Georgia Tech football is currently in the middle of their second bye week and these three improvements must be made during the bye week if the Jackets hope to improve over their last three games.
1. Offensive Line must regain confidence
The offensive line the first few weeks of the season looked strong for the Yellow Jackets but over the last three weeks, it has been anything but. A few weeks ago prior to their game against Clemson, the Yellow Jackets had allowed just one sack on the entire season. One sack in four games, a great improvement from last season.
However, against Clemson, Boston College, and Notre Dame since then, the Yellow Jackets offensive line has allowed 14 sacks, an average of 4.6 sacks per game. With quality defenses in upcoming games against Pittsburgh, Miami, and NC State, the Jackets offensive line will need to perform at a much higher level or starting quarterback Jeff Sims is going to be continuously running for his life in passing situations.
2. Jeff Sims must take steps forward
As we enter the last few weeks of Jeff Sims’ first year on the field, there must be signs of improvement, especially with the bye week. Sims this has shown promise for the Yellow Jackets but has also a lot of times looked like a true freshman quarterback. Through the air this season, Sims is 98-for-176 for 1,346-yards, eight touchdowns but 10 interceptions. Add in his five fumbles and Sims has turned the ball over 15 times this season or about 2.14 times per game.
Sims has already shown improvement from September to October but now there must be another step taken from October to November. If he can take that step, it would be huge in his development and future as Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback
In September, Sims was 54-for-98 with thre touchdowns and eight interceptions for 695-yards. In October those numbers improved to 44-for-78 (about 1.3% increase in completion percentage) for five touchdowns and two interceptions while tossing for 651-yards. His cquarterback rating improved from 108.5 to 142.5 as well. Now part of that for Sims is I feel the Jackets simplifying their offense for Sims a bit allowing him to make quicker reads and get out better throws but also part of that just week-to-week improvements that a young quarterback will make early in his career.
3. Rush defense must improvement
One place the Jackets were extremely weak in 2019 and are weak once again so far in 2020 has been the rush defense. While vast improvement is unlikely, defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker must find some sort of cure for his defense’s woes against the run. So far this season, the Jackets are allowing about 202.7 yards per game. They’ve allowed over 200-yards in a game four times so far this season including three of their last four. While opponents are running the ball a high amount against the Jackets because of it being such a big weakness, it’s not an issue of high volume running by opponents. The Jackets per rush are allowing nearly five yards a carry, at 4.7 yards. For comparisons, the Jackets allowed a similar 4.8 yards per rush in 2019. Improvements must be made here during the last three games of the season.