2019 Georgia Tech Football Season Preview
The option attack and Georgia Tech football go hand-in-hand–but is that over in 2019? It very well could be with the retirement of long-time head coach Paul Johnson and the arrival of former Temple coach Geoff Collins.
2018 Record: 7-6 overall, 5-3
Head Coach: Geoff Collins, 1st year
The offense will almost certainly transform from an option running game approach to a more pro-style attack. Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude has some work to do–specifically finding a quarterback that is a thrower before a runner.
Junior Lucas Johnson was a solid passing quarterback looking at his high school tape–but he has never thrown a collegiate pass. The unknown is scary, isn’t it?
Besides Johnson, there is James Graham and Tobias Oliver who are both considered better runners than throwers as they were recruited for the option system.
The Yellow Jackets return both leading rushers from a season ago–sophomore Jordan Mason led the team with 659 yards and seven scores, and junior Jerry Howard added 564 yards with five touchdowns.
An offensive line that is returning most of their starters should be able to pave open lanes for the backs to run through, but they are lacking depth, so any injury could be a crushing blow up front. Guard Parker Braun would have been the team’s best lineman–but he transferred to Texas.
The wide receivers were never really asked to catch the ball–their top returning guy? Senior Jalen Camp who caught 11 passes last season–yes, eleven. They did add UConn grad transfer Tyler Davis which helps–but this group does not have a lot of experience or production. They’ll be learning on the fly.
While the offense learns a completely new system, the defense will be retooling as well–seven starters are gone with the top three tacklers and seven of the last 11 from last year have to be replaced off a decent, but inconsistent defense.
The new-look defense will feature transfers like former Florida Gator, Antonneous Clayton, who could be the most talented defensive lineman on the team and former Michigan Wolverine Myles Sims will likely be a starter in the secondary.
Cornerback Tre Swilling, the son of former Georgia Tech star Pat Swilling was able to show off a little bit in his freshman season, making 24 tackles with a pick and six broken up passes. Now he’s going to be the star of a rebuilding secondary with 6-0, 200-pound size, and range.
Other than that—not much to speak of. Fall camp will be full of fierce competition.
This could be a rough year for the Georgia Tech fan base–they open up the season against Clemson and end it playing Georgia–yikes.
It will all depend on how the offense transitions away from the option-style attack and learns to pass the ball downfield. Maybe Lucas Johnson will be a legit threat in the ACC, but it’s not like he will lead the conference in any specific passing category.
It’s possible this is a bowl-caliber team, but with a rough schedule, I just do not see it happening.