Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Georgia Tech season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview
Head Coach: Geoff Collins, 4th year at Georgia Tech, 9-25
6th year overall, 24-35, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 3-9, Conference: 2-6
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Top 10 Players | Georgia Tech Schedule & Analysis
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview 2022
Georgia Tech should be a whole lot better than this.
It seems like 50 years ago when the program was hanging around in the ACC Championship – going in 2012 and 2014 – and the idea of simply going bowling feels like it’s 50 miles away after three straight three-win seasons under head coach Geoff Collins.
Even worse than the lack of wins are the lack of competitive performances. Since the last year of the Paul Johnson era in 2018, 22 of the last 29 losses were by double digits.
Closing out last season losing to Notre Dame and Georgia by a combined score of 100-0 didn’t help.
It’s not for the lack of trying. Collins had to change the program around from being designed for the triple-option to a more balanced attack to now more of a pro-style version, but that’s the offense. The defense should’ve been better from the start.
Collins knows how to coach – the guy took Temple to two straight bowl games and 15 wins in two seasons before taking over the Yellow Jacket job – but his team needs to catch a break.
Big changes in the coaching staff are a part of the last gasp push, and several gets from the transfer portal will help, but it’s still a reboot four years in.
Considering all the changes and the nasty schedule, it’s going to take something big for there to be a Year Five.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview 2022: Offense
The old option offense might not have always been perfect, but it took control of games and gave defenses something to worry about. The offense over the last three years hasn’t been anything to lose sleep over.
Last year the O was 93rd in the nation, averaged 24 points pr game, and it couldn’t keep the chains moving. But there are positives.
The offense is still full of promising young parts, offensive coordinator Chip Long knows how to get an attack moving, and …
The Yellow Jackets have a gamer at quarterback. Jeff Sims can run, he has two years of experience, and he has shown enough flashes to think he’s ready to break out as an all-around playmaker if he can keep the interceptions down. Akron transfer Zach Gibson should push for the No. 2 job, but this is Sims’ offense.
Leading receiver Malachi Carter is a pro prospect and needs to be used more – he led the team with 37 catches for 489 yards and two scores. Combined with Kalani Norris – a promising deep threat who averaged 17 yards per grab on his eight tackles – there’s speed at receiver.
The offensive front has to replace three starters, but help is on the way for a group that gave up too many plays in the backfield and only pushed for 169 rushing yards per game. Pierce Quick is a possible starting tackle coming in from Alabama, Paul Tchio is a guard option from Clemson, RJ Adams is coming in for the interior from Kentucky, and Corey Robinson is a tackle option from Kansas.
Now they need to block for the promising group of backs.
Leading rusher Jahmyr Gibbs bolted for Alabama. It doesn’t help that second-leading rusher Jordan Mason is off trying to become a San Francisco 49er, but Dontae Smith averaged 5.6 yards per carry and Louisville Transfer Hassan Hall is a going to be a factor. Getting Dylan McDuffie from Buffalo will help.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview 2022: Defense
The offense gets all the attention because that’s what’s been the biggest change over the last few years, but the defense was bad and it needs to make huge strides. It was 11th in the ACC, couldn’t hold up against the run, and it was dead last in America in pass efficiency defense.
It doesn’t help to lose top tackler linebacker Quez Jackson and safety Juanyeh Thomas to the NFL and the best ends – Jordan Dominick to Arkansas and Jared Ivey to Ole Miss.
There’s rebuilding to do.
So what do the Yellow Jackets have back that works? 232-pound senior Ayinde Eley is a good tackler in the middle of the linebacking corps, and outside linebacker Charlie Thomas is back after leading the team with ten tackles for loss. They need to be the veteran rock in the 4-2-5 alignment.
There’s size to rotate around on the interior of the line, and the hope is for former Old Dominion star pass rusher Keion White to blow up on one end after suffering an ankle injury last year.
The secondary is getting instant help with corners Eric Reed from Auburn and Kenny Bennett from Maryland. Former Notre Dame safety transfer Derrick Allen and Michigan corner transfer Myles Sims need to rise up for a secondary that generated at grand total of one of the defenses’s three interceptions.