Taking a closer look at Georgia Tech’s loss to No. 8 Notre Dame

Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates (13) is chased by Notre Dame's Drew White (40) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 55-0. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Caption
Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates (13) is chased by Notre Dame's Drew White (40) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame won 55-0. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Credit: AP

Georgia Tech did little well, No. 8 Notre Dame did just about everything well and the staggering result was a 55-0 defeat for the Yellow Jackets on Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.

ExploreGeorgia Tech goes down hard in thrashing at Notre Dame

The blowout loss at fabled Notre Dame Stadium might be the low point for coach Geoff Collins’ three-season tenure, although the 73-7 home loss last year to then-No. 1 Clemson can compare. With one game remaining in his third season, Collins’ overall record is 9-24.

Key play

On a second-and-2 from the Notre Dame 45-yard line in the first quarter, Tech quarterback Jordan Yates was under heavy pressure and tried to throw to running back Jahmyr Gibbs, but the pass was intercepted by Notre Dame linebacker Jack Kiser and returned 43 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead for the Fighting Irish.

Key stat

Collins owns two of the three most lopsided losses in Tech history going back at least to the start of the Bobby Dodd era (1945) – the Jackets’ 73-7 loss to Clemson last year and Saturday’s defeat. By margin of victory, it tied Tech’s 69-14 loss to Notre Dame in 1977, which before the start of the Collins era was the largest margin of defeat in the team’s modern era.

Key quote

“That’s a really good football team, but I thought we got out-coached, we got out-executed and we got out-physicalled throughout the game. Response to adversity was not like we’ve shown in previous games, and we’ve got to find a way.” – Collins

Key player

Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams accounted for 120 all-purpose yards and scored two rushing touchdowns in the Irish’s dominating offensive performance. Gibbs, who had entered the game with a six-game streak with at least 150 all-purpose yards, was held to 122 yards, hardly a meager total – 58 rushing and 64 on kickoff returns.

What we learned

When Tech’s wheels fall off against an elite team, it can get really bad really quickly. Notre Dame scored on all six of its first-half possessions, five of them touchdowns, along with an interception returned for a touchdown as the Irish took a 45-0 lead at the half.

What’s next

Georgia Tech finishes its season Saturday at home with its annual Clean Old-Fashioned Hate clash with No. 1 Georgia, which improved to 11-0 after its 56-7 blowout of FCS Charleston Southern on Saturday in Athens. It will be the first meeting between the two archrivals since 2019 after the teams did not meet last year because of the SEC’s decision to play only conference games last season as a COVID-19 measure. The Bulldogs have won the past three games in the series by an average score of 45-11.7.

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