After the dismissal of coach Geoff Collins, Jones said his biggest question was how Key would address issues within the team, such as the underperforming special-teams unit. Tech’s special teams were beneficial against Pitt, with the punt team not allowing a block and netting 42.8 yards per punt and kicker Gavin Stewart making all four of his field-goal tries and recording four touchbacks on seven kickoffs.
“Now, I know a little bit about how Brent’s going to operate, so I think some of those (issues) will be eliminated,” Jones said.
Tech has seven games remaining, starting with its home game Saturday against Duke. While the Blue Devils were picked last in the ACC Coastal Division in a preseason media poll, they are 4-1 with the lone loss to No. 19 Kansas on the road, although the quality of their wins is questionable.
“It’s definitely a test because they’re a pretty talented team that the last season, I think, was kind of in a place where they just stalled,” Jones said. “And now that there’s a new energy, I think (coach) Mike Elko’s done a really nice job. His coordinators have done great jobs. So, yeah, it’s a big test.”
Of Tech’s remaining seven games, Jones called matchups against Virginia (home) and Virginia Tech (in Blacksburg, Va.) as particularly winnable. The other five games are against Duke and Miami at home and Florida State, North Carolina and No. 2 Georgia on the road.