2012 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football Preview
2011 Record: 8-5 (5-3 ACC)
Head Coach: Paul Johnson, fifth season (43-22 at Georgia Tech) (141-58 overall)
Projected Returning Starters: 17
Spring Game: April 20th (White 24 Gold 7)
Notes: Georgia Tech has been to 15 straight bowl games, tied for the fourth longest active streak in all of college football, with rival Georgia (incidentally, two of the three teams in front of Georgia Tech are ACC foes – Florida State and Virginia Tech). Consistency has been key for Georgia Tech success – they have been a decent program, but not an elite one, and the Ramblin’ Wreck are hoping Paul Johnson’s flexbone offense breaks through to the elite level. Georgia Tech won the Coastal Division Johnson’s first two seasons, including the ACC Championship in 2009, which was later vacated. Two negatives for Yellow Jacket fans? Johnson’s bowl record, which is 0-4, and his record against hated Georgia, 1-3, with the lone win coming his first season, 45-42. Another loss to Georgia and Johnson may be on the hot seat come 2013.
BVTSB Take: The Yellow Jackets enter the 2012 season with a bit of controversy at the quarterback position. Tevin Washington is the presumed starter, but his 2011 numbers weren’t great. He threw for 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, but was the team’s leading rusher with over 900 yards on the ground and 14 touchdowns rushing. He completed less than 50% of his passes. Redshirt freshman Vlad Lee may give Washington a run for the starting job. Lee was 9 for 16 for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game. Coach Johnson has already indicated that Lee is the better passer, but that he needs to work on being a complete player. Running backs David Sims and Orwin Smith, who combined for over 1300 yards rushing and 18 rushing touchdowns, are both back. Possibly the biggest loss for the Jackets is wide receiver Stephen Hill, who was drafted by the NFL’s New York Jets. Hill averaged 29.3 yards per catch on 28 catches last season, accounting for nearly half of Georgia Tech’s receiving touchdowns. Absent a better balance from Tech wide receivers in 2012, the passing game could take a step back, as 80% of Georgia Tech’s touchdowns were scored on runs. The Yellow Jackets were 3-1 in non-conference play last season, with opening season wins against Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee, and Kansas – they averaged 59.3 points per game in those three games. The remainder of the schedule they averaged 26.8 points per game. Tech opens with Virginia Tech, which could be a Coastal Division elimination game, or, at the very least, putting the loser in a very bad situation. Georgia Tech faces Presbyterian, Middle Tennessee, BYU, and Georgia in non-conference, with the Georgia game taking place in Athens. The Ramblin’ Wreck should beat Presbyterian and Middle Tennessee, but BYU and Georgia could be troublesome. Still, Georgia Tech could be 3-1 in conference, but they face Virginia Tech, Clemson, and North Carolina on the road. Games against Boston College and Maryland should help the win total, though.
2012 Early Projection: 8-4
To see the 2012 ACC composite schedule, click here.
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