Taking a closer look at Georgia Tech’s loss to Miami

For the sixth time this season, Georgia Tech had a possession in the fourth quarter either to take the lead or tie. For the fifth time, the Yellow Jackets lost, this time by a 33-30 score to Miami on Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

ExplorePhotos from the game

Coach Geoff Collins’ team fell to 3-6 for the season, and prospects for Tech to improve upon its three-win totals in his first two seasons are dimming.

Key play

Tech led 28-27 when Miami faced a second-and-10 from the Jackets’ 39-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke threw to wide receiver Mike Harley at the 34-yard line with defensive backs Wesley Walker and Juanyeh Thomas converging. Instead of getting tackled to set up third down, Harley slipped free from both and then eluded cornerback Tre Swilling before being brought down for a 24-yard gain. On the next play, Van Dyke found receiver Keyshawn Smith for a 15-yard touchdown and a 33-28 lead that the Hurricanes never relinquished.

Key stat

After gaining 125 yards and averaging 6.3 yards per play in the first quarter, Tech gained 204 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per play in the final three quarters. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs gained 79 of those 204 yards on two plays, dropping the per-play average for the other 48 plays after the first quarter to 2.6.

Key quote

“Another one-score game, three-point game. Guys battled, they fought all the way until the end. It hurts. Really close, but we’ve still got to find a way to get over the hump and not only be in one-score games, but win one-score games and keep it going forward.” – Tech coach Geoff Collins

Key player

Miami receiver Charleston Rambo scorched the Jackets with seven catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. He became the first Tech opponent to gain 200 receiving yards in a game since 2005. Tech has allowed an opposing receiver to gain at least 168 receiving yards in each of the past three games.

Miami 33, Georgia Tech 30

What we learned

Once again, the Jackets showed effort and grit and did a number of things that put them in position to win a hard-fought game, namely creating three takeaways on forced fumbles. They overcame injuries to key players and managed to go into the fourth quarter with the lead. However, they again made mistakes, missed tackles, lost the field-position game and lacked consistency on offense. As such, to many, the end result was unsurprising.

What’s next?

Tech will return home to play Boston College, which Friday defeated Virginia Tech 17-3 to break a four-game losing streak and improve its record to 5-4. The Eagles trounced the Jackets 48-27 last season in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

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