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Article Season Preview: Georgia Tech

Discussion in 'GT Swarm Articles, Interviews & Photos' started by gtdrew, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. gtdrew

    gtdrew Banned

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    Georgia Tech Football Season Preview 2013
    By gtdrew, August 8th, 2013

    This is the one I've been most excited to write. Last year, I'd had so many high hopes for this team coming out of fall camp. I was hoping that the heady, tempered play of Tevin Washington would lead this team to an ACC title. I was hoping that the light bulbs would go off over the collective heads of our defensive starters. I was hoping that a wide receiver would separate himself as a game-changer in the passing game, and that one of Al Groh's linebackers would emerge as a blistering two-axis sledgehammer in the complicated, two-gap 3-4 scheme. As it turned out, none of these things happened. Following a heart-breaking last-second loss to Virginia Tech, and another late-game defeat by Miami, the Jackets seemed to lose their sense of purpose, and an embarrassing home loss to Middle Tennessee State helped those on the fence about coach Groh's future on the flats and the ability of Washington to win a game singlehandedly reach a conclusion on both of those topics. Unfortunately, neither verdict went the defendant's way. Following Groh's dismissal, the defense played harder, if not always smarter, and the increased presence of Vad Lee in the huddle seemed to change the Jackets' temperament, and through a wacky series of ties and NCAA probation, the good guys ended up in the title game against Florida State, although they were unable to overcome a first quarter onslaught from the Seminoles, and a late game turnover facilitated by you-know-who, the Jackets' gutsy showing in that game, followed by a bowl win against talent-laden but disinterested USC, left fans with some hope that a full season of the incendiary Lee, along with simplified defensive schemes implemented by returning coach and player Ted Roof, will improve the Jackets' fortune in 2013.

    Georgia Tech Offense
    On offense, the conversation starts with Vad Lee. The redshirt sophomore out of North Carolina has fans wildly speculating about the Jackets offense this year, with his explosive mix of big play running ability and a raw throwing arm previously unseen during CPJ's time on the Flats. Increased variance in pre-snap deployment brought on by new QB's coach Bryan Cook will help the Jackets continue to evolve and expand on the offense that has been at times frustrating and fulfilling, with rumored implementation of various shotgun and pistol formations to complement the Jackets' base "flex bone" look. This will create more space for Lee and his crew of talented but alarmingly underdeveloped WR's to go to work during passing situations, and help prevent the crowding of the "box" that often clogged running lanes and confused blocking assignments last year. Speaking of blocking, the Jackets should put on a clinic in that area this year, as they return a talented, deep offensive line in front of their prize commodity Lee. Guard Shaq Mason is probably the most talented young man on this unit, but Sr's Ray Beno and Jay Finch will provide solid play and leadership along the line. When healthy, Will Jackson is a sledgehammer in the run game, but does have trouble staying on the field. Transfers Thomas O'Reilly and just-cleared Nick Brigham will provide depth, and could push for playing time.

    The Backfield
    In the backfield, Zach Laskey and David Sims posted nearly identical numbers last season, and should continue their yeoman's work as the "B-Back" in Coach Johnson's base sets. When (and if) the Jackets move into their "spread" sets this year, it hasbeen so far unclear as to the role of the "Dive" mechanism in that part of the offense, but if their is a use for them there, I'm sure they'll do a good job with that, too. A-Back is more crowded, if slightly less defined. BJ Bostic is again the most talented, as he can do things in the pitch and passing game that none of his contemporaries can, but his play has yet to match the consistent effort of undersized but fearless SR Robbie Godhigh. In the new spread sets, Bostic may also find extensive use at the slot position, as the Jackets find themselves shorthanded at the reciever position. RB Charles Perkins may yet find his calling as a weapon in the shotgun/pistol sets, and A-Back Synjyn Days is a wild-card in the backfield, as his unique skill set and tireless work ethic make him an asset at a number of positions.

    The Receivers
    At receiver, the problem isn't talent. Darren Waller returns after an up and down season, and DeAndre Smelter will make his debut on the gridiron for the Jackets this fall. The problem is experience. SO Anthony Autry was expected to start opposite Waller, but a spring injury has put his season in jeopardy. Smelter, while raw, is too talented to keep off of the field, and Waller could potentially be the next in a line of big-bodied receivers out of North Avenue that includes Calvin Johnson, Bebe Thomas, and Stephen Hill. Waller is close, and with more reps, many believe he could be the tall game-changer the Jackets need.

