This college football season, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will get the privilege of being a team in the Chick-fil-A Kick Off, facing the Tennessee Volunteers on Monday, September 4th, at 8:00 pm.
So what can we can expect when toe meets leather?
Hopefully, continuity will be a major theme for the Jackets, as they are returning 16 starters and coming off of a successful season that ended with a sweet victories over hated rival Georgia in Clean Old Fashioned Hate and Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl.
However, there will be a new face at the helm of the Jackets’ offense, quarterback Matthew Jordan. Though Jordan did get significant playing time in 2016, including a victory over Virginia Tech, Justin Thomas has been the focal point and driving force behind Paul Johnson’s triple option offense over the last three seasons. Thomas leaves big shoes to fill for Jordan, but the young quarterback from Alabama has all of the tools to be a formidable successor.
Jordan did suffer a non-contact foot injury in spring practice, but it shouldn’t be a factor in this coming season.
On the other side of the ball lies a huge question mark. Under Paul Johnson’s tenure at Georgia Tech, the defenses have mostly been serviceable or above average, but also largely inconsistent. In recent years, it’s seemed like the Jacket defense can be smothering one week but as effective as wet paper the next. There are several play-makers on defense, such as A.J. Gray, Brant Mitchell, and the Austin brothers (Lance and Lawrence), so the potential for a strong unit that keeps high-powered ACC and SEC offenses in check is there, it’s just up to defensive coordinator Ted Roof to make the most of the roster.