Catch it if you can.

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.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Catch it if you can.

  1. Dawg in Beaumont

    That is a seriously interesting stat. I’d love to know how many years back one has to go when a team in College Football had zero returning receptions. I’d imagine its been at least 3 or 4 years.

  2. gastr1

    “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.”

    Hands of stone do make for good punt-blockers, though. It’s a wonder they don’t lead the country in that category.

  3. Macallanlover

    As bad as the “genius” has blocked them into a one dimensional offense that cannot catch up when behind by a couple of scores, you can almost say the same about Dooley’s offense. When we got down by 10-14+ at any point in the second half I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. If the other team didn’t give us a TD, we were pretty much doomed.

    • gastr1

      It was a different era. You had lots of major-college teams running the triple option, too, like half of the Big 8 and SWC conferences. Much as we all hate Spurrier, he did a lot to move college football out of the three yards and a cloud of dust mentality.