Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets made tough work of the Wofford Terriers for their opening game of the season on Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd stadium in downtown Atlanta. They eventually ran out 38-19 winners but not before they experienced some challenges and some hiccups, particularly in the first half.
If you believe the odds-makers, Georgia Tech should have blown the Wofford Terriers away. They were a 30-point favorite against a team that has yet to beat a Division 1A football team. But at halftime they led by only one point 10-9. And they were have to work really hard for that lead.
In the second half Tech changed strategies and started attacking the Terriers through the air with redshirt sophomore Justin Thomas forgoing the spread option in favor of going downfield to his receivers. With 282 yards of passing offense including a 71 yard play and two touchdowns to his credit for the game Thomas proved he can pass as well as run (he added 71 yards of rushing) to lead the Yellow Jackets to the win.
Overall the Jackets ran and passed for more than 500 years of offense which provides some cause for optimism for the season from an offensive perspective.
Head coach Paul Johnson was realistic in his assessment of the game. "It was a game of two halves. The first half we struggled a little bit offensively…they were committed to stop the run so we needed to throw the ball.’ He added, “I was happy to see Justin [Thomas], after the first half, settle down and hit some big plays in the passing game. We had a lot of guys who hadn't played and you could tell that there were a lot of nerves going on. [Wofford] had a good plan and they executed it."
The offensive numbers provided by the double threat of a passing offense coupled with the spread option might prove to be handful to opponents this year but Tech is going to face opponents who can provide a much sterner challenge that Wofford provided.
The challenge is taken up a little next week when the Yellow Jackets travel to Tulane to take on the Green Wave who lost in overtime against the Tulsa Hurricane on Saturday night.