(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

Georgia Tech is 3-7.  Last week against Boston College, they took a 21-7 first half lead but BC quarterback and former “Domer”, Phil Jurkovec lit them up by accounting for 5 total TDs including 2 passing and 3 on the ground. Final score BC 41 Tech 30.

The Yellow Jackets own a 45-22 win over North Carolina in week four.  With the exception of Pitt in week five, who defeated Tech 52-21, they have been competitive in all their losses. They lost to Clemson by 6, Virginia by 8, Virginia Tech by 9, Miami by 3 and last week to BC. 

Decent on offense but issues on defense sums up the season for the Yellow Jackets.

Tech has gone back and forth between quarterbacks this season. The number one guy, Jeff Sims did not play last week due to an arm injury and is questionable this week. If he can go, Sims, in his second year with the program is a dual threat who is completing 60% of his passes good for 12 TDs with 7 interceptions.  He also has rushed for 372 yards and 4 TDs. If he can’t go, his back up is Jordan Yates who looks to be similar in style.  Last week against BC, Yates completed 17 of 28 for 126 yards and 1 TD with 1 interception.  He also ran for 47 yards and another TD.

No matter who plays quarterback, this is an offense that is close to the middle in national ranks for points and yards.  Tech is averaging 28.6 points per game and slightly over 400 yards of total offense.

Their biggest offensive threat is running back Jahmyr Gibbs. He is 2nd nationally in all-purpose yards and leads the Yellow Jackets in both rushing and receiving.  Gibbs has scored 7 TDs a total that includes a 98 yard kickoff return score.  This week Brian Kelly referred to him as, “The player of the year in the ACC”. Strength, speed and shiftiness, if he gets to the 2nd level he has home run ability.   

Besides Gibbs catching the football is a trio of solid receivers, Malacchi Carter, Kyric McGowan, and Adonicas Sanders.  McGowan leads the team with 7 touchdowns.

Defensively the Yellow Jackets are ranked near the bottom in several categories including points at 30.2 per game and yards at 448 on average.   They have been particularly vulnerable against the pass giving up an average of 272 yards through the air each game. Despite these numbers they were able to hold Sam Howell and North Carolina to just 22 points.

Senior linebacker Quez Jackson is the leading tackler on the team and is 12th nationally with 96. Another linebacker, Charlie Thomas leads the team with 3 sacks, he also has 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Rushing the passer has not been their forte, they are 104th in the nation with just 16 sacks.

Since taking over the Yellow Jackets in 2019, head coach Geoff Collins has had two straight 3-win seasons and now may be headed to a third in a row with #1 Georgia on the schedule next after the Irish.

Similar to Virginia, Georgia Tech has problems defensively but weapons on offense.  They have played nearly all of their opponents tough into the 4th quarter. The Irish once again should find room to operate their offense and are good enough defensively to limit the points the Yellow Jackets can put on the scoreboard.

TV Coverage is on NBC and starts at 2:30 PM South Bend time (EDT).

The Irish are 17 point favorites and the over/under is 59.5.

The Fighting Irish Preview Pick: ND 38 Georgia Tech 20

By Phil Houk

For 25 years, bringing you the glory of Notre Dame football.

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