GT's passing game more efficient

September, 14, 2011
9/14/11
2:00
PM ET
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is absolutely right: The Yellow Jackets' passing game is nothing new.

The completion percentage, however, is.

In 2008, Georgia Tech threw the ball a total of 165 times for an average of 12.6 passes per game.
In 2009, Georgia Tech threw the ball a total of 168 times for an average of 12 passes per game.
And in 2010, Georgia Tech threw the ball exactly 168 times again for an average of 12.9 passes per game.

So far this season, Tevin Washington hasn't thrown it more than 13 times. The difference is that they're leading the country in passing efficiency.

“We [are] probably making too big of a deal of the passing part of it," Johnson said at his weekly news conference. "We’re probably not throwing the ball more than we threw it a year ago. We’re just completing some. It’s a lot more fun when you complete them. I think the quarterback is having more of a chance to do that. I’ve said all along that we need to be more efficient in the passing game and to this point we’ve been more efficient. If you do that, the nature of what we do will lend itself to big plays in the passing game. But it doesn't do any good to get behind people if you throw it over their head or don't catch them or can't get them off or whatever.

"To this point, for the most part, when we’ve had a chance to make a big play we’ve made them," he said. "I think you get confidence from that as a play caller if you’re not getting sacked every other time you throw you may tend to throw it a little more and play to the strengths of your team.”

In each of the past three seasons, Georgia Tech hasn't completed more than 46 percent of its passes. After two games, they're completing 65.38 percent. Last year they completed 38.1 percent.

The offense is also producing big plays. Georgia Tech has produced five offensive plays of 70 yards or longer this season. That's more than any conference.

“Contrary to popular opinion, the nature of what we do lends itself to big plays," Johnson said. "It’s not three yards and a cloud of dust. I think you have to give the individual kids a lot of credit, they made the plays, but you’re going to get put in space with one-on-one situations a lot. You’re going to get some favorable matchups at receiver sometimes and I think that’s what’s happened on a couple of the big plays."

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