Sunday aftermath

For a guy whose team scored 42 points on Saturday, coach Paul Johnson didn’t seem as pleased as one might think on Sunday.
As I wrote for the Monday print story, he said the team is going to be have a lot better for next week’s game against FSU in Tallahassee.
He wasn’t happy with the play of special teams, the offensive line, the defensive ends, the linebackers and the secondary.
So much so that he said there may be some changes at linebacker and secondary.
He didn’t say what or who, only that they are going to take a look at a couple of things.
I”d be curious to hear your thoughts on that. Who would be replaced? And why?
I can’t imagine Jefferson or Griffin would be replaced. Jerrard Tarrant is one of the team’s leading tackler. And Mario Butler seems solid. I’ll be curious to hear what Johnson says this week.
Johnson was asked about Anthony Egbuniwe, who got off to a fast start against MSU. Johnson said he’s got ability, but needs to be more consistent. He said that Egbuniwe got caught out of position more than once on running plays. But Egbuniwe seems to be getting a rush off the edge that wasn’t there before.
Lastly, it would be wrong to again not mention the impressive game that Nesbitt and Thomas had on Saturday. If Nesbitt can keep it going, Tech’s offense is going to be hard to stop. And the longer the offense stays on the field, the more pressure it puts on the other team’s offense to be perfect.

70 comments Add your comment

Rico

October 4th, 2009
9:00 pm

Terrant is the leading tackler because of two reasons. The d-line is not playing well and he get’s burned often. He is a great special team’er, but I hope we have somebody to give him some competition. He is a awful cover guy right now.

GTarmchairQb

October 4th, 2009
9:02 pm

Doug,

To begin with, thank you for your articles and coverage of Tech football— it’s great! You’re having a fantastic rookie year as a journalist!

I’m not sure what

GTarmchairQB

October 4th, 2009
9:08 pm

I’m not sure what “adjustments” we can really make on D, that would significantly improve play.

Phil Steele had us ranked 28 pre-season, and cited the loss of 3 NFL D-lineman as a major reason why.

The fact is, we are 1 or 2 seasons away from really dominating the ACC and challenging for a NC.

The offense will be nearly unstoppable by next year, if not by the end of this season.

10-2 with a win over UGA would make for a fantastic season, and is realistic.

I don’t think we win the ACC this season, nor should we. We’re not there yet.

2010 and 2011 will bring great things, however!!!

joeygt

October 4th, 2009
9:14 pm

i was impressed with how gt offense has progressed over the last 2 games, they have been executing alot more the tripple option, on the other hand the defense has been a roller coaster ride all years so far. i believe tech offense is starting to click at the right time.
i think tech can out score most teams only against the great offenses will the defense have to really step up. tech will go 10-2, 11-1 this years

Toe Meets Leather

October 4th, 2009
9:18 pm

GTarmchairQB, I couldn’t disagree with you more in regards the ACC this year, nor your 10-2 prediction. THERE IS NO REAL REASON WHY GT SHOULDN’T BE FAVORED IN EVERY REMAINING GAME, much less not be able to win out. Virginia beat UNC yesterday (!). All it takes is for Miami to slip once, and we’re going to Tampa. We CAN win out. A good win on the road in the SEC shows this team can find a way to win regardless of the situation…the question is ‘will they?’.

“Toe Meets Leather” – Sisson’s game-winning FG against then-#1 Virginia in 1990 – is NOW AVAILABLE on t-shirts at http://www.stinGTees.com! ‘Get your GT’ now!

Stinger

October 4th, 2009
9:19 pm

Well we probably won’t hear from any of the obnoxious morans who frequent this blog from UGA for a while. Not being ranked in any polls will keep them in hiding for a while longer. I have actually noticed a few very classy Dawg posters recently and I certainly am not including them. Several of the idiots have already quit once UGA lost to Oklahoma State, now LSwho will eliminate a few more.

tommy

October 4th, 2009
9:22 pm

I love Johnson’s expectations & passion. He sets the bar high & us fans & the players have to appreciate that. I wouldn’t count winning the ACC out of the question. We have to beat a VT & then we are in a 3 way tie. I know there are some other games such as this weekend that can be tuff. VT as a terrible offense. We have a Terrible defense, and I really think that we can move the ball on there offense. That game is very winnable.

Pee pee on a dawg

October 4th, 2009
9:24 pm

FSU like to pass. Georgia Tech’s defense does not know what to do a against the pass. Bobby Bowden a has said that he never wants to play Tech’s offense again. This week will be a shoot out, Tech wins by time of possession and interceptions.