    Georgia Tech Defense
    On defense, Coordinator Ted Roof brings an energy and intensity his predecessor sorely lacked. Roof may never beat the departing Al Groh at Trivial Pursuit, but he will simplify and intensify a defense that looked at times lost and listless last season. The movement of SR Jeremiah Attaochu to DE from his OLB spot still makes him the edge defender in a 4-3 defense, but puts him closer to the QB and should help his already potent edge-rush skill. DT Adam Gotsis is the grinder, and will work opposing interior linemen to death, while helping partner DT Euclid Cummings avoid double-teams and trap blocks. Pat Gamble, among others, will see extensive time in the middle of this line.

    The Linebackers
    The linebacking corps should be a big reason for excitement for Tech fans this year. Dripping with athleticism, SO Jabari Hunt-Days will build opon a solid 2012 campaign, while JR Quayshawn Nealy will provide leadership and a nose for the football to complement Hunt-Days' instinctive, heavy-hitting style.

    The Secondary
    Last year was a marked disappointment for all involved with the secondary. SR Lou Young was bothered by weight issues and nagging injuries, and hopes this season will help his NFL draft stock. S Isaiah Johnson has playmaking capabilities, but looked overwhelmed by Coach Groh's complex assignments last season. With Fred Holton's dismissal, the safety spot opposite Johnson remains open, with Chris Milton being my personal favorite to win the job. The possibility also exists for budding superstar CB Jemea Thomas to move to safety, with Jamal Golden & DJ White potentially earning reps at nickel and dime corner.

    Special Teams
    Special Teams were a huge area of concern for the Jackets last year. Poor results in the kicking game led to a revolving door of PK's, and highly regarded HS kicker Harrison Butker was brought in to remedy the situation. Early returns have been promising, but Tech fans will want to see him in game action. The return game was actually an asset last year, with electric returner Jamal Golden making several game-changing returns in big games last year. He returns, and BJ Bostic will provide some relief there.

    Prediction
    Predicted Win-Loss record- 10-2
    Predicted order of Finish- 1st (tie) ACC Coastal
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2013
    heeled soul, Eric and John like this.
  2. Tech First

    Tech First Ramblin' Wreck

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    Great write up, Thanks.
     
  3. collegeballfan

    collegeballfan Helluva Engineer

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    Fascinating predictions. A 10-2 means that Tech beats 3 of the following five: VT, UM, BYU, Clem & UGA.

    I pray it is so.
     
  4. Eric

    Eric Retired Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Nice writeup.
     
  5. jayparr

    jayparr Helluva Engineer

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    OUTSTANDING!!!!
     
  6. OldJacketFan

    OldJacketFan Helluva Engineer

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    Very well done, my feeling is an 8-9 win season. Anything beyond that would be gravy!
     
  7. GlennW

    GlennW Helluva Engineer

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  8. Bule

    Bule Helluva Engineer

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    BYU is the one I am most confident in. I think we torch them for 50 points. My guess is that they want this one as bad as they want our big rival games.
     
  9. gtdrew

    gtdrew Banned

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  10. GlennW

    GlennW Helluva Engineer

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    I googled the front of the uniforms; they all have ties on!
     
    mqpayne likes this.
  11. heeled soul

    heeled soul Jolly Good Fellow

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    You missed a section on the TEs.

    Just kidding! Nice write up. Curious, who does Tech tie with for the Coastal?
     
  12. gtdrew

    gtdrew Banned

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    I actually think it's gonna be one of those "tie breaker years." Miami beats us, we beat VT, VT beats UNC, UNC beats Miami. One of those type deals.
     
  13. heeled soul

    heeled soul Jolly Good Fellow

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    I see. That type of season for the SEC means all those teams are in top 10. For the Coastal, all are out of top 25. Not good.
     
  14. texasjacket

    texasjacket Ramblin' Wreck

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    Yep, unless Ziggy is going to suit up for them at this game. We shouldn't have a problem with them time. Those extremely athletic DE/LB always give us problems. The one form Iowa did the same thing to us in the Orange bowl too.
     
  15. Tempest_12

    Tempest_12 Ramblin' Wreck

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    Call me a debbie downer but I'm feeling a 9-3 season coming... Possibly ACC game.
     
  16. collegeballfan

    collegeballfan Helluva Engineer

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2013
  17. OldJacketFan

    OldJacketFan Helluva Engineer

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    Love this from PJ:
    Q: I don't like asking, but your contract ends in 2016.

    A: I don't even know.

    Q: So you're not giving it a lot of thought.

    A: Ain't never worried about it before. Ain't worried about it now.

    Work hard, prepare well and the results will speak for themselves as will a contract renewal.
     
  18. John

    John Peacekeeper Staff Member

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    I thought the above part about how CPJ hired CTR was very interesting.

    Thanks for the link though. This article was behind the AJC paywall right?
     

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