Georgia Tech WR DeAndre Smelter likely to miss ACC Championship Game


The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are riding high on the strength of a wild comeback victory over the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, and there is plenty to look forward to for Paul Johnson and his crew. However, the Jackets will likely be at less than full strength as they face off with the Florida State Seminoles for the ACC Championship, as star wide receiver DeAndre Smelter is unlikely to play as a result of a knee injury.

Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution brings word from Paul Johnson, following a teleconference:

"“I think it would be a reach.”“He’s a guy that we’ll really miss, but our deal has kind of been, Hey, just got to be the next guy up. We’ve played a lot of guys at that position.”"

In Smelter’s place, Georgia Tech would likely deploy both Darren Waller and Michael Summers, but Smelter has been far and away the best wide-out for the Jackets this season. The 6-foot-3 Smelter leads the team in receptions with 35, and he has averaged 20.4 yards per catch to go along with seven touchdowns on the year.

Obviously, the Georgia Tech offense is not built on the passing game, but likely being without the dimension of Smelter’s big play ability could be troubling, especially against the Seminoles. DeAndre Smelter may not be a first-round pick in the model of Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas, but he has been very good when called upon over the past two seasons, and the duo of Waller and Summers will probably need to create a big play or two in order to help the Jackets to a victory.

Georgia Tech and Florida State will kick off at 8:00 pm ET on Saturday in Charlotte. Stay tuned.