Our Deacs are still 4-2 after the bye week and are heading to Atlanta this weekend to take on Paul Johnson’s triple option offense at Georgia Tech (3-2). Since they keep the ball on the ground almost every play, it’s no surprise that the Yellow Jackets are the 3rd best rushing team in the nation, averaging 362 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the Jackets give up just 304 yards per game (15th in the nation), but part of that is due to how their offense limits the number of possesions teams will get during the game. With all that being said, let’s take a quick look at a couple of impact players for the Yellow Jackets.
Offense: TaQuon Marshall | Junior QB | #16
TaQuon Marshall is the man who makes everything go for the Georgia Tech offense. In the option system, it’s his job to determine whether to give the ball to the B back on the dive, pitch the ball to the A back on the outside, or keep the ball and run it himself. On the season, he has run the ball 121 times for 541 yards (4.5 avg) and 9 touchdowns. He had an incredible performance in his first start as a quarterback for the Jackets this year, running the ball 44 times for 249 yards and 5 TDs in a double overtime loss to the Vols. As Georgia Tech is almost exclusively a running team, Marshall has only completed 22 of his 41 passing attempts on the year (53.7%), but he has thrown 5 touchdowns to 0 interceptions. Marshall is an extremely athletic player and very elusive in the open field; It will be crucial that the Deacs play disciplined assignment defense to contain Marshall and keep him from getting out in space.
Defense: A.J. Gray | Junior DB | #5
Through 5 games this year, Gray is having a very solid season, recording 20 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery. He was honored this week by Pro Football Focus (PFF) as a member of the ACC Team of the Week Defense at the safety position for his play against the Miami Hurricanes.
PFF Week 7 - ACC Team of the Week - Defense pic.twitter.com/vndzojnIMV— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) October 17, 2017
The way the Yellow Jacket offense extends drives, wears down defenses, and limits possessions, it will be extremely important for the Wake Forest offense to help the defense out by staying on the field. The Tech defense gives up just 118 yards per game on the ground, so it will be important for the Deacs to be able to get the passing game going. A safety like Gray could be a nuisance for Wake’s air attack.