Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins instructs in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

After Citadel loss, Collins makes unscheduled radio-show appearance

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins was not scheduled to be a part of Tech’s weekly radio show this week, as the Yellow Jackets are beginning an open week. However, following Tech’s 27-24 overtime loss to The Citadel on Saturday, Collins asked to join the pre-recorded show that aired Monday evening on 680 the Fan.

Collins did not go into depth about the details of the loss. He said that “the messaging will stay internal.” But he affirmed that work needs to be done after Tech’s second-ever loss to an FCS opponent.

Collins said he was “making sure we understand what goes into playing at a high level on college football Saturdays and the things that we need to fix throughout the week of preparation, getting ready to play at a high level. We need to clean up a lot of those things that allow us to do that.”

Collins brought up two factors in the loss – penalties and a lack of energy.

Of the latter, Collins said that “there were times I thought there were some lulls within the game on the field and on the sideline.” He said that he brought in players Monday to show them their body language on the sidelines, “how they were either engaged or disengaged at key times at being great teammates.”

Of Tech’s eight penalties for 80 yards, both season highs by wide margins, Collins said that five of them extended Citadel drives that allowed the Bulldogs to gain an extra 140 yards of offense and control the ball for another 19 minutes. Further, he said, the penalties were easily avoidable. For the game, the Bulldogs gained 350 yards and had the ball for 41:50.

“As you’re developing a program, as you’re building a culture, you can’t allow those things,” Collins said. “We’ve addressed it. We’ll address it even stronger.”

He used other parts of the show to give attention and praise to players such as running back Nathan Cottrell, linebacker David Curry, wide receiver Jalen Camp and quarterback Tobias Oliver.

Collins also dropped what might have been reminders to fans of his coaching acumen, and of the size of the task at hand.

“We’ve got to get better in every single phase,” he said. “It’s a monumental transition what we’re going through.”

Collins mentioned that he was actively involved in recruiting All-American Derrick Morgan (who had stopped by Tech’s football offices last week) as part of the famed 2007 signing class. He cited strength and conditioning coach Lewis Caralla for his work in developing the roster.

When he and Tech voice and show host Andy Demetra came to the topic of Temple, Tech’s next opponent after the open date and Collins’ former employer, Collins said that he had recruited more than half of the players on the Owls’ two-deep depth chart and that both of his Owls teams finished their seasons well.

Collins did not take listener questions as it was a pre-recorded and unscheduled show. He did ask for fan support.

“The next game, we need a lot of fans in the stands,” he said. “These guys work so hard, and the future is bright, and we’re going to keep coaching, keep developing, keep recruiting at a high level, so that as we move forward in this program, it’s all going to be something that we’re all going to be very, very, very proud of.”

Athletic director Todd Stansbury also spoke, asking fans for their patience and support as the Jackets progress through a coaching transition.

“You know going in, there’s going to be bumps in the road,” he said. “They’re going to be clunky.”

Stansbury acknowledged the frustration and hurt of the fan base, saying that coaches and players felt the same. He reaffirmed his confidence in Collins, saying that what he did at Temple in improving his teams “shows our future. My message to the fan base is, double down on your support for these young men who are out here working their butts off to represent Georgia Tech the way that we all want them to represent us.”

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