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Opponent Breakdown: Georgia Tech Defense

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Georgia Tech brings a struggling defense to Cardinal Stadium.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech made a really good hire this off season at defensive coordinator when they hired Nate Woody away from Appalachian State. Woody had fielded strong defenses in the four years he was there and his defenses had a few strong performances against power five schools. The results so far have been less than great and I’m not sure if anyone knows why.

The defensive front for Tech really jumped out to me in the games I’ve watched. Arnee Saint-Amour has made some nice plays from his defensive end spot and Kyle Cerge-Henderson do a good job of getting penetration and and disrupting plays. Cerge-Henderson is the type of player that the interior linemen for UofL have struggled with. He’s a stocky player that uses power to push the pocked back into the quarterback.

The strength of the Tech defense is the linebackers and they will be tested this week after Louisville seemed to find some success with their short passing game last week. Brant Mitchell and David Curry are very solid players in the middle. I was impressed with how they play in small areas and get up the field to fill gaps. Curry also made a very nice play last week to turn and run with a crossing receiver to make an interception. With the amount of short hitches and crossing routes that UofL uses, these two have to be able to make a play or two. I also think we’ll see some of Bruce Jordan-Swilling who is one of the biggest recruits that GT has ever landed.

Vincent Alexander and Jalen Johnson are the guys that play outside in their hybrid 3-4/3-3-5 look. Alexander is solid off the edge bu they need more from him as a play maker. I don’t think there’s another spot on the team where the lack of talent shows more than on the edge. They don’t have a guy that can get around the outside and rush the passer. They also don’t a whole lot as second level run defenders.

The secondary for GT is the epitome of inconsistent. They have a handful of interceptions on the year but they’ve also given up a handful of touchdowns. In some games they’ve done well to limit big plays but then Trevor Lawrence and Clemson’s receivers went off against them. Pitt was also able to complete 70% of their passes against them.

This is another area where overall talent looks to be lacking but they do have a knack for making plays when they’re most needed. They rotate some different guys in and out but no one really stands out as a better player than the others. I think that Louisville should be able to find success in the passing game this week because the pass rush is struggling and no one in the back end seems to be able to stay with receivers down the field.