Behind Enemy Lines: Five Questions For Jackets Maven

Brett Friedlander

Q: What did the Yellow Jackets do right in their overtime win at Miami on Oct. 19 that they haven’t done against every other ACC opponent?

SI Jackets Maven: They were able to excel in both offense, defense and special teams. Their lone defensive touchdown on the season came in the opening minutes of the game. Special teams had a fake punt for a touchdown and a blocked kick to send it to overtime. Offensively, Running back Jordan Mason has a career day with 141 rushing. GT has had trouble with any one of the three phases of the game, and that was the only time they excelled at them all.

Q: How much confidence does Tech have left after last week's 45-0 loss to Virginia Tech?

SI Jackets Maven: Surprisingly, they have a ton. Head Coach Geoff Collins has focused his rebuild on a effort based culture and the players recognized that their best effort was not made against the Hokies.

Q: How bad is Tech’s injury situation?

SI Jackets Maven: Abysmal. Three walkons started against Virginia Tech and 13 players who have not been on Geoff Collins' "Above The Line" depth chart all season saw action in that game. Injuries are something that all teams have to deal with, but Georgia Tech has been especially unlucky this season. 

Q: What does redshirt freshman quarterback James Graham do best and how has he progressed? 

SI Jackets Maven: Where James Graham excels is his ability to keep defenses honest by forcing them to watch out for plays made by both his legs and his arm. Tech doesn't throw as often as many teams in college football. Their yards per completion is 50th in the nation. And Graham has progressed most with his receiver reads after he snaps the ball. At first he struggled with being able to make reads from the pocket, but as the season has gone on he has slowly gotten better at knowing when and where to throw it, when to run, and when to throw it away.

James Graham running vs vt
James Graham runs for yardage last week against Virginia TechBrett Davis/USAToday sports

Q: What has been the most challenging aspect in the changeover from the triple option to a more mainstream offensive attack?

SI Jackets Maven: Without a doubt the most challenging part has been getting the players to buy into the change. When running an offense that very few programs run in this modern age of football, you get specific in who you recruit to fit that system. Then in comes a whole new offense that many players had never run before and frankly, were not recruited to play in. Getting the players to buy into this change was much harder than getting them to make the change itself, but Coach Collins has done a solid job of doing so.