Georgia Tech had such high hopes for 2015. They were coming off a top 10 season and ranked in the pre-season top 20. The expectations were through the roof in Atlanta, and then the injuries started. Each week a different player was going out. There were players that quit the team. 3rd stringers, former walkons, and players out of position were forced into action. The offensive line expected to be strong was a disaster. QB Justin Thomas tried to do much, and Paul Johnson will tell you himself he didn’t do a good job coaching the team this year.
The season mercifully ended with a 13-7 loss to Georgia.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Yellow Jackets this season. Georgia Tech lost 6 games by single digits. It was a forgettable nightmare season outside of the win over Florida State.
Some fans and media are already asking should Johnson be fired, and saying the triple option has been solved.
Paul Johnson has built some equity. Last year Georgia Tech’s best season since 1990. He beat Georgia last year to. Johnson has led the Yellow Jackets to 3 ACCCG games, and won an ACC Title. He is 12 games over .500 in the ACC, and is 61-44 overall at Georgia Tech.
I liken Georgia Tech to what are seeing at Iowa. Kirk Ferentz went 4-8 in 2012, but overall had good success at to Iowa including a 4 10+ wins season while at Iowa. This year Iowa is one game from making the national semi-finals. Iowa like Georgia Tech will never recruit at an elite level, but from time to time will build a team that can compete with anyone in the country.
Johnson did that last year, Ferentz is doing it this year after some hotseat whispers for him.
The Triple Option didn’t suddenly get solved. Navy proved that when run correctly the option is as hard to stop as ever.
I’m giving Johnson a pass this season, and I think most Georgia Tech fans are as well. He’s earned it. That said another missed bowl season next year will turn up the heat big time on Johnson.
He must correct the issues he had on offense, and rebuild Justin Thomas’s confidence. The offensive line needs to re-establish itself after arguably being the worst of the Johnson era.
Johnson doesn’t have to worry about his job for next year, but he has a long off-season of work ahead of him.