When Georgia Tech scored a decisive break last week against Pittsburgh, coach Geoff Collins witnessed what he considered to be the ideal reaction.
His young team did not shun. They did not look down. They did not point fingers at their offensive teammates. They dug and faced adversity. Even though the Yellow Jackets lost the match, Collins felt that it was a positive step forward in the ongoing development of the program.
"We learn from these things and we build from these things," Collins said. "I'm really proud of this group of guys and I know they'll come back with the right mindset to improve."
This reaction would not have occurred six months ago when Collins was familiarizing the team with the new way of doing things. The recovery began when he gave them a program called "program training". He lit up areas of weakness and forced the team to come closer.
"Our pre-motifs are pretty intense," Collins said. "We do a lot of things to create a culture and a program. The first night of the 'Program' we put them in very difficult situations and they could not do it. The chaos we created and what was happening forced them to crack. They bickered, they lost their temper. "
This gave Collins and the staff an idea of where they should go. The forces coach, Lewis Caralla, has submitted the players to intense training sessions during the summer, designed to help them handle specific problems. The change has been encouraging – and impressive.
"Coach Caralla and our staff have done a great job," said Collins. "Our practices are chaotic. There are a lot of things going on six months ago, I do not know if we could have managed the situation we had (against Pittsburgh). But they did it.
In just a few seconds against Pitt, the Yellow Jackets have had emotional ups and downs, from winning the first leg to defending on the pitch and defending their own goal line. In this difficult situation, Georgia Tech's defense limited Pitt to a goal on the long field.
Juanyeh Thomas, security manager for the sophomores, said the reaction would not have been so positive if bad luck had occurred earlier in the season.
"Six months ago, if that happened, it would have been a lot of talk," Thomas said. "But in these six months, we have developed a bond and tightened our bonds. If the offense is spoiling, we will go there and drop the ball. It's life. It happens. We just have to trust people and if someone is wrong, the defense will take over for them. That's what Coach Collins preached all year. "
The Yellow Jackets (2-6, 1-4 ACC) play their last game on the road of the season. They travel to play Virginia (6-3, 4-2) in Charlottesville. Georgia Tech has a 4-12-1 record in Virginia and has not won since 2013. Georgia Tech beat Virginia 30-27 in overtime last season.
"All we can do is worry for ourselves and focus on us, and just every fight, scratch and scratch to give us a chance to really play well as Georgia's football team." Tech on the road, "said Collins.
. (tagsToTranslate) georgia tech (t) football (t) yellow (t) virginia (t) charlottesville (t) geoff collins (t) pittsburgh (t) training program