowns allowed (seven), opponent touchdowns overall (nine). Georgia is also second in first downs allowed (151) and rushing defense (77.3), and third in passing defense (158.7).

Georgia Tech’s best offensive player is running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who is ranked No. 1 nationally in all-purpose yardage at 163.8 yards per game, 2.3 yards per game more than Central Michigan’s Lew Nichols and 3.3 yards per game ahead of Utah State receiver Deven Thompkins.

Georgia has ascended under Smart, who has led the Bulldogs to four SEC East Division titles, an SEC championship and an appearance in the national title game so far in his six seasons.

But Georgia Tech has clearly regressed under third-year coach Geoff Collins.

The Yellow Jackets finished with a losing record just three times in 11 seasons under Paul Johnson, but they are guaranteed their third in as many seasons under Collins, who enters Saturday with a record of 9-24 on the Georgia Tech sideline.

While Georgia is all but guaranteed a College Football Playoff spot with a win on Saturday, Georgia Tech won’t be playing in a bowl game for the third straight season, which hasn’t happened since the early-to-mid 1990s. Prior to Collins’ arrival, the Yellow Jackets had played in a bowl game in 20 of the previous 22 seasons dating to 1997.

“I get it,” Collins told reporters when asked about frustrations of Yellow Jackets’ fans. “I understand it. I’m frustrated. I’m as big of a competitor as there is in the game and so I’m frustrated. Even though we’ve made progress, it still hasn’t shown up in the win column, where we want it to be, where we need it to be and where it will be.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins shows emotion against the Boston College Eagles in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech ‘hurting’ at end of difficult season

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins didn’t delve too far into his team’s mindset after its disastrous 55-0 loss at then-No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday.

“The locker room is the first and foremost thing I’m concerned about,” he said. “There are some hurting guys in there … That’s all I’m concerned about right now. We’ll just keep it there.”

But what could Collins say, at least publicly, after the Yellow Jackets (3-8) were dominated in front of a national television audience en route to their fifth straight loss? And in a game in which they would have wanted to build some momentum with a home game against top-ranked Georgia looming this week to conclude a forgettable season?

Georgia Tech mustered just 224 yards of offense, had a fumble and an interception returned for touchdowns, gave up six sacks and were gashed for 514 yards.

The defensive breakdown continued a trend that has turned a promising 2-2 start into a season that very well could be defined by the Yellow Jackets losing their final six games.

Georgia Tech has given up an average of 539.7 yards in the past seven games. The Yellow Jackets have failed to hold any of those seven opponents to under 489 yards, while three have amassed at least 563 yards.

While two of those opponents — No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 20 Pitt — are currently ranked and have a combined record of 19-3, the others — Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College — have a combined record of 26-29.

And now the Yellow Jackets face their best opponent of the season: Georgia (11-0), which averages 40.3 points per game and hasn’t been held under 30 points since a 10-3 win over Clemson to open the season.

Georgia and Georgia Tech didn’t play last season due to pandemic-related scheduling, but the Bulldogs hung 52 on the Yellow Jackets in 2019 and 45 on them a year earlier.

Georgia Tech has struggled to find continuity under center, as injuries have taken a toll on second-year starter Jeff Sims, who lost his starting job to redshirt freshman Jordan Yates the past two games.

“We’ve all got to be better,” Yates told reporters. “It’s really plain and simple, we’ve just got to be better.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the Yellow Jackets have made strides since the teams last met, even if it isn’t reflected in Georgia Tech’s record.

“The biggest thing is they’ve got more talent,” he said. “They’ve had injuries at the quarterback position, it’s been in-and-out, back-and-forth, but they always do a good job in the kicking game.”

–Field Level Media

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) looks up at fans after a NCAA college football game between Charleston Southern and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Georgia won 56-7.

News Joshua L Jones

No. 1 Georgia focused on Ga. Tech, history

Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn’t need to tell his top-ranked Bulldogs, who are on the verge of making school history, anything about Saturday’s regular-season finale against host Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

“They talked after the game and wanted everybody locked in,” Smart said about his team shifting focus to the Yellow Jackets after a 56-7 win over Charleston Southern. “It takes a lot of pressure off me when they’re saying it. When they speak, people listen. I think they’ll handle that right.”

