Georgia Tech comes into week two of the football season hoping for a different result than week one (#1 Clemson defeated the Yellow Jackets 52-14). The University of South Florida also hopes to get their first victory of the season this upcoming week (#19 Wisconsin defeated the Bulls 49-0 in week one). With Tech coming home to Atlanta, and Geoff Collins making his first appearance as head coach in Bobby Dodd Stadium, expect the Jackets to make a statement win in front of the home crowd. All this being said, there are three reasons why Georgia Tech will defeat USF this weekend.
Georgia Tech vs. USF Bulls
Series History: USF leads 1-0
Last Meeting: 2018, USF won 49-38
Three Reasons Why Georgia Tech Will Defeat USF
1. Georgia Tech’s Rushing Attack
Geoff Collins inherited a team that was trained to run a triple-option style offense. Therefore, he couldn’t turn the Jackets into a pro-style team in a single offseason. This was very noticeable in week one because of the 63 plays ran by Tech, 45 were rushes (approximately 71% of the plays). However, the Yellow Jackets produced 157 rushing yards against the top defense in college football of 2018. Jordan Mason led the rushing attack for the Jackets averaging 5.5 yards per carry. However, the quarterbacks also helped add yards on the ground.
The Tech rushing attack should worry the USF Bulls. Wisconsin rushed for 234 yards against the USF defense last week and gave up a total of four touchdowns to Heisman hopeful, Jonathan Taylor. If the Bulls stand any chance, senior linebacker Patrick Macon will have to continue his impressive play this week. Macon had a total of 15 tackles, 1 sack, and a forced fumble last week against Wisconsin.
If Georgia Tech can rush for over 150 yards against a top defense in the country, only one can imagine what the Jackets will do to a team that gave up 32 points per game on average last year, and allowed over 230 yards of rushing last week.
2. Georgia Tech’s Defense
The score of the Georgia Tech vs. Clemson game from week one doesn’t truly exhibit how the Tech defense played in the first game of the season. For example, two of Clemson’s first three touchdowns were scored from within inside the red zone due to Georgia Tech fumbles. Subtract these fourteen points and the Clemson Tigers only score 38 points. Considering this is an entirely new coaching staff for the Jackets, 38 points isn’t so bad against the offensive juggernaut of the country. Don’t forget this same Clemson team put up 44 points in the 2018 National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Also, Tech’s defense showed bursts of energy and passion on the field. The first drive for Clemson ended in a three and out. The defensive backs didn’t make Trevor Lawrence‘s night easy; in 2018, Lawrence threw a total of four interceptions. In the first game of this season, Tech’s defense forced him into throwing two interceptions. Seeing Trevor Lawrence last week may make the Jackets more prepared for the USF offense this week.
USF Senior, Blake Barnett, ended his first game of the 2019 season with 131 passing yards and two interceptions. USF passed on 56% of their plays; however, they do not take as many deep shots as Clemson attempted. Barnett’s style is to throw quick passes. Matter of fact, of all the passing plays ran by the Bulls last week, the longest reception was for no more than 15 yards. The defensive backs of the Jackets (Kaleb Oliver, Tariq Carpenter, & Tre Swilling) very well may be intercepting the ball this weekend to pick up where they left off against the Tigers.
3. Home-Field Advantage
The last time Georgia Tech lost a home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium was in 2006 against Notre Dame. That being said, this home opener should provide tons of highlights; the Tech fans will show up and be more energized than ever due to the atmosphere that Geoff Collins has quickly created in Atlanta. The Jackets want to put the Clemson game behind them and get Geoff Collins his first victory with Georgia Tech. Expect Bobby Dodd Stadium to be loud and rocking this Saturday. The fans will give the Jackets a major advantage against the USF Bulls.
Both of these teams are trying to avoid a 0-2 start to their seasons. USF failed to put any points on the board against a strong Wisconsin team, however, Georgia Tech did manage to score 14 against the defending national champions. Look for the Jackets to continue with a rushing attack game plan and bring home a victory against the Bulls this Saturday.
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