Georgia Tech’s 49-38 loss to South Florida was a game for the ages and a barnburner that included eight lead changes and almost 1,000-yards of total offense between the two teams. Here are the players of the game for both Georgia Tech and USF.
Georgia Tech: QB Tobias Oliver
For Georgia Tech, the player of the game is quite simply backup quarterback Tobias Oliver. Oliver entered the game on Saturday when starting quarterback TaQuon Marshall went down with an injury and the redshirt freshman didn’t disappoint in his time on the field.
In his time on the field, Oliver lead the Yellow Jackets to three straight scoring drives and at point had 17 consecutive plays that went for positive yardage, which is impressive no matter who the quarterback is and the offense that they are running. While Oliver never threw a pass in the game, on the ground he showed the ability to keep the ball moving and to keep control of the ball.
Over the course of his three and half drives on the field, Oliver ran the ball 18 times for 97-yards and three touchdowns. Head coach Paul Johnson could have left Oliver in the game but decided t put Marshall back in the game when the Jackets faced a pivotal third and long in the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets would pick up the first down on the third and long but would eventually fumble the ball later on in the series.
With that being said, Oliver’s opportunity on Saturday was the most we’ve seen the redshirt freshman on the field for the Yellow Jackets and it’s hard to say he wasn’t impressive. For having limited experience in game situations, Oliver looked like a veteran out there on Saturday.
USF: QB Blake Barnett/WR Terrance Horne
Picking USF’s player of the game was hard so we’re going to give it to two players. Those players are quarterback Blake Barnett who consistently found a way to move the ball either through the air or on the ground and wide receiver Terrance Horne who had three total touchdowns. Let’s start with the grad transfer in Blake Barnett.
One of the biggest questions entering Saturday’s game was if Blake Barnett could finally live up to the hype that comes with being a former five-star quarterback and top ranked quarterback coming of high school. The answer after Saturday seems to be a 100% yes. Through the air, Barnett racked up only 207-yards but rebounded well from an early interception and finished his day going 21-for-31, 207-yards, and two touchdowns. But the California native made his biggest impact in the game by using his most underrated weapon, his feet.
The Yellow Jackets throughout the game gave Barnett way too much room to move around and eventually run and he took advantage of his opportunities. The pocket passer style quarterback took off 15 times during Saturday’s game and picked up a total of 86-yards and two touchdowns. His 15 carries and 86-yards lead the Bulls in both categories.
Freshman wide receiver Terrance Horne was playing in just his second college game ever on Saturday and what an impact he made. Horne on the day had three total touchdowns and 275 all purpose yards. Horne was a menace for the Yellow Jackets from start to finish, as he returned back-to-back kickoffs for touchdowns in the first quarter of the game. The speedy wideout almost had three in all reality, as a shoestring tackle stopped him from returning the opening kick for a touchdown.
In the passing game, Horne wasn’t a huge threat but still ended up with one touchdown reception on the day. He may only have had two receptions for 11-yards and a touchdown in the passing game, but his two kickoff returns proved to be the difference in the 49-38 loss for the Yellow Jackets.