Game Information - October 25, 2014. Heinz Field. Game Time: TBA
Location - Atlanta, Georgia
Enrollment - 21, 471 (14,558 undergrads; 6,913 postgraduates)
Stadium - Bobby Dodd Stadium. 55,000 capacity.
Notable Alumni - Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States; Jeff Foxworthy, comedian; Chris Bosh, NBA all-star
Conference Affiliation - ACC 1979-present
Head Coach - Paul Johnson (47-32 in six seasons at Georgia Tech, 154-71 overall)
Series History - Pitt leads 5-3, Georgia Tech won last year's meeting 21-10
Georgia Tech and Pitt played in a pivotal game late in early November last season, and the Yellow Jackets essentially did all they could to give Pitt the game. Pitt's Aaron Donald put on a performance for the ages, but the struggling Panther offense could not take advantage. Pitt dropped the game 21-10, but it proved to be a competitive contest and could be a telling sign for this season.
Georgia Tech will be ushering in a new quarterback this season to run the vaunted Paul Johnson Triple-Option offense. Last year's starter, Vlad Lee, transferred in the off-season after not meshing well with Paul Johnson's system. Justin Thomas saw some time last year and responded with 234 yards on 33 carries. Tim Byerly also saw some time and posted good rushing numbers. The race seems wide open and this depth chart out of Spring does not have a winner picked just yet. Running this offense is all about timing and decision making, and I think Johnson expects a lot from his quarterback. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out for Georgia Tech.
Equally as important to the quarterback in a Triple-option offense are the ball carriers. Zach Laskey is the team's top returning rusher as the team's true tailback. The wing backs will feature some new starters, but guys with experience. In fact, Georgia Tech had twelve players rush for at least 100 yards last season, with Deon Hill and Senjyn Days expected to see the bulk of the action this season. Darren Waller looks the part of a big-time wide receiver if Georgia Tech manages to get the passing game going.
Georgia Tech had a solid defense last year, but they only return five starters from that unit. Overall, Georgia Tech is going to be dealing with a lot of turnover. The Yellow Jackets barely placed ahead of the Panthers in the preseason rankings for the ACC Coastal Division, and this figures to be a beatable team for the Panthers. The triple-option always seems to cause problems, but it plays into Pitt's favor nicely as they have an extra few days to prepare with the Virginia Tech game falling on a Thursday before this one.