Dec. 3, 2008
ATLANTA – After being named ACC Coach of the Year for defying most preseason prognostications and leading Georgia Tech to a 9-3 record and BCS ranking of 15th, Paul Johnson has been named national coach of the year by CBSSports.com. Click HERE to read the story.
Georgia Tech, ranked 15th in the BCS standings and 15th in the Associated Press poll, finished the regular season with a 9-3 record, remarkably better than every preseason projection. Sports Illustrated predicted Johnson’s first Yellow Jacket team would win just three games, and Tech was picked to finish fourth in the ACC’s Coastal Division. With a 5-3 record in ACC play, the Jackets tied Virginia Tech for the Coastal Division title.
Johnson, who came to Georgia Tech in December after a highly-successful, six-year tenure at Navy, inherited a roster low in scholarship numbers and overloaded with youth. Only 76 players are on scholarship, including three senior walk-ons who were awarded scholarships prior to the start of the season, below the maximum of 85 scholarships. The roster includes 75 freshmen and sophomores, and 16 of 22 starters are either freshmen or sophomores.
Many questioned whether or not Johnson’s spread option offense would work in the ACC. Last Saturday, with no senior starters on offense, Georgia Tech rolled up 409 rushing yards against Georgia, which ranked 15th nationally in rushing defense at the time. For the season, the Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in total offense (377.3) and rank third nationally in rushing offense (282.3).