Fixed Wreck?

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

This is the first full season for Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key.

He took over as the interim head coach last season after Geoff Collins was fired. The Yellow Jackets started the 2022 season 1 – 3 before Collins was relieved of his duties. Once Key took over he went 4 – 4.

It looks like that momentum has carried over to this season. Tech is bowl eligible for the first time since 2018, which was Paul Johnson’s final season.

Key is a Georgia Tech alumnus and football letter winner. It is impressive that he lead this team to a bowl game because it did not look possible about halfway through the season.

They were 2 – 3 at the end of September. They suffered an embarrassing home loss to Bowling Green and it looks like that was the turning point.

The next game was at No. 17 Miami and they pulled off an improbable win that turned the season around. The Hurricanes should have taken a knee in the final minute of the game but they ran a play and fumbled. Tech recovered and Haynes King threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Christian Leary with two seconds remaining to win, 23 – 20.

“We should have taken a knee,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said.

Said coach Key: “We kind of thought they were taking a knee.”

Miami outgained GT 454-250 and had 23 first downs to the Yellow Jackets’ 12 but it did not matter.

They beat Syracuse 31 – 22 at Bobby Dodd Stadium to become bowl eligible. As a result, Orangeman head coach Dino Babers was fired after coaching there for 8 years.

The defense played well and held Syracuse to 94 yards at halftime.

“With them coming out in that Wildcat offense and running the ball a bit more it kind of allowed us to showcase our talents as a linebacker group and show that we can actually stop the run,” linebacker Paul Moala said.

Syracuse ran for almost 400 yards the previous week in a win over Pittsburgh. The Jackets contained the Orange to half that total.

“We really simplified things in this game, ran some simplified things within the plan, allowed the big guys up front to be able to do what they do,” Key said. “Good plan put together by the defensive guys in being able to do that and came up with some key turnovers at some key times.”

Quarterback Haynes King has played better than expected. He was at Texas A&M for 3 seasons and he did not do much before transferring to Georgia Tech. King has passed for 2,597 yards, 26 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and he’s completing 62% of his passes. He’s also the second leading rusher with 624 yards, 7 TD’s and he averages 6.4 yards per carry.

Running back Jamal Haynes is the leading rusher with 850 yards, 7 scores and he averages 6 YPC.

I think the program is taking a step in the right direction to be a solid winning program that can expect to play in a bowl game each season.