The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets bounced back as expected from a terrible 3-9 year in 2015 to 9-4 last year with nonconference wins over the SEC. The Jackets overachieved to be sure but this has been a winning program for a long long time and will once again be dangerous in 2017.
With 16 returning starters and solid cores back on both sides of the ball, there was reason to believe that Georgia Tech could put together a similar year in 2017 but … in early August, their best player and leading returning rusher Dedrick Mills (781, 5.1, 12 TDs) was kicked off the team for an unspecified violation of university rules.
This was a major hit and Mills a player that is impossible to replace. The Jackets still return a solid team and have an elite coach in Paul Johnson. The option is still hard to defend and as cliche as it might sound, Georgia Tech is capable of springing an upset on any given Saturday.
Last Season Standings & ATS Results
2017 Georgia Tech Football Schedule of Opponents
|Date||Opponent||Spread (Est.)||Win Chance|
|10/12||@ Miami, Fla|
|10/21||Wake Forest (HC)|
|Estimated Wins: TBD|
Last year, Georgia Tech opened it’s season against Boston College in Ireland. The Jackets survived with a 17-14 win and shook over the travel to spank Mercer and Vanderbilt. This year’s schedule has been upgraded and presents other challenges such as Tech playing their first three games in 12 days. It starts with neutral field meeting with Tennessee on Monday, September 4th, before hosting Jacksonville State (the team that took Auburn to overtime a few years ago), and then traveling to Orlando for a tough game versus Central Florida. On a positive note, the Jacket bye week comes before their Thursday night national TV showdown at Miami, Fla.
Roster Breakdown: Depth Chart & Top Recruits
This year’s key personnel changes start at quarterback where Mathew Jordan replaces Justin Thomas who accounted for 2200 yards of total offense and 14 touchdowns last year. The loss of Mills makes the explosive Clinton Lynch the primary weapon not only as a runner, but out of the backfield where he averaged better than 30 yards a catch on 16 (8 TDs) grabs. Jordan rushed for 243 yards and six scores himself so he’ll be able to run the option. In Johnson’s 15 years as a FBS head coach, his teams have averaged 5.0 yards per carry every year.
Defensively the Yellow Jackets improved for the third straight year and return eight of last years stop unit. DC Phil Roof is in the fifth year of his second stint with the Jackets. This year he’ll need to find away to strengthen the Tech front seven and get more pass rush. He’ll also need to work on a secondary that allowed opposing QBs to complete 60% of their passes for the fifth straight year.
GA Tech 2017 Projected Wins & Odds to Win the College Football Playoffs
Regular Season Win Total
ACC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
Odds Courtesty of 5Dimes
Georgia Tech Projected Conference Finish & Win Predictions
There were plenty of reasons to expect a bounce back year in 2016 but the Jackets nine wins and a perfect 4-0 slate against the SEC was beyond anything the Rambling Wreck faithful could have hoped for. With 16 starters back there was plenty of optimism for a repeat performance this year but the suspension of Mills was a killer
The offense will feature a new quarterback and returns three offensive linemen and three of the top five backs from last year. Last year’s top five receivers are back but that is not saying much as the top guy, Ricky Jeune led the team with just 25 catches. They do have two deep threats in Jeune and Clinton Lynch (16, 490, 30.8, 8 TDs).
The defense returns eight starters and 73% of last year’s tackles. The front seven will need to work on stopping short yardage and just stop anything on third down as oppoenents converted better than 49%, 3rd worst in college football. The schedule has been slightly upgraded so expect G Tech’s overall defensive numbers to be slightly higher than last year.
Bottom line is that Paul Johnson is a helluva coach. He averages 8.85 wins per year which is No.9 among active FBS coaches. In 18 of his 19 seasons, he’s taken his teams to either the FCS playoffs or a bowl game. Georgia Tech is going to run their option at you regardless and force you to stop it. With less offense and possibly less defense, we’ll put the Yellow Jackets in a bowl with six or seven wins.
Win Total Prediction