Wednesday October 20th, 2021 3:46AM

QB Sims' status uncertain as Georgia Tech tries to regroup

By Charles Odum
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — A stunning season-opening loss to Northern Illinois has third-year Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins forced to defend the state of his rebuilding process.

The health of quarterback Jeff Sims could be a key to Collins' hopes of showing progress in 2021.

Collins is 6-16 in his third season in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets, who play FCS state rival Kennesaw State on Saturday, have lost six of seven since a 2-2 start to the 2020 season. The latest loss was especially damaging to hopes the 2021 season could provide signs Collins can build a winning team.

Among low points in Collins' three seasons, perhaps only a loss to The Citadel in his 2019 debut season compares with last Saturday's 22-21 loss to Northern Illinois. Georgia Tech was favored by 18 1/2 points.

The visit from Kennesaw State was expected to generate momentum for Georgia Tech's Atlantic Coast Conference opener at No. 6 Clemson on Sept. 18. Now, with new questions at quarterback, no one dares to look past Kennesaw State, which will be playing its first game against a Power 5 opponent.

Sims’ status against Kennesaw State is uncertain after he left the loss to Northern Illinois with an apparent left arm injury. Sims, a right-handed thrower, had his hand on his left elbow as he left the field. He had his left arm in a sling as he stood on the sideline for the second half.

Collins said Tuesday he wouldn’t discuss injuries. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dave Pattenaude expressed confidence in Sims after Tuesday’s practice.

“I expect him to go out there and play a hell of a game on Saturday,” Pattenaude said.

Following the loss to Northern Illinois, Collins insisted he remained “100%” certain he would bring a winner to Georgia Tech. “It’s not if, it’s when,” he said.

On Tuesday, Collins again stressed “complete confidence” he'll build a winning team. He cited his experience at Temple, where he was 15-10 in two seasons, as evidence.

“It’s going to be different at every place,” he said. “... The staff that was with us at Temple knows exactly where we are and knows exactly where we’re going and knows we’re going to get there.”

When he was hired in December 2018 following his time at Temple, Collins had to recruit new players to replace those signed to run the triple-option offense under Paul Johnson. The pro style offense has been built around Sims and running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who are in their second seasons.

Jordan Yates passed and ran for touchdowns in a relief role after Sims left the game. Yates was more effective than Sims as a passer. Sims completed only 3 of 8 passes for 21 yards and was sacked twice before suffering the injury in the second quarter.

“I thought he was a little tight,” Pattenaude said of Sims. “... I thought he was trying to be a little too fine. He’s still a young kid.”

Yates played like a veteran as he completed 12 of 18 passes for 135 yards. He gave Pattenaude a scare as he was sent tumbling through the air at the end of a run for a first-down.

“He is fearless, maybe a little too fearless,” Pattenaude said. “I told him ‘Listen, you are not auditioning for the U.S. gymnastics team.’”

Yates' performance wasn't enough to save the Yellow Jackets.

“It’s a horrible feeling, keeping it real,” wide receiver Malachi Carter said.

“Honestly just we’ve got to forget about it. ... The biggest thing is looking forward. We’ve got a long season ahead.”

© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Kyle Busch fined $50,000 for reckless driving at Darlington
Kyle Busch was fined $50,000 by NASCAR on Tuesday for recklessly entering the garage following a crash in the opening race of the playoffs.
7:14PM ( 8 minutes ago )
College coaches dealing with breakthrough COVID cases
Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari says he contracted COVID-19 after being vaccinated, but pointed out that he is relieved the shot did its job in leaving him with mild symptoms.
6:30PM ( 52 minutes ago )
QB Sims' status uncertain as Georgia Tech tries to regroup
A stunning season-opening loss to Northern Illinois has third-year Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins forced to defend the state of his rebuilding process.
6:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
No 3 Clemson kicks off Uiagalelei era vs No 5 Georgia
The Georgia Bulldogs would love nothing more than to steal it from him and set themselves up for a run at a national championship.
10:52AM ( 5 days ago )
Settled at QB: No. 5 Georgia has its man in JT Daniels
JT Daniels starred for a powerhouse team in high school. He launched his college career at one of the most storied programs in the nation.
7:11PM ( 1 week ago )
No. 3 Clemson rolls out revamped offense vs No. 5 Georgia
Clemson's newcomers on offense will get an early test this weekend when the third-ranked Tigers face No. 5 Georgia in the season opener for both teams.
3:12PM ( 1 week ago )
College Sports
ACC notebook: 'Noles will try to salvage rough weekend for ACC
Florida State will try to salvage what was a rough opening weekend for the ACC on the gridiron...
By The Associated Press
9:35AM ( 2 days ago )
Tech suffers bad loss to N. Illinois at home
Rocky Lombardi's 2-point pass to Tyrice Richie with 38 seconds remaining survived an officials review and lifted Northern Illinois to a stunning 22-21 upset win over Georgia Tech on Saturday night...
By Charles Odum AP Sports Writer
1:25AM ( 2 days ago )
Pick Six: Tech's Gibbs, South Carolina's Enagbare among nation's best on losing teams
Great players make for great teams. Well, not always. Elite talent is spread across college football, and some of the top players at their positions are on teams that struggle.
By Eric Olson
10:49AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Georgia Tech looks for changes in Year 3 of Collins era
With season three upcoming for the coach Geoff Collins era at Georgia Tech, words and phrases like “re-building” and “re-shaping” may no longer be pliable.
By Matt Winkeljohn
4:16PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Georgia Tech looking forward with new, old players
As Georgia Tech gathered Friday for its football practice of the season, the Yellow Jackets felt good about the future even with a tough schedule ahead...
By Matt Winkeljohn AP Sports Writer
1:24PM ( 1 month ago )