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Georgia Tech rolls Louisville, 46 - 27: Instant Reaction

Reality Check

This was a loss we absolutely could not have.

And so it happened. In embarrassing fashion.

Not even really sure where to start with this. I guess we can start with mentioning that Georgia Tech beat Louisville worse than #7 Miami did. Or we can talk about the questionable play calling, how the team closed the game on a 39-6 Georgia Tech run after getting up 21-7 on them, or even just how bad the effort seemed at times, particularly late in the game.

Hell, let’s get into it anyways just so we can feel the pain again.

For as much props as you could give the defense in the way they rebounded in the Pitt game, they played an uninspiring brand of football that was highlighted once again by poor tackling and missed assignments in coverage. The defense surrendered 45 points and 450 yards to a Georgia Tech offense who isn’t even two years removed from running the triple option. They also didn’t register a single sack or turnover. And when the team needed them most, they fell flat on their face.

That last point could not be better exemplified than when Georgia Tech took the lead for good on Jeff Sims’ 19-yard pass to Jahmyr Gibbs. The fact that this play even happened is infuriating.

Tip for future football coaches: if you ever force fourth down, always decline the penalty.

Instead of allowing Georgia Tech to kick a chip shot field goal that would have only put them up by a very manageable two points with nine minutes left in the game, the coaching staff allowed Georgia Tech a second chance at scoring, although from a further distance, which they did anyways, of course. This forced Louisville into “we need to score a touchdown” mode, which never came to fruition.

But we already knew the defense wasn’t going to be great well before the season started.

What’s even more jarring about this loss is how absent UofL’s offense was. The Georgia Tech defense was the same defense fthat surrendered 37 points to a bad Syracuse team and 49 points to a UCF squad that lost to Tulsa last week.

How this Louisville offense, which is loaded with blazing speed and talented skill players, couldn’t even manage to make this a shootout is beyond frustrating. The final score may be deceiving, sure, but the fact that the offense had three timeouts and nine minutes to score any points and came away with nothing is beyond disheartening.

This is also the fourth consecutive game that Louisville has lost the turnover battle. Win or break even on those battles against Pitt and GT, and you’re probably looking at a 3-1 Louisville team.

Also, even though Malik’s running ability was on full display tonight with two great touchdown runs, his passing was all over the place once again. Where has his long ball gone? His misses to Tutu now seem more like a legitimate problem than they do a fluke. Even when all was lost last year, you could at least rely on Cunningham being able to take the lid off a defense. That appears to be gone now, and we continue to see him holding the ball far too long or dropping his eyes to run the ball far too early. Usually this kind of issue falls on the o-line, but they actually weren’t as bad as they had been in the last two games.

All of this barely scratches the surface in what was a deeply puzzling and concerning loss after a bye week. It’s not hard to imagine Louisville returning from South Bend after next week with a 1-4 record as they prepare for what will certainly be a desperation game for both teams when FSU comes to town. There’s so much to digest here, and none of it is good.

Louisville has an awful lot to figure out in a short amount of time, and unfortunately it’s probably time we all adjust expectations for the rest of the season.