The offense looked anemic at times as it continues to search for identity and the defense continued to show improvement in big moments as the Jackets defeated USF in Atlanta by a score of 14-10 for the first win of the Geoff Collins Era.
Georgia Tech’s first victory of the 2019 season didn’t come easy and it wasn’t pretty but at the end of the day, the Jackets picked up the W and that’s all that matters.
The offense on Saturday was rough to say the least and it was evident from the start. Getting the start on Saturday for the Jackets was Lucas Johnson while Tobias Oliver who started last week saw work all across the field on Saturday. The offense in the first quarter struggled to get it going, with their longest drive going 37-yards before being forced to punt away.
They finally got on the board early in the second quarter thanks to a one-yard run by Jordan Mason. That run would give the Jackets a 7-3 lead. Mason for the second-straight week led the Jackets on the ground with 20 carries for 99-yards and one touchdown. He also had three receptions for 15-yards in the game. It was another strong effort by a player the Jackets consider one of their best offensive weapons. Overall, the rushing attack struggled on Saturday picking up just 3.7 yards per carry over 49-carries on the game. The passing game fared no better as the combined QB effort was 14/21 for 76 yards and one interception on a tipped ball from Lucas Johnson.
The second score for the Yellow Jackets followed after Tobias Oliver and Jordan Mason combined for 74 yards of a 76-yard drive which saw a snap fumbled by Oliver and returned for a first down to keep the drive alive. The score would give the Jackets a 14-3 lead going into halftime.
The second half was tough for the Jackets as two Tech turnovers gave USF late life but USF was able to convert on just one of those turnovers to make it a 14-10 game. The Jackets offense has the defense to thank for that.
The Tech defense cannot be ignored for their contribution to this victory either. A third and goal for USF in the fourth quarter, ended in a fumble recovered by the Jackets after Kaleb Oliver forced Jordan Cronkite to fumble as he tried to jump into the end zone. Tariq Carpenter and the Jacket secondary also had a series of pass breakups and huge tackles during the game that helped keep the USF offense from getting anything going.
USF was plagued by unforced errors throughout the game including a turnover on special teams from a punt that was fumbled and recovered by David Curry. On a different drive, the Jackets faced a fourth and short situation but were bailed out by an illegal substitution penalty for a first down. The game was ended on two personal foul penalties from USF with a targeting penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty back to back to give the Jackets the ability to kneel and kill the clock for Geoff Collins first victory. So while the Jackets earned their victory on Saturday, they sure got a lot of help from the other sideline.