It is Homecoming weekend on the Flats as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets welcome the Duke Blue Devils to town. This will be quite the test for the Jackets as Duke has already faced the option this season and had a bye week before this game. To make matters worse, Duke yields a top 25 defense and held Army to their lowest rushing yard total since 2016 (163 yards). Despite all that, the real focus will be on the Georgia Tech defense as they will look to redeem themselves after a terrible(too put it kindly) performance last fall against Duke.
Georgia Tech just did not play well at all last year against Duke. The offense sputtered in the second half and the defense was laughable. It is no secret that Georgia Tech wants to prove a point in this game and redeem themselves from last year’s game. Defensively, this team has talked about it all week about how they must player better this go around. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall said this is a game that he has had circled for a while.
Keys To The Game:
Keep it Simple: Paul Johnson and QB TaQuon Marshall have said that the offense has just gotten back to basics of the offense and have simplified everything the last couple of games and it is obviously has the offense clicking again.
Fast Start: Georgia Tech can not afford a slow start in this game. Falling behind early could spell disaster because of the stout Duke defense and an offense that can strike quick.
Bring the heat: Georgia Tech’s pass rush has been getting better by the week. This week, it is crucial to get pressure on Daniel Jones because he can light it up if given time. Also when they do get to him, they can not let him get away as he has sneaky good speed.
Player To Watch:
Duke: Joe Giles Harris- LB
This kid is a nightmare for offenses. He is all over the field and had 14 tackles last year against the Jackets.
Georgia Tech: Brant Mitchell- LB
Duke is a run first team by the numbers and Brant Mitchell will lead the LB core on the charge to slow it down. A big game from Mitchell could lead to a Georgia Tech win.
Inside The Numbers:
Paul Johnson is 7-3 against Duke and David Cutcliffe but has last 3 of the last 4 against his nemesis from up the road.
Duke has the 23rd ranked Defense
Georgia Tech has scored points on 17 of their last 18 possessions and scored a touchdown on 16 of last 18.
Duke ranks 3rd in the country with just 3 turnovers lost while Georgia Tech is ranked 8th with 13 forced turnovers.
This game is huge for both teams as they look to stay afloat in the ACC Coastal race. A third conference loss for GT would do them in while a 2nd loss for Duke would make it extremely hard for them come out of the Coastal with a tough remaining schedule.
This has all the makings of a great game, and Georgia Tech will look to break in the new uniform combo (white jerseys, navy numbers, navy pants with a win.
Bret Anderson | @Bret_A27