#29 Georgia Tech Football 2012 Preview

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Overall Rank: #29
#4 Atlantic Coast Conference
Georgia Tech College Football 2012 Team Preview
Georgia Tech Team Page


Since Paul Johnson joined Georgia Tech in 2008, the Yellow Jackets have found a great deal of success.  They reached and won the ACC Championship Game in 2009 and played in a BCS bowl.  Johnson was named ACC Coach of the Year in back-to-back years in 2008 and 2009.  He brought his heralded triple-option offense to Atlanta after achieving great success with it at the Naval Academy.  Last season the Yellow Jackets leveled off a bit and finished fourth.  But Johnson has Georgia Tech constantly competing for Coastal Division crowns.  Sooner than later the Jackets hope to return to championship glory.  After having their 2009 championship vacated, they would like to legitimize their ACC success.

2011 Record: (8-5)
2011 Bowl:  Sun Bowl
Coach: Paul Johnson (34-19 at Georgia Tech, 141-58 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Johnson
Defensive Coordinator:  Al Groh    

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Tevin Washington, QB, 987 yards
Passing: Tevin Washington, QB, 1,652 yards
Receiving: Orwin Smith, AB, 306 yards
Tackles: Isaiah Johnson, S, 87
Sacks: Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, 6
Interceptions: Three tied at 3

Other Key Returnees: QB Synjyn Days, FB David Sims, OG Omoregie Uzzi, CB Louis Young, CB Rod Sweeting, DL Izaan Cross,

Key Losses: WR Stephen Hill, RB Roddy Jones, LB Julian Burnett

Of course the biggest strength of this team is their rushing attack.  The triple-option rendered 316 yards per game.  They ranked second in the nation in that category and led the conference.  The Jackets also led the conference in total offense and scoring points.  The ability to churn yards out on the ground shortens the game and keeps the ball out of the opponents’ hands.  Though their running game accounted for almost all of their offense, they still managed over 450 yards per game.  Quarterback Tevin Washington led the team in both passing and rushing.  Because of his athleticism, the offensive line hardly gave up any sacks (one per game).  The quarterback is a key component in the triple-option offense and he is constantly on the move so it is difficult for defenses to bring him down.

By contrast, the Yellow Jackets had the worst passing offense in the conference and one of the worst in the country.  At less than 150 yards per game, it is difficult to believe they were a top-20 offensive team.  Defensively, they were average at best.  Defenders hardly found their way into the backfield to stop opponents from gathering positive yards.  They will need to try and generate a better pass rush in 2012.  Perhaps the special teams unit was one of the worst aspects of Georgia Tech’s team.  They only netted 19 yards per kickoff return and only eight yards per punt return in 2011.  Had it not been for their stellar offense, they may have found themselves in a serious bind in terms of field position last season.  They could be more dangerous in 2012 with a stronger return game.

The Bottom Line:
As long as Georgia Tech runs the triple-option, the Yellow Jackets will always be in play to win the Coastal Division.  Unfortunately, Virginia Tech has been a thorn in the side of the ACC for years, especially Coastal teams.  Luckily, Washington returns to hopefully wreak some havoc of his own.  Improving the passing game would really help to put the Yellow Jackets in contention.  The key will be the defense.  When teams solve the triple-option and Georgia Tech has trouble scoring, the defense usually cannot hold up and prevent teams from reaching the end zone.  More pressure will equal a tighter defense.  The Jackets have averaged nine wins per year under Johnson and nine wins would be no surprise in 2012.

Projected Bowl: Sun Bowl

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 316.46 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense:  142.31 (112, 12)
Total Offense: 458.77 (18, 1)
Scoring Offense: 34.31 (21, 1)
Rushing Defense: 161.46 (66, 7)
Pass Defense: 197.85 (28, 2)
Total Defense: 359.31 (44, 5)
Scoring Defense: 26.08 (60, 8)
Turnover Margin: .15 (44, 6)
Sacks: 1.69 (77, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 1.00 (15, 1)

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#180 Justin Thomas