Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson drew a comparison that will please Yellow Jackets fans.
At Tech’s media day on Thursday, Johnson found similarities between the 2017 team, which will begin preseason practice on Friday, and the 2014 team, which went 11-3 and won the Orange Bowl.
“This team is really composed a little bit like our ’14 team, in that we’ve got a new quarterback and a couple of new guys, but the majority of them have played,” Johnson said. “And hopefully, we’d love to have the same result we had in ’14. That’d be great.”
The similarities are clear. In 2014, the offense returned with a multitude of experienced offensive skill players, such as A-backs Charles Perkins, Deon Hill and Tony Zenon and wide receivers DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller, to surround the new quarterback, Justin Thomas. In the same way, this team’s quarterback, likely Matthew Jordan, will be new, but will have returning starters at wide receiver (Ricky Jeune and Brad Stewart), A-back (Clinton Lynch and J.J. Green) and B-back (Dedrick Mills). The team has 16 returning starters total.
Johnson acknowledged, though, that the similarity doesn’t necessarily mean much. It’s “really hard to gauge a team,” he said, until it has gone through preseason practice and the injury toll can be assessed.