The past two-plus years have brought a lot of varied opinions about QB Tevin Washington, who did a lot of great things for Tech's football program and fans while experiencing occasional shortcomings on the field. With Washington gone, Tech's offense will be under the reigns of the two "prodigal sons", Vad Lee and Justin Thomas. Last year, the offense was only able to produce a little over 1,800 yards. Should we expect better in the first year after Washington's departure?
It's well-documented that Lee and Thomas are more physically gifted than Washington, although it remains to be seen how they'll perform under pressure in comparison. Both Lee and Thomas proved to be extremely gifted and accurate passers in high school, and Lee's time on the field last fall showed that he in particular has quite an accurate arm. (He finished the season 27/56, which is sub-50% but acceptable as far as I'm concerned for a freshman learning his offense.) Thomas, known more for his running, is said to have a great arm as well. However, the arm ability of our quarterbacks may not be the limiting factor of our passing game this fall.
One of the biggest parts in the passing game is not so much who's throwing the passes, but who's catching them. Georgia Tech will return receivers who accounted for only 47 of its 102 pass completions last year after losing Orwin Smith, Jeff Greene, Jeremy Moore, Anthony Autry, Chris Jackson, and Deon Hill. Of its top five receivers, only two return and they're both A-Backs (Robert Godhigh and Tony Zenon). Our go-to receiver this fall looks to be the athletic-though-unrefined Darren Waller, who only raked in 8 catches last fall (although they went for 162 yards). Is this really enough firepower on the receiving end for the team to reach 2,000 yards passing this fall?
This writer says no, it's not. The upgrade on the passing end will certainly be a positive for this team, although the downgrade on the receiving end (at the WR position in particular) will keep the offense from reaching 2,000 yards for the first time in the CPJ era. The only chances that this group has of reaching 2,000 yards in the passing game will be with Darren Waller refining his game and becoming a huge threat on the outside, another receiver becoming that threat (Corey Dennis, Michael Summers, Travin Henry, and Ricky Jeune are candidates here), or the A-Backs really breaking out and causing defenses havoc in the passing game. I don't like the odds on any of those though, so I'm taking the Under here.
Does the Georgia Tech offense reach 2,000 passing yards? Why or why not?