We have seen 13 Georgia Tech football games this season, and through watching those games we should have a pretty good bead on the strengths and weaknesses of the Jackets.
Through watching the games, one of the areas that has given this team issues is stopping mobile quarterbacks.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
This is something that is going to need to be addressed going into the Orange Bowl against Mississippi St. come New Year’s Eve with the Bulldogs having one of the better dual-threat QB in the nation Dak Prescott.
There have been a few games this season where a dual-threat QB has given the Georgia Tech defense fits. The defense would have all other phases locked down, but for whatever reason, accounting for that one player was a problem.
The three QB’s that come to mind are North Carolina’s Marquise Williams, North Carolina State’s Jacoby Brissett, and Georgia Southern’s Kevin Ellison.
The Georgia Southern game was early in the season, third game to be exact. Kevin Ellison was a major reason why the Eagles were able to get back in the game and almost steal it from the Yellow Jackets.
Tech won the game 42-38, but Ellison finished the game hitting 7 of 10 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown while rushing nine times for 107 yards and a touchdown.
More from Football
- Georgia Tech Football: What the new ACC scheduling format means for the Yellow Jackets
- Georgia Tech gets six new commits to 2023 class after official visits
- Georgia Tech hosts a plethora of 2023 recruits this weekend
- Dontae Smith slated for big season in 2022
- Why Georgia Tech must move on from Andrew Thacker
Keep in mind that this was early in the season while Tech was still working the bugs out on Ted Roof’s new 4-2-5 defensive installation.
Yet and still, Ellison was able to do damage by land and air.
Which bring us to Marquise Williams of UNC. If it wasn’t for Williams guiding UNC to a 48-43 win on October 18th, the Yellow Jackets might have been a one loss team for a proper chunk of the season, and may have been on the brink of breaking into the top four of the College Playoff race.
Williams did the most damage of the dual-threat QB’s hitting 38 of 47 passes for 390 yards and touchdown passes while rushing 16 times for 73 yards and a TD.
North Carolina runs an up-tempo offense which is part of the reason for the gaudy numbers, the other part of the equation is that Williams was doing work all game long.
Which brings us to Jacoby Brissett of North Carolina State. Now granted, the Yellow Jackets smashed the Wolfpack 56-23.
It was not even like Brissett had mind-boggling numbers. He was only 18 of 35 for 213 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while rushing nine times for 77 yards and a TD.
Nov 15, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
The thing that Tech fans should remember about that game is how many times Brissett slithered his way out of trouble and made tacklers miss.
Defenders had clean shots on him and just simply let him go. That cannot happen against Dak Prescott.
Everyone knows that Prescott was in the running for the Heisman Trophy for a good part of the season finishing eighth in the voting and the problems that he can cause both running and passing.
He finished the season completing 61% of his passes for 2,987 with 24 touchdowns and 10 picks while rushing for 938 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He has nice size at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, and is very good at running after contact.
Prescott had four double-triples this season where he threw and ran for triple digits.
He is the main cog that Ted Roof and the Georgia Tech defense is going to have to stop if the Jackets want to come away with a bowl win on December 31st.
Quayshawn Nealy will more than likely have to spy in on Prescott all New Year’s Eve long in an attempt to keep him in check. The Jackets defense is going to need to be on point as a unit.
Prescott versus the Yellow Jackets defense is a major storyline going into the Orange Bowl and will make New Year’s Eve a very entertaining part of the bowl season.