To keep their bowl hopes alive, the Yellow Jackets needed a big win Saturday with the ranked Hokies in town, and that’s exactly what they got.
Sitting at .500, and with only three games left in what had been a roller coaster season, Georgia Tech (5-4, 4-3 ACC) was able to down the No. 17 Hokies for a much needed 28-22 win Saturday.
The victory maintained Tech’s perfect home record at 5-0 on the season and showed a competitive side of the Yellow Jackets that we always knew was there. So what did the win show us?
1. Georgia Tech should probably be a one-loss team.
The most frustrating part of the 2017 season for the Yellow Jackets isn’t that they’ve lost a few games, but how those games slipped away late. The only time this year Tech has been truly beaten was, not surprisingly, at Clemson. Even in that game, the Jackets defense stepped up in the second half to give the offense a fighting chance. Georgia Tech could easily be sitting at 8-1 and preparing for the ACC title game, or 9-1 without the Central Florida cancellation. Three games this year slipped away in the final seconds, and that should frustrate this team.
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2. The defense can close a game… when it wants to.
Georgia Tech’s defense is almost entirely responsible for the up-and-down season, letting some games slip away in the final seconds. Tech’s offense scored 41 on Tennessee, lost 25-24 to a Miami team now looking at a possible playoff berth and put up 36 in a loss at Virginia. That’s frustrating, but also gives hope that the season still could have some potential to end on a good note. That same defense will be needed at Duke and against a really solid Georgia squad at home fro Clean, Old Fashioned Hate.
3. TaQuon Marshall is still the real deal.
TaQuon Marshall has impressed throughout the season, starting with his first-ever start for Georgia Tech. So far this season, Clemson has been the only team to find a real answer for Tech’s offense, which is not surprising with that defensive front. Marshall has shown a lot of balance in his game and the ability to find a way to score. Other than Tech’s pitiful redzone performance this season, the Jackets have been able to find the endzone on a regular basis under Marshall’s leadership. Marshall had 807 yards passing and 934 on the ground and has a real chance to join the 1,000/1,000 quarterback club. Tech fans should be excited about his senior season.
Georgia Tech will go on the road to take on the Duke Blue Devils Saturday for a chance to get bowl eligible. That game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.