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2018

Georgia Tech

College Football

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Things didn’t go to plan last season for Georgia Tech, finishing 5-6, but 4-4 in ACC play. There were multiple games it let slip away and that ended up costing a bowl game. The Yellow Jackets may not be an elite team, but they have the offense to compete with most on the schedule and if the defense turns things around with a new 3-4 scheme, they’ll be in the mix in the ACC Coastal division. That said, they’re still expected to finish in the middle of the division, only above Pitt and Virginia after having +60000 spring odds to win the National Championship (as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook).

The goal for the offense is to improve after 28.1 points per game, but a terrible 84 passing yards per contest. This team doesn’t pass a lot, but TaQuon Marshall needs to complete more than 37 percent of his passes for this offense to gain a little more consistency. The rushing game will be fine with Marshall (1,146 yards, 17 TDs) and KirVonte Benson (1,053 yards, 6 TDs) expected to be the lead guys again with a mix of options at A-Back that need to step up between Nathan Cottrell, Qua Searcy and Clinton Lynch. It also helps that four starters are back on the line, so this group shouldn’t regress at all. Marshall will need help in the receiving game with Ricky Jeune gone and it looks like Brad Stewart will take that role after only four catches last year.

The defense will have an entirely new look with tons of starters gone and Nate Woody in charge, formerly at Appalachian State. The problem is that the entire secondary is gone, as well as the top pass rusher. Linebackers will have to carry this group early in the season with Victor Alexander, Brant Mitchell and Bruce Jordan-Swilling all expected to thrive even in the 3-4 scheme. The line has plenty of depth and shouldn't be as big of worry as the secondary, which lost its only returning starter in May, safety A.J. Gray. That doesn’t help, but safety Jalen Johnson at least has experience, as does corner Lamont Simmons.

Clearly, the Yellow Jackets want to get back to a bowl this year, but it won’t be easy. They’ll likely need to win a road game or two and that means at USF or Pitt in September and possibly UNC in November. Otherwise, there are a lot of difficult spots for them with Clemson and Miami coming to town, but also trips to Louisville, Virginia Tech and Georgia. Due to schedule and questions on defense, it’s hard to see Georgia Tech putting together more than seven wins. The Jackets should be able to compete due to the triple-option, but closing games is another question, especially with this defense. Six is most likely with seven on the table if they can steal a couple on the road. 

 

2018 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Alcorn State

Sept. 8 at South Florida

Sept. 15 at Pittsburgh 

Sept. 22 vs. Clemson

Sept. 29 vs. Bowling Green

Oct. 5 at Louisville

Oct. 13 vs. Duke

Oct. 25 at Virginia Tech

Nov. 3 at North Carolina

Nov. 10 vs. Miami

Nov. 17 vs. Virginia

Nov. 24 at Georgia

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