Ge­or­gia Tech mo­ti­vated by last-se­cond de­feat against Mi­ami in 2017

The Telegraph (Macon) - - Sports - BY CHARLES ODUM

Ge­or­gia Tech play­ers have not for­got­ten a last-se­cond loss at Mi­ami last sea­son.

“I think it was kind of the turn­ing point of our sea­son last year,” said Yel­low Jack­ets quar­ter­back TaQuon Mar­shall.

The Hur­ri­canes’ 25-24 win last year helped Mi­ami win the ACC’s Coastal Di­vi­sion while Ge­or­gia Tech fell short of a bowl bid for the se­cond time in three years.

Satur­day night’s game could be sim­i­larly im­por­tant for each team.

Ge­or­gia Tech (5-4, 3-3 ACC) will try to ex­tend its two-game win­ning streak when it faces strug­gling Mi­ami (5-4, 2-3), which has lost three straight. The Yel­low Jack­ets, who have en­joyed a sharp in­crease in forced turnovers , have won four of five fol­low­ing a 1-3 start.

One year ago, Dar­rell Lang­ham’s 28-yard catch on a tipped ball on fourth down set up Michael Bad­g­ley’s 24-yard field goal with 4 sec­onds left for the Hur­ri­canes.

It’s a bit­ter me­mory for the Yel­low Jack­ets.

“We’ve been wait­ing on this one,” said quar­ter­back To­bias Oliver. “It’s one we had marked on our cal­en­dars. We’ve def­i­nitely been look­ing for­ward to it.”

Each team has been al­ter­nat­ing quar­ter­backs. Mi­ami coach Mark Richt an­nounced Thurs­day he will start red­shirt fresh­man N’Kosi Perry over se­nior Ma­lik Rosier for the se­cond time this sea­son.

“I think both Ma­lik and N’Kosi prac­ticed well,” Richt said. “I think both com­peted well. We’re just mak­ing the de­ci­sion based on what we think gives us the best shot.”

Mar­shall, a se­nior, may keep the start­ing job for coach Paul John­son. Oliver, a red­shirt fresh­man, has seen his play­ing time in­crease, in­clud­ing in last week’s 38-28 win at North Carolina.

Mar­shall said he’s con­fi­dent John­son “is go­ing to put the team in the best po­si­tion to win.”

“Ul­ti­mately that’s what we’re all here for,” Mar­shall said. “We want to win games and we want to get back to a bowl game.”

Here are some more things to know about the Mi­ami-Ge­or­gia Tech game:

LOV­ING AT­LANTA: Richt is right at home when fac­ing off against Ge­or­gia Tech. He’s a per­fect 14-0 as a coach at Bobby Dodd Sta­dium, the Yel­low Jack­ets’ home field. Florida State was 5-0 there when Richt was an as­sis­tant for the Semi­noles, Ge­or­gia was 8-0 there when he was the Bulldogs’ head coach


Ge­or­gia Tech quar­ter­back To­bias Oliver on Satur­day’s game against Mi­ami

and Mi­ami won there in 2016. Richt was a Mi­ami player in 1978 when the Hur­ri­canes lost at Ge­or­gia Tech.

STRENGTH VS. STRENGTH: Mi­ami ranks first in the ACC and se­cond in the na­tion in to­tal de­fense, al­low­ing 264.7 yards per game. Ge­or­gia Tech leads the na­tion with its av­er­age of 377 yards rush­ing per game.

“Play­ing against them, for the last 10 years of my ca­reer, it is tough on an of­fense to be sit­ting there wait­ing, wait­ing, wait­ing for an op­por­tu­nity, if it holds true to form,” Richt said. “But our de­fense has played well against them in the past and I have a lot of faith and con­fi­dence in this week.” DE­CLIN­ING AC­CU­RACY: An in­ter­est­ing trend with Perry: His ac­cu­racy has dipped as games go along. He com­pletes 61.5 per- cent of his first-quar­ter passes, 59.5 per­cent in the se­cond quar­ter, 55 per­cent in the third and 33.3 per­cent in the fourth. Of his 105 throws this sea­son, 99 have come at home – on the road, he’s 3 for 6 with two in­ter­cep­tions.

WHITEOUT GAME: This will be Ge­or­gia Tech’s an­nual Whiteout game, a tra­di­tion that be­gan with its 2008 game against Mi­ami.

CHANGE THE SCRIPT: Mi­ami has called re­cent play­ers-only meet­ings in an at­tempt to sal­vage the sea­son. “Some­times that works. Some­times that’s sort of Hol­ly­wood,” Hur­ri­canes de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Manny Diaz said.


Mi­ami coach Mark Richt is 14-0 coach­ing at Bobby Dodd Sta­dium, the Yel­low Jack­ets’ home field. Florida State was 5-0 with Richt as an as­sis­tant, Ge­or­gia was 8-0 with him as coach and Mi­ami won in 2016.

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