Georgia Tech’s defense struggled to contain USF’s quick offense on Saturday. Let’s take a look at each position and how they graded out.
After a strong start in week one that provided optimism regarding the ceiling of this new look Georgia Tech defense, we were quickly shown what the floor can be following a 49-38 defeat to USF. Gone was the aggressiveness and speed we saw against Alcorn State, being replaced with a similar hesitancy and sloppiness we grew so frustrated with under Ted Roof. Transitioning to a new defense was always going to be a project; however, this group appeared to struggle with USF’s speed more than anything.
Before we get into the specifics of each position group, I want to quickly point out the specific plays that the defense struggled with the most. First, Tech had no answer for the read option in the second half. They were completely unprepared for the running aspect of USF Quarterback Blake Barnett’s game, and he made the defense look slow. The sad part is Barnett’s running is not supposed to be a strength of his.
Second, as if the horrors from Miami weren’t enough last year, Tech was consistently burned by the WR screen. USF did throw a variety of different screen looks at Tech, and they didn’t have an answer for any of them. It was a blend of poor positioning and missed tackles that doomed the defense on these plays.
The final issue involved the defense constantly allowing Barnett to flee the pocket on passing plays. There was no contain by the rushers, and he was able to get at least five yards whenever he wanted.
Now that we have the noteworthy plays that Tech struggled with out of the way, let’s take a look at what went on in each position group.