ATLANTA —- Let’s keep this quick as the 7 p.m. deadline before eviction from the Bobby Dodd Stadium press box approaches …
1. Georgia Tech will run for at least 325 yards.
INCORRECT. The Yellow Jackets had just 272 yards on 60 carries, their worst output of the season. It was quite an impressive outing from Maryland, especially defensive tackle Joe Vellano. The junior had 20 tackles, the most by a Maryland player since Dave Philistin had 21 against Georgia Tech in 2007.
2. Maryland will start four freshmen on defense for the first time in … well, a really long while.
CORRECT. Unsurprisingly, Kenny Tate did not play (though he did go through pregame warmups). Mario Rowson started in his place. In addition, true freshman Alex Twine played extensively at weak-side linebacker after Demetrius Hartsfield was injured in the second half.
3. Georgia Tech will score every time it’s in the red zone.
INCORRECT. The Yellow Jackets were 3-for-5 in the red zone, missing a 34-yard field goal on one trip and throwing an interception in another. The game would have looked a lot different had Georgia Tech managed three points on both of those second-quarter possessions and then added a touchdown to open the second half. A 27-3 lead would have ensured almost no anxiety in the fourth quarter.
4. Maryland will score every time it’s in the red zone.
INCORRECT. Maryland turned it over on downs in the third quarter. Why didn’t it settle for a field goal in the red zone? Because it was down 21-3. At the time, it was the right call … though in retrospect, those three possible points could have made a difference.
5. Georgia Tech will win by at least two touchdowns.
INCORRECT. Maryland did a fine job of slowing down Georgia Tech —- far better than anyone on the outside could have guessed. It was impressive work for a depleted defense that found a way to play well under tough conditions. But the offense struggled for three quarters, especially the passing game. Still, the Terps rallied to lose by five rather than let the Yellow Jackets extend a lead that was once as large as 18.
GEORGIA TECH RECORD: 1-for-5
SEASON RECORD: 16-for-25
—- Patrick Stevens