Through two games, what’s been learned?

Georgia Tech is 2-0, largely on the strength of big, big plays.
It’s easy to say that big plays aren’t always going to happen, but it’s also easy to point out that Tech had 67 plays of 20+ yards last year.
So, what is known so early in the season?
First, defensive end Derrick Morgan is a beast again this year with five sacks already.
Jerrard Tarrant is a one-man wrecking crew on special teams, producing two touchdowns this season on punts. He’s also played pretty good as a cornerback.
Speaking of cornerbacks Mario Butler isn’t too bad, either.
The offensive line’s pass blocking has improved. Zero sacks allowed this year.
The team has enough weapons on offense that Jonathan Dwyer can have a bad game and it not be the deciding factor.
That the interior of the defensive line is still an unknown. Both Clemson and Jacksonville State fell behind so fast neither worried about running the ball a lot.
That no one is taking any pressure off Derrick Morgan from the other side of the line. Coach Paul Johnson said after Sunday’s practice somebody needs to step up, and that Anthony Egbuniwe showed some signs on Thursday.
Demaryius Thomas is still Josh Nesbitt’s weapon of choice, as he should be. It’ll be interesting to see if Nesbitt starts looking for other dudes, like Kevin Cone or Stephen Hill.
Speaking of Nesbitt, his passing is still under review. He looked great against JSU, and had moments against Clemson. Other times, though, he overthrew receivers. But he showed his toughness, as if it had been questioned, in the fourth quarter against the Tigers, leading them on two big drives to win the game.
Scott Blair kicked a game-winner, but has still yet to hit one longer than 40 yards. He missed his one chance so far this season. At some point, a game is going to come down to him and that distance.
Fans, well the joint hasn’t sold out yet, and strangely there a few gold seats open on the east side of the stadium against Clemson.
What say you? What have you learned about your team through two games?

142 comments Add your comment

m

September 13th, 2009
8:02 pm

The main thing that everyone should have learned by now is that it sure is fun to watch TECH now that they are not coached by chan gomer gailey.

Thank God and Greyhound thta he is gone forever.

gtpanic33

September 13th, 2009
8:04 pm

Great win on Thursday. Clemson will prove to be a force this year. Under the old regime we don’t win that game. Let’s learn from the 3rd quarter and come back strong against “da U”.

Starring Peter Graves as Capt. Clarence Over

September 13th, 2009
8:24 pm

1) The Jax St win looks better in light of what they did in Tallahassee last night.
2) More depth at B-Back behind Dwyer.
3) CPJ has a lot of film to show to keep players grounded.
4) Busted coverages & missed tackles led to big plays by Clemson.
5) Defense stepped up in critical situations.
Remember, you can’t spell THUG without the “U”

juvenal

September 13th, 2009
8:46 pm

m, gailey was a fair recruiter, but 9 wish he had gotten more line men his last 2 yrs, & Josh was not recruited to run this o;he is a work in progress..maybe the plan was to wear Clemson out with a lot of deep throws while improvising points on special teams with “Paul Ball”..

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
8:51 pm

Let’s see: FSU scored 34 (should have been at least 41) on the “U” ’s vaunted, fast and hard-hitting D. Then FSU was lucky to score 19 on Jax State,(last 7 on fumble recovery). Tech will expose Miami’s D Thursday night.
GO TECH!! PUNISH THE ‘CANES!!

t

September 13th, 2009
8:53 pm

I think we need to work on short passing game to get the completion rate over 50%. I know that is not CPJ style, but the low third down conversion rate concerns me.

wigdad

September 13th, 2009
8:58 pm

m. give it up on Gaily, the past is gone, you should be looking at the future and forget all your hate and anger. I think by now everyone knows how you feel about Chan Gaily. Tech has had many football coach mistakes since Bobby Dodd. What’s wrong with you? Do you drink a lot? Anyway no one pays any attention to you.

