Georgia Tech is a program in a state of flux, both in the long term and short term. They are still transitioning from the triple option offense to a more modern system, and that process is proving to take longer than expected, even with the advantage of transfer portal. Right now, the Yellow Jackets are dealing with an injury to starting quarterback Jeff Simms. He was available last weekend but had a brace & wrap on his non-throwing arm and did not play. Backup Jordan Yates filled in well for Sims against an FCS opponent. GT head coach Geoff Collins will not announce who will start before game time. I would guess we will see both players this Saturday. Georgia Tech’s defense has a good amount of experience, but it is very fair to question if they have the talent. They do not have nearly as much size on the defensive line as Georgia.
Clemson is a four-touchdown favorite over the Ramblin’ Wreck on Saturday. Georgia Tech was upset by Northern Illinois in Week 1, so most analysts do not think they remotely compare to the talent that the Tigers will be putting on the field in Week 3. Nonetheless, we can expect the squad taking the field in Death Valley this weekend to be a step up from South Carolina State. I have no doubt the defense will play well. I do not know if they will continue to hold their opponent out of the endzone for another week; most fans remember that Clemson put 70 on Tech last year but forget that they did score a touchdown on a long passing play early in the contest. Georgia Tech’s offense can strike quick, so Clemson’s defense won’t be able to take any plays off.
The real question, of course, is how well will Clemson’s offense move the ball against the Yellow Jacket defense? The running game was successful against SC State, and I expect the Tigers to be generous to the running backs in this game. It is fair to say we will see a good bit of Will Shipley and Kobe Pace. How much will we see Lyn-J Dixon? I am not optimistic that he will be on the field much this weekend, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he does get more time. It all depends on if Lyn-J is buying in to what the staff is selling, and how much effort he is putting into meeting their expectations. The offensive line will be key for the running game. If they can make smart decisions and work together as a unit, I think they will be able to play much better against Tech than they did versus Georgia.
The real question comes back to DJU. He is still developing his confidence and comfort level in this offense. I hope we will see him continue to improve his feel and understanding in the pocket and become more aware of his surroundings. The best remedy for his woes is to get on the field and get the experience. The next few weeks will tell us a lot.
I feel confident the defense will hold the Yellow Jacket offense in check. I can’t say I have a huge amount of confidence that the offense will cover the spread, but I do think the running game can keep this game under control for the Tigers. Don’t underestimate the rivalry factor here – regardless of the recent record, Tech considers Clemson a rival, and they will give the Tigers their best shot.