GTMAN099

October 4th, 2009
9:39 pm

I went to the game last night and must tell you that Johnson is right on. I have never seen such horrible tackling.
MSU could not stop us and we could not stop them. We gave up 2 needless TDS near the end of the game.
Josh had –by far– the best game he has played at GT. Glad we won but we need great improvement especially TACKLING someone by putting our arms around them not just running into them. Kicking—-awfull!!!!!!!! Kick coverage —- AWFUL!!!!!!

PDubATL

October 4th, 2009
9:48 pm

Tarrant is great as a special teams player but he is getting killed on coverage against the deep slants. He usually gives the recievers too much of a cushion and isn’t aggresive enough to cut underneath and go for the pick. Not sure that we have much better, but opposing offenses have targeted him the past few games as a weakness to throw at.

oletimeGTfanatic

October 4th, 2009
9:53 pm

We had better not loose our focus on FSU. We need to still take it one game at a time, BUT I will say it again IT SURE FEELS GOOD TO WIN AGAIN
Thanks CPJ, coaches, and players!!!!!!!

Tampa Wreck

October 4th, 2009
10:04 pm

CPJ is just telling it like it is. We needto make some major improvements, particularly on the defensive side. If MSU doesn’t continually put the ball on the turf, we likely lose that game. Both Tarrant and Butler are week in coverage. And while they do make some tackles, its only after retreating 10 yards. They are the most timid tacklers I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure who we have that is better, but its time to start giving others an opportunity.

It’s great to have a coach that doesn’t sugar coat it for the players, and is that is willing to shake things up when the team doesn’t perform as he expects them to.

Tech Fan in Athens

October 4th, 2009
10:18 pm

Hold the phone! Favored in every game? Win out? Bobby Bowden and Mickey Andrews can still coach and have gobs of talent. Plus they are spoiling for a win. All roads to the conference championship STILL lead thru VT. When was the last time GT won in Charlottesville – 1990? Remember the Duke debacle a few years ago? The last time GT got caught reading their press clippings was between the UGA and LSU games… It’s a cliche but FOCUS on one week only. It’s the first week on October – Polls and Bowls will take care of themselves. I don’t care about stats or who should be benched. Just Win, Baby. One week at a time.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

October 4th, 2009
10:37 pm

Well, you gotta love PJ. He is trying to light a fire under some guys!!

BUT, in this case, I surely don’t know who he can get to play linebacker or DB that is better than the ones playing. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think we have much depth there just yet.

In regards to this week, FSU will give us a tough test. Ponder, if not pressured, can pick you apart with short to medium passes. He also is pretty adept with using his legs to break containment. Our offense may have to outscore FSU’s offense, unless our defense shows something more than we have seen thus far.

Go Jackets!!!

gojckts1

October 4th, 2009
10:41 pm

first of all, i completely agree with “Tech Fan in Athens”. As excited as I am about our abilities and the great things to come, pls don’t get too caught up in the hype! Execute and play smart and tech can beat anybody on their schedule, play stupid, and anybody on the schedule can BEAT US! I have faith in Coach Johnson. It’s going to be a great decade coming up for the Jackets!

CapTB

October 4th, 2009
10:43 pm

IF Tech doesn’t play better defense they will be looking at 3 or 4 more losses. The Tackling is bad, the coverage is poor, the pass rush is poor…against a team that has a good passing game, Tech can only win by outscoring the other team in a shoot out; we did at MSU…aided by 5 turnovers…we didn’t against Miami. I’m sure the coaches are playing who they think can do best, but it’s to the point if we have some inexperieinced but talented players, I think we play them and accept the mistakes to see if we can ultimately be better. One other concern Coach Johnson addressed…our OL blocking on the inside is poor, and must improve if our offense is to remain at a high level against the better teams.

GM

October 4th, 2009
10:50 pm

Why can’t the AJC get the score of the game right? I’ve seen 3 different finals….

Midnight Rambler

October 4th, 2009
10:51 pm

Beware of Mickey Andrews trying to knock Nesbitt out of the game as they did so many times to Joe Hamilton. Furman Bisher wrote one of his classic columns when an ESPN side-line walker quoted the FSU players announcering ahead of time that’s what they were going to do. That is precisely what they did accepting the occassional late hit penalties whenever the inept ACC officials decided to throw one. I lost all respect for Bobby Bowden and the Semi’s after that.

GO DAWGS

October 4th, 2009
11:32 pm

I like men. M, Yellow Fuzz, and Saint Simons, can I join your tickle pile when you beat us this year?

42-31

October 4th, 2009
11:58 pm

We scored 42. Shesh you’re coverage is awful.

