The combination of Anthony Allen and Josh Nesbitt has been the engine to Georgia Tech’s offense for the past two weeks. Most recently, the Yellow Jackets was able overcome a slow start and run past overmatched Middle Tennessee State, 42-14.
Clemson will be a much tougher opponent, and Tech must be able to avoid a slow offensive start in order to come out of Death Valley with a much-need ACC win.
The Yellow Jackets were able to get more focused in the third quarter last week against the Blue Raiders and got into the endzone on three consecutive offensive series.
For Clemson, the Tigers come into the October 23rd game with a 3 and 3 record and had recently snapped a three-game losing streak in a 31-7 win against Maryland.
The Clemson-Georgia Tech series has been competitive in recent years and the Yellow Jackets hold a 49-24-2 lead overall which includes four wins a row. The last win gave Georgia Tech the ACC Championship over a C.J. Spiller-led Clemson team.
Spiller is gone to the NFL, but Andre Ellington is trying to pick up where Spiller left off, and is someone that the Yellow Jackets must account for defensively along with special teams..
The Yellow Jackets must be effective in using their triple option offense early and often, Nesbitt is still the team’s leading rusher with 649 yards and eight touchdowns.. Nesbitt’s decisions with the option will be vital, but the 6’1 225 pound senior must be able to complete passes downfield to Yellow Jacket receivers to keep the Clemson Tigers’ defense guessing.
The loss of big-play receiver Demaryious Thomas has provided a void for Nesbitt and contributed to the 39.8 completion percentage this season.
Clemson’s Kyle Parker is a capable passer, but has had bouts of inconsistency as well. The Tigers’ best offensive threats are the aforementioned Ellington and junior Jamie Harper. Harper, the six-foot, 230 pound back had an 100 yard game versus North Texas, but has been relatively silent for most of the year as Ellington received most of the carries. However, Harper has great speed and is poised for a breakout game and has the ability to split wide and catch passes downfield for big plays.
For Georgia Tech, a win at Clemson would get the Yellow Jackets closer to the Top 25 after dropping out earlier this season after an embarrassing loss to Kansas.
For Clemson, a win against Georgia Tech would get them back on track in regard to being bowl-eligible.