Over the last two weeks, Georgia Tech’s defense hasn’t performed to par but the Jackets will get a chance to bounce back this weekend when they take on the Miami Hurricanes.
Georgia Tech’s defense combined over the last two weeks has surrendered 79 points and 960-yards far from what the expectations were entering the last two games. In the three games prior, the Jackets defense was the shining star of the program but against the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils in the last two weeks, it’s taken a step back.
This week, the Jackets defense will have an opportunity to bounce back in a big way as they take on one of the weaker offenses in the ACC, the Miami Hurricanes. ,
The Hurricanes enter this week 3-3 on the season but are coming off an upset of a top-25 ranked Virginia team last weekend. The Hurricanes offense, however, has struggled mightily like it has over the last two seasons. Outside of two performances against FCS opponent Bethune-Cookman and Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes this season have scored 20, 25, 17, and 16 points in their four other games. That’s an average of 19.5 points per game, not exactly a deadly offense to to be scared of. Additionally, in three of those four games, the Hurricanes have totaled less than 350-yards.
Coming into the season, quarterback play was a big question mark for the Hurricanes and it seems they’ve found their man in Jarren Williams but this week, redshirt sophomore N’Kosi Perry will get the start for the Hurricanes. He’s completed 51-of-82 passes this year for 683-yards, and six touchdowns. He’s also thrown just one interception this season.
Williams, on the other hand, has completed 72.4% of his passes for 1,074-yards and seven touchdowns. He has thrown three interceptions so far as well.
That being said, the passing game hasn’t been the weak point of the Miami offense, they’re averaging nearly 300-yards per game and are completing nearly 70% of their passes as a team. You can’t knock that type of effort out of the most important position on the field. While Perry is not as strong of a passer as Williams as, the Yellow Jackets will need to respect Perry especially as they’ve struggled each of the last two weeks.
The Yellow Jackets secondary will have a few weapons to keep a hold of on Saturday but especially that of sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan who leads the Hurricanes in receiving yards with 417-yards. He also has two receiving touchdowns this season on 25 receptions through six games. Last season, he had just 32, a big game out of him on Saturday, could see him eclipse that mark.
Where the Hurricanes have struggled is on the ground, they’re averaging just over 126-yards per game this year but have rushed for less than 100-yards in four of their six games. A 250+ yard performance against Bethune-Cookman and a 175+ yard performance against North Carolina have significantly skewered those numbers for the Hurricanes.
The top running back for the Hurricanes this year has been junior Deejay Dallas who is averaging 6.7 yards per carry on 71 attempts this season. He’s totaled 473-yards and six touchdowns so far but you have to wonder why the Hurricanes won’t feed the ball to Dallas more going forward. Sophomore Cam’Ron Harris has been Dallas’s backup this year but hasn’t seen nearly the same success, totaling 146-yards on 39-carries, an average of 3.7 yards per carry.
Overall, Miami’s offense will not put the fear of life into any opposing defense but they will occasionally have a big performance. So far this season, we’ve seen an inconsistent Miami offense that has struggled to run the ball which will create an interesting matchup against a Tech front seven that’s struggled in stopping the run. The Jackets secondary has struggled mightily in the last two weeks but could have a nice bounce back against N’Kosi Perry. Perry’s been smart this season but could still turnover the ball as he threw six interceptions to just 13 touchdowns last season. He also completed just over 50% of his passes last season, as well. If the Jackets can force him into some bad throws, there will be chances for takeaways through the air.
Both the Miami offense and Georgia Tech defense are in need of big weeks, which side will be able to fulfill those needs on Saturday?