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2021 Georgia Tech football season preview

2020 season: 3-7, 3-6 in the ACC (11th in the ACC)

Head coach: Geoff Collins (3rd season)

Coming off a very subpar 2020 season, Collins’ Yellow Jackets are looking to step up this year and add some serious wins to their resumé. Although any sort of title or championship may be out of the conversation right now, don’t dismiss Georgia Tech just yet—it may be a dark horse team in the ACC. 

On the surface, there isn’t much to look forward to this season. Collins is still trying to get his footing as head coach of a Power Five school, and the offense is coming off a shaky year, but much of the core is still around and they will look to mesh better this season. 

The Collins identity for this team surrounds their offense. The Yellow Jackets will return sophomore Jeff Sims at quarterback who is attempting to take that year two leap. In his freshman campaign, he scored 19 touchdowns (13 passing and six rushing) but also tossed 13 interceptions, which was good for third-most in the country. Collins is going to be relying on his dual-threat quarterback to keep the turnovers down this season if the team wants to see any success.

The biggest focal point for the offense, though, is the offensive line. Last season, Sims faced a lot of pressure, and, although he was able to extend plays with his legs, he was still sacked 21 times—tied for 25th most in the country. Collins focused on upgrading the offensive line this offseason, adding three big transfers in Devin Cochran, Nick Pendley and Kenneth Kirby, with the first two projected to start. With the three other returning starters now playing their more natural positions, Georgia Tech could be seeing a lot more control on offense and a lot less chaos. 

On the defensive side of things, the Yellow Jackets were bottom-20 in the nation last year in points per game allowed (36.8) and now have to deal with the loss of their leading tackler David Curry. The strong defensive back group will have to step up across the board if they want to get that number down at all. Georgia Tech’s front seven won’t be applying much pressure, but the addition of Maryland transfer Ayinde Eley does give it some hope for improvement.

The Yellow Jackets have a tough schedule, playing teams like North Carolina, Notre Dame, Georgia, Miami and Boston College, so upping their win total from last year will be a challenge, but one Collins’ crew is ready for. 

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