The Jackets’ next eight offensive drives after its initial touchdown went thusly: punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, interception, interception, interception. Not a recipe for victory on the road in ACC play.
“Credit Clemson, the way they played. They were really able to beat us up in so many phases of the game,” Key said. “They were able to control the line of scrimmage for the majority of the football game. We got opportunities to make plays and we’ve got to be able to make those plays, but credit to them for what they were able to do.”
The manner in which things transpired Saturday didn’t soften the wound for Key and the Jackets, either. Whether by blowout or buzzer-beater, Key took the result just as hard.
“Lose by one, lose by 30, a loss is a loss. Yeah I’m disappointed. I hate losing,” he said. “We’ll do everything in our power to prepare ourselves to get back in the other side of the column next week.”
Tech finds itself back at .500 overall, but still has much to play for as it begins its final homestand of the three-month regular season. Syracuse comes to town Saturday before rival Georgia invades Bobby Dodd Stadium at the end of November.
A win in either of those games will make the Jackets bowl eligible for the first time since 2018. Beating Syracuse would give the Jackets a winning ACC record for the first time since 2018 and likely mean a finish in the top half of the league standings.
Not bad considering Tech was predicted to end up 12th in the 14-team preseason poll announced in August.
Syracuse will be making just its second ever trip to Bobby Dodd Stadium and first since 2013. The Orange won the last meeting, a 37-20 triumph in New York, but had lost the three previous matchups.
This year’s Syracuse squad broke a five-game losing streak Saturday by beating Pittsburgh 28-13 in a game played at Yankee Stadium in New York City. The Orange rushed for 392 yards in its first ACC victory of the season.
Coached by Dino Babers, Syracuse has the ACC’s worst pass defense and is one of the most penalized teams in the conference.
Kickoff between the Orange and Jackets is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised live by the ACC Network.