A 12th game for Tech? Geoff Collins focused on opponents on schedule

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics

Georgia Tech football coach Geoff Collins addresses questions about Notre Dame football joining ACC fulltime and possibly adding a 12th game to 202 schedule.

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics

Highlights from Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins' media availability Tuesday in advance of the Yellow Jackets’ Saturday home game against Pittsburgh:

1. Collins was asked about the possibility of Notre Dame joining the ACC, which followed other coaches in the league being asked about the same matter. He approached the topic with caution, saying that he was worried only about his team.

“They’re a great team, they’re a great program, they’re a storied program,” he said. “I fully support our league in what they’ve done with having them join the league for the year. And if that continues, that’s a good thing.”

He also was asked about his thoughts about playing a 12th game — on Dec. 12, after the Jackets’ last scheduled regular-season game in the week before the ACC title game. He was not quite ready to tackle that possibility.

“I’m just taking this one day at a time and one hour at a time, one increment at a time, just trying to make sure we’re keeping everybody healthy and safe, following protocols, mitigation strategies, developing a team, building a team, preparing to play at a high level on a college football Saturday,” he said. “I just need to worry about today, and then tomorrow, I’m going to worry about tomorrow, and then the next day, I’m going to worry about the next day.”

ExploreTech receiver Ryan King out for season

2. Collins expressed his pride in his team and staff for its resilience through a season that has been trying from a win-loss perspective but more so that has been arduous with the discipline to maintain health and safety protocols.

The comments would gain greater gravity a few hours after he spoke, as a third SEC game for this weekend (Alabama vs. LSU) was postponed in the late afternoon.

“I’m looking out here (at practice) right now, practice has been over – what, 15 minutes – and there’s guys still out here working, bonding – wearing masks, thankfully, keeping their distance,” Collins said. “But just the things that these guys are going through – our student athletic trainers, our student managers, everybody associated with this program. It is no small task, every single week, just to get to a college football game, and for them to do it with the class and the character and the integrity, and the positivity – at times, it’s mind blowing.”

3. Collins’ thoughts about Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett: “He’s a really good player; we saw him last year. Really good control of what they do schematically on offense. They’re extremely multiple in what they do. There’s a different wrinkle, or many wrinkles, every single week. And he’s got a tremendous arm, a tremendous feel for where to go with the football. He’s got talent, he’s got weapons around him and he knows how to distribute the ball and distribute it on time. He’s a really good player.”

Against Tech last year, Pickett completed 25 of 34 passes for 204 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. This season, he has completed 129 of 207 passes (62.3%) for 1,599 yards with an 8/3 touchdown/interception ratio. He missed games against Miami and Notre Dame with an ankle injury before returning to start against Florida State this past Saturday, leading the Panthers to a 41-17 win over the Seminoles.

4. To a question about quarterback Jeff Sims having had some tough games recently, Collins made note that the Jackets played two teams ranked in the top four, Clemson and Notre Dame, and said that Sims improved in them.

“I’m really proud of the way Jeff has played, the way he’s continued to develop within this program,” he said. “There’s not a lot of true freshmen, that are having to play and play at a high level. He is one of them.”

In Other News