2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 38 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
No. 38: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Prespring Status
Now that’s a turnaround. After an ugly 3-9 2015, the Yellow Jackets managed to find their groove again with a strong nine-win season complete with a win over Virginia Tech, a thriller over Georgia, and a dominant bowl victory over Kentucky. With a 6-1 record to close out the year, the defense did its part – for the most part – over the second half of the season, and the running game was the Georgia Tech running game.
But now the offense has to operate without longtime starting QB Justin Thomas, and the defense has to undergo an overhaul on the line. However, eight starters return on offense, and seven are back on defense in what could and should be an even stronger year.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Biggest Issue
The kicking game. The defensive front is a problem after losing tackles Francis Kallon and Patrick Gamble, but PK Harrison Butler and P Ryan Rodwell could soon be the bigger concern. Rodwell averaged a solid 43.1 yards per punt, while Butker was a weapon, hitting 15-of-17 field goal tries. For a team that relies on field position as much as the Yellow Jackets do, and considering four games and three of the wins were decided by fewer than three points, these two might be sorely missed.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Biggest Positive
Yeah, Thomas is gone, but all the other rushing parts of the puzzle return. Dedrick Mills is back after leading the team with 771 yards and 12 scores. If Matthew Jordan takes over as the new quarterback to run the attack, that’ll mean six of the top seven rushers are back to the nation’s ninth-best ground game. With four starters returning to the offensive front, to go along with all the veteran runners, look out.
Really, Why Are The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Ranked Here?
Is it possible for the offense to be even stronger? Maybe, as long as the quarterback situation is sound. However, the difference between another good season and a possible run to the ACC title game depends on a defense that has to be even stronger up front despite the loss of three starters – and no misfires this time around against Miami and North Carolina.