National accolades roll in for Georgia Tech football

ATLANTA — A flood of national recognition rolled in for Georgia Tech football on Monday following its 16-13 season-opening victory at Florida State.

Leading the accolades, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins was named the National Coach of the Week by 247Sports. Beginning his second season as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach, Collins led Tech to only its second-ever victory at FSU. The Jackets outgained the Seminoles, 438-307, and overcame an early 10-0 deficit to earn the win.

Collins’ defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker was named National Coordinator of the Week by Pick Six Previews. Thacker’s defense limited Florida State to just 3.8 yards per play and forced three turnovers in the triumph. After the Seminoles racked up 113 yards and 10 points in their first two possessions, Tech’s defense surrendered just 194 yards and three points the rest of the way.

True freshman quarterback Jeff Sims, who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week earlier on Monday, was also tabbed to the Davey O’Brien Award’s Great 8 and a Manning Award Star of the Week. Sims, who became the first true freshman quarterback to ever win a season opener for Georgia Tech, threw for 277 yards and ran for a team-high 64 yards in the victory. His 24 completions were the most by a Yellow Jacket since 2003 and his 277 passing yards were the most by a Jacket since 2014.

Senior punter Pressley Harvin III was named to the Ray Guy Award’s Ray’s 4 list for the week. Harvin averaged 41.7 yards over three punts in the win at FSU, with a long of 53 yards and two kicks that were downed inside the 20 yard line. Harvin’s final punt of the game was a booming 46-yarder that was fair caught at the FSU 17 with 1:51 remaining in the game and the Jackets’ holding a 16-13 advantage.

Sophomore defensive end Curtis Ryans  was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in Georgia Tech football’s 16-13 triumph over Florida State, the Football Writers Association of America announced Tuesday.

Ryans is the fourth Georgia Tech defender overall to earn the award and first since Jeremiah Attaochu in 2011. By earning the award, he is added to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list — awarded to the national defensive player of the year. 

Making only his third start of his career, Ryans recorded the first two sacks and first two forced fumbles of his career on Saturday, all at pivotal moments of Georgia Tech’s second-half surge. Ryans' sacks came on back-to-back plays midway through the fourth quarter, with the second sack resulting in a fumble that was taken by David Curry to FSU’s 11-yard line, setting up the Jackets’ go-ahead field goal with 8:56 remaining in the game.

Ryans would once again come up big, forcing his second fumble on Florida State’s ensuing possession to thwart any chance the Seminoles had at tying or regaining the lead. Overall, Ryans finished with a career-high-tying four total tackles to go along with the two tackles for loss, sacks and fumbles. 

Ryans was also named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performance.

Georgia Tech (1-0, 1-0 ACC) opens its six-game home schedule on Saturday when it hosts No. 13 UCF (0-0) at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ABC.