The Yellow Jackets handled business in Charlottesville, VA on last Saturday, defeating the Virginia Cavaliers by a score of 35-25. Although there were quite a few miscues, including turning the ball over 5 times, 9 penalties for 97 yards and 3 interceptions, the Yellow Jackets managed to piece together a win against a Cavaliers team that was certainly looking to take them down.
Vad Lee, the redshirt sophomore, was actually benched during the game. I, for one, didn’t disagree with the decision that was made by Coach Paul Johnson. Vad Lee has been struggling with productivity in recent games, and CPJ figured it was time to give another QB a shot at QB. Although neither quarterback outdid the other, it was interesting to see what Justin Thomas could do. Although Vad Lee started the season doing really well, I’m starting to see that his lack of experience is contributing to the miscues on the field.
Although Tech had no TDs through the air, there was were plenty of rushing yards and touchdowns to go around. Zach Laskey, Robert Godhigh and David Sims had career days on the ground, the three of them combining for 351 of the Yellow Jackets’ 394 rushing yards. Zach Laskey had 16 carries for 133 yds and 2 TDs, the season’s second highest rusher. David Sims, Tech’s leading rusher, had 12 carries for 107 yds and 2 TDs. Robert Godhigh, who scored his first TD of the season last Saturday, had a great day on the ground as well with 5 carries for 111 yds and a TD.
Virginia certainly stayed in the game from beginning to end. Their QB, David Watford, had a phenomenal day in the air, completing 43 of 61 passes and throwing for 376 yards. That stat is directly attributed to Tech’s secondary and their inability to keep up with and defend UVA’s receivers. In yet another game, the defense played what appeared to be a soft zone coverage that left tons of space for Virginia’s fast receivers to get into and make catches. Darius Jennings, Watford’s prized target for the day, had 13 receptions, 119 yds and 2 TDs as Watford shredded the Yellow Jackets’ secondary throughout the game. Virginia’s defense played an extremely aggressive game, swarming to the ball, getting in the backfield to disrupt plays, and just all-around playing with high energy.
I’m still quite baffled at how Georgia Tech still managed to win the game. With five turnovers and almost 100 yards in penalties, Georgia Tech had pretty much handed UVA the game. The only reason Virginia didn’t win is because they failed to use the clock more wisely and did not score points off of the turnovers. The Yellow Jackets, although they won, played terribly. Even Coach Paul Johnson discussed the need to keep the ball off the ground before halftime. I’m starting to wonder if it’s him failing to make the adjustments in every game, or if it’s the coordinators. With Clemson and Georgia coming up on the schedule, I’m not particularly optimistic about their ability to compete with these teams. They simply don’t look like a team that is prepared to get in the trenches and win the game where it counts: with the defense.
The Jackets face Pittsburgh (4-3, 2-2 ACC) on Saturday for homecoming at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Hopefully, Tech will put on a much better show than they did against Virginia.