Georgia Tech Defensive Scouting Report


Nov 10, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Bryn Renner (2) is tackled by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive end Izaan Cross (94) in the second quarter at Kenan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets aren’t known for their defense. UNC’s ACC Coastal foe, who will take on the Heels on Saturday at 12:30 in Atlanta, is much stronger on offense. The Ramblin Wreck’s triple option or spread option attack is highly feared by opposing coach and causes match-up nightmares for defensive coordinators. The Tech defense does not inflict the same kind of fear into the hearts of opposing teams.

Last season, the GT defense was a mess all season long. After giving up ridiculous yardage and point totals in the first six games of the season, Georgia Tech fired Al Groh mid-season. The defense never really recovered from the abrupt firing, and Tech stumbled along last season to a 7-7 finish behind a strong offense and weak defense. This season, Ted Roof was hired to come and sure the defense up, and so far he has fared better. Roof’s simplistic 4-3 scheme has only allowed 14 points so far this season, but should have their hands full with the Tar Heels on Saturday. In both games they have played so far, Tech has looked strong. However, playing UNC is a different animal that beating up on Duke and Elon. This defensive unit will be put to the test by the Tar Heels.

Defensive Line
Names to Know– Jeremiah Attaochu, Adam Gotsis

The Tech defensive line is defined by senior Jeremiah Attaochu, a 6’3″ 242 pound monster. You could fill this whole paragraph with Attaochu’s accolades. He fits well into Roof’s 4-3 scheme, and combined with other talents like Adam Gotsis, GT has a strong line. Gotsis is a sophomore defensive tackle with 10 tackles, 3 for loss, already this season. Many of Roof’s D Lineman are also upperclassmen, with seniors Emmanuel Dieke and Euclid Cummings leading the way up front. So far, this stout front has only allowed 3.2 yards per attempt on the ground to their opponents, so UNC’s offensive lineman will be put to the test. Look for the Heels to depend more on the bigger, stronger AJ Blue on Saturday to combat the strength of the GT line.

Names to Know– Brandon Watts, Quayshawn Nealy

The linebacking core is also led by experienced veterans, with senior Brandon Watts and junior Quayshawn Nealy leading the charge. One of the biggest difference from last season to this one on defense was the personnel changes at linebacker. Last season, GT rotated lots of linebackers as part of the 3-4 defense, so they have some depth left over from last season. This linebacking core is deep but also talented, with Brandon Watts leading the team with 17 tackles so far and Quayshawn Nealy right behind with 15. Look for these two to be flying around on the field tomorrow in Atlanta.

Names to Know– Jemea Thomas, Louis Young

The senior leadership of the defense continues into the secondary, where 2012 Second Team All-ACC DB Jemea Thomas roams with his fellow defensive backs. The group only allowed 122 passing yards to Duke last week; a strong performance from the unit. They will be tested though by UNC’s fast paced offense. Last season, GT may have scored a lot of points, but UNC scored a lot too. UNC put up 50 points on the Yellow Jackets, which on any normal afternoon would be more than enough to pull out a “W.” Both the Heels and the Yellow Jackets are improved on defense however, so you don’t have to worry about all those points being put up again. Look for the secondary, led by Jemea Thomas, to be tested on Saturday against the Heels.