Georgia Tech’s coaching staff features a lot of new faces this season under new head coach Brent Key, so we will be taking the next couple of weeks to go through and learn a little bit more about them. For Key, hiring an offensive coordinator was one of his first major decisions.
There was a lot of discussion about who he would hire. Personally, I was hoping for Seth Littrell.
But on December 12, reports started flying that UGA offensive analyst and QB whisperer Buster Faulkner was being hired as Georgia Tech’s new offensive coordinator.
I went through his history by school in my initial post, so I won’t rehash all of that here, but there are a few things I want to talk about from that post.
In short, I was perplexed when this decision was made, and even though I still am not a massive fan of the hire, the more I have thought about it, the more I have gotten on board. Because of this, I wanted to share how I got to where I am on Faulkner.
At the time of his hire, Faulkner had never held a P5 offensive coordinator job. He had stagnated as a G5 OC for so long that he took a step down in job title to move up levels and join UGA’s coaching staff.
With this hire, I was looking for a seasoned P5 offensive coordinator. I understood that it was not likely as Georgia Tech did not have a ton of money, but I was hopeful, especially with a guy like Littrell available.
But when Faulkner was hired, more than anything, I was confused. This is a guy whose entire claim to fame is that he was the guy who mediated between UGA OC Todd Monken and QB Stetson Bennett. Apparently it paid off for all involved, but was it worth Georgia Tech making him their highest-paid OC ever? I wasn’t convinced.
As I started to look through his background, I noticed something interesting: everywhere that Faulkner had been an offensive coordinator, he ran an air raid.
Perhaps the hallmark of the Geoff Collins era at Georgia Tech was the abysmal nature of an offense that, according to Collins, was overcoming the greatest transition in the history of college football. Using that as a crutch for his entire tenure, Georgia Tech’s offense didn’t amount to much.
Seeing now that Georgia Tech was hiring an air raid coach, I was very intrigued. Air raid offenses are known for getting a lot of yards and getting a lot of points. For an offense that has been starved of that for the last several years, I was excited.
In the Spring game, we finally got to see the beginnings of what Faulkner was building with Georgia Tech’s offense. Between both sides of the Spring game, Georgia Tech accumulated 836 yards, with Team Wreck ‘Em amassing 512. It was a very explosive game for the offense.
Now, I understand that this is a new coach, so things are not going to magically get better overnight. I also understand that in a Spring game, just because one side does really well, that doesn’t mean that the other side isn’t just bad. But still, seeing that kind of offensive performance is really exciting.
As we draw closer to the season, my excitement for the season can’t help but continue to grow. Personally, I am really (cautiously) optimistic to see what Faulkner will be able to do with a full season with Georgia Tech’s offense. Of course there are still several question marks, but I am more confident in Faulkner now than I was six months ago. And I hope that in six more months, that confidence continues to grow.
What are you expecting out of Buster Faulkner in his first season?