This article is not going to be used to recap every score in every quarter and every play verbatim.
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This article is going to be used to say that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-2, 5-2 ACC) beat NC State (5-5, 1-5 ACC) 56-23 in Raleigh for the Wolfpack’s homecoming game, and to say that Tech is peaking at the right time.
This article is going to be used to point out areas of concern, but at the same time be honest about the way that Paul Johnson truly has his team looking like a machine.
This article is going to be used to talk about how Ted Roof has the defensive mindset changed on their side of the ball and it is paying huge dividends.
Georgia Tech is playing their best football of the season and at the right time. The Jackets have two games left on their schedule and both sides of the football are making statements on the field.
Nov 8, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas (5) runs in for a touchdown against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Johnson’s offense collected 545 yards total Saturday against the Wolfpack defense. Tech ran the rock for 479 yards with Synjyn Days leading the way with 19 carries for 157 yards and a TD.
Justin Thomas carried the ball six times for 60 yards and a TD. Tim Byerly came into the game in relief and carried the ball 13 times for 87 yards and got himself a couple short yardage scores.
Seriously, outside of a Synjyn Days fumble, which he made up for immediately on the following Tech possession with a 53-yard TD, the Jackets’ offense was flawless.
Defensively, the Jackets were outstanding holding the Wolfpack to 363 total yards on the game.
They were opportunistic in the turnover department with interceptions by Quayshawn Nealy and D.J. White, and a fumble recovery which was also by Nealy.
Nealy could have had and interception return for a touchdown, but he ended up getting stripped from behind after 70-yards and gave the ball back.
However, with Nealy being persistent, he redeemed himself by taking a fumble to the house in the second quarter. D.J. White also had a pick-6 a couple plays after the Nealy fumble that gave N.C. State the ball back.
Ted Roof has totally changed the tone of the defense. It seems like the mindset of the Tech defense is to create turnovers early and often.
The Jackets’ defense seems to be ball-hawking a whole lot more and their aggressiveness at causing turnovers has been huge.
Nov 8, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack tight end David J. Grinnage (86) is tackled by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive back Demond Smith (12) and defensive back Lawrence Austin (20) at Carter Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports
The only thing that you could knock the defense for, and they would agree with you, is the fact that they were missing easy tackles.
For whatever reason, Tech had a hard time wrapping up Jacob Brissett all game. Brissett did more damage than he was supposed to, especially on the ground rushing for 77 yards and a TD.
Those run were not designed for the most part. The Jackets would have Brissett surrounded and for whatever reason he was just to slippery.
That is where Paul Johnson and Ted Roof will focus their attention with the team in film study this week. The Jackets were swarming and not finishing the tackles.
With Clemson and Georgia standing in the way of a 10-win regular season, finishing tackles is going to be critical to getting victories.
Even with that issue, Georgia Tech is playing it’s best football as a team right now. The offense is moving the ball at will and the defense is getting opportunistic turnovers and getting stops as well..
A special season is in Georgia Tech’s grasp and the way they are playing has fans believing that Clemson coming to Bobby Dodd and Georgia at the end of the year in Athens are winnable games.
Tech is peaking at the right time and the finish to this season is going to be real exciting.