CW

October 5th, 2009
12:19 am

MS State never punted once in the game last night. Yes, their five turnovers played a part in that, but considering one of those turnovers was on the 1 yard line and another was a desperation pass late in the game, there is zero evidence that our defense would ever stop their offense had they not fumbled so often. That was possibly the worse defensive game I’ve seen Tech play in the last five years.

The offense looked great, but when the D can’t stop anybody, it puts too much pressure on Nesbitt to have to drive and score every series. I like Tech’s chances against a wounded FSU team, but that game in Tallahassee is far from a gimme. Our D needs to focus on tackling much better before I’d ever suggest that Tech will go 2-0 against FSU and VT.

Midnight Rambler

October 5th, 2009
2:14 am

Give credit to the Miss. State offense which nearly beat LSU. Also give credit to our D whose alert play forced most of the turnovers and gained possession of them. Nonetheless, there is certainly much room for improvement. Our offense made the big plays when it had to. I don’t think they let State get closer than 11 points. The Jackets will have to have their A game against FSU in their house. The Jackets should win, however, baring key injuries, turnovers, or bad calls by the infamous ACC refs

Cuttysark

October 5th, 2009
3:27 am

Mississippi State is a pretty good football team and played hard on Saturday. However, when we are executing our offense it is pretty hard to stop now that Josh has really taken control of running the system. Need to keep it rolling heading into Tallahassee Saturday.

Go to http://isportsweb.com for a review of the Bulldog game. Go Jackets!

gt47

October 5th, 2009
6:21 am

A KICKER! SPECIAL TEAMS! 95MILLION DOLLARS FOR A KICKER. WE HAVE TO LOOK FOR ONE AND SPEND A SCHOLARSHIP FOR HIM. A KICKER, A KICKER, OUR KINGDOM FOR A KICKER. YOU HAVE TO GET TO THE 25 YD. LINE B4 YOU HAVE A CHANCE. WHEN IS A GAME GOING TOCOMEDOWN TO A 40 YD. FIELD GOAL TO WIN THE GAME? WE WILL BE IN TROUBLE! OUR DEFENSIVE PLAYERS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN THEY ARE PLAYING.(WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?), WELL, IT COULD MEANTHEY ARE THINKING ABOUT THEIR ASSIGNMENTS TOO MUCH AND NOT JUST FLYING AROUND AND HAVINF FUN.LIGHTEN UP AND THEY WILL PLAYBETTER, OR GET A NEW DEFENSIVE COACH. GO JACKETS!

Alabama Jack

October 5th, 2009
6:34 am

Sometimes I wonder why we pay CPJ at all. The answers are all right here on the blog. I am simply enjoying being a head of the mutts. He is responsible for that, not any of us bloggers, and I, for one, appreciate it.

Midstate Jacket Fan

October 5th, 2009
7:11 am

I’m not sure what changes on the D would make much difference.

Against the Noles we have to have pressure on the QB from our D-Line. They have been neutralized against BCS teams. I really feel that our secondary will look better if the opposing QB is making quick throws and making decisions under pressure.

Tech Tony

October 5th, 2009
7:21 am

For all those saying “let’s hold off on the praise for now”, I wholeheartedly agree. While 4-1 is just where I hoped Tech would be after 5 games, there are many many things on which to improve.

As for the D-ends, it’s easy to see why Johnson was angry. Every time MSU ran its spread option, the Tech ends would dive inside (playing a 6 technique and not a 9) allowing the play to get to the corner for larger gains. Sure, Morgan and Egbuniwe can at times rush the passer, but there’s more to playing DE than just that.

Call me a nervous Nellie but I sweat every game and am especially nervous about Saturday in Tallahassee.

One final thing, I agree about the need for a kicker. I don’t mean this as an indictment of just Tech but of college football recruiting in general. Coaches are so hot to trot to get that 13th OL on scholarship (a guy who most likely will never see the field) when a consistent kicker can make much more of a difference in terms of winning and losing.

Golden Hand

October 5th, 2009
7:48 am

While I generally never criticize any move that Paul Johnson (PBUH) makes, I think the difference in the kickoff coverage had to do with Julian Burnett being removed from the kickoff team because he’s starting. JB is a wedge-buster par excellence, and they obviously missed him on that touchdown return.

They’re kids, and they’re learning, and the whole coaching staff just drips with competence. They’ll get better as the year progresses.

Golden Hand

October 5th, 2009
7:57 am

Oh, and for people who are guaranteeing 10+ wins — have you SEEN our offensive line? Maybe two of those guys would start for any other D-1 program in the country. The fact that we have such a good offense with such marginal (hard-playing, but small and/or untalented) linemen is a testament to CPJ’s genius. Our best lineman is a 255-lb. tackle. Our right guard has worse footwork than Tom Delay. I’d hate to see the lineman grades every Sunday; some of those guys can’t be cracking 40 percent.

