Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs Georgia Southern Eagles: Three Things to Watch


With a break from their ACC schedule, will the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets end their three-game losing streak on Saturday with a victory over the Georgia Southern Eagles?

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson isn’t overlooking this week’s vital matchup against the Georgia Southern Eagles. Johnson was an assistant coach at Georgia Southern for two years and the head coach with the Eagles from 1997-2001. He’s warning his players this time around to come prepared, or be prepared for their fourth loss this season.

VIA Stan Awtrey of The Telegraph:

"“We won a lot of games. That’s all history now,” Johnson said. “But having been there, I’m trying to make sure our guys understand how excited they’re going to be to come in here and play. We’ve got to be able to match their intensity and be ready to play.”"

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"Two years ago, the Yellow Jackets led 35-10 at halftime, only to allow Georgia Southern to score 28 straight points and take a 38-35 lead with 10:46 remaining. Georgia Tech didn’t win it until Justin Thomas, who was starting for only the third time, threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Deon Hill with 23 seconds remaining to give Georgia Tech a 42-38 win.“The last time we (matched their intensity) to start with and then felt like it was over at halftime,” Johnson said. “To their credit, they came back with guns blazing. We’ve got to be ready to play one of our better games.”"

Here are three things to watch as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-3 ACC) host the Georgia Southern Eagles (3-2, 2-1 Sun Belt) on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta

1. Will Justin Thomas be the difference?

In six games, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas is 41 of 80 for 588 yards, three TDs and one interception. That’s hardly what would be considered a passing threat. In this week’s matchup, if Thomas can’t get back on track, there’s a chance that Tech could be upset and lose their fourth game in a row. On the other hand, in the event that he can get this Georgia Tech offense moving, success is more likely for the Yellow Jackets.

2. Familiarity on offense.

Both teams run a similar style of offense, composed of very little passing game. Georgia Southern has a statistical advantage on offense. The Eagles are averaging 289 yards per game compared to the Yellow Jackets 229. However, with that in mind, Georgia Southern has accomplished this against much lesser opponents compared to that of Georgia Tech.

3. Success on defense. 

Georgia Tech has given up 26, 35, and 37 points to their last three opponents…all of which were losses. The Yellow Jackets defense has given up a touchdown on the first drive to its last five opponents. Conversely, Georgia Southern has given up 49 points to Western Michigan and 27 points to a 1-4 Arkansas State team. Neither team has had much success on defense this season. Whichever team has become more adept at stopping its own offense in practice should enjoy more success in this game.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: Falcons Preview and Prediction Week Six

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will take on the Georgia Southern Eagles on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 12:30 PM ET at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Catch the game VIA the ACC Network.