Returning Starters – Offense: 5 Defense: 8
Preview: Georgia Tech took many by surprise last season as they 11-3 overall including a 49-34 win against Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl. Georgia Tech made a late season surge to earn their spot in the ACC title game where they fell to undefeated Florida State by a final of 35-37. The Yellow Jackets lost some key pieces on offense with just 5 returning starters, but this team is still positioned for success with another run at the Coastal Division title still in the cards.
The triple-option offense got back on track last season for Georgia Tech with QB Justin Thomas taking over the position. With Thomas back the offense should continue to head in the right direction leading one of the nation’s top rushing attacks. The RB position is in rebuild mode with backs Laskey, Perkins, and Days moving on. With that said the run game will still be ready to go with 4 starting O-lineman back to help along the new guys in the backfield. WR is also looking for new bodies with Waller and Smelter moving on.
Georgia Tech was better than expected on the defensive side of the ball in 2014 and with 8 starters returning this unit is looking to be even better in 2015. The defensive front isn’t very deep, but the starters should hold down the fort with guys like Gotsis, Freeman, and Hunts-Day in the mix. There is a void left by middle LB Nealy moving on, but the team looks for Marcordes to take over without much drop off. The secondary should be a strength of the defense with returning guys like Golden, Milton, and White leading the unit.
Prediction: Georgia Tech has a tough schedule facing them in 2015, but this team has more than enough talent to compete for the ACC crown and repeat as Coastal champs. The key will be the development and health of QB Justin Thomas who’s already one of the top returning QBs in the nation this season. There’s always concern about the health of a triple option QB and Thomas will be expected to do more with a new cast filling out the backfield.
Projected Record: 9-3 (6-2)