--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The halfway point is upon us. The Louisville Cardinals look to get back on track against one of the top rushing attacks in the nation. Louisville hosts Georgia Tech on Friday, at 7 pm. The game will be on ESPN.
Georgia Tech enters Cardinal Stadium 2-3, the same record as Louisville. Their two wins; against Alcorn State and Bowling Green; were blowouts. The Jackets trounced Alcorn St. 41-0, and Bowling Green 63-17.
Two of their losses are against ACC opponents. Paul Johnson and Co.. played a tough game at Pitt, but lost by five, and were trounced by Clemson in Atlanta.
Georgia Tech beats teams in the run game. The Jackets possess the No. 2 rushing offense in the FBS. Tech has scored 21 touchdowns from the ground, and averages 339.2 yards per game.
Senior QB TaQuon Marshall is their lead rusher; with 382 yards and 7 touchdowns on 88 attempts. Their backup QB, freshman Tobias Oliver, is second on the team in scoring; with five touchdowns. Overall, Tech has 12 rushers that average positive yardage on the ground. Three are 70+ yard rushers. Freshman running Back Jordan Mason, who is their No. 2 rusher, had 95 yards on the ground against South Florida, and 94 against Pittsburgh.
Rushing masked inefficiencies in the air. The Jackets average only 114 yards from the air, which is 125th in the FBS. Marshall only completes 47.6 percent of passes, and has just two touchdowns passing. He also has thrown four picks- his most recent being on the road at Pittsburgh.
Georgia Tech hasn’t passed the ball nearly as much in recent weeks. They tried just eight throws against Clemson, and seven against Bowling Green.
Defensively, Georgia Tech allows more points than Louisville, and has a worse conversion percentage. Nearly 47 percent of third downs turn into firsts. Georgia Tech’s defense allows nearly 28 points per game. 60 percent of fourth downs convert.
With two bad defenses, the game Friday could shape up to be a high-scoring affair; especially if Jawon Pass performs like he did in the first half against Florida State.
If you like scoring, you may want to go to Cardinal Stadium on Friday.