Georgia opted not to run up the score, benching key players in the fourth quarter to save them for the Alabama game. The score was 42-3 when the Jackets scored a meaningless late touchdown. Tech had two turnovers, multiple offensive miscues, penalties and missed tackles, allowing Georgia to average nearly 11 yards per play in the first half.
Georgia was ranked No. 3 nationally and was expected to win, but that does not excuse the lamentable performance or lack thereof by Georgia Tech. An Atlanta sportswriter said Tech didn’t show up. Unfortunately, Tech did show up, and unfortunately, it was the same team directed by the same head coach Paul Johnson that had lost to Middle Tennessee State by a score of 49-28.
Georgia scored with ease on its first three possessions. The defense kept robbing Tech of the football, the first turnover coming when the Yellow Jackets on their first possession threatened to score a touchdown only to have the ball stripped away at the Georgia one-yard line and returned 49 yards.
It was the 11th time in 12 years that Tech has lost to Georgia. The defeat left Tech at 6-6 for the season and leaves Tech fans, including this one, wondering if the football program is going to get better or worse. With such a record, how is Tech going to recruit top prospects?
Still, the Yellow Jackets will play for the Atlantic Coast Conference title next weekend by default and could go to a bowl. Getting into the ACC game is somewhat like the way Tech managed to score in the Georgia game. Tech got in because Miami withdrew from postseason play in hope of mitigating expected penalties from an investigation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association concerning reported rules violations in the football program. In the ACC title game, Tech will face an always tough Florida State team.
Just for comparison, fair or not, check out how USC, a team with four losses, took its backup quarterback and put up a tough fight against No. 1 Notre Dame before losing by a score of 22-13. And incidentally, some of USC head coach Lane Kiffin’s play calling was called into question by pundits’ second-guessing, notably his decision to go for a TD on fourth down when he needed a field goal plus a touchdown to win.
Paul Johnson’s take on the Tech-Georgia game was to lament “the penalties, the turnovers, the self-inflicted stuff… that we can’t call a formation and play together, …. that we can’t run a play without holding.” He said, “It just felt like we laid an egg.”
Tech fans have to be asking: How many more eggs are going to be laid before something is done to fix the football program at Georgia Tech?