Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech meet amid fading bowl hopes

The battle of the Techs in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division often has had championship implications.

But those days are in the past.

On Saturday, when Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3 ACC) travels to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech (2-6, 1-4), the only stakes are the flickering bowl hopes of the struggling teams.

While Georgia Tech enters the game on a two-game skid, Virginia Tech has dropped five in a row in its longest losing streak in 30 seasons.

With two games left vs. ACC teams who have losing records, and another against Liberty, Hokies coach Brent Pry is looking for a "reboot," as he called it Tuesday.

"We have four games left, a good chance to go 4-0, achieve a lot of objectives and finish this thing on a good note," Pry said.

The Hokies are coming off a 22-21 loss at North Carolina State in which they incurred a staggering 10 false-start penalties.

Virginia Tech quarterback Grant Wells ran for two touchdowns and threw for a score in a dizzying span of 8:49 in the third quarter. The splurge put the Hokies up 21-3 late in the third quarter. But over the final 17 minutes, Tech surrendered three touchdown passes by Wolfpack true freshman quarterback MJ Morris.

The Yellow Jackets had their moments this year. Since Geoff Collins was fired as head coach, interim coach Brent Key has guided the team to an upset of then-24th-ranked Pitt, 26-21, followed by a 23-20 victory in overtime against Duke.

But last week's 41-16 loss at Florida State was a humbling reality check. On a day when the Yellow Jackets' defense surrendered 642 yards, their offense gained only 24 in the first half.

In his first college start, freshman Zach Pyron recovered in the second half to finish 18-of-28 passing for 198 yards and a touchdown.

Pyron will be back on the bench this week because starter Jeff Sims will return from a sprained foot. Key declared Sims good to go on Tuesday, explaining that his running ability forces opposing teams to defend more of the field, which can open Tech's running attack.

"Creating those lanes and creating those spaces with Jeff is obviously a huge advantage for us," Key said.

--Field Level Media