1. Getting back on track
It might be a lower-tier opponent, but Georgia Tech will try to do the things that it didn’t do against Boston College — run block, move the ball consistently, tackle and disrupt the opposition’s quarterback, among other things.
The Yellow Jackets can probably play less than their best against Mercer and win, but the degree of difficulty heightens in coming weeks, with Vanderbilt next Saturday and No. 2 Clemson on Sept. 22.
2. Big day for Mercer
The Bears are in their fourth season after disbanding the team at the end of the 1941 season. After one season in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League, Mercer moved to the Southern Conference in 2014 and have made incremental progress. Saturday’s game will be its first against an FBS opponent. The school sold out its 5,000-ticket allotment, and more Bears fans figure to populate Bobby Dodd, as about 30,000 Mercer alumni live in metropolitan Atlanta.
3. Possible opportunities for backups
In a closely played game with a low number of snaps against a league opponent, few Jackets reserves saw playing time except on special teams. There exists at least the potential for Tech to gain a lead wide enough for reserves to get into the game to gain experience and make the case for more playing time. Among them — guard Parker Braun, defensive tackle Brentavious Glanton and cornerbacks Lamont Simmons and Dorian Walker.