Since current Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins has took over the program in 2019, the Yellow Jackets have had their fair shares of ups and downs. Although, any team moving away from a triple option offense is bound to have its woes, Collins seems to be interested in building a brand at Georgia Tech, which I really don’t blame him for that. After all, the search for an identity is something that was going to be a key factor in the overhaul of the program. Nonetheless, Georgia Tech showed some gleams of light last season despite finishing 3-9. However, there is still much to be improved on across the board for the Yellow Jackets. These are three of the areas that I think we can look for the most progress to happen for the Yellow Jackets in 2022.
It’s hard to imagine that the quarterback position at Georgia Tech can get much worse than it was last season, ranking 97th in passing yards per game and 92nd in pass attempts. The strength of the offense las season was the running game, which still isn’t saying much because it was less than stellar as well. Jeff Sims seems to have the keys to the Georgia Tech offense firmly in his hands and even more so with the new look Georgia Tech backfield. The Yellow Jacket will call Sims’ number a lot this season after the departure of Jordan Yates. Sims showed signs of improvement in areas when he started in the six games he started (excluding the season opener when he left with an injury). In that six game stretch, Sims had 1,445 passing yards and 12 touchdown passes. But perhaps the biggest takeaway from it was he made slight signs of improvement, bringing his completion percentage up to 60% last season, compared to 54.9% his first season at the Flats. Sims’ decision making would be on par with that of his first season though, throwing 7 interception in that six game stretch compared to his 13 interceptions thrown in 2020. With Sims going into year three, this is his time to prove that he can be the leader that Georgia Tech needs behind center and while I don’t think that he will be remarkable, I think that he will drastically improve compared to years one and two.
The past three seasons, fans of Georgia Tech have been insufferably forced to watch one of the least creative offensive minds in all of college football: Dave Patenaude. The Yellow Jackets never averaged more than 390 yards per game during his tenure, and never ranked above 12th in the ACC in scoring scoring offense, including a 2019 campaign that saw the Yellow Jackets finish as the lowest scoring offense in the ACC. In comes a new offensive coordinator, Chip Long, who previously held the same position at Memphis, Notre Dame, and Tulane. Looking at offensive highlights from the 2021 season with Tulane, it looks to me as if Long uses a fair share of pre-snap motions that are meant to confuse the of defense and set up deep play action pass plays. This type of offense is very different from that of years past and will serve to be a new and refreshing looking offense.
The past two season for the Yellow Jackets have been full of mental mistakes, such as turnovers and penalties, because with the complete program overhaul came in head coach Collins’ players, who he favored to start even if they were freshmen. This lead to Georgia Tech shooting themselves in the foot on more than a few occasions. They ranked 121st in penalties per game in 2020, but was able to move up in the rankings last season to 71st. With many of those players moving into upperclassmen roles, they now have had enough experience to where they could make a big leap in this category.