Georgia certainly hasn’t given Smart any reason to think otherwise.

The Bulldogs (11-0) have won their past 10 games by at least 17 points and their 15-game winning streak dating to last season is the longest active one in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

“We look at (playing Georgia Tech) as a chance to grow to be the best team we can become,” Smart said. “They stand in our way; we have an opportunity to go play them.”

The Bulldogs are a win away from posting their first 12-0 regular season in school history, their first undefeated regular season since 1982 and just the fifth undefeated regular season in program history. Georgia went 8-0-1 in 1920, 10-0 in 1946, and 11-0 in 1980 and 1982.

“During our summer workouts I could just tell it was going to be different,” linebacker Channing Tindall said. “We had (practices) where we became closer and we talked about just knowing our ‘why’ and not just going out there and playing and playing for this or playing for that. Now, we are playing for his mother or his family or his situation.”

The Bulldogs opened as 35-point favorites against Georgia Tech (3-8), which has lost five straight games and is coming off a humiliating, 55-0 loss at No. 8 Notre Dame in which the Fighting Irish led 45-0 after two quarters.

Georgia has dominated Georgia Tech this century. The Bulldogs have won 10 straight games inside Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium dating to 1999 and have taken home the Governor’s Cup, which is awarded annually to the game’s winner, in 16 of the past 19 meetings.

With a win over the Yellow Jackets, Georgia would be all but guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff, which they haven’t made since 2017.

The Bulldogs will face No. 2 Alabama (10-1) in the Southeastern Conference title game on Dec. 4 in Atlanta, where a loss to the defending champion Crimson Tide likely wouldn’t knock Georgia out of the top four.

That’s because the Bulldogs haven’t been just good this season — they’ve been historically great, especially on defense.

The Bulldogs lead the country in total defense (236.0 ypg), yards allowed (2,596) and offensive touchdowns allowed (7). They are second in first downs allowed (151) and rushing defense (77.3 ypg), They are third in passing defense (158.7 ypg).

But where Georgia really has separated itself is on the scoreboard. Georgia has allowed just 83 points, fewest in the nation, this season. That’s 81 fewer points than Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, which are tied for second with 164.

But even the 83 points can be misleading. UAB scored all of its points in a 56-7 loss on a pick-six, while Charleston Southern’s lone touchdown last Saturday occurred after Georgia linebacker Xavian Sorey picked off a tipped pass. Receiver Garris Schwarting swiped the ball away and took it 67 yards for a touchdown with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

Regardless, Georgia is focused on defeating Georgia Tech for the fourth straight meeting. The teams didn’t meet last year for the first time since 1944 due to coronavirus-impacted scheduling.

“It’s the next part, the next chapter, and what are they going to write about this chapter with each group?” Smart said. “I know our guys will be fired up and ready to go this week.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Kyren Williams (23) stiff arms Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets safey Tariq Carpenter (2) in the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Notre Dame scores on offense, defense and special teams in big win

Jack Coan threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns and Kyren Williams rushed for two scores to back a dominant defense in No. 8 Notre Dame’s 55-0 victory over visiting Georgia Tech in a nonconference game on Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Coan went 15-for-20 passing, Tyler Buchner ran for 67 yards on five carries and Michael Mayer had three catches for 86 yards and a touchdown as the Fighting Irish (10-1) amassed 514 yards of total offense.

The Fighting Irish returned a fumble and an interception for touchdowns, had six sacks and limited the Yellow Jackets (3-8) to just 224 yards of total offense. Notre Dame held its third straight opponent without a touchdown.

Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates went 14-for-28 passing for 96 yards and an interception, while Jahmyr Gibbs was held to 58 yards on 12 carries as the Yellow Jackets dropped their fifth straight game.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 24-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back.

