Georgia Tech Football Continues To Fumble The Ball

Georgia Tech Football Tobias Oliver (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Georgia Tech Football Tobias Oliver (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Georgia Tech’s fumbling epidemic has not gone away as Georgia Tech Football has now fumbled 28 times in only eight games.

Fumbles have been the story of the Georgia Tech Football season this year, and it was no different vs. North Carolina on Saturday. Thankfully, it didn’t cost Tech the game, but it nearly did.

On only the second play from scrimmage by the Jackets offense, Jerry Howard fumbled in the backfield and UNC returned it for a touchdown. Fortunately Tech came back and fought to a 28-10 lead after the first possession in the second half.

After that, Tech fumbled twice on their next three drives to allow UNC to tie the game. Georgia Tech then kept themselves error-free as they won 38-28 to keep their coastal hopes alive.

Despite the win, fumbles are still a huge problem for Georgia Tech, and it hasn’t only been this year. Tech has fumbled in 26 of their last 27 games (counting fumbles recovered by the offense).

This year alone, Tech has fumbled the ball 28 times. In their four losses, they have fumbled it 19 times with six of them being recovered.

Fumbling the ball that much is certainly not a winning formula, even if the ball isn’t recovered by the other team. It wastes a down, and usually loses yardage. Long yardage situations are deadly to the flow of an offense, especially a triple option offense.

These numbers might seem normal for a triple-option team but looking at the numbers, they are not. Army averages five more rushing attempts a game than Georgia Tech, yet have only has two fumbles recovered, and have only fumbled six times this season. All of those bar one, came in the very first game this season vs. Duke.

What is it that makes Georgia Tech fumble the ball so much?

One of the theories I thought would hold some weight is that they run the ball with their A-Backs more, which allows for more missed or dropped pitches. Unfortunately, that theory holds no weight. Army runs with their A-Backs 63.6% of the time while Georgia Tech runs it with their A-Backs 17.5% of the time.

No one really knows why Georgia Tech has had problems with fumbles. The offense has had this problem for longer than these players have been at Georgia Tech, so the current player pool doesn’t have a huge effect on the fumbles.

I’m a big believer in the “Why Atlanta?” school of thought, where anything that can go wrong, should go wrong, but I’m not entirely sure this has anything to do with it. I think Georgia Tech’s fumble epidemic is a combination of bad decisions, poor ball security, luck, and the type of offense.

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Georgia Tech currently sits at 5-4 despite this fumbling problem. Against a team like North Carolina, 3 fumbles won’t make you lose, but against teams on Georgia Tech’s schedule (Miami, Virginia, and Georgia), Tech can’t afford to lose possessions.