What Georgia Tech is doing to improve its pass rush this spring

October 1, 2016 Atlanta – Miami Hurricanes quarterback Brad Kaaya (15) is tackled by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive end KeShun Freeman (42) in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, October 1, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

The status of where Georgia Tech’s pass rush is going into the 2017 season can be encapsulated in one statistic.

Defensive end Antonio Simmons was second in the ACC with 12 hurries, which is particularly impressive considering he did it in limited snaps as a pass-rush specialist. However, Simmons had one sack, which is not particularly impressive, considering he was a pass-rush specialist.

“We just didn’t finish as much as Pat (Gamble) did, so it’s like, we did good, but we’re just trying to take our game to the next level,” Simmons said.

A focus of Tech’s spring practice will, as ever, be developing a consistent pass rush that can impact games. Tech was 114th last year in sacks per game at 1.39, according to cfbstats.com. Consequently, Tech was 100th nationally in defensive passing efficiency rating on third down (136.16). Further, the Yellow Jackets will have to do it without graduated defensive tackle Patrick Gamble, who led the team with 7.5 sacks.

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