College Football Preview: The 2015 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview
2014 Record: 11-3 (2nd in ACC) Won Orange Bowl against Mississippi State 49-34
Odds to Win National Championship: +10500 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are coming off their first double-digit winning season since 2009 and have not missed a bowl appearance since 1996. Paul Johnson may be coming off his best coaching performance yet, and fans in Georgia have to be feeling good about their team's chances this season. This year will provide the Yellow Jackets a shot to surprise some folks.
Offense: Georgia Tech has a top-10 quarterback in Justin Thomas who threw for 18 touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,000 yards. The Yellow Jackets have always had running quarterbacks, but Thomas is one of a few who can also kill you with his arm. Thomas is the real deal and Georgia Tech goes as far as he goes. The Yellow Jackets lost a ton of production from their backfield but will get a boost from versatile Broderick Snoddy who scored three times on 28 touches before breaking his leg. Stanford transfer Patrick Skov also adds some firepower to the running back position. Micheal Summers and Antonio Messick will see a far bigger role at wide receiver after Georgia Tech loses its top-four receivers from last season. The good news is that Georgia Tech returns four starters on the offensive line. Overall, the Yellow Jackets are in good hands offensively with an experienced QB and OL, and that triple-option will be tougher than usual to stop.
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Defense: Georgia Tech must improve a defense that ranked 13th in the ACC last season. There’s reasons to expect improvement, and it starts with the return of Adam Gotsis up front, a defensive lineman who has 21 tackles for loss in his last two seasons. KeShun Freeman had nearly double-digit tackles for loss last season and Jabari Hunt-Days returns after missing all of last season due to being ineligible. Georgia Tech’s secondary also remains intact with Demond Smith, D.J. White and Jamal Golden holding down the fort. Yes, not having Quayshawn Nealy in the middle of the defense will hurt and the linebacker corps can be considered questionable overall, but the Yellow Jackets secondary and defensive line should make positive strides. Overall, you should expect improvement from this unit after last year’s struggles.
Special Teams: Harrison Butker returns at kicker after making 61.1 percent of his field goals on 18 attempts. Ryan Rodwell remains the punter after averaging 40.1 yards on 32 attempts.
Overall: I really like the potential for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets this season, and think this team could win back-to-back double-digit games for the first time since the 50s. Also, with a wide open ACC, I think Georgia Tech has more than a punchers chance to win the conference. I’m high on the Yellow Jackets, and it’s because of an improved defense and possibly the most underrated quarterback in the country leading the way.