By Don Stone, GeorgiaTechExpress.com
Georgia Tech will try to reverse their recent trend of win one, lose one on Saturday as they host Virginia Tech for Homecoming Weekend.
The Yellow Jackets began the season with a loss to Northern Illinois only to follow with a win vs Kennesaw State in the Owls’ only loss so far this season. They then came close but lost at Clemson only to have a convincing win over North Carolina at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The next week saw another loss at against Pitt with a victory at Duke to follow. Of course, Tech lost last weekend at Duke. That gives them a record of 3-4, 2-3 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
They’ll face a Hokies team that has played six of its first seven games this season at home. 2020, due to the altered schedule, was the first time the two teams didn’t play in sixteen years. It wasn’t close in their last meeting, a 45-0 shellacking by Virginia Tech in 2019.
To have success, Georgia Tech will have to slow down true freshman RB Malachi Thomas. The Georgia native racked up 151 yards and three touchdowns last weekend vs Syracuse.
But the Hokies (3-4, 1-2 ACC) have had struggles of their own this season. They’ll be coming in off three consecutive losses. (29-32 to Notre Dame, 7-28 to Pitt and 38-41 to the Orange.
“For us it’s three times – West Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse,” said head coach Justin Fuentes. “They have to believe that they’re going to get paid off for the effort they’re putting in…We’ve been really close three separate times.”
Last week, Georgia Tech jumped out to a 13-0 lead early over the Cavaliers only to see it slip away as quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 99 yards and two scores.
Georgia Tech PK Jude Kelley kept his team in the game as they rallied from a 21-point deficit thanks to his two perfectly executed onside kicks in the final two minutes of the Yellow Jackets’ narrow 48-40 defeat at Virginia. The freshman also had a perfectly executed sky kick earlier in the second half that pinned UVA inside its own 10 yard line.
Kelley, who is now a perfect 3-for-3 on onside kick attempts this year, was named ACC Specialist of the Week for his efforts.
Kickoff is set for Saturday at noon with the game televised on Bally Sports Southeast.