2006 ACC Preview & Prediction: Georgia Tech

Is this finally the year that quarterback Reggie Ball emerges as a true leader and a consistent offensive threat? Everything is in place for that to happen, especially with superstar Calvin Johnson at receiver.

2005 RECORD: 7-5 overall, 5-3 ACC (3rd in Coastal).

HEAD COACH: Chan Gailey, 52-33 in overall in seven seasons; 28-22 in four seasons at Georgia Tech.

KEY ADDITIONS: CB Lawrence Marius, QB Byron Ingram, TE Austin Barrick, WR Demaryius Thomas, RB Jamaal Evans, WR Correy Earls.

KEY LOSSES: RB P.J. Daniels, RT Brad Honeycutt, DE Eric Henderson, FS Dawson Landry, SS Chris Reis, LB Gerris Wilkinson.

OFFENSE: Is this finally the year that quarterback Reggie Ball emerges as a true leader and a consistent offensive threat? Everything is in place for that to happen, especially with superstar Calvin Johnson at receiver. Johnson disappeared at times last year, but that's mainly because Gailey relied on the running game to be the main threat on offense.

Even though tailback P.J. Daniels has moved on, Tashard Choice will do a solid job replacing him. The junior rushed for 573 yards and six touchdowns last year in a limited role. The offensive line should also help Ball. The big guys up front are experienced and good. They should be one of the best lines in the conference and the nation.

Finding another receiver to take some of the pressure off of Johnson is the big key for an offense that has the potential to be very good.

DEFENSE: The defensive line is as good as there is in the ACC, with four very good players in ends Darrell Robertson and Adamm Oliver, and tackles Darryl Richard and Joe Anoai. The linebackers are nearly as good, but there isn't a lot of depth here. Senior KaMichael Hall is the star of the defense. He had 14 tackles for loss, four sacks and two interceptions last year.

The hope is that the secondary can some how come close to matching the play of the seven guys up front. This area only has cornerback Kenny Scott returning since safety Joe Gaston went down this spring with a knee injury. Either juniors Avery Roberson and Pat Clark, or sophomore Jahi-Word Daniels will have to step up and be a stopgap at cornerback for this defense to be truly special.

BY THE NUMBERS: 11 – Number of consecutive seasons the Yellow Jackets have finished with an ACC record of .500 or better.

WHAT TO WATCH: The first week of the season when the Yellow Jackets host Notre Dame, a favorite to play for the national championship. If Georgia Tech can win that game, it could propel it to a very special season and a possible berth into the conference championship game.

PREDICTION: 8-4 overall, 6-2 ACC (3rd in Coastal).


Head coach Chan Gailey



QB Reggie Ball



WR Calvin Johnson





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