GT Senior Leadership Looking for Fight and Want-To After Embarrassing Loss
With another devastating blowout loss in the Geoff Collins era being played out last Saturday, it was clear that Georgia Tech Football was not only out-coached but straight up out-classed against another P5 counterpart in Ole Miss.
The worst of it all is that the Jackets did not look like they even wanted to be out there for much of the game. This led to a mass exodus from the better-than-expected Tech crowd before the second half even started with boos reigning throughout Bobby Dodd Stadium. Unfortunately for Collins, the stat of being outscored 183-10 over their last four P5 games is alarming and has a ton to do with that.
Despite this fueling a bunch of negative press around the program about the coaching staff’s future, the guys donning the White and Gold still believe they have a chance to salvage their season and prove they still have fight left in them.
Cornerback Zamari Walton echoed this sentiment, letting the media know what his message to the team was following being ran all over by the Rebels.
“I was just letting the team know, we’re only 1 and 2 right now. We obviously wanna do better, but it’s still early [and] and we have a lot of things ahead of us,” Walton said. “We haven't even gotten to ACC play yet, and we’re playing good teams. There are things that we are seeing on film that we can do better. So, just letting guys know if you got your head down and you’re thinking of any negative thoughts, let’s be positive. Let’s come to practice, [and] let’s play how we’re supposed to play. Let’s treat Tuesdays how we treat Saturdays, and you guys have been at practice so y’all have been able to see how we’ve been executing and it's just a different vibe this week. So, it’s been good.”
Both Walton and linebacker Charlie Thomas said that the vibe at practice has felt very different this week as the intensity has been ramped up.
Explosive plays usually coming from misalignment killed the Jackets last week, as well as head-scratching momentum-changing busts on special teams yet again this season, and Thomas was adamant on the Yellow Jacket’s efforts to clean these up.
“We gotta do better after an explosive play first of all. We just gotta communicate better, [and] execute better. The scheme that we got I feel like is a good scheme,” Thomas said. “We just gotta execute and be on the same page better as players. Just trust each other, get to the ball, things that we have been preaching. We just gotta emphasize it more and put more emphasis on each other.”
Speaking of Thomas, wide receiver Malachi Carter pointed to him as a guy who exemplifies what the team is preaching regarding doing your job day in and day out.
“I would say Charlie Thomas on the defense. You can’t really miss him; he came in there [against] Western Carolina and y’all saw what he did in one half. That’s just something that you can’t really ask from too many people honestly, and that’s anywhere in the country to be able to do something like that,” Carter said of Thomas. “Not even two full quarters when he did that, but Charlie Thomas is a huge example of the way the whole team needs to play. He’s got something about him, he always has energy. The thing about him is that he’s developed into that. I’ve kinda watched him become the player he is now on and off the field. I just think the way he carries himself is amazing and definitely something to look up to for a lot of young guys. Charlie Thomas is a huge example of the way this whole team should play.”
Going back to those special teams’ mistakes, Carter talked about how challenging it is to win a game making those kinds of errors.
“It is really difficult. I’m not on special teams so I don’t know too much about what is going on there, but anytime you have something like a blocked punt, blocked field goal, things like that are pretty devastating. Especially when you really need that, and especially when we’re backed up in our own territory,” Carter said of those miscues. “The probability and percentage of us winning a game automatically goes down after a punt gets blocked, especially when we’re already down. So, it's definitely hard to deal with but it's all about the mindset of the team. Just gotta stay together and I mean anything can happen. It’s a big effect though special teams are huge.”
The outcry on social media has been very loud as mentioned earlier, and Thomas goes back to execution anytime someone asks him about how to fix the team’s problems.
“Whenever people ask me those questions, I always say it's more of an execution thing. We practice what we practice, we get good scout looks, we practice most of what the other team is gonna do. We just gotta get in the game and execute,” he said. “When the big lights come on, we gotta not freeze and do what we’ve been preaching. That’s why we gotta practice 100 percent, so when we get in the game, we play 100 percent and do what we do in practice. I love my coaches. Coach Collins and Coach Thack taught me how to be a pro for real.”
Talking again about that negative publicity, Carter was on the graphic for this week’s game and due to this was mentioned in every single one of the hateful comments on that Twitter post.
“I was on the graphic for this week’s game, and it was a lot of hate tweets. I don’t know if they realized it, but I was tagged in the tweet, so every comment was being replied to me personally too. I know y’all don’t mean it, but y’all were talking to me too,” Carter said when referring to the fan's comments on this situation. “I’m too old to really let that get to me, and when I see stuff like that sometimes I just read it for fun and [think] these guys don’t know football. It just comes with the game, and I mean you saw what happened to Alabama last year. They didn’t have the best season and the whole country was in an uproar. It just comes with the game at any level, and I got a great support system with my family, friends, and my team so it doesn’t really bother me.”
When looking at this week’s challenge against UCF, one can see that it will be another hot one with an offense that runs up-tempo, so the character of this team and their fight/will to win this game is certainly going to be tested. Talk is cheap at the end of the day, and actions will always speak louder than words. Will the Yellow Jackets fold and lay down at the first sign of adversity like last week, or will they rise and fight for each other regardless of all the noise? We will find out at 4 p.m. on ESPNU at the Bounce House in Orlando on Saturday.