After Jonathan Doerer’s 41-yard field goal gave Notre Dame a 3-0 lead less than three minutes into the game, Notre Dame’s defense extended the lead to 10-0 when linebacker Jack Kiser stepped in front of Yates’ pass at the 50-yard line and returned it for a touchdown with 10:33 left in the quarter.

Williams’ nine-yard run pushed the lead to 17-0 with 4:57 left before Coan hit Mayer for a 52-yard catch-and-run for a 24-0 lead with eight seconds left in the quarter.

Notre Dame resumed where it left off in the second quarter.

Logan Diggs followed his five-yard touchdown run with 10:41 left in the half by catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Coan less than four minutes later for a 38-0 lead. Williams capped the scoring with a 1-yard run that extended the lead to 45-0 with 1:29 left in the half.

Notre Dame didn’t let up in the second half.

Doerer hit a 26-yard field goal to push the lead to 48-0 with 6:45 left in the third quarter before Notre Dame’s defense found the end zone again on Georgia Tech’s ensuing possession.

Isaiah Foskey burst through the line and hit Yates, jarring the ball free, with defensive end Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa scooping up the fumble and returning it for a touchdown and a 55-0 advantage with 4:50 left in the quarter.

–Field Level Media

Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws a pass while warming up before NCAA football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.

Cincinnati Bearcats At Notre Dame Fighting Irish 172

No. 8 Notre Dame inches up CFP rankings, keeps specs on Ga. Tech

Another week, another spot higher in the College Football Playoff rankings for No. 8 Notre Dame.

The message from coach Brian Kelly: keep your specs on Georgia Tech.

To remain on the upward ladder in the College Football Playoff race, the Fighting Irish must keep landing punches when reeling Georgia Tech spends Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

The Fighting Irish (9-1) have won five consecutive games by an average of 16.2 points since suffering a 24-13 loss in early October to undefeated Cincinnati, which ascended to No. 5 this week.

Notre Dame kept its last two opponents — Navy and Virginia — out of the end zone, marking the first time the Fighting Irish didn’t give up a touchdown in consecutive games in nine years.

Georgia Tech (3-7) would love to be climbing any ladder. But the Yellow Jackets are headed the opposite direction, having dropped four straight games and are ineligible to play in a bowl game for the third straight year.

Georgia Tech finishes the season at top-ranked Georgia (10-0) on Nov. 27.

“In terms of their motivation, these are their bowl games in back-to-back weeks,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters. “These are the games you feel a little uneasy about because your opponent has nothing to really worry about going into the game other than just taking a free swing and playing without anything to worry about. One at a time, Notre Dame and Georgia and get after it.”

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan, who completed 15 of 20 passes for 132 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in a 28-3 win over host Virginia (6-4) last week, could have a big day against a porous Georgia Tech secondary.

The Yellow Jackets gave up 505 yards of total offense, including 310 through the air, in a 41-30 loss to Boston College (6-4) last week. Georgia Tech has given up an average of 337.2 passing yards, in addition to 11 touchdown passes, during their four-game losing streak. For the season, Georgia Tech has allowed 447.8 yards of total offense per game, including 271.9 through the air.

“It’s frustrating, it hurts,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “But we’re just going to keep working.”

Coan has gone 174-for-262 passing for 2,011 yards with 16 touchdowns against five interceptions, with his favorite target being tight end Mike Mayer (52 receptions, 577 yards, four TDs) and receiver Kevin Austin (34 catches, 569 yards, six TDs). Kyren Williams has powered the ground game, having rushed for 872 yards and 10 touchdowns on 174 carries.

The Fighting Irish are feasting on Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

Notre Dame has won 23 straight regular-season games — among them 17 double-digit victories — against ACC opponents dating to 2016. They’ve also won 40 straight games against unranked teams dating to the 2016 season, which is the FBS’ longest current streak.

Georgia Tech’s lone bright spot this year has been Jahmyr Gibbs, who has rushed for a team-high 687 yards and four touchdowns on 129 carries, in addition to leading the team with 469 receiving yards to go along with two scores. He’s scored four touchdowns of at least 50 yards, including two over 70 yards, in addition to returning a kickoff return 98 yards for another score.