Ga Tech Old Timer

September 13th, 2009
9:05 pm

I’ve learned: 1) That Coach PJ might want to think about throwing the shorter pass over the middle or out in the flats rather than always going for the bomb. 2) That, while D Thomas is the primary receiver, there are burners out there besides him and to keep the defense honest, the ball needs to be spread around to different receivers as well as distances. 3) That the team needs to learn to play flat out with a “killer” instinct for all 60 minutes without looking at the scoreboard – it will take care of itself. 4) That the defense has been better than expected and will get better yet. 5) That the defense has leaned that the offense can not carry the team alone. 6) That the special teams are MUCH improved over last year in every phase (including the punting Thursday PM). 7) That the fact that we didn’t fumble one time Thursday PM was extremely encouraging and the future looks brighter in that area. 8) That the QB needs someone who can catch the ball – and consistently (WR or Backs). 9) That the coaching staff might think about doing more to “fire up” the team during the game when they see the performance dropping such as sitting players who aren’t willing to give their all for four quarters.10) That we have the makings of a potentially great team depending on the attitude of the team and the determination to win.

Joe Schmoe

September 13th, 2009
9:12 pm

First, im glad we have CPJ as the head coach as he would never be satisfied we won a game close that we should have blown the opponent out (ie CMR over USCe.) As I said before the season started the D would be good, but the DT spots were of concern. That has come true, some one needs to be it, or we need to just leave TJ in for runs, and the others for pass situations. I also dont like any of our B backs past Johnathan Dwyer. We might be putting Allen or true freshman Perkins back there if Dwyer leaves. The fans were loud on Thursday and our section (132) did not sit for any of the game. We had some complainers about standing, but its freaking clem(p)son for heavens sake… Get off your butts and stay loud.

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
9:16 pm

CPJ kept trying the long pass against Clemson to get the safeties back off the line. They stayed in the box all night because we couldn’t complete a pass downfield. Every other defense we see will do the same thing.
GO TECH!! BEAT the CANES!!! (CANE the BEATS??)

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
9:20 pm

Joe:

You’re judging our B backs by Clemson? JD couldn’t run on that D; I wouldn’t expect a back-up to do any better.

Burdell

September 13th, 2009
9:20 pm

It may not have been a sellout, but it was pretty close. Aren’t those lower east stands lettermen seats? One of my highlights of the night was how freaking loud that place got. We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of in terms of fan support. It’s going to be a great year to be a Yellow Jacket.

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
9:25 pm

No, I am judging from both games… but none we have impress me. I just dont see it with Lyons or Watson.

Joe Schmoe

September 13th, 2009
9:26 pm

Sorry Ed, I ment to put you in the body, and not hijack your handel.

Joe Schmoe

September 13th, 2009
9:29 pm

I would like to see allen or cox line up there in relief so we can bring some of our speedsters such as wright or peebles onto the field. Speaking of Wright, that kid has not gotten much reps.

Minnesota Jacket

September 13th, 2009
9:34 pm

What I saw at the game that I think will really help loosen up teams putting 9 men in the box like Clemson was doing in the 3rd and 4th quarter is to have those drag routes from Roddy, and Anthony for a 15 yard completion that is really easy for Nesbitt to throw to and get him comfortable. This will also allow him to not put as much pressure on him early in the game.
What Miami is going to do is exactly what clemson did and MAKE Nes complete passes, if this happens we will end up running all over Miami, if this doesn’t happen it will be a defensive battle.

eastmanjacket

September 13th, 2009
9:36 pm

The red zone offense has to start scoring TD’s instead of FG’s. The offense has to learn how to score a TD without relying on the big play. Sure, big plays are great and we will take them, but there are times when we will have first and 10 at the 18 and we need to be able to punch it in.

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
9:44 pm

Concerning other games today, including GB v Bears now:

We’re either seeing a lot of awful QB play or great defenses. Ryan sure looked a lot better than 90% of the other QBs. Jake, Rogers, Cutler, Orton, Leinhart(?) etc. have had problems galore.

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
9:47 pm

Please excuse that comment. I am posting on both the Tech and Falcon blogs and got confused.
GO TECH!! GO FALCONS!!

