Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech: Questions for FanSided’s Yellow Jacked Up

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 1: A member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team holds his helmet up at the beginning of the fourth quarter during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field on November 1, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Tech beat Florida State 31-28. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 1: A member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team holds his helmet up at the beginning of the fourth quarter during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field on November 1, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia Tech beat Florida State 31-28. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech is set for Monday. All for Tennessee spoke with Yellow Jacked Up about the two schools and the Vols vs. Yellow Jackets match-up.

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Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech is a rivalry renewed. The two teams have a long history together, but the Volunteers haven’t faced GT in 30 years.

Now, with the two schools set to meet in Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Monday to close out the weekend as the second game in the Chick-fil-A kickoff classic, there are a ton of questions.

Both teams are coming off 9-4 seasons and breaking in new quarterbacks. They both want a solid start to the season with this game. And the outcome is truly unpredictable for this game and for each team’s season.

To get more information on the Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech game, we caught up with Dylan Callgahan-Croley, expert of the FanSided site Yellow Jacked Up, which covers Georgia Tech athletics.

He gave us some insight into the Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech game and what Vols fans can expect from the Yellow Jackets.

We also spoked with him back in July about the Tennessee football team in a post he did previewing the Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech game, which you can see here.

In this post, we asked Callaghan-Croley eight questions. Here is a look at those questions and his responses to them.

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1. It seems like every year Georgia Tech is the most unpredictable program in the country every season. With Justin Thomas gone, what are the expectations for the team this year? Is there reason to believe he helped extend Paul Johnson’s career in Atlanta? 


It truly is a unique situation at Georgia Tech. Year in and year out the Jackets have a chance to be either one of the best teams in the ACC or just another team. This upcoming season the expectations vary, to say the least. Most media members and experts see the team as a six or seven win team; Vegas has the line set at 6.5 games. Fans see the team being capable of winning eight or more games and even potentially competing for the conference championship. For myself, if the Jackets can find their quarterback by the end of their week two game against Jacksonville State, they should be right in the thick of the ACC Coastal.

When it comes to Justin Thomas, it’s safe to say that he’s the best quarterback in the Paul Johnson era. He was spectacular, but when it comes to extending Johnson’s career it’s hard to say. Outside of the Jackets’ trip to the Orange Bowl in 2014, it was pretty much status quo for Tech under Thomas. That being said, I do believe that his career helped secure Johnson a ton of job security. At this point, Johnson would have to have back-to-back 4-8 seasons or worst to get fired. With only two losing seasons on The Flats, that would be pretty shocking. At this point, I honestly see Johnson more likely to retire (age 60) than get fired.

2. Building off Thomas’s departure, do you have any ideas as to which way Georgia Tech is going with its quarterback situation right now? 


Honestly, when it comes to the quarterback situation, nobody knows and I’m not sure if the Jackets coaching staff even knows right now. I will say that I am pretty confident Matthew Jordan will take the first snap of the game. That being said, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jackets use two or three quarterbacks on Monday night. Jordan was the favorite to land the job during the spring but suffered an injury in the final two weeks that really opened up the race and it has been ever since. The one quarterback that hasn’t been getting talked about much but opponents should keep their eyes on is Lucas Johnson. Not your typical Georgia Tech QB recruit, Johnson probably has the best arm of any of the quarterbacks and could really make the passing attack dangerous in those limited situations.

3. There’s been a lot of talk about Georgia Tech losing Dedrick Mills, but I always felt he was a replaceable system player. Also with an elite offensive line coming back, I figured his loss would be irrelevant if Georgia Tech got the right quarterback in there. Am I accurate in feeling that way, or is Mills truly a big loss?


When you consider the hype that was surrounding Mills, his production his freshman season and the Jackets lack of experience at the b-back position it is a pretty big loss. That being said, you are correct, he’s a replaceable system player, outside of the quarterback, every player on Georgia Tech’s offense is exactly that. The Jackets will miss him and what made his departure even bigger was the fact the Jackets lost another b-back in Marcus Marshall to transfer last December. The Jackets offensive line will definitely help with the transition into a new b-back and if they find the right quarterback will certainly help as well. So it’s kind of both. It’s a big loss in the sense that the Jackets have one b-back on the roster now that has in-game experience, but he is a replaceable system player by design.


4. What do you make of all the criticism surrounding Georgia Tech’s tendency to use cut blocks on the offensive line? 

Well, if you ask any Jacket fan they’ll probably have choice words about the criticism. Personally, I understand where others are coming from in their criticism. Yes, it can be a dangerous block and in some unfortunate cases, it ends with a serious injury. That being said, people can criticize all they want, but at the same time, it’s a perfectly legal play and the Yellow Jackets use it to their advantage. Every team in the country has their own plays, techniques, etc. that gives them a perceived advantage over their opponents. Georgia Tech’s just happens to be chop blocks, if that makes sense.

Must Read: Game-by-game predictions for Vols 2017 season

5. Georgia Tech has an elite secondary returning, but they have a few questions about their front seven. Is there concern about the Yellow Jackets being able to stop the run? 

There are definitely questions among the front seven but at the same time, the Jackets have a strong group of linebackers that will help the defensive line. The Jackets haven’t had a strong defensive line the last few years. But their group of linebackers are experienced and extremely talented. Add in highly rated recruit Bruce Jordan-Swilling, and the Jackets have a pretty strong group of linebackers that will be amongst the best in the ACC. When it comes to stopping the run, the biggest worries for the Jackets will remain on the defensive line. Hopefully, for Georgia Tech, their linebackers will be able to clean up any mistakes by the defensive line.

6. We’re hearing a lot of talk about the ACC being on the SEC’s level now in terms of competitiveness. However, like the Vols, Georgia Tech is in the weaker division of the conference. What do you make of the talk? Do you agree with the sentiment that the ACC is on their level or even better? And how much of a role does Georgia Tech play in that?

I may get a little backlash for this but I do not believe in the sentiment that the ACC is on the level of the SEC. While the ACC is certainly good, it’s hard to say if it’s as strong as the SEC, which boasts three teams in one division that can be national title contenders. That being said, the ACC is on their way to that level. If the ACC can add a third team to the mix of Clemson and Florida State to be perennial ACC title contenders they’ll be on that level. Georgia Tech plays an interesting role in all this because as said before their unpredictable. The Jackets any given year can either be contenders or pretenders.

7. With the Coastal division definitely in play, how likely is Georgia Tech to win that division this year? 

The Coastal division is definitely in play for the Yellow Jackets in 2017. While they are not as strong on paper as Miami, I see the Jackets on the same level this year as Virginia Tech. Ultimately, the division will come down to the trio of games between Miami, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. Once again, it will all come down to when the Jackets find out who their starting quarterback is long term.

8. Do you have a prediction for the Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech game yet? 

Honestly, at this point, I’m not sure which way this game is going to go. I believe there’s a chance that this is a close game throughout and will ultimately come down to whoever can stop the run better. But I predict a close game that will come down to the final five minutes.

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For more coverage of the Yellow Jackets, be sure to check out the site Yellow Jacked Up. In terms of this game, Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech will definitely set the tone for the season. Both teams are clearly taking it seriously. And the outcome is entirely unpredictable.