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Jun
05
2016

State of the Program – Georgia Tech Football

GeorgiaTech

We continue with our series look at the state of the ACC Football programs – You’ll see writings from all our contributors @Hokiesmash, @HereGoJayAgain, and @Res4Six.

Thanks to @HereGoJayAgain for the graphics!

Previous State of Program

Virginia Tech |

What’s the Season Outlook for Georgia Tech football?

Last season was simply an unmitigated disaster for Georgia Tech. Coming into the 2015 season, they were pre-season ranked in the top 25 and a dark horse pick to make the college football playoff. Not only did the Jackets fail to contend for a playoff spot, the didn’t make a bowl game for the first time in 18 years finishing the year 3-9. What can we expect from the Jackets in 2016?

The Yellow Jackets are the toughest team team to gauge in the ACC in a given year. This is a program since 2012 that has a win resume that is only bettered by Clemson and Florida State in the ACC.  There are victories over USC, Georgia, A Mississippi State team that spent time ranked #1 in 2014, Clemson and Florida State. The Tigers and Seminoles have 2 losses in the ACC since 2015 to anyone but each other, and they are both to Georgia Tech. The Jackets don’t recruit (on paper) well, but on any day can play with just about anyone in the country. When things go south, well you saw last year. The offense was decimated by injury, inexperience, and inconsistent play last season. The defense simply didn’t have the personal to carry the load, as the offense was the worst of the Paul Johnson era.

The good news is the dynamic Justin Thomas returns at quarterback, and there is wealth of returning talent at the A B back positions. The receivers also gained a lot of experience last season, and there are a couple of intriguing players like Ricky Jeune and Brad Stewart there who figure to improve from last season. The offensive line was a trainwreck last season, and it’s hard to imagine them playing worse than last year as a unit. I feel confident the offense while it won’t return to it’s record setting 2014 level will be better.

2nd Round round NFL pick Adam Gotsis will be a major hole to fill along the defensive line, and I suspect this group will really struggle with quality offensive lines. The linebackers should be solid, but the secondary will be brand new, so that will be a big question mark.

Georgia Tech will be better than last year, as they lost 6 games by single digits and everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but I don’t see them returning to the 2014 level either.

Key Yellow Jacket to Watch

QB Justin Thomas is obviously a key for Georgia Tech and he needs to stay healthy, but he can’t do it alone. WR Ricky Jeune needs to becomes that type of go-to receiver that keeps opposing teams honest. He was solid last year, but he needs to be even better. Along the defensive line, KeShun Freeman needs to return to the potential flashed as a freshman DE. Kyle Cerge-Henderson and Francis Kallon have to fill the  gap left by Adam Gotsis in the middle of the defense.

Key Newcomer

Dedrick Mills is a talented B-Back that’s going to fight for playing time in the fall. DE Jordan Woods was Georgia Tech’s highest rated recruited is expected to be a contributor in the fall. Georgia Tech rarely recruits proto-typical DT’s, but they got one in Brandon Adams from Tennessee. At 6-3, 315 lbs, if he could work his way into Georgia Tech’s defensive lineman rotation, the Jackets Dline could get a huge lift.

Predicted Record and Finish in Conference

Predicted record: 6-6 (3-5 ACC); 6th in the Coastal

Key Swing Games to Watch: Miami, at Pittsburgh, Duke, at UNC, at Virginia Tech

Boston College

W

Mercer

W

Vanderbilt

W

Clemson

L

Miami

L

at Pittsburgh

L

Georgia Southern

W

Duke

W

at North Carolina

L

at Virginia Tech

L

Virginia

W

Georgia

L

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