Someone hold me, Georgia Tech is going on the road again this week to Pittsburgh where they will try to erase the memories of all the other bad road games we have had since the end of 2016. These are the four biggest players and things to watch for going into week 3 at Pitt.
Kenny Pickett QB:,
Last week at Penn State 9-18 55 yards. Kenny Pickett did not exactly impress last week in Happy Valley but that could more defined by the bad conditions and be the opposition than his talent level. The Pitt QB of the future closed out 2017 leading Pitt in a strong game against Virginia Tech and leading the Panthers to an upset of then 2nd ranked Miami to end the year. There are a lot of expectations on his shoulders this season and with the young secondary that the Jackets could allow to have an easier time getting his groove back on Saturday.
Rafael Araujo-Lopes WR:
Recorded no receptions last week but returned one kick off for 12 yards and three punts for -5 yards. As highlighted in this week’s offensive preview Araujo Lopes is one of the team leaders in receiving for Pitt. He can exploit weaker secondaries and gash them big play yards. If he and Pickett are given the time to get together this weekend it could be a bad thing for the Jackets young secondary. His return game is also going to be something to watch after the Special Teams play from last week against South Florida.
Quinton Wirginis: OLB 9 tackles (7 solo) 1 sack vs PSU:
Wirginis is in his second shot at senior year following a complicated 2017 season that had him suspended at the start and then an injury that kept him out for the season. In his second go round, he has become an important piece of the defense for Pitt and a vocal leader on the team. His role will likely be to watch TaQuon Marshall’s every move this Saturday and be a critical piece in stopping the perimeter runs in Paul Johnson’s system. Wirginis has the ability to be the guy that breaks perimeter plays on A-Back pitches or quarterback runs and if he isn’t taken care in the blocking scheme his impact could be huge.
BONUS: Heinz Field
Wait this isn’t a player…..
Ok so we all know that this is a road game, right? The Yellow Jackets have been abysmal on the road with their last regular season road win coming in Athens in 2016 (pretty good memories of that win, right?) This game is going to be incredibly important in setting the tone for the rest of the Georgia Tech and Pitt seasons, and Georgia Tech will have to exorcise whatever demons have been following them on road trips. Seriously guys, switch plane seats, take a different suitcase or wear a tie (or don’t), anything to get this bad JuJu off.