One area that Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson isn’t worried about is his punt-return unit.
Though a 3.4-yards-per-return average ranks it among the worst in the NCAA, Johnson said all it takes is one long return to skew those numbers.
Returns were something that Tech did very well last year. Jerrard Tarrant returned two punts for touchdowns in the season’s first two games before teams started to kick away from him.
This season, he’s either getting hit before he can catch the ball or being forced to try to create something from nothing because the punts are good or his blocking isn’t. His longest return is 10 yards.
Of course, Johnson said he would like to see Tarrant get more chances to return kicks because it means the defense is forcing teams to punt.
This season teams have punted 16 times, with seven returns. Teams punted 19 times through the first four games last season.
Teams have seen what Tarrant can do with the ball. In addition to his two punt returns for touchdowns, he returned an interception and a fumble for touchdowns last season. He returned an interception for a touchdown against N.C. State.
Tarrant said he was slightly frustrated, which was how Johnson described him a few hours earlier, but that the only thing he can do is to keep catching them and something good will eventually happen.
With Wake Forest’s issues on offense the past two games, he may get his chance on Saturday.