My full column on Georgia Tech’s 48-43 loss to North Carolina will be posted soon. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the game.
UPDATE: Click here for a link to the full column:
1. Tech’s defense gets an “F”: I know Georgia Tech has expressed confidence in defensive coordinator Ted Roof, but the Jackets struggled again, and you have to wonder if this is really just a case of a team being weak and undermanned up front. Before the third quarter was over, North Carolina already had five touchdowns, 424 yards in offense (259 passing) and a 35-24 lead. Tech was strong defensively against Miami. But in hindsight, that 28-17 win might have been more the result of the Hurricanes’ offensive problems than Tech progress. North Carolina had so little respect for Tech’s defense that it went for it on fourth-and-six from the Tech 36 with a 35-31 lead in the fourth quarter and Marquise Williams threw a touchdown pass to Mack Hollins. In one stretch, the Tar Heels scored six touchdowns in seven possessions.
2. Team Sybil: The Jackets got their fans excited with consecutive wins over Virginia Tech and Miami. The win over the Hokies came in Blacksburg; the win over the Hurricanes led fans to storm onto the field, believing the team was on the way to a special season. But consecutive losses since to Duke (at home) and North Carolina puts Tech in a deep hole in the ACC Coastal Division race because it would lose a tiebreaker to Duke and it still must play Clemson and a pretty decent Virginia team, as well as Pittsburgh (road) and North Carolina State. This is looking like another 7-5 regular season. At 5-0, it appeared the Jackets were heading for something much better.
3. Well, the problem wasn’t the offense: OK, give the Jackets credit for coming back from deficits of 35-24 and 42-31 to take a 43-42 lead with three minutes left. The offense wasn’t the problem, even with a fumble on the first possessions and an early fourth-down touchdown pass that was nullified by a false start penalty (leading the Jackets to settle for a field goal). Justin Thomas, who played poorly against Duke, threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns and the Jackets had 611 yards in offense. The problems were on the other side of the ball.
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