MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Looking for a recap of the misery in Georgia Tech's 38-21 loss to Miami? Click here to take you to the full column on MyAJC.com.
Below are my three "short takes" on the game:
1. NO THOMAS, NO CHANCE: I'm not sure how big of a chance Georgia Tech was given to upset Georgia next week, anyway. But if quarterback Justin Thomas can't play, they have no shot. Thomas drove the Jackets to a touchdown and a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game but then he left with an undisclosed injury and did not return. Coach Paul Johnson said Thomas hit his head on the turf but said he didn't have a concussion. Johnson walked slowly and stiffly from the locker room to the bus afterward. He confirmed hitting his head but wouldn't say what the injury was, adding, "I'm fine." Thomas's exit meant the Jackets, who had already lost No. 2 quarterback Tim Byerly early in the season to a knee injury, had to turn to original third-stringer Matthew Jordan, a redshirt freshman. The results were disastrous. The Jackets had four turnovers in their next six possessions as Miami scored 24 straight points after a 7-7 tie. Two of the turnovers were by Jordan (fumble, interception). Tech's defense isn't good enough to win games by itself so it certainly can't win if its offense is a picture of dysfunction.
2. STUMBLES, BUMBLES AND FUMBLES: Georgia Tech fumbled nine times. NINE. Only two were lost, but ... nine? Even with the wet conditions in south Florida, that's absurd. A major college football coach shouldn't have to teach players how to not fumble. But it has been a problem for the Jackets all season. Georgia Tech entered the week tied for fifth in the nation with 11 fumbles lost (24 fumbles total). Hey, there's still time to lead the world! So the nine total and two lost on Saturday bring their season totals to 33 fumbles overall and 13 lost. Jordan fumbled at the Hurricanes' 3-yard-line, ending a certain scoring drive. Miami then drove 97 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing Georgia Tech possession, running back Patrick Skov fumbled at the Tech 46. The ball was returned 45 yards by the Hurricanes' Ufomba Kamalu, who fumbled into the end zone but it was recovered by teammate Jermaine Grace for another touchdown. So the game went from 7-7 to 21-7 Miami in a span of 2:25.
3. THE JOHNSON QUESTION: Some Georgia Tech fans want Paul Johnson fired. I'm going to assume, however, that these are the same Tech fans who wanted Johnson fired last year or the year before back. Firing Johnson makes zero sense now for two reasons: 1) Tech is coming off a season in which it went 11-3 overall and 6-2 in the ACC. While this season has been a disaster, justifying a firing now is nonsensical; 2) Financially, Tech can't possibly take the hit a firing would cause. Johnson's contract was given a four-year extension after last season, effectively signing him through the 2020 season at $3.02 million per year. So he has five years left on his deal. Do the math. For what its worth, there are less expensive buyout options that kick in after 2017 (two more seasons).
•Recent ramblings • Weekend Predictions: It's marshmallow opponent week • Coppolella tired of being roasted, says, 'We are not tanking' • Roddy White has survived far worse things than reduced role in offense: tragedy • Why are those Freeman T-shirts included in Braves' clearance sale? • Overreaction Monday: Richt's ploy, Falcons' bye, Braves' salary dump • Jeremy Pruitt's defense is salvaging Georgia's season • Short takes on Georgia's win over Auburn • Simmons gone, and Braves' offseason already looking like last one • Weekend Predictions: It's not a good time to invest in Georgia • Former Georgia player Faloughi at center of Missouri protests • Overreaction Monday: Kyle Shanahan, have you met Roddy White? • Latest Falcons' embarrassment is on Dan Quinn • Short takes: This Falcons' loss is on Dan Quinn • Weekend Predictions: Dogs in middle of Dysfunction Junction • Georgia's finish, Eason status shouldn't tilt Richt decision • Richt should take over Georgia's struggling offense • Overreaction Monday: Loss-loss-loss means chaos all around • Mark Richt has failed too many big moments -- it's time for a change at Georgia • Falcons may be 6-2 but they don't look the part • Short takes: Sloppy Falcons gift-wrap game for mediocre Bucs • Matt Ryan: 'It comes down to me being better' • Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs • Georgia's quarterback problems fall at Mark Richt's feet • Budenholzer can coach but can he build a champion? • Overreaction Monday: Ryan's off, Tech's alive and Georgia... • Georgia Tech has unforgettable moment in otherwise forgettable season • Short takes on Georgia Tech's miracle win over Florida State • Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, ACC miserable • (Full column) Rick Pitino should lose job, culpable for Louisville mess • Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits • Overreaction Monday: Would Richt give Ramsey another look? • Misery like this shouldn't happen at Georgia Tech • Short takes: Tech's run of bowls, non-losing ACC seasons will end • Falcons flash some of their ugly past in loss to Saints • Short takes: Falcons still plagued by poor pass rush, turnovers • Weekend Predictions: Spurrier, Cubs, Playboy...and Georgia can still win SEC East! • Spurrier changed face of SEC, and then he walked out the back door • Health would be Spurrier's only good excuse for retiring in middle of season • Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs -- and claims of, 'I didn't know' ring hollow • Overreaction Monday: Chubb's loss isn't Georgia's only problem • There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia's season
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