GOLD PANTS

September 13th, 2009
10:11 pm

I agree with the people who believe we should throw more short or medium passes rather than the bomb all the time. They should be easier to complete and would help Josh’s percentage for his confidence in the future. Also, JOSH, please take off that Darth Vader helmut you are wearing and get a regular one so you can see where you are throwing. I don’t know how anyone can see the whole field with one of those on, particularly 50 yards downfield on bombs.

Don

September 13th, 2009
10:18 pm

After 2 games we’ve learned that we’re not only ranked higher but also better than Georgia, that is a good start. We’ve also learned that we can not play our best and still win. Like to see the team play 60 minutes of football Thursday night. For more info on Georgia Tech football visit: http://www.bbuzzoff.com

StraightJacket

September 13th, 2009
10:52 pm

We’ve learned about 3 areas to improve: (1) A-Backs need to better their blocking grades. This will improve because we are deep at the position, and if CPJ can’t get better success from A-Backs at the top of the depth chart, we’ll be seeing a different rotation there. (2) Josh needs to improve his “batting average” on his DE reads. On the midline option on our last two drives, Clemson made it easy on Josh by automatically having the key DT take Dwyer, so all Josh had to do was follow in the hole. His reading on the triple is getting better, but we’ll need a higher percentage of correct reads as the season goes on. (3) Need a little more from the DE’s opposite Morgan. Morgan will be doubled from here on out, so we’ll may need to experiment with DE’s on the other side. Maybe put Julian Burnett at DE on 3rd and long situations. That could be fun to see him as a speed rusher.

I think it would be an upset for us to beat Miami on the road, but it is certainly possible. Toughest games to me look to be Miami and VPI&SU.

Should be fun…. -SJ

JACKETfan12

September 13th, 2009
10:56 pm

Josh wears that big facemask because he gits hit so much… I would rather him be protected when getting nailed on option plays than have a traditional helmet…

Concerns:
- Our 3rd down conversions arent that great… Throwing shorter passes (Anthony allen and roddy on slant routs through the middle) more often would help… Roddy had a huge first down and possibly TD that he dropped… Probably had something to do with his cast.
- Josh has to make the right throws… A lot of his passes were off target… He has got to set his feet and make accurate throws for the longball to be effective. We do have a lot of single coverage if you watch them line up on most of the plays, but it doesnt mean anything if Josh underthrows them.
- Defense has got to stop the big plays. Period. Enough said on that aspect. Defense was great thursday minus the two 50+ yard touchdowns we gave up…
- WE HAVE TO GO 100% ALL GAME. THE MAIN TWO AREAS WHERE WE SLOWED DOWN ON THURSDAY WAS OVERALL DEFENSE AND BLOCKING ON OFFENSE.

If anything, the first thing we need to take care of is playing intense for the entire game.
Besides all that, we had a win over Clemson. That is always something to be proud of as they are our in-conference rivals and always have a good team.
GO JACKETS

Da U

September 13th, 2009
11:00 pm

The streak is over, your goofy O is about to get busted by the U!

et

September 13th, 2009
11:05 pm

I’ve learned this team has a lot of heart. MOST teams who gave up a 24 point lead and get behind lose. What is even more impressive is the defense stiffening in the fourth quarter after being on the field so long against bigger Clemson players. GT isn’t a top 10 team but we are a lot better than last year.

Da U

September 13th, 2009
11:08 pm

What does Jacksonville ST vs Fla ST have to do with Miami? Come up with something better than that. That’s like saying Houston is better than Georgia because they beat OK ST, but OK ST beat the crap out of Georgia.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

September 13th, 2009
11:09 pm

1. If Egbuniwe is our 2nd best pass rusher, he should be in the game on the other side of Morgan.
2. Along with throwing shorter pass routes, Josh also needs to look at other receivers, like Stephen Hill.
3. The A-Backs must not whiff on their blocks. I noticed on watching the replays that they missed several. Of course, this also goes for our O-linemen.
4. Defensive backs need to keep the opponent’s speedy receivers in front of them.
5. Cooper needs to play better. He does not look like the same guy from last year. I am not sure why.
6. Mostly, our tackling has been good. It can always be better, but I have been pleased with the few missed tackles we have had thus far.
7. We need to run wheel route to Allen and/or Dwyer a few times every game.