Once Paul gets the redshirts off some of his line recruits, and they get a couple years’ starting experience, we’re REALLY going to see what this offense can do.

Rob

October 5th, 2009
8:19 am

How about changing a guy named Wommack!

NYJacket

October 5th, 2009
8:51 am

Now that the Tech offense is running on all cylinders, I hope CPJ can afford to spend more time with his defense concentrating on the offense they will have to stop on Saturday.

The pass blocking can be worked on in group drills. I agree that our guys need to do a much better job on pass coverage.

The linebackers especially need to do a better job of picking up their coverage responsibility.

Also, our linebackers seem to be getting caught up in the line of scrimmage which puts them into a chase position instead of giving them good angles to make sure tackles.

But, we also need to be able to pressure the QB. If you let Ponder have all day to throw, FSU will kill us.

rainman

October 5th, 2009
9:02 am

I have to agree about Tarrant — a CB needs to be fluid, have good closing speed, and be able to stick to the receiver like glue. He seems to be stiff and lacking the ‘quicks’ to stay with the wide-outs.
Maybe if they went back to a 4-3, adding someone like Anthony Barnes, they could control the run better and also have a more versatile blitz package.

Go Tech

October 5th, 2009
9:10 am

What is the word on Cooper Taylor? Will he be able to play against FSU?

Trade School Junkie

October 5th, 2009
9:11 am

Saturday night was a W and I’ll take it.

But, nothing about it looked dominating. If MSU doesnt turn it over 5 times, then this game is too close to call. Even with the 5 TO’s, MSU still had 487 yds of offense. We had less than that. Bottom line, that tells me we’re still struggling.

Nesbitt’s “Hail Mary” to Hill was probably the game-changer. We go 3 & Out on that serious, and the game probably goes all the way to the wire.

The short passes were looking good. MSU had some beasts on their
D-Line, and our O-Line was getting pushed around. There was NO pass protection, and msot of Nesbitt’s passign was on the run. Credit Nesbitt for throwing pretty well on the run.

Tarrant’s coverage does needs some improvement, and I’m not so impressed with Smith KO-reurn coverage. Where’s the burst? Why all the stuttering stepping?

We HAVE to play MUCH MUCH better to beat FSU. I’m just not sure that we can. We may be just playing up to the limit of what we can do based on the roster, espcially the O-Line and D-Line.

T.O.P. seems like its gonna have to be the key stat.

Doug Roberson

October 5th, 2009
9:14 am

41 has been changed to 42. I’m a dummy.

superDawg

October 5th, 2009
9:17 am

stinger I wont go away and you are a moron.you are probably ramble on who vanished after the miami beat down.I unlike you bunch of nerds will not stop pulling for or standing up for the DAWGS.What I saw saturday was a UGA team hang tough until the end.Excessive celebration my ass.

GT Rich

October 5th, 2009
9:34 am

Everybody should remember that Tarrant is essentially a freshman. He hasn’t played in two years since leaving high school. In practices, playing the D starters vs the O starters doesn’t really help build cover skills when you only pass 20% of the time. The scout team can only prepare you so much…

AZ Jacket

October 5th, 2009
9:41 am

Does anyone like to spoon with CPJ? I here he is very cuddly.

I hate those mean ole dawgs. They is so stoopid.

Lavette4066

October 5th, 2009
9:51 am

Is it just me, or does Dwyer not have the extra gear that he showed last year? There have been several runs where he would have gotten 25+ last year, but only gets 8-10 this year. Don’t get me wrong, 8-10 is great, but not the back breaker of a long TD run.

Ramblin Wrecker

October 5th, 2009
10:03 am

Let’s not freak out about the defense. Remember we’re playing without two starters in the secondary: Dominque Reese and Cooper Taylor. I think once we get them back to full strength, the secondary will tighten up. As for the d-line and linebackers, I think the defensive line has improved. Anthony Egbuniwe, as raw as he might be, is a difference maker. He adds a badly needed rush opposite of Derrick Morgan and he knocks balls loose. He forced two fumbles on Saturday, recovered one himself. That’s Michael Johnson type production. Logan Walls has done some good things as well, moving in front of Jason Peters, and I saw TJ Barnes make a couple plays on Saturday as well. I thought Julian Burnett brought a lot of energy when he was in the previous games, but I didn’t see the LB’s make many plays against MSU. But I’m not sure who they’d switch out at LB.

