Georgia Tech’s 49-21 loss to the Clemson Tigers on Saturday felt similar to the Jackets last three matchups with the Tigers.
The Yellow Jackets kept it close for a quarter on Saturday against the Clemson Tigers but that’s all that the Jackets could truly do against one of the most talented teams in the nation. The Jackets on Saturday started off well against the nation’s third-ranked team but the Tigers overall talent and athleticism took over shortly after the end of the first quarter.
The Yellow Jackets got off to solid starts on both sides of the ball on Saturday against the Tigers but they also may have been indications that it was going to be a long day for the Jackets. After the offense moved the ball into scoring position, fumbles and flags moved the Jackets out of field goal position despite a long and productive drive.
Defensively, the Jackets were able to get a three and out in their first two defensive drives and kept the Tigers off the board in the first quarter. That being said, the Jackets still found themselves down 7-0 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a Qua Searcy fumble that was recovered in the end zone after a handful of Clemson players tired to scoop the ball up. But fro the end of the first quarter, the rout was on for the remainder of the day for the Tigers.
Following Clemson’s first two offensive drives, they put in freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his insertion completely changed the game. Once Lawrence came in for the Tigers, the Clemson offense scored on four of their next five possessions in the second quarter resulted in touchdowns. Clemson’s offense would go onto dominate the remainder of the game as they finished with almost 500 total yards of offense including 248 rushing yards for the game.
After their first drive offensively, the Jackets couldn’t get the ball moving, finishing with less than 75-yards of offense in the first half. The second half offense against most of Clemson’s backups was much better, as the Jackets finished the game with just over 200-yards of offense which considering the start is pretty remarkable.
The Jackets had less than 150 total rushing yards against the Tigers, the third time in the last four matchups between the two programs that the Jackets have failed to reach the 150-yard mark.
Overall, Saturday’s effort against Clemson was sloppy and it showed on the scoreboard and the stat sheet. The Yellow Jackets may have kept it close for the first 15 minutes, but their continuous flow of miscues, lack of execution, and mental mistakes put the game out of reach before they ever had a chance. When you have eight fumbles in a single game, it goes beyond coaching, it goes into a lack of focus and a lack of execution by the players.
In reality, the Jackets were most likely never going to have a chance against Clemson. They simply didn’t have the athleticism or talent as a whole but through the last three weeks, the Jackets have continuously found a way to shoot themselves in the foot. You can’t peg all that on the coaching staff but at a point, you have to question what the coaching staff is actively doing to fix the issues as it seems like the same story every week right now for the Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets are now 1-3 on the season with Bowling Green coming to town next weekend. Like this week with Clemson, the Jackets talent and athleticism should carry them to a victory next weekend but if this week’s Virginia Tech vs Old Dominion was a reminder of anything, it’s that anything can happen in college football. The Jackets will need o clean up their mental mistakes going forward or a chance at a winning season is going to slowly and painfully slip away.