Roddy Jones: After Georgia Tech’s upset of Pitt, ‘other wins to be had’

After broadcasting his alma mater’s upset win over then-No. 24 Pittsburgh, ACC Network analyst and former Yellow Jackets captain Roddy Jones offered a modestly hopeful projection for the remainder of the season.

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“They’re still deficient in a lot of areas, but between winning a game that you’re not supposed to win and the rest of the schedule, there’s other wins to be had,” Jones said in an interview Monday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think dreaming of a bowl is probably a little premature, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re looking up in November and you’re starting to justify, ‘Alright, if we get a win here and a win there, maybe.’”

Tech improved to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the ACC with the 26-21 win over the Panthers. It was the Jackets’ first road win over a ranked team since 2016 (Virginia Tech), ending a streak of six losses on the road to ranked opponents.

Jones was on the call in Pittsburgh with Tech hall of famer Wes Durham for the ACC Network broadcast. While Tech was a heavy underdog, Jones said “part of me was not surprised” that the Jackets pulled the upset because he felt that Tech could be dangerous if they gained belief in themselves.

“That’s usually how it goes with teams switching coaches, and then Pitt gave them the opportunity to believe,” he said. “I thought the defense was excellent, especially early, and then when the defense kind of failed, the offense was excellent late.”

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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.