Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Midseason report: Georgia Tech
By ESPN.com staff
Record: 6-0, 3-0 ACC
This team has come a long way in a short amount of time. Heading into this season, there was some uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position and how long Tevin Washington would hold onto the starting job. Since summer camp, not only has Washington proven to be effective, but he has also shown he’s a better passer than his predecessor, Joshua Nesbitt. A manageable nonconference schedule helped inflate the Yellow Jackets’ September statistics, and they’ve been humbled by league defenses, but Georgia Tech continues to find a way to win and enters the midpoint of the season at 6-0 for the first time since 1966. They’re in sole possession of first place in the Coastal Division, undefeated at home, and one of the first teams in the country to become bowl-eligible. Georgia Tech, which was picked by the media to finish in fourth place in the Coastal Division, has far exceeded expectations. Unlike in years past, there’s not really one superstar on this team. Instead, it’s been a group effort that Washington has highlighted. Coach Paul Johnson has said repeatedly there is still plenty of work to do, and the defense has been average at best in the second season under coordinator Al Groh. The toughest tests still lie ahead with Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia.
Offensive MVP: QB Tevin Washington: His efficiency as a passer and his ability to manage the game are a big reason Georgia Tech is 6-0 and No. 4 in the country in total offense. Tech isn't throwing more often this season, but Washington has thrown 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also added six rushing touchdowns.
Defensive MVP: ILB Julian Burnett: Paul Johnson has talked about the positive leadership Georgia Tech is receiving this year and Burnett is a part of that. Out of three co-captains, he is the only underclassmen voted by his teammates. On the field, Burnett is on pace to lead the Yellow Jackets in tackles for the second straight year. With 58 tackles, he has 28 more than any player on the team. He also has three tackles for loss, a pass breakup, and a quarterback hurry.