Georgia Tech vs USF: Gut reaction from a gut punching loss

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets line up against the South Florida Bulls during a game at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets line up against the South Florida Bulls during a game at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

A loss and a costly loss for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in week 2 against USF had its highs and lows but ultimately was a gut punching loss that Tech fans have come too familiar with over the 13 games.

For Georgia Tech fans, Saturday’s loss feels like a gut punching loss that many have grown too familiar with over the last 13 games.

The game got off to a quick start with a big-time interception from the defense that ultimately resulted in a real-life field goal from Brenton King. The fun was interrupted however as USF returned consecutive kickoffs for scores in the first quarter which gave USF a quick momentum swing. At this point, it was a good indication that the game was going to be gut twister from start to finish.

Taquon Marshall also had a huge rushing score to keep Tech alive before getting hurt and giving way to Tobias Oliver. Oliver impressed early, showing his elusive running style and giving the USF defense something new to think about. While we didn’t see Oliver pass the ball on Saturday, it was a great performance by the redshirt freshman.

The story of the game has to be the injuries as KirVonte Benson, Taquon Marshall, and Jahaziel Lee all went down at different points in the game. Marshall would return in the fourth quarter in a pivotal third down situation and convert on a good pass to the outside to Jordan Mason. Benson came back out to the sideline in street clothes and the extent of his injury not immediately known. That being said the loss of Benson was obvious early on following his injury and the Yellow Jackets will need to find answers quickly if he’s out long term going forward.

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  • Turnovers again plagued the offense as Marshall threw a bad interception just before halftime and Qua Searcy fumbled on a big third down play in the fourth quarter. Of course, Marshall’s second interception of the day late in the fourth quarter (tipped ball) was the dagger ultimately for the Yellow Jackets.

    Two big targeting penalties also saw Tariq Carpenter and David Curry be ejected during the game which with the secondary already not playing deep, Carpenter’s ejection became a factor as the game progressed. The defense as a whole played well early on in the game but slowly “collapsed” as the game went on. The biggest issue throughout the game was easily leaving Blake Barnett with too much space to run as the grad transfer quarterback picked up 91-yards on the ground.

    This team still does not feel complete with major gaps in special teams coverage and in some defensive situations, especially after big negative plays. Not all was bad however as the offense at times was pretty impressive, especially in the perimeter blocking game. The offensive line was also for the most part impressive throughout the game getting their man on the ground and allowing plays to develop though the pass protection continues to be suspect at best.

    Marshall showed off his impressive speed with a touchdown run early in the game and Tobias Oliver also showed great potential with his play in the second half while Marshall was out, scoring his trio of touchdowns.

    The play of the game was almost certainly the fumble by Qua Searcy after being up by ten. The fumble completely flipped all momentum to South Florida. If the Jackets had been able to take any more of the clock away on that possession or even been able to score it may have been a completely different outcome.

    Let’s face it, this loss is going to sting for quite a while for Tech fans and could possibly be an indicator of the rest of the season for the Jackets. Not one thing was definitively the reason they lost this game in my mind. The offense was good in spots and the defense was good in spots with the ultimate deciding factor being two touchdowns given up by poor special teams coverage in the first quarter could be pointed to as a huge reason for the loss.

    The road does not get easier next week as the Jackets face Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.