Sat, 23 Jan 2021

Georgia Tech looks for more nighttime magic vs. Duke

Field Level Media
25 Nov 2020, 14:19 GMT+10

Georgia Tech will try to extend its streak of success in home games played at night when the Yellow Jackets host Duke on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech (2-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won four straight night games at home, including a 46-27 victory over Louisville on Oct. 9. The Yellow Jackets have won seven consecutive Saturday night home games, a streak that dates back to 2011.

But Duke (2-6, 1-6) has won the last three meetings in the series, including 41-23 last year in Durham, NC. The Blue Devils trail the all-time series 51-35-1, but have won five of the last six.

It has been a while since either team was on the field. Duke last played on Nov. 7 and dropped a 56-24 decision to rival North Carolina. The Blue Devils trailed 28-0 to start the game and 42-10 at halftime. Georgia Tech hasn't played since Oct. 31, a 31-13 loss to Notre Dame.

The Yellow Jackets had games against Pittsburgh and Miami (Fla.) postponed and rescheduled because of COVID-19. Duke had a game with Wake Forest canceled for the same reason.

"They've had a month off. I don't know how much they've adjusted or changed," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "It feels more like a bowl game (as far as timing). You hope you take care of the ball and play well early. It will have more that feeling than anything else."

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins, who played more than a dozen true freshmen against Notre Dame, said, "Our guys are working hard. It's a crazy situation. We're just trying to keep having fun and getting better every single day."

Georgia Tech's offense is led by freshman quarterback Jeff Sims, who has thrown for 1,346 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 277 yards and four scores. Despite his inconsistencies, Sims has shown enough potential that James Graham, who started nine games last season, announced he was entering the transfer portal.

The Yellow Jackets have depth at running back in freshman Jahmyr Gibbs (369 yards rushing, 20 catches for 255 yards), Dontae Smith (193 yards) and Jamious Griffin (161 yards). Jordan Mason, last year's leading rusher, is finally healthy from an injury that has limited him to three games and 27 carries.

Georgia Tech's top defenders are linebackers Quez Jackson (57 tackles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss) and David Curry (53 tackles, 5 1/2 tackles for loss). But the Yellow Jackets have struggled to get to the opposing quarterback and have only 13 sacks.

Duke's offense is led by junior quarterback Chase Brice, a transfer from Clemson. Brice, who grew up in the Northeast Atlanta suburbs, has thrown for 1,722 yards and seven touchdowns. He threw for 155 yards against the Tar Heels, but was sacked three times.

The Blue Devils have a solid one-two punch at running back with Deon Jackson (580 yards, four TDs) and Mataeo Durant (592 yards, six TDs). The top pass-catchers are tight end Noah Gray (26 catches, 9.5 yard average), along with receivers Jake Bobo (23 catches, 11.9 yards) and Jalon Calhoun (25 catches, 10.3 yards).

The Duke defense is anchored by ends Chris Rumph II (7 1/2 sacks, 10 tackles for loss) and Victor Dimukeje (7 1/2 sacks, 8 1/2 tackles for loss). They are the school's first teammates to post 7 1/2 sacks together in the same single season.

--Field Level Media

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