Georgia Tech vs Louisville: The “What you need to know” recap

The Georgia Tech football team got back to .500 on the season after defeating the struggling Louisville Cardinals 66-31 on Friday night in Louisville.

Georgia Tech exercised a few of their demons on Friday night when they took on the Louisville Cardinals. After having extensive struggles when it came to ACC play and playing on the road, the Jackets found a way to get the job done on Friday night against the Louisville Cardinals. It snapped a seven-game road losing streak for the Jackets. Most importantly, however, the win puts the Jackets back at .500 on the season and gives their once “doomed” season by many fans, a breath of fresh air.

The Yellow Jackets offense put together a second straight video game-like performance as they rushed for over 500-yards and put up 59-points, scoring on all nine of their drives excluding their final drive that consisted of the final play of the game. The remaining seven points for the Yellow Jackets in their 66-31 win on Friday came off a Juanyeh Thomas 95-yard pick-six in the final minutes of the game. It was the first time since 2015 that the Yellow Jackets scored 60 or more points in back-to-back games.

The Jackets offense against the Cardinals picked up where they left off against Bowling Green, scoring 31 first half-points including 21-points in the first quarter. For the Jackets, there was no need to go the passing game on Friday, attempting just two passes, which is a low amount even for Tech standards. Instead, the Jackets ran the ball 65 times throughout the night and averaged 8.3 yards per rush.

Louisville simply had no answers for TaQuon Marshall, Jordan Mason, Qua Searcy, Clinton Lynch, or anybody that the Jackets put out there offensively. Five different Yellow Jackets (not counting Thomas) had touchdowns offensively for the Jackets with three players having a pair of touchdowns (TaQuon Marshall, Tobias Oliver, Qua Searcy).

TaQuon Marshall finally looked like his old self against the Cardinals rushing for 175-yards on 23-carries to go along with his two scores. Tobias Oliver who came in during the fourth quarter for Marshall once again looked impressive, as he needed just eight carries to break the 100-yard mark. B-backs Jordan Mason and Jerry Howard were able to co-exist well, combining for 136-yards and two touchdowns on 21-carries.

Walk-on kicker Wesley Wells even got in some of the action against the Cardinals, nailing his first career field goal while also going 9-for-9 in extra points. Wells earned the starting kicking job coming into the week but has now definitely locked the job down after his performance Friday.

Defensively, it wasn’t always pretty for the Jackets but they got the job done. It was another rough day for the secondary as the Jackets allowed 370 passing yards on the night and three passing touchdowns. Louisville wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick had a 41-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter after Ajani Kerr missed a tackle with no safety help behind him. While it ultimately didn’t change the course of the game, it is plays like those that the Jackets will need to fix going forward.

The Jackets rush defense had another quality performance allowing 113-yards on the night, though the five yards per carry is a number that they certainly can and should improve on as the season goes on. Overall, while 483-total yards allowed is less than desirable, it was still a strong enough performance for the Jackets to pick up the much-needed victory to get back to .500. The defense is still a work in progress but it will need to fix some glaring issues in time for next week’s matchup against a tough and experienced Duke team.

The biggest notable for the Jackets following the 66-31 victory was the Jackets playing a rather clean game from start to finish. The Jackets didn’t have any turnovers on the night and only had three total penalties for 45-yards. The Jackets throughout the season so far were known for shooting themselves in the foot and had they done so against the Cardinals, chances are the game would’ve been much closer but props to the Jackets for limiting those dumb mistakes and taking care of their fumbling and discipline issues for Friday night’s game. Now, we’ll get to see if they can keep it up going forward.

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The Yellow Jackets will now have an extra day to prepare for the Duke Blue Devils who come to Bobby Dodd Stadium next weekend. The Blue Devils did have a bye week this weekend however but they are coming off a demoralizing loss to Virginia Tech and losing their top 25 ranking spot. Kickoff is set for 12:00 pm next Saturday.