Go Jackets!!

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
11:10 pm

Da U:

Your “D” got “busted” for nearly 40 by an FSU team that was lucky to put 19 on Jax State! See U Thursday night!!
GO TECH!! CANE the CANES!!

hmm

September 13th, 2009
11:12 pm

Da U – are you also that dirty sp1c “el tigre” that was on here last year before you got your sh1t pushed in?

AlabamaRamblinwreck

September 13th, 2009
11:13 pm

“Da U

September 13th, 2009
11:08 pm
What does Jacksonville ST vs Fla ST have to do with Miami? Come up with something better than that. That’s like saying Houston is better than Georgia because they beat OK ST, but OK ST beat the crap out of Georgia.”

Exactly. That is exactly what we are saying. JSU is not even a FBS school, and they beat FSU for 59 minutes, held them to less than 80 rushing yards!! Miami’s defense will be shown to be a fraud come Thursday night, Mr. DA U!! LOL

Go Jackets!!

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
11:13 pm

DA U:

You made my point: Houston IS better than uga!

GO TECH!!

misterwax

September 13th, 2009
11:27 pm

well, with all these suggestions, one must conclude that the coaches know better then we…. and will be working on a few improvements that can sustain the team through the season….I do look for a few trick plays however….it is in Coach Johnson’s nature to be daring and gamble….when he percieves a lack of focus on UM’s side, look for the tricks.

GOLD PANTS

September 13th, 2009
11:31 pm

Jacket Fan— I have seen defensive players wear those helmets with the dark lenses but I don’t recall seeing a QB before. Just seems vision would be impaired, maybe even fog up from all the sweat and exertion. I see your point, though. Just a theory, maybe he sees just fine.

Da U

September 13th, 2009
11:32 pm

Nope, wasn’t me. This is the first time I have ever heard of this paper nor would I normally post a comment if it was for some of your comments making it to the Miami Herald. Not sure who posted them, but they mentioned this paper. All in fun, but just remember, this is a different U team, one that has had 10 days to prepare and watch film ala LSU. You should be proud, you made it to the MH but those posts are now on the walls of the Canes. Just be ready Thursday night.

go tech

September 13th, 2009
11:44 pm

I’ve learned there are 4 ACC Coastal teams ranked, and zero ACC Atlantic division teams ranked; the Coastal is the class of the conference.

Ed-Covington

September 13th, 2009
11:55 pm

WOW, We are scared. Those posts are now posted on the walls of the Canes, along with the pictures of “The Rock”, Beau Bock, Richard Simmons, Snoop Dog, Rosie O’Donnell(?), Roseanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, Snoop Dog, Jimmy Johnson, Flava Flave, Tila Tequila, Bea Arthur, Arnold (as the Terminator” and from the “Predator”)and Oprah.
We ARE scared!!

Metal Jacket

September 14th, 2009
12:03 am

Need more short passes over the middle to JD. This is going to be a great year for Tech. Sorry about that Dawgs. THWG

BS Patrol

September 14th, 2009
12:04 am

Da U, Houston IS better than the doggies.

GTer dunn!

September 14th, 2009
12:53 am

Ed, don write checks Paul’s boys can’t cash. Morgan is the only one with a push, and canes1 is right. This isn’t the same Miami team as last year.

Ed-Covington

September 14th, 2009
1:02 am

GTer dunn!
This IS the “U” team that let FSU put up 34 and nearly 500 yards of offense, while JAX State held ‘em to 19 and under 100. See “U” Thursday night. The only “canes” they’ll remember is the ones they need to walk with!

RE: the empty "Gold Seats"...

September 14th, 2009
6:58 am

…those “Club Seats” are SOLD OUT (trust me, I tried to get some) but are really a bane to the TV camera since most of the time a lot of the ticket holders are no shows. Frankly, I was surprised that as many of them were used on Thursday night as there were – guess the sun in their face all afternoon on day games keeps them from coming to the Saturday games.

