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Opponent Breakdown: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Offense

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Geoff Collins has the right pieces to put his rebuild into overdrive.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Collins took over at Georgia Tech two years ago with a monumental task ahead of him. He replaced Paul Johnson and his option offense and he needed to rebuild an offense into the spread style that he used at Temple. Georgia Tech didn’t have many players who fit that scheme and Collins’s first year was rough to say the least. But Collins has some young guys he can work with now and he’s made the obvious choice to play all of them.

The Quarterback position is the key in a rebuild and Jeff Sims is a really good option for Collins in this offense. Sims was a highly rated recruit that flipped from Florida State when they made their coaching change. He was handed the keys to this offense when he arrived on campus and he has performed like you would expect any young player to perform when they don’t have to worry about having the keys taken away. Sims has made some nice plays with his legs and he has been pretty accurate but he has turned the ball over a lot.

Sims has at least 10 of Tech’s 12 turnovers through three games and some of them have been very careless. He doesn’t do a great job of protecting the ball when he runs and he’s thrown into coverage a few times after staring down a receiver. The other issue that has stood out to me is how rare it is that he feels pressure or sees blitzes pre-snap. Louisville’s defense is built around bringing pressure from different angles and that could help them get to the QB this week.

Tech is loaded at Running Back with Jahmyr Gibbs and Jamious Griffin as great combo. Griffin was a four star recruit who had Louisville as a finalist two classes ago while Gibbs was the 8th ranked running back and the jewel of a top-30 class last winter. Both of these guys are outstanding talents who have the ability to grind for yards or break a big play. Gibbs took his first collegiate touch for a long kickoff return and he genuinely looks like he moves in hyper-speed. It makes sense that the staff compares him to Reggie Bush.

Griffin and Gibbs are an obvious focal point with this offense but Sims leads the team in carries right now. I’m not sure if that’s by design or not but it takes away from the potential of the offense, in my opinion. I pointed this out last year when Malik Cunningham had 16 carries in a game early in the season. When you have dynamic running backs, you have to make them the focus of the running game and get them the ball as much as possible. Tech hasn’t done that so far Gibbs, Griffin, and Jordan Mason are only getting about 25 carries a game, combined this season.

The big area where the rebuild is behind is the Wide Receiver group. Tech has some skill outside but they need more consistency from this group. Jalen Camp is the best player in the group, in my opinion but they have a few guys who can make plays. Malachi Carter has been a target on some deep throws and Marquez Ezzard is another big receiver they use outside. A guy who they probably need to utilize more often is Ahmarean Brown who set the school record for touchdown catches last season as a freshman. Tech has about five guys who they spread the ball around to but none have really become the “go-to” guy so far.

The Offensive Line has been aided by transfers over the last two years and that has helped them remake this offense much more quickly than expected. They’ve also done a pretty good job of getting veteran players coached up to change their style of play. Tech has only allowed two sacks this year and sixteen tackles for loss. With a scrambling Quarterback and young backs, that’s pretty impressive. Louisville needs to take advantage of the inexperience from a pass blocking standpoint to get pressure off the edges and with other blitzes.