Georgia Tech 65, Tulane 10: Guerry Smith’s three and out _lowres

Associated Press photo by MIKE STEWART -- Tulane linebacker Eric Thomas tackles Georgia Tech quarterback Matthew Jordan during the second half of Saturday's game in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 65-10.


Tulane will not beat anyone with a pulse if it doesn’t show dramatic improvement in its special teams. Never mind the offensive and defensive struggles against loaded Georgia Tech, the first top-25 team the Green Wave faced under coach Curtis Johnson. It’s hard to beat anyone when the punter drops a perfect snap, the long snapper sends one well over the punter’s head for a safety, the punter hits a 23-yarder from deep in his own territory and the coverage team allows a 44-yard return.


No one would confuse Duke and Georgia Tech for Alabama and Ohio State up front, but Tulane’s blockers have been overwhelmed the first two weeks. With good running backs, the Wave has gained next to nothing on the ground (56 rushes, 96 yards), and quarterback Tanner Lee has been under pressure constantly (seven sacks). On Tulane’s first snap Saturday, an untouched rusher off the edge sacked Lee, setting the tone for another discouraging performance.


Tulane’s coaches have a lot more to work on than simply Xs and Os while getting ready for Maine next Saturday. They have to make sure they have not lost the team. The defense, which went hard against Duke and for the first half in Atlanta, stopped playing in the second half against Georgia Tech. The special teams errors sucked the life out of everyone, and the offense looked disjointed from the start. To put it mildly, that’s a troubling trifecta.