Out of 128 FBS schools, name the college football team with the worst 3rd down defense in the country. If you said Georgia Tech you win. Teams are converting an incredible near 51% of their 3rd downs against Georgia Tech. Today was the culmination of poor recruiting and questionable schemes on defense as North Carolina shredded the Yellow Jacket defense to pieces for 48 points and 636 yards.
The Tar Heels converted 8 of 13 3rd downs, which made Georgia Tech’s 3rd down percentage on defense even worse after this week. UNC scored on nearly possession. The Jackets seemed over-matched in every way defensively.
Ted Roof is in charge of the defense, and honestly looks overwhelmed managing the defense, but it’s not all his fault. Year’s of lackluster recruiting have left the Jackets terribly undermanned on that side of the ball. It’s looks like Georgia Tech plays defense with 6 players as they are often out of position, take poor angles, or get blown off the line of scrimmage. It’s a matter of talent no question.
When you lack talent, you can’t employ the bend but don’t break defense Roof seems to prefer. You simply can’t match-up physically. Georgia Tech can’t pressure the QB. They rank 122nd in the country in sacks.
Roof has to get more aggressive. Even if blitzing frequently is a gamble, it may be the Jackets only chance to create that much needed quarterback pressure. As we said though, Roof can’t take the full blame. He’s the 3rd DC employed by Johnson, and the Jackets have never had a strong defense. Different coaches on defense, and still the same result. You need players, and he doesn’t have them. What he can control is if the defense improves or not. In fact as the season has progressed the defense may be getting worse.
Johnson and Roof need to figure out something, because at minimum the Yellow Jackets need to make a bowl game. At 5-4 and a defense regressing by the week Georgia Tech is running out of time to salvage the season.