What UVA Football fans need to know about Georgia Tech

uva footballGeorgia Tech ran the triple option as well as anybody, but it was going to come to an end whenever it was time for Paul Johnson to hang it up.

Geoff Collins has been tasked with the responsibility of taking an offensive room full of players recruited to run the option and getting them to run a spread pro-style offense as he recruits players to fit his system.

It’s not exactly going well, but then, that was to be expected.

Quarterback has been the toughest position to fill. James Graham has been getting the starts of late, but the 6’1” redshirt freshman has had issues with accuracy (43.2 percent completion rate), and Graham was lifted in favor of 6’3” redshirt freshman Lucas Johnson last week in the Yellow Jackets’ 20-10 home loss to Pitt.

The Tech offense ranks last in the ACC and 121st (of 130 teams) nationally at 299.5 yards per game, and is last in the ACC (by more than 55 yards per game) and 124th nationally in passing offense.

You couldn’t draw it up better if you were UVA football coach Bronco Mendenhall, who is now down two key defensive secondary starters, Bryce Hall, who was injured in Virginia’s Week 6 loss at Miami, and now Brenton Nelson, who went down in the Cavaliers’ 38-31 win at North Carolina last weekend.

The ‘Hoos will be trying to find the right mix in the secondary the next three weeks – Georgia Tech this weekend, then a bye week, then Liberty at home on Nov. 23 – ahead of the stretch run that includes a Black Friday regular-season finale with Virginia Tech and a possible ACC Championship Game matchup with Clemson in December.

UVA got gashed a bit by the run in the win at UNC last week. The Tar Heels ran for 186 yards on the night, and looking this weekend at Georgia Tech, the Jackets can run a little bit, averaging 158.5 yards per game, eighth in the ACC.

Jordan Mason, a 6’1”, 219-pound sophomore, is the feature back, averaging 77.8 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry in 2019.

The receivers haven’t caught many balls, but their catches do tend to go for big yards. Ahmarean Brown, a 5’10” freshman, averages 18.9 yards per catch (on 16 catches in 2019), a 6’1” redshirt sophomore Adonicas Sanders is averaging 17.2 yards per catch (on 12 catches).

The Georgia Tech defense wasn’t necessarily impacted by the coaching change, but it’s struggled as much as the offense this season, ranking 10th in the ACC and 74th nationally, surrendering 405.5 yards per game.

The Tech D has been particularly susceptible to the run: ranking 14th in the ACC and 121st nationally, allowing 217.6 yards per game.

The Virginia run game just climbed its way out of the ACC basement, now ranking 13th in the league (and 121st nationally), averaging 108.7 yards per game.

UVA is coming in off its best offensive output of the 2019 season, gaining 517 yards in the win in Chapel Hill.

Story by Chris Graham


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