USA Today Sports Images publisher Jonathan Leifheit gives us intel on Georgia Tech

Each week, catches up with the beat writer who covers the Hokies' opponent. This week, we touched base with publisher Jonathan Leifheit for details on the Yellow Jackets.

1) Anything look different about GT's option this season?

LEIFHEIT: Nothing really looks much different. The biggest change I have seen is in execution. It's not on par with the 2014 season, but it is better than the 2015 season, Also, there has been a marked improvement in pass protection over anything we've seen during the Paul Johnson era.

2) Does Justin Thomas look any different, specifically?

LEIFHEIT: Justin is just a great player. He has a few more weapons this year so it has made him look a lot better. Hopefully, he will be at full speed after sitting out the fourth quarter with an injury against North Carolina last week. Thomas left the game in the third quarter with what was called 'an upper-body injury' and didn't return.

3) What has contributed to the Jackets' fumbling issues?

LEIFHEIT: Last week's issues were due to a new quarterback (Matthew Jordan) coming in when Thomas went down in the third quarter. Georgia Tech fumbled four times and lost two of them. I don't believe that fumbling has been any more of an issue this year vs past years. In fact, it's been better than last year. It does seem that the fumbles have been more crucial in nature, though.

4) It looks like opponents have picked up a lot of first downs. What have been the issues on defense for Georgia Tech that's led to that?

LEIFHEIT: It starts up front. The front four does not get much of a pass rush - leading to lots of time for the opposing quarterback. The Yellow Jackets also have a fairly young secondary and the linebackers have simply not performed well. In short, this is just a horrible defense.

5) Since arguably the Jackets' worst loss of the season took place last week at UNC, did the Tar Heels expose anything?

LEIFHEIT: No. We all knew going in that it was likely to be bad. North Carolina is just a very good offense and the Tar Heels are going to get their points even on a good defense (hurricane not-withstanding). So, it stands to reason they were not going to be stopped very much by Georgia Tech's defense.

Leifheit's fearless prediction:

I don't do score predictions. But I expect that the Virginia Tech offense will likely have good success against the Georgia Tech defense. The Yellow Jackets' only real chance to win is to play ball control and to play keep-a-way. I think they can have some success doing that but ultimately, I don't think they'll be able to pull off the upset.

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