The defending ACC champ has been picked to finish third in Coastal Division during the ACC Media Day. That should “sting” a bit, but maybe the voters had valid reasons for making their picks as the offense with a running game ranked 2nd nationally loses 3 starters from the offensive line and running back Jonathan Dwyer. Additionally, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is gone as well. The good news offensively is the return of senior QB Josh Nesbitt, who rushed for over 1000 yards a year ago. Anthony Allen will be expected to fill Dwyer’s shoes this season, and head coach Paul Johnson expects him to rush for over 1,000 yards.
If the offense sputters, the defense better step it up. The defense was not impressive at all in 2009, allowing over 24 points and over 360 yards per game. In hopes of improving his defense, Johnson hired former Virginia coach Al Groh to lead his defense and implement a 3-4 scheme. The one constant defensively for Georgia Tech last year was defensive end was Derrick Morgan, but he will be playing on Sundays this fall. Linebacker Brad Jefferson will try to help the defensive as he led the team with 95 tackles last year.
The special team will return kicker Scott Blair and punter Chandler Anderson. The kickoff coverage will look to improve. This unit will be expected to be a bit deeper this year, and that is good news for them if the offensive production drops a bit as some expect.
The schedule could get interesting. Georgia Tech travels to Big XII country to take on Kansas in Week 2 and then to Chapel Hill to take on a defense expected to be outstanding in North Carolina in Week 3. In October, they will host Sun Belt favorite Middle Tennessee, which brings in an offense ranked 27th nationally, and then travel to Death Valley to play Clemson. The month of November could potentially be a miserable month for the Yellow Jackets as they travel to ACC favorite Virginia Tech, come home the following week to host Miami and end the regular season at arch-rival Georgia.
Jabberhead, Contributing Author
Affiliate: The College Endzone