If you ask college football fans which opponent they dread playing the most, Georgia Tech appears near the top of the list. Doubling as the Kryptonite to Paul Johnson’s Flexbone Veer, Brent Venables gains extra notoriety as his defenses have shut down their offense with unparalleled intensity and discipline.
The Yellow Jackets are two plays away from being 6-0, and Coach Swinney was collectively shocked with the rest of the nation when they lost on Labor Day to Tennessee.
Quarterback Justin Thomas is gone, but TaQuon Marshall is an electric runner who is a small and elusive 5’10” and 180 pounds. Fellow first year starter B-Back KirVonte Benson combines with Marshall to account for 60 percent of Tech’s 2237 rushing yards.
Senior receiver Ricky Jeune’s 15 catches for 267 yards and three scores is more than the rest of the team’s 12 catches for 189 yards and two scores. Instead of the typical 80/20 ratio for a Flexbone Veer team, Tech is running 90 percent of the time and passing the ball 10 percent of the time.
Their defense is the most talented on paper since the Virginia Tech game – and with Kelly Bryant playing through an injury, it could become a defensive battle. Georgia Tech’s best defensive prospects are a pair of twin defensive backs – Lance Austin and Lawrence Austin. Lawrence plays the nickel position while Lance plays outside (he also returned the Aguayo field goal).
Don’t let Georgia Tech’s exclusion from the Top 25 and the lack of a number beside the name on the broadcast fool you. Georgia Tech is ranked 18th in the Sagarin ratings and 23rd in S&P ratings – a formidable opponent that will give Clemson headaches.
Prediction: Clemson 14 Georgia Tech 10