Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: What to Know Before Georgia Tech-Duke


As the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets take on the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon, here are a few things to know before the game:

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3, 1-3 ACC) enjoyed a bye last week after their 35-24 win over the Georgia Southern Eagles. Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas returned to his normal efficiency against the Eagles, running for two touchdowns and passing for another. Thomas also had a season-high 172 passing yards and rushed for 78 yards. Meanwhile, the Duke Blue Devils (3-4, 0-3) also had a week off after a 24-14 loss to the Louisville Cardinals.

In last year’s matchup between these two teams, the Georgia Tech triple-option offense struggled to get anything going, and loss 34-20 to Duke. Duke coach David Cutcliffe has led the Blue Devils to two straight wins over Georgia Tech, and a third straight win in the series would help to reassure fans who may have grown weary after the team lost its first three ACC games this season.

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Duke should be well prepared for Georgia Tech’s offense.

Georgia Tech’s strength is its triple-option offense. However, after defeating Army, which runs a similar style offense, the Blue Devils should be ready for the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.


"Duke (3-4, 0-3 ACC) should enter the game with good background in the triple-option plays in Georgia Tech’s spread-option offense. The Blue Devils beat Army, which runs a similar scheme, on Oct. 8.”A lot of it is guys buying into that scheme, and playing assignment football, playing disciplined football,” said Duke cornerback Bryon Fields.Cutcliffe said playing Army was only an introduction to Georgia Tech’s version of the spread option.”Army, in all due respect, is not even close to what Georgia Tech is from a weapons standpoint offensively,” Cutcliffe said. ”I think our players do realize that. … It’s really hard to simulate the speed that Georgia Tech has on offense.”"

Georgia Tech must overcome third-down woes.

If the Yellow Jackets are going to have a chance at success, they are going to have to make some stops on third down and increase their time of possession. Georgia Tech opponents have converted 50 percent of their third-down possessions. Not to mention, the Yellow Jackets have only forced a total of six turnovers so far this season.

“We’ve got to be better on third down and try to get off the field; we’ve beat that horse to death. We’ve talked about it, but that’s the bottom line. I think at times we’ve been OK on scoring defense, but the games have had limited possessions, so it kind of masks some of that. I think if we can be better on third down, then everything will fall into place. It will make everything better if you can get off the field.” – Coach Paul Johnson 

Yellow Jackets v. Blue Devils: Prediction 

VIA Dave Miller of Campus Insiders:

"Georgia Tech vs. Duke PredictionThe Yellow Jackets’ option offense was not effective in last year’s contest against the Blue Devils, as GT was held to 173 yards on 60 carries for a mere 2.9 yards per rush. The Duke defensive front is improved, so the test will be tougher this time around. I think Johnson and his staff make some adjustments and the GT offense has better success on the ground. But it will still be a struggle. This game goes down to the wire, but one big run by Thomas sets up the Jackets for an eventual game-winning field goal.Georgia Tech vs. Duke Score Prediction: Georgia Tech 27, Duke 24"

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The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will take on the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 12 PM ET at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. The game can be viewed on ACC Extra.