Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

No Sting For Tech?

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Geoff Collins is only in his second season at Georgia Tech. It may be too early to say if he was the right hire, but we can check his progress.

As you know he replaced Paul Johnson, who was there for 11 years. He was famous for being the only Power 5 team to run the triple option.

Collins runs a spread offense, so he has a completely different style. Many of the kids on the roster do not have the skillset for that offense.

Johnson was also notorious for not recruiting well. Collins is trying to improve the overall talent on the roster.

Tech’s 2020 recruiting class was ranked 27th nationally and fifth in the ACC.

There were four 4-star recruits in that class. They include quarterback Jeff Sims, running back Jahmyr Gibbs, corner back Miles Brooks and defensive end Jared Ivey.

The 2022 class is currently ranked 32nd and they have two 4-star players in the class. Obviously, it’s not set in stone until signing day so this can change.

Anytime you see Collins he talks about changing the culture and the 404 (Atlanta’s first area code). I’ll be honest, I think it would be better if he spoke more about the game of football.

It seems like he has more style than substance because of that but what do I know.

Let’s take a look at his on-field results. His record at Tech is 6 – 14.

In his first season in 2019 he was 3 – 9 and 2 – 6 in conference play.

He was not expected to have instant success. One score I want to mention so we can compare it to this season is the Clemson game. Last season in Death Valley the Tigers won 52 – 14.

This season they played Clemson at home in the fifth game of the season.

They were steamrolled 73 – 7. I was alarmed by that score because it made me think, how was your team better last season?

In year 2 there should be better talent and more experience playing in your system. I probably oversimplified his progress by just looking at that game.

The Yellow Jackets are 3 – 5 so far in 2020. All three wins are in conference play, so they have more ACC wins than they did last season.

Also, we have to admit during this pandemic that this year is more difficult than normal circumstances.

Speaking of that, Georgia Tech just played their first game after an unexpected four-week layoff. I think this game may have been the turning point for Collins.

They beat Duke 56 – 33 at home. The true freshmen played well. Gibbs had touchdown runs of 61 and 26 yards in the first half before leaving with a hamstring injury.

Sims threw for 3 touchdown passes and ran for 108 yards, setting career highs. Jordan Mason ran for 105 yards.

Three players earned ACC honors after the game. Defensive end Jordan Domineck was named defensive lineman of the week. He had 2 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. He had a strip sack in the end zone and recovered the ball for a touchdown.

Sims was rookie of the week and offensive lineman Zach Quinney was co-offensive lineman of the week.

My opinion on Collins has changed and I think he has the team on the right track. He needs one or two more recruiting classes and a normal offseason to get things back on track.

Florida Recruiting Wars

By: Robert Craft news services

With the Early Signing Period less than a month away, I want to look at the Big Three in Florida’s potential recruiting classes for 2021.

The Current ranking for the Miami Hurricanes is 13th in the nation and fourth in the ACC with 21 commits.

The Canes currently have 1 running back, 5 receivers, 3 offensive linemen, 4 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 defensive backs, 2 athletes and 1 kicker.

Coach Diaz has done an excellent job of keeping the top talent in South Florida to commit to Miami.

Leonard Taylor, the number two player in the state and ninth nationally, is the anchor to an outstanding class. The Canes have commitments for three of the five heralded players from Miami Palmetto (Taylor, Bashard Smith WR, and Savion Collins DE).

Miami has 19 current commits from the State of Florida and 16 of the 19 are from South Florida.

Key players in this class: James Williams 5-star safety, Romello Brinson high 4-star wide receiver and Laurence Seymore 4-star offensive guard.

Miami needs to find a quarterback, two or three more offensive linemen and 3 or 4 more defensive backs.

When the dust settles after the early signing period, I predict the Canes will be in position for a top 10 class.

The Florida State Seminoles are currently ranked 28th and in the ACC with 15 commits.

The Seminoles currently have 1 quarterback, 4 receivers, 3 offensive linemen, 3 defensive linemen, 1 linebacker and 3 defensive backs.

Coach Norvell must think he is still at Memphis with the star power of the current class. FSU (Five Star U) has ZERO five stars in this class, four 4-stars and eleven 3-stars.

The Seminoles only have six recruits from the State of Florida.

The disaster on the field has affected recruiting. If Norvell wants to be competitive on the field it starts with recruiting top players in the States of Florida and Georgia.

Norvell may want to utilize the transfer portal this season to acquire some talented players who are dissatisfied with their current situation. The current roster has six five-stars and a top 10 composite ranking but only two wins on the field.

The Seminoles need to add 4 to 5 offensive linemen, 2 receivers, 3 defensive linemen and 2 defensive backs. Norvell sure looks to have his work cut out for him.

FSU will finish the 2021 with a class ranked around 25th. Maybe FSU fans are wishing they didn’t fire Willie so quickly!

The University of Florida Gators are currently ranked seventh in the nation and fourth in the SEC with 26 commits.

The Gators have 2 quarterbacks, 6 receivers, 5 offensive lineman, 5 defensive linemen, 2 linebackers, 5 defensive backs, and 1 athlete.

When Dan Mullen arrived in Gainesville, he was not known as a top recruiter but he had made smart hires. The Gators will carry over the success on the field into recruiting.

The Gators snagged the two remaining players for Miami Palmetto in Jason Marshall and Corey Collier. The Gators currently have 18 commits from Florida and 3 from Georgia.

Florida may have lost a commitment from 4-star linebacker Chief Borders out of Franklin, GA to Sanford.

