It is a general concensus amongst all good Georgia Tech fans that the 2010 season was ruined by the Kansas Jayhawks
. In the 2010 game, Tech punted 4 times, fumbled three times, and turned the ball over on downs 3 times. Tech had only punted 4 times or more in eight of its previous 27 CPJ-coached games. It was a sloppy Joe of a game.
Kansas, on the other hand, played one of their best games under Turner Gill. It was the only game Jordan Webb passed for three touchdowns in 2010. The Jayhawk defense also racked up 8 tackles for loss (the most for a game in 2010). This is a good lead in to why we should not be worried about the Jayhawk defense.
The Kansas defense accumulated 59 tackles against Tech in one of the most disruptive efforts I have ever seen from an opposing D against CPJ's offense. The good thing for Tech is that Kansas lost a ton of defenders over the offseason. Only 3 guys return from Kansas' 2010 squad that played meaningful minutes against the triple option: Steven Johnson, Keeston Terry
, and Lubbock Smith
. Lack of familiarity and inexperienced personnel on defense is a huge advantage for Tech. Between the four Kansas defensive line starters, there are only 15 career starts and 8 of those starts were in 2011.
Offensively, we know what happened last season. Jordan Webb threw three TD's to three wide receivers. Webb returns almost all of his O-line, which only gave up four sacks but also paved the way for 141 yards rushing. James Sims is back and he was the other major story of Kansas' victory over Tech. Sims only picked up 3 of the Jayhawk first downs against Tech but racked up over 6 yards per carry. Considering the 'Hawks are a run first team (57% of all playcalls are rushes), look for Sims to attack our 3-4 again in 2011.
My big concern may be paranoia but it's fear. I'm afraid we haven't seen our team play a real game yet. We were wildly inconsistent in 2010 yet dismantled Middle Tennessee and beat up on a I-AA program. We did the exact same thing in 2011. I want to see us play the UNC's, Miami's, and VT's before I dub this squad a bowl eligible team or a Coastal Division contender.
I think Tech will win but it will be ugly. Turner Gill knows how to disrupt the triple option. Look for our big plays to be through the air. We haven't faced BCS-calibre talent and it will show on Saturday. Final is Tech 24-KU 20.