2018 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 5-6
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 6.0*
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Paul Johnson always does his best work when expectations are lowest. And his teams have exploded for some out-of-nowhere seasons, including an 11-win campaign and ACC title game appearance as recently as 2014. Johnson has a team bursting with experience in the trenches, and after a rare losing year - and with major questions about his job security - I look for the Jackets to bounce back in a big way.
Georgia Tech will continue to rely on Johnson's triple-option attack. Tech was once again in the Top 5 in the nation in rushing last year. But they mustered just 28.1 points per game, Johnson's lowest mark in seven years.
Quarterback TaQuon Marshall is back under center, and the Jackets retained their top six rushers from last season. More importantly, Tech has three starters back on the offensive line and a pair of seniors filling in the other two spots. The five projected starters combine for nearly 80 career starts, and they will be critical in executing Johnson's option.
The Yellowjackets have been remarkably consistent on defense. They have allowed between 23-26.5 points per game in six of the last seven years. And if they can get some increased production from the offense then this year's Tech defense could improve on last year's No. 33 national ranking.
The secondary is a major area of concern, though. Georgia Tech has all four starters back along the defensive line. But they have zero starters back at corner or safety. Johnson may end up starting two redshirt freshmen in the secondary and two sophomores at linebacker. How quickly those young players mature will be a major storyline for this team.
Last year Tech suffered heartbreaking losses to Tennessee and Miami, two Top 25 teams at the time, by losing both games by one point apiece. But they have taken down at least one Top 25 team in each of the last four seasons, so you know that a Johnson-coached team is going to be good for at least one upset.
A key for this team will be avoiding upsets themselves. Last year they lost two games they were favored by at least a touchdown in, and they can't afford for that to happen again this fall.
Georgia Tech avoids Florida State and Boston College out of the Atlantic Division. They also lure Clemson and Miami to Atlanta this year. If Tech can split their two tough nonconference road games (at South Florida and at Georgia) then they should be able to pick up the four ACC wins that they will need to get over this number. I don't see Johnson missing a bowl game in back-to-back years, and I definitely think that the Jackets will spring the upset that they need to get to seven wins.
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