Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- Following a difficult opening schedule that has resulted in a 1-3 start for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Ramblin Wreck will look to bounce back in a get right game with a first-ever matchup with the Bowling Green Falcons.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson spoke about his team’s excitement to get back on the field following their 49-21 loss to third-ranked Clemson last week saying, “We’re excited to have another opportunity to play this week. We’re looking forward to it. I think the guys are ready to get back to work, work on all the things we need to work on to play better and hopefully we’ll get a better result. We’ve got a lot of the season left and we’re looking forward to playing this week and getting another start.”
It will be a clash of offensive styles between the Jackets and Falcons when they take the field on Saturday. Bowling Green runs an up-tempo offense that coach Johnson says, “goes 100 miles per hour.” On the other side, Georgia Tech runs a slow and methodical triple-option attack. The differing styles could make for a fun matchup and it will be interesting to see what effect this has on the game.
For Georgia Tech’s offense, they are led by senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall, who has struggled with inconsistent play to start the season. Marshall has had success running the ball, which is important in coach Johnson’s offense, rushing 75 times for 340-yards and five touchdowns, but hasn’t found success in the air, completing 25 of his 57 passing attempts for just two touchdowns and four interceptions. If the Jackets are going to turn their season around, it starts with their quarterback play and Marshall will need to be more consistent and protect the football better in the air.
At running back, the Jackets have been tested without leading B-back KirVonte Benson, who is out for the year following a knee injury suffered in the second game of the season. Without Benson, Georgia Tech will look to freshman Jordan Mason to carry the load, while mixing in sophomore Jerry Howard. Mason has been impressive in his freshman campaign, rushing for 304-yards this season, good for fifth nationally among freshman running backs. The freshman should get better with each game as he continues to gain experience and be fun to watch as his career progresses.
The player to watch on the Jackets offense, however, is senior A-back Clinton Lynch, who needs just 26 receiving yards to become the first player in Georgia Tech history to surpass 1,000-yards rushing and 1,000-yards receiving for their career. The versatile player has been a Swiss army knife of sorts to coach Johnson and will be the player to watch to see how he is incorporated into the game plan against Bowling Green.
Bowling Green’s offense is led by sophomore quarterback Jarret Doege, who is making his eighth consecutive start under center for the Falcons. Across the eight games, Doege has totaled 23 touchdowns to just six interceptions under head coach Mike Jinks’s up-tempo offense.
The player to watch for the Falcons is receiver Quinton Morris, who leads the team with 266-yards receiving with four touchdowns so far. If Georgia Tech is going to get back on the winning side of things, they will first need to slow down Morris in the passing game.
Despite the 1-3 start to their season, Georgia Tech has an opportunity to continue a streak of eight-straight home game victories against unranked opponents when they take on Bowling Green on Saturday. It’s been a disappointing start to the season, but if the Jackets are victorious this weekend, they can get some positive momentum going before heading into the bulk of their ACC schedule to finish out the season.
Georgia Tech and Bowling Green will kick-off Saturday at noon from historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium.