Georgia Tech Football 2014 Bowl Capsule

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets


Georgia Tech was the surprise of the ACC, winning the Coastal Division with a 6-2 record. The schedule could have been much worse, but wins over Clemson and Georgia were impressive. And only losing two regular season games in a very balanced ACC is not bad either.

2014 Record: 10-3, 6-2
Coach: Paul Johnson
Coach Bowl Record: 3-7

Big Wins: 10/4 Miami (28-27), 11/15 Clemson (28-6)
Bad Losses: 10/11 Duke (25-31), 10/18 at North Carolina (43-48)

Of course it is the option offense that gives so many teams trouble when they play the Yellow Jackets. It takes a special quarterback to run it effectively and Justin Thomas has done just that. Thomas is the team’s leading rusher and the sophomore has looked comfortable reading defenses and getting the ball to the right person. Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days are Coach Paul Johnson’s main backs. Laskey may not break too many big runs, yet he is tough and will get the call on the goal line, at least when quarterback Tim Byerly is not on the field. Georgia Tech will often go with Byerly around the end zone. But this is Thomas’ team. The passing offense has been very effective this year and, of course, Thomas has a lot to do with that as well. He was at 1,460 passing yards after the regular season, with 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. This group is not going to go deep once every quarter or so just to keep the defense honest; they can actually move the ball down the field through the air on occasion. Receiver DeAndre Smelter is Thomas’ top target and the player no defensive back wants to see behind him.

The defense has been solid this year with the exception of the North Carolina game. They allowed 579 yards of offense and lost 48 to 43. This team will give up some points, but they were shredded on that day. In the loss to Duke it was turnovers, not the defense, which led to the loss. Usually this group will dominate the turnover battle, but they did not on that day. In fact, Thomas threw two of his four interceptions against Duke. And the defense is just not good enough to overcome two or three extra possessions.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Justin Thomas, QB, 965 yards
Passing: Justin Thomas, QB, 1,594 yards
Receiving: DeAndre Smelter, WR, 715 yards
Tackles: P.J. Davis, LB, 108
Sacks: KeShun Freeman, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: Jamal Golden, S, 4; D.J. White, CB, 4

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 333.8 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 135.3 (120, 13)
Total Offense: 469.1 (23, 1)
Scoring Offense: 37.2 (16, 1)
Rushing Defense: 167.9 (70, 10)
Pass Defense: 220.8 (57, 11)
Total Defense: 388.8 (58, 12)
Scoring Defense: 24.1 (42, 7)
Turnover Margin: 0.92 (10, 1)
Sacks: 1.50 (103, 12)
Sacks Allowed: 0.83 (4, 1)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2013    Music City Bowl    Mississippi (17-25)
2012    Sun Bowl    USC (21-7)
2011    Sun Bowl    Utah (27-30)
2010    Independence Bowl    Air Force (7-14)
2009    Orange Bowl    Iowa (14-24)
2008    Chick-fil-A Bowl    LSU (3-38)
2007    Humanitarian Bowl    Fresno State (28-40)

*all team stats through 12/1


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