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Georgia Tech Installing New Defense

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Louis Young and the Georgia Tech defense are banking on a new coordinator and a new scheme. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images.
Louis Young and the Georgia Tech defense are banking on a new coordinator and a new scheme. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images.

Georgia Tech's defense is looking for a change this season under new defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

The Yellow Jackets' defense has been horrendous. During a three-game losing streak last season, the unit finally bottomed out. In loses to Miami, Middle Tennessee State, and Clemson, Georgia Tech allowed a combined 138 points and 1,720 yards. The defense allowed a pedestrian 28.3 points per game last season, its fourth-worst performance since 1948. The historically bad defense prompted the firing of then-defensive coordinator Al Groh. 

Roof believes Georgia Tech has the talent and manpower to convert from a 3-4 to 4-3 base defense. Roof hopes it will allow the athletes to play a more free-flowing style compared with the complex, audible-heavy 3-4. Viewing team reels of Georgia Tech's defense last season, it appears the defensive schemes and sets were too complicated. The Yellow Jackets were overthinking plays and the essence of the defense was lost. 

Roof's defense promises to be less complicated and athletes are embracing the changes.

"It's a lot simpler for people to comprehend. We're not thinking as much; we're just going out and playing," cornerback Louis Young said.

So can we expect a better defensive showing this season to match the Yellow Jackets' usually-explosive offense? Based on the last three seasons, Tech is always a good defense short of a special season.

Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu as well as talented depth in the secondary led by Isaiah Johnson and Jemea Thomas give Tech a chance. According to Attaochu, Georgia Tech has the talent to compete with any team in the country. Attaochu listed Florida State (ACC Championship) and USC (Hyundai Sun Bowl) as examples from last season.

"There's no doubt we have talent. It's just about putting us in position to use it. That's why coach has me at defensive end, to rush the passer," Attaochu said.