Let's not put the delusions of last year behind us: Georgia Tech struggled on offense in 2010. Maybe not struggled in the sense that the rushing attack ever had huge problems, but in so many different ways, the offense failed to perform to the high standards of Coach Paul Johnson.
The poor pass efficiency, the lackluster effort by the players, the Red Zone turnovers; all of this led to a poor season in Paul Johnson's third year at GT, and to a huge disappointment coming off an ACC Championship season.
Some of this can be placed on the loss of key players: Bey-Bey Thomas, Jon Dwyer and—after a little more than half the season—Josh Nesbitt are extremely challenging losses. But many GT Football faithful (myself included) fully expected the mastermind behind this offense would have easily guided them through.
Fast forward to Week 1 of the 2011-12 College Football season, in which a Georgia Tech Offense hummed to the tune of 63 points and 662 total yards.
The scarier part of that result? A Georgia Tech Offense passing for more yards than they rushed, and being efficient in doing so.
In one week, many of the issues that plagued the 2010 Georgia Tech offense seemed to disappear. However, there was still caution among the fanbase.
Four weeks after the season opener, the Georgia Tech offense is still averaging 51.6 points per game for the second highest scoring offense in the nation, 378.2 yards rushing per game (the highest in the nation) and 587 total yards per game (No. 2 in the nation).
The Jackets also put together a historic performance against Kansas as they broke multiple school records and an NCAA record (Rushing Yards per Attempt) that hadn't been broken in almost 40 years.
The question that comes into play is simple: How have the Jackets achieved such offensive success after an abysmal 2010 campaign? The answer is found in multiple places:
1. Red Zone Scoring. In 2010, GT was ranked 99th overall in Red Zone scoring percentage, only converting 75 percent of their attempts. Many of their failures in that area were also extremely damaging, with a multitude of turnovers plaguing the Jackets all season.
In 2011, GT is ranked 34th overall, converting 86.4 percent of their attempts. Even more importantly, they aren't turning it over this season.
2. Completion Percentage. Josh Nesbitt was an All-World runner in the GT offense. He became a fan favorite as he led Georgia Tech out of the ashes of the Gailey era and into the Paul Johnson era of football at Georgia Tech.
However...his passing was less than adequate. After passing for below 40 percent in his shortened senior season, many felt that a lack of accuracy on passes doomed Tech last year (a multitude of drops throughout the season didn't help).
This year, however, is a total 180. Tevin Washington—much maligned at QB over the offseason while fans (myself included) clamored for True Freshman Vad Lee—has come out on fire, completing over 57 percent of his passes to this point.
3. Passing Efficiency. After passing for only five Touchdowns and throwing seven interceptions through the season—along with the aforementioned poor completion percentage—the passing efficiency for Georgia Tech last season was pathetic.
Again, we see a tale of two seasons with the passing efficiency of Tevin Washington this season. With 10 TDs to one interception, TW has the highest efficiency rating in the nation.
Well, there it is. Those are the three things I feel have best affected the season to this point. I would love to hear what you think has turned around the offense for this season.