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Know Your Enemy: Georgia Tech

[extreme Zack de la Rocha voice]: Compromise! Conformity! Assimilation! Yellow Jackets!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 SC State at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Following a win over Tulane best described as “glad that’s over,” Ole Miss puts their undefeated record on the line against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

While you may say it’s early to tout an undefeated record, I say get the touting in now because, based on what we saw in New Orleans, it’s not going to see October. Barring a total meltdown from Ole Miss, Georgia Tech lacks the firepower to take the undefeated record away, but Alabama and LSU to close out the month do.

Georgia Tech is in the first year of a rebuild under head coach Brent Key, although Key has been with the program since 2019 as a part of Geoff Collins’ staff. Gonna shoot you straight, Yellow Jackets, based on previous experience with this move, it’s probably not going to work out.

In limited good news, Georgia Tech seems vastly improved from last season, but they still lack overall talent. In Week 1, they led Louisville 28-13 at half before being outscored 26-6 in the second half on their way to a loss.

While we shouldn’t expect something like last year’s 42-0 win over the Yellow Jackets, a double-digit win should easily be in play.

But before we get into who the 2023 Yellow Jackets are, let’s get to know the Georgia Institute of Technology.


If you’ve ever driven south on the scenic, 47-lane I-75/85 downtown connector and looked to your right as Midtown is on your left, you’ve seen Georgia Tech’s campus. If you’re into landmarks, it’s just north of the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola and slightly southwest of Piedmont Park.

When Ole Miss played Louisville to open the 2021 season in Atlanta, I stayed in Midtown across I-75/85 from campus and helped pay the light bill at the Eleventh Street Pub. There was also a Taco Mac nearby that received significant financial contributions one night.

The point being, there are plenty of things to do within a short distance from campus.

History of Georgia Tech

Following the Civil War, two men named John Fletcher Hanson and Nathaniel Edwin Harris, who were Confederate officers, wanted to create a technology school in the South. The dynamic duo believed the South needed to increase its technology to keep up with the developed and developing industry in the North.

In 1882, Harris led a committee (authorized by the Georgia State Legislature) on a visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the present-day Worcester Polytechnic Institute to see how those schools operated. If they did this in 2023, they would be considered DIRTY LIBS who have the woke mind virus.

After their visit and recommendations, Governor Henry D. McDaniel signed a bill that brought Georgia Tech into existence in 1885. Two years later, a man named Richard Peters donated the land where campus now sits.

The school officially opened in 1888, with an enrollment of 84 students, and Paul Johnson* as its head football coach.

*Possibly incorrect.

Rapid Fire Georgia Tech Trivia

  • As of 2022, Georgia Tech’s undergraduate enrollment was a little over 18,000, with a graduate enrollment of nearly 27,000 (do what now?)
  • Georgia Tech has satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia, Metz, France, Shenzhen, China, and Singapore
  • When Sherman finished destroying Atlanta in 1864, the official surrender took place on Georgia Tech’s current campus (THEY’RE STILL SURRENDERING AT BOBBY DODD STADIUM,,,,FOLKS)
  • Annie T. Wise became the school’s first female graduate in 1919, even though the state legislature didn’t approve women being able to attend until 1920, which is huge OK BOOMERS energy
  • Of MIT, Cal Tech, and Georgia Tech, the technological institute in Atlanta is the only public university

Notable Alumni

  • Jimmy Carter - Former president, governor, and peanut farmer
  • Walter Ehmer - President and CEO of Waffle House (American royalty)
  • Jeff Foxworthy - Currently doing the same 1995 material on the Oklahoma casino circuit
  • Bobby Jones - Historical golf figure whose name Jim Nantz is contractually obligated to whisper when mentioning him on air
  • Roman Reigns - Professional wrestler I only think about when Twitter is inexplicably flooded with updates about whatever is happening in wrestling that night
  • Bruce Chen - Former MLB pitcher and an ELITE Let’s Name Some Guys option
  • Astronauts - Based on my informal calculations, if someone is a NASA astronaut, there is an 82 percent chance they went to Georgia Tech

Great Moments in Georgia Tech Athletics

In 2006, Georgia Tech hosted second-ranked Notre Dame in their season opener. It was a big enough game that ESPN GameDay was there, and it was broadcast in primetime on ABC.

That Georgia Tech team featured Calvin Johnson at receiver, who you may recall being slightly good at football there and later in the NFL. Johnson caught seven passes for 111 yards and one touchdown that night, but the Yellow Jackets lost 14-10.

At this point, I would like to remind you Georgia Tech was coached by Chan Gailey and their quarterback was Reggie Ball. They would later lose to Wake Forest in the ACC Championship Game, 9-6.

Anyway, the game was not a great moment for Georgia Tech, but the highlight of all highlights happened that morning on GameDay. As the camera panned the crowd for shots of signs, one stood out.

On a standard white poster, there was a picture of Calvin Johnson and John Calvin, a theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. The poster read:

“Calvin: Defeating Catholics since 1509.”

What About the Football Team in 2023?

Last week, the Yellow Jackets defeated South Carolina State 48-13, which was their rebound after losing 39-34 to Louisville. Through those two games, here are some offensive numbers of note:

  • 7.8 yards/play
  • 9.4 yards/pass
  • 6.2 yards/rush
  • 41.0 points/game
  • Slightly over 50 percent on 3rd/4th down conversions
  • Only given up 1 sack

Solid to good numbers, but here are some not-so-great offensive numbers:

  • 4 turnovers in 2 games
  • 8 for 11 in red zone scores (73 percent)
  • 7 for 11 in red zone touchdowns (64 percent)
  • Outscored 33-26 in the second half

And here are defensive numbers that are not ideal:

  • 6.1 yards/play
  • 5.6 yards/rush
  • 0 sacks
  • 8 for 8 opponent red zone scores (100 percent)

To the defense’s credit, they have been good on third/fourth down, allowing just over 31 percent of conversion attempts.

TL;DR: Haynes King, formerly of Texas A&M, replaced Jeff Sims* at quarterback (now at Nebraska), and there is obvious improvement on offense. The defense appears to be, generously, suspect, which is a good sign for an Ole Miss offense that managed to score 30 while looking like hot garbage for long stretches.

Like last week, if Ole Miss doesn’t turn it over repeatedly and limits explosive plays, they’ll be fine. And the degree of sweating it out should be reduced exponentially.

*Jeff Sims against Colorado last week was the toughest of tough scenes. Not that I needed Nebraska to be up 10-0 or 13-0 at half like they should’ve been.