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