2009 record: 11-3, 7-1 (1st in ACC Coastal)
2009 bowl: Lost to Iowa 24-14 in Orange
2009 final AP/coaches' ranking: 13/13
Coach: Paul Johnson (20-7, 3rd year; 127-46 overall, 9 years)
Offensive coordinator: Paul Johnson (3rd year)
Defensive coordinator: Al Groh (1st year)
Returning offensive starters: 6
Returning defensive starters: 8
Stadium: Bobby Dodd Stadium (grass; 55,000)
Last league title: 2009
2010 schedule: [view]
2010 roster: [view]
2009 statistics: [view]
Offensive: The flexbone running game — what else? — should continue to dominate the headlines at Georgia Tech. No one has been able to figure it out, much less offer consistent containment, so look for the Yellow Jackets to again be among the nation’s top rushing teams. Senior quarterback Josh Nesbitt (1,037 yards rushing) remains the triggerman. Senior Anthony Allen, often brilliant with sparse carries, will likely become the primary runner, although junior Roddy Jones should have a prominent role. The offensive line features three new starters.
Defensive: The new defensive coordinator, former Virginia head coach Al Groh, has installed a 3-4 alignment. Groh has an abundance of linebackers, including seniors Anthony Egbuniwe and Anthony Barnes on the outside. Three starters return in the secondary, although junior Jerrard Tarrant has shifted from cornerback to safety. Depth is lacking on the defensive line.
Specialists: There’s an excellent punting game with junior Chandler Anderson (42.3 yards per punt, plus a 17th-place national finish in net punting). Senior place-kicker Scott Blair needs more consistency. Tarrant — with two touchdowns and a 13.0-yard average — is excellent on punt returns.
Coaching: Paul Johnson is 20-7 in two Georgia Tech seasons, including an ACC title. Not bad. And it will probably get even better. Johnson’s offensive system has the Yellow Jackets operating on firm ground.
Heisman hopefuls: Georgia Tech’s backfield balance doesn’t lend itself toward establishing a big-time Heisman candidate.
Next up: No. 25 LSU
CFT: Former Penn State signalcaller Steven Bench joined the South Florida Bulls, he announced on Twitter.
CFT: The University of Nevada is honoring longtime coach Chris Ault, who stepped down in the fall, by renaming the school's football field after him.
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Penn State football coach and 2012 National Coach of the Year shares the challenges in turning around a program shattered by scandal. Real Sports premieres Tuesday, May 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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