Georgia Tech Football: Ten Things We Now Know About The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech has started the season off in dynamic fashion.
With expected victory, unexpected loss, and a gritty conference road opener the Rambin Wreck are a difficult team to judge.
With a bit of time away from the keyboard, both in misery and celebration, things appear a bit more clear about who this Tech team really is.
Here are ten things that you can be sure about this season for Georgia Tech.
1) The Running Game Is Rolling
Averaging 345 yards a game Georgia Tech is having no troubles moving the ball on the ground.
They have however had to do it in differing ways in each of their games this season.
Nesbitt has managed the differing defensive attacks well, some focusing on stopping the B-Back position, some queuing in on the pitchmen A-backs, and others like UNC, forcing Joshua to give the ball up on most of the option snaps.
Through game three Nesbitt leads the team with 267 yards rushing followed closely by Allen who currently sits at 232 yards on the grounds.
2) The Passing Game Is What It Is
After the week two loss on the road at Kansas, Tech followers were presented with a cold, hard dose of reality. The passing game for Georgia Tech is simply a change up to the option game we run.
Despite the hopes for a developing passing attack, and a better air game in week three, it is apparent that Georgia Tech cannot lean heavily on the arm of No. 9.
With that stated, do not be surprised to see one or two games during this season when the Jackets take to the sky early for some big play stings. Soph. WR Steven Hill continues to develop and is a match-up nightmare for defensive backs with single coverage.
3) Play Hard Or Lose
The Yellow Jackets did not play at the level of execution expected by coaches and fans in each of their first two games.
A blowout victory, despite poor, sloppy, uninspired play in week one, combined with a underwhelming Kansas team set the stage for Tech's week two embarrassment in Lawrence.
Tech did not want to be there and it showed. It appeared the team thought they could simply sleepwalk through another game versus an inferior opponent, and win without effort or execution. The result was a wake-up call.
That loss erased the championship team from 2009 and put an unranked angry team on the field at a hostile UNC.
The result...a rejuvenated, enlightened, hungry Georgia Tech.
4) The ACC Coastal Is Wide Open
Virgina Tech, Miami, and North Carolina all were more highly favored than Georgia Tech in the recent preseason.
What the early games this season actually tell, might recalibrate those prognostications.
Every team in the Coastal division went into week three with a loss. The worst of whom, coming at the hands of D-II program, James Madison University, who went into Blacksburg and shocked the world in an upset of the Virginia Tech Hokies.
After week three, Georgia Tech bounced back off of their week two loss and became the only team in the division with an ACC victory.
Georgia Tech, who is known for starting slowly (losses in one of their first three games in each of the last three seasons) managed to rebound just in time to make sure their ACC title hopes stay intact.
5) The Defense Is Slowly Getting Better
Shhhhhh....Don't tell any one....There's a secret....
Georgia Tech is fourth in the ACC in total defense after week three.
After an abysmal 2009 season stopping opponents, Coach Paul Johnson fired his defensive coordinator and hired Al Groh to install a 3-4 defensive system.
The schematic shake-up led to a shaky start of the season and mix results on the field. But, Tech seemed to slowly catch on and find some answers in a surprisingly well played second half versus UNC.
The Jackets still need improvement with tackling technique and getting off of interior blocks, but glimpses of individual talent give hope that can be found.
Massive DT TJ Barnes had a break-out game, and could be integral in eating space for Tech's LB to make plays.
TJ finding his way on the field more often, is a very good sign for Tech's future on defense.
6) Special Teams Can Be Special
Georgia Tech's special teams have room to grow.
After a holistic meltdown in Lawrence Kansas, the units bounced back and had a solid performance in Chapel Hill.
What might be reality is that the Yellow Jacket special teams units are as dangerous as they have been in quite a long time.
With kick returners Orwin Smith and BJ Bostic and punt returner Jarrad Tarrant, Georgia Tech has a chance on any given kick to take it to the house.
This is a far cry from the returners of recent past.
What is clear is that Tech's special teams played a critical role in the week two loss.
But, with their talent and weekly development, look for the special teams to help win a game this season when least expected.
7) National Respect Must Be Earned
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets want respect. Who wouldn't?
The reigning ACC Champions with consecutive nine win seasons under third year head coach Paul Johnson what to be mentioned with other annual National Title contenders.
Don't be fooled the Yellow Jackets are not far away from such a position, but that small distance is the greatest of all to overcome.
Georgia Tech as moved into that perennial top 25 program, but they want more.
After a horrific early season stumble can Tech still make progress toward such a climb? Only if they can keep their sights affixed on the ACC crown and actually make noise in thier bowl game this season.
Then and only then will the Ramblin Wreck start being elevated in the national polls.
8) Tech Is The Better Program In The State of Georgia
This will ruffle some fur, but Georgia Tech is the better football program in the state of Georgia.
Yes, UGA beat Tech last season. It was not pretty, it was not fun, and frankly UGA was simply the better team on that day.
But numbers don't lie and there are dramatically opposing trends for the two big state schools of GA.
Georgia is on a current 2-6 streak in the SEC with two of their last three conference losses coming at the hands of Arkansas and Kentucky in Athens.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech is on an eight game conference winning streak, from not losing in the ACC since their week three road loss to Miami last season.
The fact is ever since the arrival of Paul Johnson on the flats of Georgia Tech, UGA has been in decline as a powerhouse program.
9) After This Season, It's All Paul
Paul Johnson is lucky. It's not a statement of opinion, but one of fact.
When Paul Johnson came to Georgia Tech he inherited a young Sophomore named Josh Nesbitt.
Coach Johnson transformed that young man into Joshua Nesbitt, All ACC QB, ACC Champion, and master of the spread option system.
This is the last season for Georgia Tech to have the remnants of the previous regime.
Starting in 2011, Paul Johnson will have to rely totally on his recruits.
Will Coach Johnson roll that lucky trend into next season? Don't bet against it.
10) Georgia Tech Is a Good Team
Coach Johnson has been quoted as saying "Good teams don't lose two in a row". If that is the mark of a "good team" than that defines the Yellow Jackets.
After what was primed to be their first chance at losing two in a row last week, Georgia Tech changed their momentum and took it to the Tar Heels.
Georgia Tech is a good team who has had some terrible games. Without question, the Jackets have not reached the level of consistency desired by their Coach.
But, there has been improvement. There has already been a change in the way people are looking at the Jackets. The proverbial hornets nest has been stirred.
If history tells us anything, it is that Tech tends to get better the more they play.
The Jackets host NCSt, travel to Wake, and then host UVA & MTSU in their next four contest. If the Ramblin Wreck can stop Russell Wilson and company look for Tech to be sitting at 6-1 heading to Clemson on Oct. 23rd.