Three take-aways from Paul Myerberg’s preseason look at Georgia Tech:
First, the trivia.
Georgia Tech’s magic number: 31. Since Johnson took over in 2008, the Jackets are 22-1 when scoring more than 30 points. This included a 7-0 mark last season. The lone outlier came in the 2010 regular season finale, when the Jackets lost to Georgia, 42-34.[Emphasis added.] On the other hand, Tech is 2-11 under Johnson when scoring less than 20 points.
Next, the bugaboo.
Tech simply needs the added dimension the passing game lends this offense to be a realistic A.C.C. contender. Since Johnson’s arrival in 2008, the program is 19-3 when averaging at least 9.0 yards per pass attempt. Conversely, the Jackets are 14-16 when averaging 8.9 or fewer yards per pass attempt.
Finally, the reality.
Wide receiver Tech does not return one receiver with a career reception under his belt. That’s a concern, even if the Jackets remain run-focused. Instead of experience, what you see when you look at Tech’s stable of receivers is length, athleticism and potential, especially among those receivers added over the last two or three recruiting classes. While Johnson and his staff are still working out a two-deep, the likely starters for the season opener will be senior Chris Jackson, a former Alabama transfer, and sophomore Jeff Greene. While neither held any role in the offense, Jackson and Greene, along with sophomore Darren Waller, did help the Jackets on special teams – Waller in particular; he’ll block a kick or punt this season.
When the nicest thing you can say about a school’s entire receiving corps is that one kid looks promising as a punt blocker, that’s not good.
Myerberg thinks Tech’s inability to rush the passer is its biggest vulnerability. Maybe he’s right about that, but unless one of those receivers steps up to shock the world, we’re about to see what indifferent recruiting at the position combined with the natural flow of the triple option gets you. It would seem that the genius has his hands full there.