Three more pieces of Georgia Tech’s football schedule were announced today, including the game against Georgia.
After opening with a Thursday night Sept. 1 home game against Western Carolina (previously reported here), the Yellow Jackets will play at Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 10 and then will host Kansas on Sept. 17. Tech will end the regular season at home against the Bulldogs on Nov. 26. That completes Tech’s non-conference schedule.
The ACC is expected to announce the entire schedule very soon. The opponents are known:
The Yellow Jackets went 6-7 last season. Tech lost several standout players from last year’s team, including quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, B-back Anthony Allen and middle linebacker Brad Jefferson. The team must also replace three starters on the offensive line and the entire secondary.
From a personal standpoint, this strikes me as a very advantageous schedule for the Yellow Jackets. Many of the new starters, particularly on the offensive line, got experience last season. However, there may be quite a few players who haven’t been in there “when the bullets start flying,” as Paul Johnson often says. Playing three games before diving into ACC play should be a huge benefit.
Here is some info on Tech’s non-conference opponents:
Sept. 1 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
2010 record: 2-9 overall, 1-7 in the FCS Southern Conference.
Last year’s result: Did not play.
Tech coach Paul Johnson is a WCU alum (class of ‘79). WCU averaged 16.5 points and allowed a whopping 34.5. The rushing attack was led by Decatur native Michael Johnson (611 yards), who will be a junior. The team was quarterbacked by Zac Brindise, a transfer from South Carolina. He passed for 1,405 yards and seven touchdowns last season as a junior. After the season, coach Dennis Wagner fired offensive coordinator Keith Heckendorf and tabbed himself as the play-caller.
Middle Tennessee State
Sept. 10 in Murfreesboro
2010 record: 6-7 overall, 5-3 in the Sun Belt.
Last year’s result: Tech won 42-14 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
This will be Tech’s first visit to Murfreesboro, Tenn. Dual-threat quarterback Dwight Dasher is gone, but the team returns Logan Kilgore (540 passing yards) and Jeff Murphy (395 passing yards). The team averaged 26.5 points and allowed 28.1 last season.
Sept. 17 at Bobby Dodd Stadium
2010 record: 3-9 overall, 1-7 in the Big 12.
Last year’s result: Tech lost 28-25 in Lawrence, Kan.
The loss in Week 2 last season set off alarms for Tech fans. After all, the Jayhawks were beaten in their season-opener by a FCS team. In the second year of Turner Gill’s regime, Kansas will bring its most productive quarterback, running back and wide receiver to Atlanta: Jordan Webb (1,195 passing yards), James Sims (742 rushing yards) and Daymond Patterson (487 receiving yards). The Jayhawks lost three of the best defensive players, but will return linebacker Steven Johnson (team-leading 95 tackles). Kansas averaged 17.1 points and allowed 34.4 last season. Both were among the worst in the FBS. This will be the Jayhawks’ first game at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Nov. 26 at Bobby Dodd Stadium
2010 record: 6-7 overall, 3-5 in the SEC.
Last year’s result: Tech lost 42-34 in Athens.
The Bulldogs have defeated the Jackets two consecutive seasons. Tech dominated last year’s game on the stat sheet, but four turnovers were its undoing. The Bulldogs return quarterback Aaron Murray (3,049 yards, 24 touchdowns) and a big question mark at running back, where incoming freshman Isaiah Crowell, one of the nation’s most sought-after running backs, could provide an answer. The Bulldogs lost wide receiver A.J. Green, who caught eight passes for 97 yards in last year’s game. Will Georgia’s 3-4 defense improve under second-year coordinator Todd Grantham?
– Doug Roberson, AJC