Anyway, the offense looked awesome. They had everybody involved. Stephen Hill scored, Bey Bey scored, Allen scored, Roddy scored, Dwyer scored. It was a great variety and well executed.

johnny weissmuller

October 5th, 2009
10:04 am

superDawg

Give it a rest for God’s sake man.

Your team and entire program is heading for a fall and you’re still trash talking. Have you no dignity?

GTman

October 5th, 2009
10:27 am

1. Get Dwyer outside more often on pitch plays and run the draw play to Dwyer. With the improved passing game, the draw play with Dwyer should be a big gainer.

2. More reverses. How easy was that and we did not run another reverse all night??!

3. Do we have a screen pass in our play book? Again, this should be a big weapon with Dwyer.

ON D:
Nice job of stripping the football. I could tell our players were really focusing on tackling and stripping. 41 did a great job. He was out of position a few times, but he brings great energy to the D line.

Brad Jefferson can blow you up once he gets there, but he seems a little slow.

Can we coach a safety to play deeper than their deep? We continue to get burnt deep.

Overall, great job by the Jackets except for special teams. I am amazed that a college program can not find someone on campus that can kick the football into the endzone on a kickoff. Is it really that hard to do? This would save about 7 pts a game and 15 yards per kickoff of field position.

THWG! I can not wait for UGA to come to town and take their whoopin’!

BobinBuford

October 5th, 2009
10:33 am

If you want to see what a UGA fan looks like today, go read Barnhart’s column. The call against LSU for excessive celebration was the “worst” in CFB history. He even had to defend his remark when people called him out on it!!! I guess that means that the only reason UGA lost the game was because of that call. Never mind that even after LSU was called for the same penalty in a make up call, UGA could not take advantage of the penalty like LSU did. Amazing how TB can come up with excuses as to why they lost the game.

So the next time someone writes here about how much GT is favored by the AJC, just direct them to his column. The next one will probably be about how it is unfair that UGA is no longer ranked in the top 25 while Tech is.

BIG BEE

October 5th, 2009
10:37 am

Hey m, here m, here m. Has anyone seen m. If you see him or hear from him, tell him BIG BEE said”I told you so”. It is tough to get beat by LSU, no matter what the score is.

johnny weissmuller

October 5th, 2009
10:45 am

Lavette4066

I noticed the same – CPJ has said that JD is not as in good a shape as he should be

collegeballfan

October 5th, 2009
10:55 am

Not having spent the past 30 years coaching football for a living I will let Johnson make the personnel decisions.

But the problem on defense of not being able to stop the opponents run or passing game is a major problem going to FSU. You gotta be able to take one of those away.

Tech82

October 5th, 2009
11:10 am

Ramblin Wrecker – Yes, we are playing without two starters on defense but we were at full strength against Miami and they gashed us all night. While I agree we will be better with Taylor and Reese, they are not the answer to our defensive ills.

To those who think we should be favored to win the rest of our games – you need to enter a 12-step program. Really, just say no. There is NO WAY this team will be the favorite against Va. Tech. I think we can beat them but we won’t be favored.

While I am very happy with our record thus far, we have SERIOUS issues to address on the defensive side of the ball if we want to keep the momentum going.

johnny weissmuller

October 5th, 2009
11:14 am

Tech82

Good point, but the defensive scheme has changed since the UM game

Good point though

Doug Roberson

October 5th, 2009
12:44 pm

For those who are screaming for a new kicker, please remember that your kicker did win the game against Clemson. And, Johnson also said that the kicking team as a whole was responsible for the touchdown. He has said many times that Blair has the ability, he just needs to do it.
To my recollection, he hasn’t cost you a game.
And, remember, some of you may have been the same folks calling for Nesbitt’s head two weeks ago. He has played arguably the two best games of his career since then.
Brad Jefferson was named one of the ACC’s players of the week. I’ll have something on that in a moment.
I’m not sure if the criticism of Tarrant is warranted, and I say that only because the pass rush hasn’t been there consistently since the Miami game. There have been moments against North Carolina, and there were moments against Mississippi State. Of course, if everyone could get to the QB all the time the game would probably be a lot different, wouldn’t it?
I find myself saying this every week, but this weekend is going to be a big game. FSU is a very, very dangerous team. One that is playing for its coach now after a member of FSU’s board said it’s time for Bowden to step down. Would you want to be a player on the team that ended his legacy?
As for Taylor, there’s still no word on when he may return.
On the depth chart there don’t seem to be any changes, but it’s still early in the week.

GTSteve

October 5th, 2009
12:52 pm

but, If Tech wins the next 2, they will be favored the rest of the year