Kyric McGowan has a team-leading seven scoring receptions to go with 454 yards on 33 catches.

Quarterback will be the biggest question mark for Georgia Tech.

Jordan Yates replaced Jeff Sims against Boston College and is expected to start against Notre Dame after going 17-for-28 passing for 126 yards with a touchdown and an interception, in addition to rushing for 47 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, against the Eagles.

Notre Dame will continue to be without standout safety Kyle Hamilton, who will miss the game with a knee injury that has sidelined him since Oct. 23.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins shows emotion against the Boston College Eagles in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Reeling Georgia Tech faces two giants to close out season

If Georgia Tech is going to show any improvement under third-year coach Geoff Collins this season, the reeling Yellow Jackets are going to have to pull off at least one of the biggest upsets in all of college football.

The Jackets (3-7) have won three games in each of the past two seasons under Collins. If they don’t find a way to win nonconference games at No. 9 Notre Dame (9-1) on Saturday or at home against top-ranked Georgia (10-0) on Nov. 27, they will have another one.

The Yellow Jackets finished with a losing record just three times in 11 seasons under Paul Johnson, whom Collins replaced after the 2018 season. They are already guaranteed their third one in as many seasons under Collins, as they’ve sunk toward the bottom of a very mediocre Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Yellow Jackets have gone 9-23 overall, including 7-18 in ACC play, under Collins. They won’t be playing in a bowl game for the third straight season, something that hasn’t happened at Georgia Tech since the early 1990s. Prior to Collins’ arrival, the Yellow Jackets only missed out on bowl season twice since 1997.

“It’s frustrating, it hurts,” Collins told reporters. “But we’re just going to keep working.”

Georgia Tech has five losses by nine points or fewer and three by six or fewer this season.

“We’ve been so close,” safety Tariq Carpenter told reporters. “That’s the part that hurts.”

The past three weeks have been especially disheartening. After opening 3-4 that included losses to three of the ACC’s best teams — Clemson, Pittsburgh and Virginia — it appeared Georgia Tech could regain its footing against the league’s lesser teams.

Georgia Tech followed with losses to Virginia Tech and Miami before falling 41-30 on Saturday to visiting Boston College, which had won just once since September before rolling into Atlanta and amassing 505 yards of total offense.

Georgia Tech jumped out to a 21-7 lead after Jordan Yates’ two-yard run just over a minute into the second quarter. But the Eagles (6-4) scored the next 21 points to take a 28-21 lead at halftime they wouldn’t relinquish.

“We’ve just got to find a way, when we get up 21-7, we’ve got to shut the door on people,” Collins told reporters. “We just need to keep gaining momentum and gaining ground and not let go of the rope.”

Georgia Tech’s Jahmyr Gibbs, who scored on a 98-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, scored on a 4-yard run to pull the Yellow Jackets to 31-30 with 8:59 remaining in the game, but Brent Cimaglia missed the extra point. Boston College scored the next 10 points to put the game away.

Again, Georgia Tech’s defense was torched. Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec ran for three touchdowns and went 13-for-20 passing for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

The Yellow Jackets have given up an average of 337.3 passing yards, in addition to 11 touchdown passes, during their four-game losing streak.

The Yellow Jackets’ previous three opponents are a combined 16-14 and none has a winning record in league play.

Now, Georgia Tech closes against Notre Dame, which has won five straight and whose lone loss is to unbeaten Cincinnati. Georgia hasn’t been beaten this season and hasn’t lost in Atlanta to Georgia Tech this century.

“We have a lot of good players in that locker room,” Collins told reporters.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) looks to throw against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College fights for bowl eligibility at Georgia Tech

Phil Jurkovec’s surprise return has breathed new life into a season that was trending downward for Boston College.

Once feared lost for the season with a hand injury, Jurkovec was announced as the starter shortly before the game against Virginia Tech last Friday. After a six-game absence, the junior quarterback sparked the offense and helped lead the Eagles to a 17-3 win.

Jurkovec will be under center again for the Eagles (5-4, 1-4 ACC) when they visit Georgia Tech (3-6, 2-5) in Atlanta on Saturday.

