By Ashley Denny.
Pinehurst, NC- In 2009 the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets won the ACC Championship and went to a BCS Bowl, however in 2010, the Yellow Jacket’s season took a turn for the worse and it ended with a losing season.
Both Head Coach Paul Johnson, Senior A-Back Roddy Jones and Defensive Tackle Logan Walls reassured members of the media present at the ACC Football Kickoff in Pinehurst, NC last weekend that the Yellow Jackets of 2010 were gone and that the team was very hungry and ready to come out this season and prove that they were still the winning team from 2009 and that they were ready to win some football games.
“We are all very excited to start the 2011 season,” Jones said. “Especially coming off a season like last years, that was a very disappointing yet humbling experience. We are very hungry and want to get out there and prove to the nation that last year’s team was not the Georgia Tech that we want to be seen as.”
One of the main question marks that surrounds Georgia Tech is replacing quarterback Joshua Nesbit, whose speed and ability to run fit the Yellow Jacket’s style of offense perfectly.
“I know that Tevin Washington is going to be the starter now,” Jones said. “He won it this spring and he has a vice grip on it, he doesn’t want to let it go. He has done a great job at running the offense so far. He was put into a difficult position last season after Nesbit was injured, and he did a great job of handling it.”
Jones believes that their offensive style is still effective and blames their disappointing 2010 season on several little things all of which are correctable.
“If you look at our stats from last year we moved the ball fine, our yards per carry was up, however we just couldn’t get the ball into the end zone,” Jones said. “Penalties in the red zone, fumbles, interceptions, little things like that which are all correctible were our downfall. If we can go out there this year, correct those mistakes and execute like we did last year then we’ll be able to punch the ball into the end zone, score more points and win more football games.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Logan Walls believes that Georgia Tech has improved immensely in the offseason.
“The biggest improvement I’ve seen is our communication.” Walls said. “Last season we weren’t really communicating like we should have been. This year everyone knows what they need to say and when to communicate from the back to the front and I am excited about that. Being on the same page will cut huge gaps in the pass rush and even in the running game.”
Head Coach Paul Johnson agrees with his players that the team has improved and is hungry to come out in 2011 and prove to teams that they are not the Yellow Jackets they saw in 2010.
“I think anytime that you don’t finish as well as you’d like you’re anxious for a do-over.” Johnson said. “They’re hungry to come back and prove that they are better than we finished last season.”
As for the NCAA Violations surrounding the Yellow Jacket program
“Coach handled the violations really well.” Jones said. “He had to address it when it came up but said that it didn’t mean anything to the 2011 team. It doesn’t mean anything to the team that goes onto the field this season. A lot of the guys on the team now weren’t on the team in 2009, so for us older guys who were it’s all about setting an example now and moving forward.”