Midseason report: Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets started the season looking like one of the best teams in the ACC, sure to be the next team to crack the Associated Press Top 25. First-year starting quarterback Vad Lee was earning high praise, the defense looked much improved under first-year coordinator Ted Roof and the passing game had started to emerge as an effective part of the offense with dependable receivers. Many were expecting two undefeated teams to square off in Miami on Oct. 5. With victories over Elon, Duke and North Carolina, Georgia Tech looked like a true contender in the Coastal Division.

And then the Jackets turned it over three times and lost at home to a Virginia Tech team that won with just 55 yards rushing.

The 17-10 home loss to the Hokies changed the picture, and started a three-game skid for Georgia Tech. Much had been made about Georgia Tech’s tough schedule heading into the season – a four-game stretch of Coastal Division opponents that began on Sept. 14 at Duke. The Jackets got halfway through it before collapsing against Virginia Tech and Miami. Now, instead of playing for a trip to Charlotte for the ACC championship, the Jackets are in a must-win situation if they want to become bow-eligible. After last week’s 38-20 loss at BYU, Georgia Tech needs to win four of its last six games, and Clemson and Georgia are still on the schedule. As the competition has gotten better, Georgia Tech’s weaknesses have been exposed.

Offensive MVP: RB David Sims He’s averaging 58.8 yards per game and has seven touchdowns – six rushing and one receiving. He’s averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

Defensive MVP: (tie) CB Jemea Thomas -- He is the second-leading tackler on the team (30), leads the team in pass break-ups (5) and has a fumble recovery. When Thomas began covering UNC’s tight ends in the second half, Carolina did not score again.

DE Jeremiah Attaochu - Often double-teamed, Attaochu is Tech’s best pass-rusher. He has 3.5 tackles for loss and leads the team with two sacks. He ranks sixth on Tech’s all-time career sacks list.