Always one of the most unique and formidable offenses in the ACC, Georgia Tech remarkably projects to improve in 2012 on a rushing attack that racked up an average of 316.4 yards per game last season. All of the top three rushers return in head coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense—quarterback Tevin Johnson, A-back Orwin Smith, and B-back David Sims. The trio combined for just shy of 2,300 rushing yards in 2011, led by Washington’s 986.
But the most talented of the trio may be Sims, who fills a crucial role that has recently been held by noteworthy Yellow Jacket rushers like Anthony Allen and Jonathan Dwyer. Beyond just returning the top skill players, Johnson also returns all five starters on the offensive line, including guard Will Jackson and 300-pound NFL prospect Omoregie Uzzi, who will help create holes for Georgia Tech’s run game.
The Achilles’ heel, as always, will be the passing game. The Yellow Jackets hope to avoid throwing the ball by running opponents into submission, but when forced to throw, Washington completed just 49 percent of his passes and threw eight interceptions against just 11 touchdowns.
But where the offense relies on the run to be successful, the defensive unit relies on preventing opponents from passing. Georgia Tech boasted a quality pass defense last year, and three starters return in the secondary, including a pair of talented cornerbacks—veteran Rod Sweeting and one of the best up-and-coming defenders in the conference, junior Louis Young.
Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu will be counted on to run the defense from the middle linebacker spot as a junior, and he possesses more than enough talent to handle such an assignment.
The Yellow Jackets should only get better with all its extra experience, leading them to improve on an 8-4 showing last year and once again make an appearance at a significant bowl game.