Take out an ugly 2nd half at UNC, and Georgia Tech has quietly put together a solid 2nd half of the season. Coming off a 37-34 loss at Pitt where Georgia Tech was a tipped pass away from winning, the Yellow Jackets could have been in real trouble – and for that matter Paul Johnson would have been in real trouble as well.
This was a team that stood 3-3, and had just 2 wins in their last 12 ACC football games. It was certainly a season that could spun out of control, but then a couple of wins in row over Georgia Southern and Duke got Georgia Tech close to bowl eligibility. There was the blowout at UNC, and with the most adversity they faced all year they had a game at Virginia Tech.
The Hokies could have clinched the Coastal Division with a win. Georgia Tech entered the game down 5 offensive starters. The Yellow Jackets much maligned defense came up with one of their best performances of the year, and Georgia Tech won 30-20. Against Virginia Saturday, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Cavaliers 31-17. A team that two weeks ranked dead last in the nation in 3rd down defense, now has held their last two opponents to 13 conversions in 31 tries. That is 42%, which would rank the Jackets about 40 spots higher than where they were. That’s nothing special, but it is improvement and that’s what you want to see at this point in the season.
This is a better team than what they were 6 weeks ago. That’s a credit to Paul Johnson and his staff, who didn’t lose the team after their 3 game losing streak.
Now Georgia Tech has a chance at an 8 or 9 win season, and who would have thought that a month and a half ago? It is at least a 4 game improvement following last year’s 3-9 season. I would already consider the season a relative success for the Jackets. The question is how big of a success can it be now? The Jackets finish the season agasint arch-rival Georgia and bowl game.