The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have their work cut out for them on Monday, when they play their season opener against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The No. 16 Hokies boasted one of the top defenses in college football a year ago and are returning nine starters from that unit. Virginia Tech finished No. 10 nationally in average total yards allowed. To reiterate: they're really good.
Georgia Tech is confident in their option attack, even though they're still installing plays and trying to work in new aspects to really compete, especially against a team like Virginia Tech. As noted by George Henry of the Associated Press, Virginia Tech might be scarier now than they were at points last season:
Three starters who were lost to season-ending injuries last year -- defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins and linebackers Jeron Gouveia-Winslow and Bruce Taylor -- are healthy. Defensive end James Gayle, who had 12.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks despite ankle injuries, is back, too.
Virginia Tech will have some specific strategies for Georgia Tech, including playing cornerback Kyle Fuller up in run support to slow down Orwin Smith and Robert Godhigh. Still, the Yellow Jackets remain confident in their own abilities. B-back David Sims had a quote in the linked piece in which he downplays the returning starters, noting that their offense is returning plenty of guys as well.
Sims finished off with "...if we come out and do what we're supposed to do, we should be pretty successful." It's going to be a tough matchup regardless, with Virginia Tech taking the past two series matchups and four of the last five.
For updates on the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Atlanta. For more in-depth coverage on the upcoming game, visit Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat as well as Virginia Tech blog Gobbler Country. For more news and notes from around NCAA football, head over to SB Nation's college football hub.