The 2020 college football season has been wild, to say the least. Every week has been filled with surprises in things like upsets and close games. One of the wild surprises of this season is the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Picked last in the ACC preseason poll, the Yellow Jackets have established a 2-2 record. Now the Rambling Wreck will face the Clemson Tigers at home.
Chaos From The Rambling Wreck
Starting from scratch last year, GA Tech coach Geoff Collins has possibly the toughest job in all of college football. He even described his team as one with athletes that should not be playing in the ACC. Collins’ first task was bringing in an offensive coordinator that could turn the Tech offense from the spread option to a modern spread. The man for that job is Dave Patenaude. Through moving a lot of running backs to wide receiver, to recruiting a true quarterback and a few tight ends, the offense is coming together. Pairing Patenaude with a freshman quarterback in Jeff Sims has been the ignition to the flame of the Tech offense. Sims has made plays as a passer and a runner as he has yet to look like a true freshman in any competition so far. His talents as a runner should cause challenges for the Tigers defense that just held Miami’s D’Eriq King to 121 yards in the air. Beginning with the quarterback run game, the Yellow Jackets could open up the Tiger defense for major scoring opportunities.
Before transforming cultures, Collins spent his time causing headaches for offenses. While turning around the program at Temple, he focused on playing fast and aggressive. Now Collins has utilized personnel and changes in scheme to create a foundation at Georgia Tech. There is still a lot of work ahead for Collins though. His defense has allowed Central Florida and Syracuse to score 49 and 37 points respectively. The Jackets are also allowing over 440 total yards of offense per game. While not having a lot of the greatest numbers, Collins’ defense will fight to create chaos throughout the game.
Tigers On A Roll
Clemson’s offense has simply hummed along through the year and it was on display once again against Miami. Once looked at as the second option behind Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne has shown skills as a runner and receiver that is worthy of Heisman consideration. Etienne totaled over 200 yards against Miami. That should not change as the Georgia Tech defense has been similar in comparison. Etienne should get a heavy dose early in both the run game and pass game. This will pair well with Amari Rodgers catching the ball in space. Efficiency will be the key to how much the Tigers score.
Brent Venables’ staunch defense was able to completely shut down Miami’s high-powered offense. The Hurricanes were held to just 210 total yards by the Tigers. Georgia Tech’s offense does not have the hype that the Hurricanes had, but can still be dangerous. Venables’ defenses have struggled against mobile quarterbacks. That includes Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong that ran for 89 yards against the Tigers. Expect the Yellow Jackets to utilize Sims’ running ability to open up the rest of their offense. This could cause fits for the Tigers, but will only go so far. The Defensive line will continue to dominate with multiple sacks. The defensive backfield will pair that dominance with athleticism on the back end. Even with a solid scheme, this Clemson defense will simply be more talented and skilled in their techniques.
Predicting A Noon Game In The Flats
The Rambling Wreck will put everything on the line when they face the Tigers. Since being picked to finish last in the ACC, Collins’ squad has consistently shown up and reminded everyone how much they were doubted. Clemson is coming off a big win but should come in prepared and focused as they tend to be. Look for a couple of turnovers and offensive efficiency to set the Tigers apart from the beginning. After a solid start, the Tigers will keep the pedal down and give the backups some solid playing time.
Prediction: Clemson 45 Georgia Tech 10