Georgia Tech Football: Will the Real Yellow Jackets Please Stand Up?

Brian StewartContributor IIIOctober 18, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 8: Members of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets celebrate after the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to anyone following my articles for the delay in articles over the past few days.  Things kept me from having the time to sit down and write.

Now, onto what actually matters.  As a Georgia Tech fan, it has become all to commonplace:  A great hot team that looks like it can be as good as any team in the nation...that seems to always manage at least one bonehead loss. 

Let's just look at some of the recent stunners in the past few years:  In 2010, Kansas took the honor.  In 2009, the argument could easily be made for Miami, but UGA takes the cake for that year (no reason to lose that game).  In 2008, Virginia took the honor. 

In 2011, Virginia once again takes the cake, as the Charlottesville Curse comes back to bite the Jackets once again.  Throughout the entire time I was watching the game, only one thought dominated my mind:  The nightmares from last year aren't truly dead.

Now, don't take this as me saying the team is ensured to collapse like last year; the team HAS improved.  But all of a sudden, the question that has to be asked is:

Who are the 2011 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets? 

On one hand, they are a team that has shown vast improvements in determination, skill and athleticism over the 2010 squad, showing that when the team clicks on all cylinders, they are capable of putting up an average of 50 points every game. 

Even the defense has shown it can play an elite game.  It held a Maryland offense that put up over 45 points against Clemson to only 16 points.  The team has shown that it is willing to do as much as it has to each week to improve.

And then there is the other side of the argument.  The side that saw the same supposed high-powered offense sputter in three straight games, culminating in a second half against UVA that was perhaps the ugliest showing this offense has had in the four years under Paul Johnson. 

They are a team that is horribly weak against the run, and that struggles on third down stops.  They are a team that showed consistent lack of effort in three straight weeks, questioning the same leadership thought to be a strength. 

So, I'll be honest.  Through all of this, I really don't know which team this 2011 Georgia Tech squad is.  They could flip a switch, take the anger from this past week, and win every game from this point forward.  They could also let this loss to UVA tailspin them into a miserable second half to the season. 

Miami this week will be a good measuring stick.  It'll explain a lot to us about the determination and resolution of this team.  So, until then, I'll simply ask:  Will the Real Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets please stand up?