Takeaway shutout ‘not acceptable’ for Georgia Tech defense

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker said Wednesday that it was “not acceptable” for his defense to have finished its game against Virginia on Saturday without any turnovers in the team’s 48-40 loss. After eight takeaways in the first four games, the Yellow Jackets have procured one in the past three.

Thacker has made a high priority of creating turnovers, even stating the team’s goal to lead FBS in takeaways.

“It’s the No. 1 statistic that’s indicative of wins and losses and momentum changes in college football,” Thacker said.

The principal method for doing so has been forcing fumbles by training players to rip balls out of opponents’ grasp. (Tech has three interceptions, tied for fewest in the ACC.) The Jackets forced eight fumbles in the first four games but only one in the past three games, including none against Virginia. Thacker suggested, as the season progresses and injuries take their toll on players, that plays in practice get whistled dead more quickly, thus limiting opportunities to practice yanking or punching out the ball.

“We cannot let that pass,” he said.

Thacker said he continued to hold “expected belief” that the defense will again produce fumbles, “and once it starts, the momentum happens and the ball just pops out.”

Virginia Tech, the Jackets’ opponent Saturday, has fumbled seven times this season, none in its past two games.

About the Author

Editors' Picks