Players to watch for commitment are 4-star linebacker Xavian Sorey and 4-star safety Terrion Arnold out of Tallahassee, it’s a Florida – Alabama battle for both players.

The Gators are in good shape to finish with a top 10 class. My prediction is they will have the sixth ranked class in the nation.

Florida is one of the richest recruiting states in the country, and if the Big Three want to stay in the Big Three, they must recruit the State of Florida first.

Georgia Tech Wrecked

By: TJ Hartnett news services

The number 2 and number 3 college football teams played each other on Saturday, a showcase game for the SEC and a contest with huge implications for the National Championship scene coming up in just a couple of months.

But there was another kind of showcase for the number 1 college football team in the nation.

The Clemson Tigers hung 73 points on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, and while Tech was never going to be able to put up much of a fight, they managed a meager 7 points, losing by 66 to the number 1 ranked team in the country.

That score might give you pause and reasonably so: you aren’t the only person wondering if Clemson ran up the score on a lesser team just to show off and build up stats; but the things that they pretty clearly weren’t.

It wasn’t as though the Tigers left their first-string players in the game while the scored touchdown after touchdown after touchdown after touchdown after touchdown after touchdown after…well, you get the point.

No, it was Clemson’s second-string scoring on Tech’s first-string; the Tigers were showcasing nearly their entire team as the game progressed – getting experience to the inexperienced.

In fact, primary backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei didn’t even see any snaps after Trevor Lawrence was subbed out of the game. Coach Dabo Sweeney went with their third-string QB instead (Uiagalelei had some shoulder soreness, but still).

So, while the cries of running up the score are understandable given the 66-point score differential, the truth of the matter is that Clemson – the whole squad – was just that much better than the Yellow Jackets – they were on the same field by they were barely playing the same game.

The offensive, the defense, the special teams; the Tigers’ depth chart was in play and dominating. Third stringers were thriving up and down the gridiron. Tech simply wasn’t on Clemson’s level.

Circling back to Lawrence; the young QB obviously had an incredible game. His 404 yards and 5 first-half touchdown passes were career bests, the 52 points he led the Tigers to in the first two quarters was a new school record.

Irrelevant footnote: Lawrence’s first-quarter interception was his first since last October, breaking a streak of 366 completed passes without one.

That’s a fun fact in and of itself, but it’s representative of the level of excellence at which Lawrence has been playing football in 2020.

During the first five games of the season (in which the Tigers have unsurprisingly gone 5-0), Lawrence has completed over 70% of his passes along with 1,544 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 4 rushing touchdowns and remember that he just threw his first interception of the season in a 73-7 victory against a fellow ACC team.

For a young man who has already announced that he’ll be entering the draft after this season, he is rising the hell out of his own stock and it’s always been pretty high (Clemson is 30-1 in games that Lawrence starts).

Perhaps the craziest part of this drumming of Georgia Tech is the fact that half of this article has been devoted to the massive accomplishments of a quarterback who left the game after the first drive of the second half. That’s how impressive he and the rest of the team were on Saturday.

So, while Alabama and Georgia can battle it out until the cows come home Clemson made a statement to them – you’re only playing for second best.

Saturday’s Buzzing Chant

By: Robert Craft news services

The Mike Norvell era begins on Saturday September 12, 2020 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

It’s game week for FSU football, which means it’s time for Coach Norvell to unveil his plan to get FSU back to relevancy.

After four seasons as the head coach at Memphis, Coach Norvell was hired to replace Willie Taggart.

FSU comes into the game week as a 12.5 point favorite against Georgia Tech.

One of the biggest questions going into the contest is Mike Norvell; is he the right person to lead FSU back to prominence?

The past two seasons FSU has struggled with costly penalties, turnovers, personnel, alongside other detailed issues.

The first offseason at a new school is always a challenge for a head coach, as they set out to install their offensive and defensive schemes. FSU’s culture and expectations for the program remains high.

This offseason has been even more complicated by COVID-19, Norvell was attempting to operate the offseason remotely. The trying nature of this offseason has taken the anticipation to perhaps an even higher level ahead of Saturday’s kickoff.

Saturday is a great opportunity for the FSU football team and Mike Norvell to show their fans, alumni and supporters that the program is in good hands and is heading in the right direction.

Watching Coach Norvell’s press conference on Monday, Coach Norvell never stopped smiling. He beams confidence and leadership. His job is to rebuild one of the most dominant college football programs from a deflating down period.

Don’t get me wrong, FSU is not competing for a National Championship or even an ACC Championship this season, but Coach Norvell must show positive results on the field. He will be playing his home games on Bobby Bowden Field.

Norvell will be facing a program in Georgia Tech with second year head coach Geoff Collins.

Georgia Tech coming off a very disappointing 3-9 campaign in 2019. The Yellow Jackets look to rebound in 2020.

Saturday’s game is a big game for both teams as the Jackets look to take a big step forward in year two of the Geoff Collins era, while FSU looks to get the Mike Norvell era off to a good start in his first game as the Seminoles head coach.

With both programs having plenty to prove, I expect things to be sloppy at times with missed tackles, blown assignments, and penalties on both teams.

I think it will be a fairly high scoring game, but we do have to take into account the lack of practice time.

The Seminoles biggest problem on offense last year was their offensive line which allowed a whopping 48 sacks, that’s a weakness that Georgia Tech must exploit to win.

Look for James Blackmon to stay upright and FSU’s team speed will be the difference in this matchup, as Florida State simply has too many talented weapons at their disposal and that leads tips the game heavily in favor of the Seminoles.

Final Score Prediction: FSU 34 Georgia Tech 13