Georgia Tech looks for ways to create more turnovers

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerNovember 21, 2013 

Atlanta -- One thing that's hampered Georgia Tech all year is turnovers. Not making them, but creating them.

"We just haven't gotten many," coach Paul Johnson said. "It's an area we talk about a lot."

Tech has caused 15 turnovers this year -- four fumbles and 11 interceptions -- that have resulted in 66 points.

Four of those turnovers came against outmanned Elon in the season opener. Four came against Miami, a game Tech lost 45-30, and three came against Syracuse, a game Tech won 56-0. That's 11 of the 15 turnovers in just three games.

Tech caused no turnovers against Duke, Virginia Tech or BYU and just one against Clemson.

Quayshawn Nealy has two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Jemea Thomas, Louis Young and Brandon Watts each have two takeaways.

A year ago Tech caused 25 turnovers that resulted in 89 points. None came against Georgia, but the Jackets combined for six (two fumbles, four interceptions) in the ACC championship and Sun Bowl.

On the other hand, the Tech offense has turned the ball over 20 times, resulting in 56 points for the opposition. Tech has fumbled 24 times and lost 10.

Godhigh impresses

Although his Clemson team dominated Georgia Tech a week ago, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney came away impressed by A-back Robert Godhigh. The senior became the first opponent to have 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game against the Tigers since Swinney has been the coach.

"Robby has been a good player for us all year," Johnson said. "He's probably been one of our more consistent guys. He's been really special with the ball in his hands."

Godhigh, who began his career at Tech as a walkon, leads the ACC in yards rushing per attempt (11.1 yards). He set career highs in rushing (126) and receiving (103) against Clemson, with four plays of 30-plus yards.

"He's a good player," Johnson said. "Those guys get the ball mostly on pitches and on the perimeter, and when you are as talented as he is, you have a chance to break good plays."

Godhigh has scored five of his 15 career touchdowns over the last three games. Tech is 8-2 when Godhigh scores.

Going bowling

Speculation continues about where Georgia Tech might land in the postseason. That picture should be clearer after this week, as there are 32 different scenarios regarding who might win the ACC's Coastal Division.

Although it's a longshot, Tech could end up in the Orange Bowl. They'd have to somehow get in the ACC championship game and beat No. 2 Florida State, but it is possible.

A lot also depends on how Tech fares in the season-finale against Georgia. A win over the Bulldogs would definitely improve their bowl stock and could lift them into the Chick-fil-A Bowl or Russel Athletic Bowl in Orlando. A loss to the Bulldogs would likely send the Yellow Jackets to Nashville for the Music City Bowl, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, or even Shreveport for the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.

Tech will not be going to the Sun Bowl. The Jackets have made that trip the last two years and the school and the bowl committee aren't looking for a three-peat.

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