Georgia Tech doesn't have to look far to find someone who is in their shoes. Just looking across the field they will see a Clemson team who lost to their arch rival last weekend to break a winning streak.
But Tech can still win an ACC title, something that has not been done this decade. Here are four questions Georgia Tech must answer to hoist the ACC trophy:
1. Can Georgia Tech Convert Touchdowns In The Red Zone?
GT scored three touchdowns in the first quarter of the last meeting, but they came off an 82 yard run, an 85 yard punt return, and a 34 yard pass from kicker Scott Blair.
Their first field goal came after a 68 yard drive. The second field goal came after going for 69 yard drive. And the final field goal came from a 47 yard drive.
So you can see the Yellow Jackets had some good drives, but all of them stalled in the red zone.
I think they will have to convert these to touchdowns more often to win the rematch.
2. Will Clemson Push Georgia Tech Around Like Georgia Did?
The Bulldogs ran for 339 yards rushing last week against the Yellow Jackets, an all-time high under Mark Richt.
UGA’s staring offensive line averages 304 pounds with the smallest guy tipping the scales at 290 pounds. Clemson is even bigger averaging 310 pounds with the smallest guy a mere 300.
Georgia Tech’s defensive line averages 292, but that is bolstered by 353 pound T.J. Barnes who hasn’t played like 353 most of the season. Also, GT is missing two D-line starters for the Clemson game.
3. Will Jonathan Dwyer Get More Involved This Week?
The first team All-ACC back had just 33 yards on 14 attempts last week against Georgia, his worst game of the season outside of Miami (which GT also lost).
The junior did better against Clemson in September with 73 yards, but that wasn’t one of his best games either.
Georgia Tech has to get Dwyer going in this game, especially up the middle, to keep the Clemson linebackers off the pitch where GT did have success last week and back in September.
4. What is Georgia Tech’s Mental State After Last Weekend?
This one applies to both teams. Tech was at home and favored by a touchdown over in-state rival Georgia but lost by six. They missed out on a chance to beat their rival two straight seasons something they haven’t done since 2000.
There is precedence for this back in 2006 when GT lost at Georgia and then lost to Wake Forest in the ACC Championship.
This is a different coaching staff and nearly all different players, but you have to wonder how much missing out on the opportunity last week carries over.