With both team’s defenses struggling at the start of the season, Georgia Tech and Louisville look to get back on track this Friday night in Atlanta for their second overall meeting on the field since 2018.
Georgia Tech’s defensive line has struggled so far throughout the year, but this is just Geoff Collins second year with his 4-2-5 scheme and is getting his players vast experience by rotating guys constantly during the games. Andrew Thacker, defensive coordinator of the Yellow Jackets, will need to put his players in better positions on the field. There is a sense of urgency with the defensive line, with coaches challenging the players. Watch out for Jodarn Domineck this week, as he has recently been outspoken and challenging his teammates to play with more attitude and toughness. He has been solid to the start of the year so he is looking to have a big game. The d-line has struggled to get to any sort of pass rush this season and need to be ready for a high power Louisville offense.
Louisville’s line has also been struggling with the pass rush; given they have played much tougher competition than Georgia Tech. Louisville’s defense made a big leap from 2019 to 2020 in tackle for losses with Bryan Brown’s scheme, Louisville’s defensive coordinator. The Louisville defense will play aggressively, with the defensive line playing against a below-average offensive line this week.
Louisville’s line is more talented and has more depth than Tech, and Tech’s offensive line still needs to make major improvements.
With veteran David Curry at the helm of middle linebacker, Georgia Tech’s group is solid. Linebacking play this week will be crucial because Louisville likes to run the ball more times than not. David Curry is a good athlete and a great tackler with strong instincts. He will need to be on his A game with some of the elusive plays that Louisville QB Malik Cunningham will make with his feet.
Louisville’s group of linebackers are very talented as well. Dorian Etheridge leads the nation with 8.5 tackles for loss this season. They’ve had some issues in the Miami game with making too many mental mistakes, losing sight on the ball or the runner. They will have a handful on keeping up with Sims running around but Sims has had his fair share of mistakes turning the ball over, so Louisville will definitely bring their linebackers to the line of scrimmage to add to their defensive line pressure and force Sims to turn it over.
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This is probably the most talented part of the Georgia Tech defense, even though it may not show on paper. With Charlie Thomas (6’2) and Kaleb Oliver (6’4) in the nickel positions, it’s almost like having lengthy linebackers covering the back end of the field, but the secondary struggled mightily in the UCF and Syracuse games. Louisville’s wide-outs are very fast and decent route runners, but Tech has the athletes to keep up with them. Everything depends on how much pressure the defensive line can give Malik Cunningham and the Louisville offensive line.
The Cardinals secondary has shown some weaknesses this year by making too many mistakes. During the Miami loss, it looked like they would struggle all season but their last game with Pitt, they cleaned up a few things and looked much improved. Louisville has the talent and the depth, they will just need to clean up their mistakes and play more soundly within their scheme.
Georgia Tech and Louisville have a lot to prove this week coming off bye weeks. Both teams will be energized and ready to play but Louisville has the talent edge over the Yellow Jackets. Louisville has proved that they can keep up with better competition while Georgia Tech’s team is still young and unproven. Coach Collins will have his defense playing aggressively this week as he usually does but Malik Cunningham and the Louisville offense will eliminated their mistakes from their previous games and will come out strong on offense with the Cardinals defense forcing some turnovers.