The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have not a lot to build on after a 42-41 loss against the Tennessee Volunteers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Monday night.
The Yellow Jackets led by 14 points early in the fourth quarter and were stonewalled on a failed two-point conversion attempt.
“It seems like we were just playing,” Johnson said after practice Tuesday. “It’s going to be a challenge for them mentally and physically.”
Georgia Tech ran 96 offensive plays Monday night, the most in the Paul Johnson era.
“I was sorely disappointed with the outcome,” said head coach Paul Johnson. “Our young guys on offense I thought went out and played pretty well, the quarterback, the B-back . . . [Marshall] played his tail off. I thought he played tremendously . . . I thought KirVonte ran hard. I thought he played hard, too.”
Quarterback TaQuon Marshall had 249 rushing yards on 44 attempts and five touchdowns. He also passed for 120 and a TD. KirVonte Benson ran for 124 yards and a touchdown Monday night. Also, Knoxville native Nathan Cottrell ran for 79 yards in the losing effort.
Jacksonville State, ranked No. 5 in FCS, took Auburn to overtime in 2015 and beat Ole Miss in overtime in 2010. Currently, the Gamecocks have a running back in Roc Thomas, that has transferred in from Auburn. He played at Oxford High School under current Jacksonville State head coach John Grass.
“Watching the game last night, you knew that Georgia Tech would be a quality opponent, an ACC team that won nine games last year and beat Georgia and Virginia Tech last year and had more returning starters that Coach Johnson has had in his tenure there,” Grass said during his Tuesday press conference. “They are a veteran team and I don’t know that I have ever seen a team that rushed it for 535 yards on offense and lost the game. I thought they were very deserving to win that game against Tennessee.
I have always tried to watch them a couple games a year and I just admire how they play the game. They play it physical and they block and tackle well, so they do what they do … They will be ready especially after letting one get away that I think they should have won. You take the two turnovers out of the game and it is probably a blowout.”