If enough people call a game a trap game, is it still a trap game? It seemed so judging by the way No. 11 Miami struggled all day long with Georgia Tech. No worries for the Hurricanes though, because Darrell Langham was around to play the hero for the second week in a row.
The receiver’s improbable catch down the sidelines — off a defender’s helmet, no less — helped set the team up for a game-winning field goal a few plays later to beat the Yellow Jackets 25-24 in a wild, rain-soaked game.
Miami trailed most of the afternoon after returning home from their win over rival Florida State last week and looked like they were primed to become yet another top 15 team ready to be upset. Four red zone trips for Mark Richt’s side resulted in just one touchdown after nearly three quarters, as the ‘Canes offense failed to get going against Tech’s bend-don’t-break defense that proved to be a tough combination with Paul Johnson’s clock-churning option offense.
It didn’t help either that the second half started off on the wrong foot… somewhat literally.
In what may have been the craziest play of the day, Miami started the second half with an onside kick. However, the ball failed to go 10 yards off the tee — which Georgia Tech’s Lamont Simmons then realized as he picked the football up and returned it 42 yards the other way for the score that stunned just about everybody in South Florida. The Jackets added another field goal on their next drive and it suddenly looked like they had seized control and were about to pull off the upset. Adding to it, a massive rain storm started to dump gallons upon gallons of water onto the field.
But those conditions proved to be just what the appropriately named Hurricanes needed. Freshly minted starter Travis Homer found the end zone off the edge early in the final quarter as part of his 170 yard, one touchdown effort on the ground. A pair of punts left the team in a do-or-die situation with the clock ticking off but it didn’t seem to matter for quarterback Malik Rosier (297 yards, one TD), who found Langham on 4th down to put the team in position to knock in a 24-yarder for the win.
The end result means that ‘The U’ will unofficially be “back” on the national stage as an undefeated top 10 team come Sunday. That they needed yet another heroic effort is probably not lost on the coaching staff but digging down for an improbable win on a weekend where they inducted Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp and Sean Taylor into the school’s ring of honor is still a pretty good sign for the team going forward as they remain atop the ACC standings.
The afterglow of Miami’s huge win over in-state rival Florida State has been tempered somewhat by a couple of health issues.
With a game against Georgia Tech on tap, The U has listed three starters, two on the defensive side and one on the offensive side, have been officially ruled out. Those first-teamers are cornerback Dee Delaney (lower extremity), offensive lineman Navaughn Donaldson (lower extremity) and safety Sheldrick Redwine (upper extremity).
All three of the players were injured during the Week 6 win over FSU. None of them had been physically able to practice this week.
Donaldson has started all four games this season, which the Orlando Sentinel notes makes him the only Hurricane freshman to accomplish that feat.
In addition to that trio, top wide receiver Ahmmon Richards (pictured) is listed as questionable because of a hamstring injury that has already cost him the first two games of the season. Despite all of that missed time, Richards is still second on the team with 174 receiving yards, while his 24.9 yards per catch is easily tops on the Hurricanes.
All of these injury issues are on top of Mark Walton, the ‘Canes’ leading rusher, being sidelined for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.
The College Football Playoff Selection Committee has not even decided on their first set of rankings for the 2017 season but it appears that decisions are already being made regarding the makeup of the group for next year’s edition.
Members of the committee serve multi-year terms and the time is up after this season for several notable faces that have been part of the process from the very beginning of the playoff. With folks rotating out of the mix, that means the CFP staff and various conferences are looking for some new blood and one of the names that is being floated appears to be Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution caught up with the Yellow Jackets AD and he confirmed that he was approached by ACC commissioner John Swofford to ask if he had any interest in replacing Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich (a former Tech AD himself) once the latter’s term on the committee concluded at the end of this year. Not surprisingly, there was a thumbs up.
“I think it’d be an incredible honor,” Stansbury told the AJC.
Though it doesn’t seem like it’s a done deal for Stansbury to take over Radakovich’s spot, the fact that he made the conversation with Swofford public points to him being on the very short list at least. It certainly makes sense given the wide variety of experience he has that includes stops as athletic director at UCF and Oregon State prior to arriving in Atlanta.
We’re still several months away from any formal announcement but it seems pretty clear that Stansbury is a name to keep an eye on for the 2018 Selection Committee.
Georgia Tech lost a game to Hurricane Irma, a Sept. 16 trip to Central Florida. Georgia State also had a game canceled due to Irma — Saturday’s scheduled game with Memphis, which was axed to makeup the Memphis-UCF game that was supposed to be played Sept. 8.
So if Georgia Tech lost a game, and Georgia State lost a game, and the Atlanta schools stadiums’ sit just 2.2 miles away from each other, wouldn’t it make sense to try to get them together?
The sides tried, but the effort isn’t going to work.
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Tech and Georgia State officials attempted to find a date that worked for both sides, but one simply is not available.
Georgia Tech attempted to arrange the game for Oct. 7, the Jackets’ original bye week, but Georgia State has a conference game against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 7. Georgia State is off on Nov. 18, but Georgia Tech visits Duke that day. The rare Championship Saturday makeup isn’t even possible (provided Georgia Tech doesn’t win the ACC Coastal) because Georgia State hosts Idaho on Dec. 2, in what is Idaho’s final game as a Sun Belt member.
Incidentally, Georgia Tech and Georgia State have never met on the field despite being two miles apart. Perhaps this episode will spur the Atlanta neighbors to invite the other over to play sometime down the line.
One of the most efficient touchdown producers in college football in 2016 that you were probably completely unaware of appears ready to make his 2017 debut.
A vague lower-extremity injury knocked George Aston out of most of not only summer camp but also Pittsburgh’s first three regular-season games as well. With Georgia Tech on the horizon in Week 4, the fullback is listed as probable on the team’s official injury report released Thursday.
For a team that has scored just four offensive touchdowns in two games against FBS competition, Aston’s potential return could serve as somewhat of a boon for that side of the ball.
Last season, Aston totaled 75 yards on 22 carries as well as 169 yards on 22 receptions. In those 44 touches, Aston totaled 10 touchdowns — five on the ground, five through the air.
Saturday’s game will serve as the ACC opener for both Pitt and Tech.