SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Thwarted on offense and trampled on defense, Georgia Tech suffered a most humbling thrashing in a college football mecca.

Up against a Notre Dame motivated to play for a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Yellow Jackets took the field at Notre Dame Stadium with a depleted roster and compounded their disadvantage with continued mistake-filled play. The 55-0 loss takes its place among the worst defeats in Tech’s history.

ExploreRead more about the Jackets

Tech’s fifth consecutive loss dropped the Jackets to 3-8 and leads the Jackets into an even more daunting opponent Saturday, No. 1 Georgia. The crushing defeat undoubtedly raises pressure on coach Geoff Collins and athletic director Todd Stansbury to make changes to the coaching staff, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Stansbury were hearing from major donors about Collins himself. Collins, who said that “we got out-coached, we got out-executed and we got out-physicalled,” lamented his team’s inability to respond to adversity in the game.

“When you have that show up (Saturday) against one of the top teams in college football, they can put a score like that on you, and it happened (Saturday),” Collins said.

Collins’ defense was shredded again. Losing players in pass coverage, getting defeated at the line of scrimmage and missing tackles, the Tech defense was no match for the No. 8 Fighting Irish.

From the start, Fighting Irish receivers and tight ends ran wide open for quarterback Jack Coan, who completed 15 of 20 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns in a little more than a half of play. By passing efficiency, it was the best game of his career, making him the latest Tech opposing quarterback to enjoy a field day at the Jackets’ expense.

Caption
Notre Dame's Logan Diggs (22) runs past Georgia Tech's Quez Jackson (4) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Credit: AP

Notre Dame's Logan Diggs (22) runs past Georgia Tech's Quez Jackson (4) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Caption
Notre Dame's Logan Diggs (22) runs past Georgia Tech's Quez Jackson (4) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

On a day full of lamentable plays, one stood out, a 52-yard touchdown pass from Coan to tight end Michael Mayer that raised the lead to 24-0 with the first quarter not even complete. Mayer, possibly the top NFL prospect at his position in the country, had been properly identified this week as a player that the Jackets needed to track. However, Mayer was barely slowed coming off the line of scrimmage and caught Coan’s pass with no Tech defender within five yards of him. The play continued Tech’s season-long pattern of pass-coverage breakdowns that have led to big pass plays.

But it hardly was the only defensive lapse, as it was one of six plays of 20 yards or more given up by the defense.

While Notre Dame (10-1) is a powerhouse, the Irish had not won by more points since 1996. They were aided by two defensive touchdowns, one on Tech’s fifth play from scrimmage. Quarterback Jordan Yates, starting in place of the injured Jeff Sims, tried to throw away a pass while under heavy pressure. However, he threw directly at linebacker Jack Kiser, who ran untouched 43 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead.

Notre Dame 55, Georgia Tech 0

It was emblematic of how Tech’s possessions largely transpired, with Yates running for his life after Irish pressure overwhelmed the Jackets’ offensive line. The Jackets finished with a season-low 224 yards of offense, as Notre Dame prevented a third consecutive opponent from scoring a touchdown. In another botched sequence, the Jackets faced a third-and-2 down 17-0 on their 46-yard line in the first quarter. After calling timeout, a false start coming out of the stoppage moved them back five yards followed by a delay-of-game penalty. Unable to convert the third-and-12, Tech punted, netting only 29 yards. Coan’s touchdown pass to Mayer followed on the next drive.

Sims was one of several Tech regulars who were unavailable, along with defensive end Jared Ivey, cornerback Tobias Oliver, defensive back Wesley Walker and kicker Brent Cimaglia.

About the Author

ajc.com

Editors' Picks