GA Tech Insider

September 14th, 2009
7:10 am

Personally, I think everyone needs to give Clemson more credit. They came back and paid some great ball; and no one’s mentioned that the team they beat last week easily beat the team played Ole Miss tough for three quarters the week before.

I think Tech needs to consider moving Dwyer to A-Back every once in a while, just to shake things up, giving him a chance to get outside without taking the automatic pounding in the middle of the field. Switching things up could also add some confusion to the defensive alignments and cause them to start to play more honestly on the edge, not knowing where Jonathan might line up on any given play. It may end up being a moot point, though, if Anthony Allen and and Roddy Jones keep breaking those long runs, but Jonathan needs those blows as well as his body will need the break from the constant barrage.

Alabama Jack

September 14th, 2009
7:32 am

I’ve had confirmed that CPJ can out-coach anyone else I’ve seen in the game currently. Reminds me of a guy named Dodd that used to hang out at the Flats.

misterwax is correct...

September 14th, 2009
8:16 am

and Coach Johnson probably understands his football team better than most bloggers. So perhaps Tech will make some changes. Ya think?

Are some of these suggestions so obvious they do not merit publishing? Perhaps!

HEY DA U

September 14th, 2009
8:35 am

You a joke dude. How many times in a row has tech beaten you now? Why are you on a tech blog like anyone cares what you have to say given that tech has been your DADDY the last few years in a row! Talk smack when you have proven something besides having to go back to the start of this decade! All that matters now is where these programs are at this moment. Your defense sucks and fsu almost lost to jax st. The same fsu that should have beaten you last week. Tech will put it all together this thursday and wax you just like last year. You are like yesterday’s news down there, nobody cares about the u. We can win this game easy if we just come to play with a chip on our shoulder. there are 3 other games on our schedule that concern me a heck of alot more than this one. Tech wins 30-14 at THE U and hangs 30+ on the board yet again on an average at best miami defense!!!!!!

GO JACKETS!!!!

GT45

September 14th, 2009
8:38 am

We got a kickoff time for the NC game, yet? Everybody needs to put their tail in a seat, and let’s sell out this game! Go Jackets-

blazer

September 14th, 2009
9:03 am

LEARNED-WE NEVER THROW TO THE OTHER SIDE FROM D. THOMAS.

THROW ENOUGH SHORT ROUTE PASSES TO A BACKS-ALLEN DID HAVE A GREAT ONE.

NO SUBS ON OFF. LINE EXCEPT VOSS.??

IT WAS STILL A W !!!!!! BEAT THE CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MJ

September 14th, 2009
9:10 am

Rested and confident Miami at home vs. no passing offense whatsoever and bewildered GT who almost blew a 24 pt lead at home 4 days ago. I think I will go w/ the Canes by 2 TD’s on this one. If Miami stops the run, which they should do, and force Nesbitt to pass, GT is in for a long night. Not sure GT even knows the meaning of forward pass.

Trade School Junkie

September 14th, 2009
9:18 am

Hate to say it, but…I TOLD YOU SO.

(8) weeks ago I said FSU & Miami are not “BACK.” I also said ACC-A would be either NCSt or Clemson. Anyone wont to doubt that now ??

Granted, FSU may have been a little gassed b/c they played a late Monday night game and had to turn around and play a Saturday night game. But hey, it was against D1-AA JaxSt.

So, as for Thursday night, GT & MIami return almost the exact same rosters from 2008. The 2008 game was GT 41-10 before CPJ called off the dogs. 472 yds rushing, and the game wasnt even THAT close. Dwyer didnt even play the 2nd half of 2008 game, and GT wasnt doing any passing.

After watching Maimi’s dreadful Pass D last Monday night, GT may not even have to RUN THE BALL…and can PASS the whole damn way, to light Miami up.

I expect GT to win E-A-S-I-L-Y.

As for FSU, is there ANYONE…SOBER…that doesnt think FSU is
gonna get SLAUGHTERED by BYU next Saturday??

juvenal

September 14th, 2009
9:21 am

2 yrs in a row, Clemson concentrated on stopping JD, & 2 yrs in a row Dabo lost-in as far as it it a game, if CPJ was playing chess, i bet he’d be pretty good..