The Georgia Tech defensive line did much better in week two against the Bulls than they did in week one. The Jackets struggled to get pressure on Trevor Lawrence and Chase Brice in week one against Clemson but began to find their pass rush against the Bulls in week two. The defensive line had one sack and two quarterback hurries in the performance. The defensive line also bounced back strong against the run after being torched by Clemson the week before. You would still like to see more production but it was a good bounce-back performance.
The Georgia Tech linebackers played well on Saturday especially Charlie Thomas who was one of our stars of the game in the 14-10 win. Thomas led the Jackets defensively on Saturday with nine total tackles including seven total tackles while also coming away with two sacks/tackles for a loss. David Curry had a solid performance with three tackles and a fumble recovery as well. The only potential negative is the Mitchell Wilcox reception. Usually, linebackers are responsible for covering tight ends, we’ll have to go back and see who exactly was responsible for that play. Additionally, outside of Thomas and Curry, the Jackets linebackers were kind of quiet for the most part but that just could be just a lack of opportunity when on the field.
Not much to complain about here, for the second straight week, the secondary looked pretty solid. The Jackets allowed 169-yards of passing between Jordan McCloud and Blake Barnett after only allowing 221-yards to Clemson in week one. If you take out one huge pass play by the Bulls, the Jackets allowed just 115-yards on the day. There’s still some work to be done but the secondary is by far the Jackets best position group.
The defense overall on Saturday played extremely well in our opinion. Now, USF has had one of the worst offenses in the country since the second half of last season, but a strong performance is a strong performance. The defense didn’t really allow too many huge chunk plays, the biggest being a 54-yard reception by USF tight end Mitchell Wilcox. They kept the Bulls to just 169-yards through the air and 93-yards on the ground including just 3.1 yards per carry.
The Jackets special teams on Saturday was solid when given the chance. In kick returns, the Jackets only got the chance to return two kickoffs and averaged out at 17 yards per return. Dontae Smith and interestingly enough Tobias Oliver were the two kick returners. We expect to see Smith out there regularly but it will be worth watching to see if Oliver continues to return kicks in the future. Brenton King missed a long field goal early in the game but made his two extra-point attempts in the game. The star of the special teams was punter Pressley Harvin III who had six punts for 248-yards, including four punts that were downed inside the 20-yard line.