Georgia Tech Football: Jackets in great position for next week’s game against Pittsburgh

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 9: Clinton Lynch
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 9: Clinton Lynch /

The Georgia Tech football team is in a great spot heading into next week’s game against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

It’s hard to argue that the Georgia Tech football team could be in any better position entering next week’s game against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Yellow Jackets who are 1-1 on the season are coming off a 37-10 victory over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

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The Yellow Jackets were originally scheduled to play the UCF Knights this weekend but due to Hurrican Irma and the resulting damage, the game was canceled. That means the Jackets no longer have to play four games in 19 days but will have a full bye week in between games.

That’s only the beginning for the Yellow Jackets, not only do they have a full week off in between games but they also get Pittsburgh in the third week of facing extremely tough offenses to defend. A week ago, the Panthers faced in-state rival Penn State and lost 33-14. Despite outgaining the Nittany Lions and having a dominating time of possession, the Panthers showed very little on offense but their defense was able to keep Penn State at bay for the second and third quarters, which was impressive.

On Saturday, the Panthers will be taking on another one of the country’s best offenses in the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Through their first two games, the Cowboys have put up 59 and 44 points and are averaging 572.5 yards of offense. The Pittsburgh secondary is depleted at this time and is missing their top player in safety Jordan Whitehead, they will also be missing former highly recruited Damar Hamlin. Whitehead will return for next week’s game against the Jackets.

While the Pittsburgh defense will have their hands full heading into their game on The Flats next week, there are plenty of worries about Pittsburgh’s offense as well.

Through two games, the Pittsburgh offense is just averaging 345 yards per game and struggled against FCS opponent Youngstown State, putting up just 28 points in a game that needed overtime for the Panthers to prevail. Without offense coordinator, Matt Canada, quarterback Nathan Peterman, and running back James Connor, the Pittsburgh offense looks nowhere close to where they were a year ago.

Transfer quarterback Max Browne has struggled mightily through two games has failed to impress and was benched in the Panthers 33-14 loss to Penn State after throwing two bad interceptions. Pittsburgh did show they can run the ball against Penn State as junior Qadree Ollison rushed for 96-yards on 15 carries.

When it comes down to the Jackets game against Pittsburgh, it will be interesting to see how the Panthers respond to having to face an extremely well balanced and dangerous offense in Penn State. A more air raid style offense in Oklahoma State before facing the Jackets always dangerous option offense.

For reference, last season the Jackets rushed for 240-yards on Pittsburgh with 64 of those yards coming from Clinton Lynch who also had a touchdown on the game. Will they be able to contain the dynamic TaQuon Marshall though? Only time will tell on how well the Panthers can prepare for the Jackets offense.

The one thing for sure though entering next weekend is Georgia Tech will be well rested and ready to avenge their 37-34 loss to the Panthers last season.