Editors Note: This is part one of our Dawgs Central opponent preview series where one of our Dawgs Central contributors will give you a unique look at each opponent on Georgia's 2022 schedule.
Someone decided it was a good idea to let me preview Georgia Tech. Thankfully I have @Josh Hancher's advanced stats to ground me, otherwise I'd just rant about how much I hate Georgia Tech. But I digress…
The 2022 Yellow Jackets look to rebound from a 3-9 campaign in 2021. Head Coach Geoff (that's pronounced Gee-Off) Collins enters his fourth season helming the squad. Collins was supposed to bring modern football back to Georgia Tech, ditching the triple option offense that was the program's identity under Paul Johnson. Collins' brand of football had seen moderate success at Temple before being named the head man on North Ave, where his team has been a model of consistency winning three games per season. Simply put, sideline push ups have not translated to wins.
Even when you stick to the data, things look bleak for the Yellow Jackets in 2022. PFF has a player grade threshold (60+) that determines which backups can be considered suitable replacements. Across all teams in the Power 5, Georgia Tech ranks second to last in the total number of such returning players with only 12 (all in the graphic below). Only Colorado has fewer players with 6 (insert 1990 joke here).
If you want to take a quick glance at the information above, the color green is good. There's not a lot of green, but let's start with that. You may not recognize the name Zach Gibson from last season. That's because he's a transfer. Gibson comes to Tech by way of Akron and the transfer portal. Don't let the high PFF grade fool you though. Gibson was never a full time starter at Akron. Look for returning QB Jeff Sims (Jordan Yates transferred to Sam Houston State) to be the opening day starter. But as we saw last year, Collins has no problem swapping out quarterbacks.
The only other green we see is from running back Dontae Smith. He's Tech's second leading returning rusher (yards wise) behind Jordan Mason. However, the big gaping crater in the backfield is from Jahmyr Gibbs transferring to Alabama.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tech does return senior linebacker Charlie Thomas who was named to the preseason All ACC third team by Athlon Sports. Do yourself a favor and read Tech's release about their players being named to said All ACC team.
Let's take a look at the schedule, shall we?
Honestly, I think I'd take the under on 3.5 wins (please note this is for entertainment purposes only and not gambling advice). Look for Coach Collins to be on the hot seat, if there is such a thing in Atlanta. He brought a lot of energy to the Flats when hired, and he made a needed change in getting away from the triple option. But at some point, that has to translate into wins. I don't see that happening this year.
Edited by Jim Wood