The top-ranked and undefeated Georgia Bulldogs are preparing for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the game of all games, the SEC Championship, Dec. 4. That’s what the mainstream media is talking about. But first, they have the task of taking on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Even though the Yellow Jackets are 3-8, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is committed to continual improvement on the offensive side of the ball.
“We got to have 11 guys on the same page,” Smart said Tuesday. “So many of our plays that fail when you go back and look at them, what caused that play to be unsuccessful. One got into his job. They do what they’re supposed to do. We tend to have a positive gain or no gain. It’s the lost yardages and sacks as turnovers that come back to haunt us the most so we’re trying to remove that. Continue being explosive and being dangerous. We want to be on the attack.”
Through eleven games, Georgia has averaged 40.3 points per game, which is 7th best in the nation. Quarterback Stetson Bennett has thrown 17 touchdowns and five interceptions, while completing 65.5% of his passes.
Conversely, the Ramblin’ Wreck have been in every game they’ve played in, except for the 55-0 loss to the No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish last Saturday. Prior to the defeat, Tech’s average margin of defeat in the first four games of the skid was just 7.7 points. Losing to Northern Illinois, a poor showing against Virginia and the bad loss in South Bend, head coach Geoff Collins acknowledged “possible fan frustration, donors, boosters, all those things.”
“I get it,” Collins said. “I understand it. I’m frustrated. I’m as big of a competitor as there is in the game and so I’m frustrated. Even though we’ve made progress, it still hasn’t shown up in the win column, where we want it to be, where we need it to be and where it will be.”
During the coach’s show, Georgia Tech Athletic Director Todd Stansbury expressed confidence in Collins and expressed his willingness to retain the coach for the 2022 season.
“I know he’s going to review kind of what it is that we need to do, where we are falling short, where there are holes in what we’re doing, and we’re going to work together to get those things fixed,” Stansbury said.
According to sources, Collins’s buyout is $10.5 million, according to the terms of his memorandum of understanding, if Tech and Collins were to part company this year. The total drops to $7.2 million after the 2022 season by the terms of the aforementioned agreement.
On the field, quarterback Jordan Yates will likely start for Georgia Tech. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs has run for 745 yards and four touchdowns and consistently shown up each week for the Ramblin’ Wreck. Gibbs leads the FBS in all-purpose yards at 163.8 yards per game, 2.2 yards per game more than Central Michigan RB Lew Nichols and 3.2 yards per game more than Utah State WR Deven Thompkins.
Georgia enters the game as a 35 point favorite. Smart isn’t worried about point spreads, the SEC Championship or positioning in the College Football Playoff.
“No. I don’t have time,” Smart explained. “I’m trying to go do third down right now in the red area and do everything else. I don’t have any time for it. Between recruiting, worrying about our players, and trying to get ready for a game. It’s the least of my worries.”
As the saying goes, ‘toe meets leather’ at Bobby Dodd at high noon Saturday.