Georgia Tech stumbles into Clemson needing a win
|Thursday, October 8, 2015 7:01 AM- -|
Georgia Tech entered the season ranked in the AP top 20 with plenty of momentum after last year’s 11-win season that was capped by victories over rival Georgia and then Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl.
All that went out the window three weeks ago with a loss at Notre Dame, and the Yellow Jackets have lost their past two games, as well, to sit at 2-3. And entering Saturday’s game at Clemson, Georgia Tech is 0-2 in ACC play with the past two losses coming to Duke (on the road) and North Carolina (at home). Against North Carolina, Georgia Tech jumped out to a 21-0 lead, only to stumble to a 38-31 defeat.
All that went out the window three weeks ago with a loss at Notre Dame, and the Yellow Jackets have lost their past two games, as well, to sit at 2-3. And entering Saturday’s game at Clemson, Georgia Tech is 0-2 in ACC play with the past two losses coming to Duke (on the road) and North Carolina (at home).
Against North Carolina, Georgia Tech jumped out to a 21-0 lead, only to stumble to a 38-31 defeat.
"Well, certainly we are disappointed with the outcome on Saturday,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said of the loss to the Tar Heels during his Monday news conference. “I thought we got off to a good start, which we hadn't done in the last game. We just had a lot of opportunities, and you have to give North Carolina credit. They made plays, and we didn't at some critical junctures. And right now, our margin for error is razor-thin. So, we have to do things. It's disappointing that special teams were a drag again. We worked awfully hard on that. There were several plays in the game that could have affected the outcome, like all games.”
Georgia Tech faces a Tigers team that is 4-0 after holding off Notre Dame in a 24-22 thriller after leading 21-3. Clemson is 1-0 in ACC play, beating Louisville on the road last month.
Georgia Tech upset Clemson 28-6 last season but has lost its past three trips to Clemson and given up 102 points combined in the past two.
“Now moving ahead, it doesn't get any easier,” Johnson said. “We get to go play the No. 6-ranked team on the road again. What we've got to do is focus on ourselves. That's a tough place to play. It's extremely loud. They're very, very, good defensively. I think before the fourth-quarter collapse against Notre Dame, where they piled up some yards, they were in the top 10 in total defense. They may have dropped out of the top 10, but they're, I'm sure, in the top 25 somewhere.
“Offensively, they have a lot of skill, a lot of playmakers, a tremendous quarterback, so they're a very complete team."
Georgia Tech is 0-2 on the road after going 5-1 away from home last year. The Yellow Jackets scored 134 points combined in their first two games this season but have only 73 since.
"I think it will help the guys who played at Notre Dame,” Johnson said of that earlier road test. “But unfortunately, a lot of them aren't playing now. Everybody's different. That's a hard place to play. Clemson is tough; it's one of the toughest. It's hard to hear. Last time we were there, we had a slew of motion penalties. Their fans do a great job. Our fans did a good job on Saturday trying to make it loud. It's part of home-field advantage."
Daniel Shirley is the sports editor of The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., and co-host of The Morning Show on FoxSports 1670 AM. Follow him on Twitter at @DM_Shirley and read his blog at macon.com/peachsports.