“It’s definitely not the way I want it to be yet, but we’re working on it,” said Jurkovec, who was 7-of-13 passing for 112 yards and rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown against the Hokies. “This is going to be a good week for (improvement).”

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Boston College, its longest under second-year coach Jeff Hafley. Now the Eagles are one win away from securing bowl eligibility for the second time in Hafley’s short tenure.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech faces an uphill battle if it wants to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018. After hosting the Eagles, the Yellow Jackets visit No. 10 Notre Dame before hosting No. 1 Georgia to cap the regular season.

Jordan Mason rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown against Miami last Saturday, but it wasn’t enough for Georgia Tech to avoid a 33-30 loss against the Hurricanes. Jeff Simms was 21-of-38 passing for 194 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Juanyeh Thomas had nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a 100-yard interception return on a Hurricanes’ two-point conversion try to earn ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors for the second time in four games.

The loss was the Yellow Jackets’ third in a row despite scoring 30 or more points twice in that stretch.

“It hurts,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “We were close but we’ve still got to find a way to get over the hump and not only be in one-score games, but also win one-score games and keep it going forward.”

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series against Boston College 7-3 following a 48-27 road loss to the Eagles last year.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins walks on the sideline during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech narrowing gap, still in danger of missing bowl season

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins had said his Yellow Jackets have closed the distance between themselves and the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but that doesn’t make the losses easier to handle.

The Yellow Jackets’ 33-30 loss at Miami last Saturday was their fifth defeat by nine points or less and third by six points or less this season.

“We are showing progress,” Collins told reporters on Tuesday. “The team that you see out there competing every single week has grown and developed. I think that is obvious, the growth and development in this program. If you can’t see how much we have grown, how much we have developed, you don’t want to see it.”

The heart-breaking setbacks have pushed Georgia Tech (3-6, 2-5 ACC) to the brink of missing out on bowl eligibility. The Yellow Jackets must win their final three regular-season games, beginning on Saturday against Boston College (5-4, 1-4), to reach the six-win total required to be invited to a bowl game.

“We want to win every game,” Collins said. “Having Boston College — a really good ACC opponent — coming into town, our focus will be to find a way to win the game.”

The Yellow Jackets play at No. 10 Notre Dame (8-1) on Nov. 20 before hosting top-ranked Georgia (9-0), which they haven’t beaten in Atlanta this century, on Nov. 27 to close out the season.

The Yellow Jackets, who have lost three straight games and four of their past five, haven’t had the turnaround they envisioned under Collins in his third year as coach.

When Collins took over for Paul Johnson prior to the 2019 season, the Yellow Jackets were coming off a 7-6 season that ended with a loss to Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl.

But they’ve gone 9-22 overall, including 7-17 in ACC play, under Collins. The team is in danger of not playing in a bowl game for the third straight season, something that hasn’t happened at Georgia Tech since the 1990s. Prior to Collins’ arrival, the Yellow Jackets had played in a bowl game in 20 of the previous 22 seasons dating to 1997.

The Yellow Jackets had their chances against Miami. Georgia Tech led 28-24 entering the fourth quarter before Andres Borregales’ 31-yard field goal cut the lead to 28-27 with 13:20 remaining. The Hurricanes took a 33-28 lead they wouldn’t relinquish on their next possession on Tyler Van Dyke’s third touchdown pass of the game, a 15-yard strike to Key’Shawn Smith with 10:27 remaining. Van Dyke completed 22 of 34 passes for 389 yards and no interceptions.

The loss was especially disheartening for the Yellow Jackets, considering they seemingly did everything that was needed to win. Jordan Mason had a 71-yard rushing touchdown, Jahmyr Gibbs added a 29-yard scoring run, Jaylon King returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown and the defense forced three turnovers.

But just like in its 26-17 loss to Virginia Tech a week earlier, the Yellow Jackets were burned by a receiver’s big game. Charleston Rambo had seven receptions for a whopping 210 yards and a touchdown a week after Virginia Tech’s Tre Turner torched Georgia Tech for 187 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.

–Field Level Media