Last Season was a great year for Georgia Tech football fans (despite the embarrassment in the Chik-fil-a Bowl). Tech beat Miami good on national TV and finally beat UGA after 7 long years of just coming up short. People forget how close a lot of those Tech-UGA games were during that span. Anyways, last season was a great surprise for Tech fans, and now the expectations are higher going into 2009.
Coach Paul Johnson has promised that his offense will be even better in 2009. Some skeptics still question whether or not Johnson's option attack can succeed over time in a BCS conference. They say that teams will now know how to easily stop the Yellow Jacket's attack. Simply put, this argument is ridiculous. There are decades of tape on the I-Formation offense and it still works pretty good. Georgia Tech returns most of its players on offense and on defense. This should mean that the offense will not have to go through the same on the job learning curve it did last year. Rising Jr Quarterback Josh Nesbitt claims he is more comfortable than ever running the offense. Nesbitt should not have to do as much thinking in 2009 as he did in 2008. The offense, when to hand of the ball or when to keep it, should come more naturally to him. On offense, Georgia Tech also returns ACC leading rusher Jonathan Dwyer. If it weren't for the likes of Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford, and Tim Tebow, then Dwyer would be a top 2 or 3 Heisman candidate. Complimenting Dwyer in the backfield will be Roddy Jones, Lucas Cox, and a slew of very talented and speedy backs.
The biggest questions for Georgia Tech's offense are with their passing game and the offensive line. The passing game must improve from last year, and bot Coach Johnson and QB Nesbitt know this. Obviously passing is not the number one priority in an option offense, but a team needs to have a legitimate passing threat. Nesbitt can throw the ball. and he has at least one very talented receiver in "Bebe" Thomas, who will play on Sundays in the next year or two. The main issue comes down to the offensive line. Johnson is still bringing in his type of recruits, who are suited for Johnson's offense, to play on the offensive line. Furthermore, the Offensive line sustained several injuries during the spring that made the potential weakness of the offensive line more evident.
On defense, the Jackets should be solid. The Ramblin Wreck have lost 3 big time players on the defensive line, but there should be enough depth to at least keep the defense from regressing. In the Georgia Tech secondary, Morgan Burnett is becoming a star, and deserves far more recognition and respect than he gets. Overall the defense probably wont be one of the top ten in the country, but should be pretty good.
Special teams are a major concern for the Yellow Jackets. To be blunt, the Special Teams were pretty awful last year. Field goals were like the light switch next to my bed, just out of reach. And every time Tech received a punt or a kick I just prayed for a not-fumble. Simply put, Tech's Special Teams must improve
Overall, things look good for Georgia Tech in 2009. Tech plays Miami and Clemson in the first 3 weeks of the season, so we should see pretty early on what Tech can accomplish this season. Its possible that Tech may have the same record it did last year, or they may even regress. However, the sky is the limit for this team. There's no reason why Georgia Tech cannot win its division and the ACC and play in a BCS bowl game. Who knows, with a little luck Tech might even play in the....