Following the loss to Clemson last Thursday, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are looking to bounce back against USF this Saturday in Atlanta
After a disappointing loss in Week one for both the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech and the Bulls of USF, both teams are looking to get their first victory of the season.
These two programs, last met, last season at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. At the hands of the Bulls, the Jackets suffered a heartbreaking loss 49-38, after giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter. It was easily one of the Jackets most heartbreaking and devastating losses of the season.
Although the Jackets suffered a loss to the Bulls last season, Tech Head Coach Geoff Collins looks to continue his winning streak against USF as he still reigned as head coach at Temple when they defeated the Bulls 27-17 in 2018.
It has already been made known by Coach Collins and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude that the Jackets plan on using all three of their quarterbacks once again on Saturday.
With Tobias Oliver behind center, one can expect a more run-heavy offense. Oliver rushed for 56 yards and 20 carries Thursday night. They also ran the ball 46 of 63 plays while Oliver was in the game. That will be a key to watch on Saturday afternoon.
James Graham proved to be the better passer last Thursday, going 4/7 with 72 yards and a touchdown in the Jackets final three possessions. Expect to see a good amount of Graham against the Bulls. The wildcard for Saturday’s game at quarterback is Lucas Johnson. We did not get to see much of Johnson last Thursday as he was only in the game in the final two minutes of the first half.
Coach Collins and the Jackets defense look to take advantage of a dismal Bulls offense:
The Bulls offense is undoubtedly struggling, gaining only 157 total yards on Saturday against Wisconsin.
Although it is hard to tell by just the numbers (the Jackets did give up 632 total yards to Clemson), Thursday proved to be a step forward for the Jackets defense from years prior. There are multiple positive outlooks to be had from watching the game from Thursday.
The Jackets held Clemson quarterback and Heisman hopeful Trevor Lawrence to 13/23 passes with one touchdown, one rushing touchdown and two interceptions. One of those interceptions was made by DB Tre Swilling, and was 2 yards short of being a pick-six.
USF quarterback Blake Barnett went 13-30, 109 yards and two interceptions on Saturday against Wisconsin. The Bulls also had 23 rushing attempts and only 1.1 yards per rush average.
You can read a full preview of the Bulls offense here.
Coach Collins could not have been given a more difficult task than opening the season against the number one team in the country on Thursday, and although the game probably went as expected, I expect that his team will really start to flourish this weekend.
The culture that Coach Collins has talked about all off-season is real. You could tell that by watching the game on Thursday. The attitude of the players and the way they played as hard as they did until the scoreboard read 00:00 was astonishing. I expect this to continue to grow and improve as the season continues.
All in all, the Jackets defense will be too much for the Bulls offense. I also believe we will see more of a passing game from Tech’s offense on Saturday and will pay off in dividends.
Add in that it is the home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Coach Collins’ first game at Grant Field as head coach, and the Jackets Whiteout game, I believe that the Jackets are certainly aligned to win this game.