3 steps Tech says it’ll take

Because of the weather, the team did its Monday conditioning and walk-thrus at the Georgia Dome.
As I wrote in the notebook already online (which is also linked to from my facebook GT page), Cooper Taylor was able to practice for the first time leaving the Miami game.
Coach Paul Johnson said “we’ll see” about the possibility of Taylor playing on Saturday against Virginia Tech.
Based upon the fact that Roddy Jones was held out a week after he was cleared, and that Jaybo Shaw didn’t return the week of the Mississippi State game when he was cleared, I would be surprised if Taylor played this week. But, what the heck do I know?
Some of you wrote on the facebook page that you would like to see Taylor back because GT will need all the speed it can get going against VT’s offense.
I don’t think speed’s been the issue. This is my rudimentary take on what I saw against FSU: GT tried to blitz but really could never get to Ponder in the first half. When coaches started moving Derrick Morgan around and changing looks it seemed to have some effect on FSU’s offense.
However, showing all the different looks again would seem to run counter to Johnson’s desire to simplify the defense.
Here’s a radical thought I had on the drive back to Tallahassee: go to a 3-4, instead of a 4-3, and zone blitz. Of course, that’s a lot simpler to write than to do.
So, what does Tech need to do to improve its pass defense:
Simplifying would be where Johnson wants to start;
Brad Jefferson said they need to keep to their assignments, and play with some more urgency;
Charles Kelly wants the dbs to take advantage of the plays that are there;
So there are three places.
A couple more thoughts: getting Egbuniwe back on the field would be a good start. FSU’s offense was tailor-made for his pass-rushing skills. Tongo was able to take advantage when he got in there.
But pinning their ears back and rushing up field will lead to big trouble against Virginia Tech, which can actually run the ball effectively.

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65 comments Add your comment

old Tech fan in NC

October 12th, 2009
9:24 pm

Tyrod scrambling last year was not good for Tech but he seems to do less this year…wonder why…
How do you measure “urgency”…is there a meter?
Take advantage of plays that are there? Is that not basic? What does that mean???


October 12th, 2009
9:28 pm

Didn’t the Tech defense go from 4-3 to 3-4 and then 5-2 when the 3-4 wasn’t working as well? The problem is up front. Our defensive linemen just can’t seem to get any sort of pass rush going. That gives QBs way too much time to make a good decision.


October 12th, 2009
9:37 pm

The Virgina Tech offense has been pretty good this year in contrast to their performance in the past. However, looking at the game they played against Nebraska, they can be stopped. My thinking to get a better pass rush is getting T.J. Barnes onto the field more and occupying the interior portion of the offense line much like Ron Brace and B.J. Raji in the past at Boston College. That will create more opportunities on the edge for Derrick Morgan and Anthony Egbuniwe.

Go to http://isportsweb.com for more Georgia Tech Football articles. Let’s fill up Bobby Dodd Saturday and support our Jackets as we knock off the Hokies.


October 12th, 2009
9:42 pm

WE need speed on the defensive line. Some of our lineman were held straight up without any penetration. That gives the quarterback too much time. That’s why we are gettin burned by decent throwing qb’s.


October 12th, 2009
9:45 pm

I just want to see the defense we saw in the second half of the FSU game…they only allowed 9 points and limited the yards and the possesions as well as first downs for FSU. The offense scored enought and the defense made just enough stops to win.

We need a complete effort from the defense, offense and especially the special teams. Kick off and punt coverages will be huge this game…lets beat the Hokies at what they do best!

Go Jackets and Beat the Hokies!


October 12th, 2009
10:12 pm

I think if we hold Va Tech under 35 we win…we don’t our work will be cut out for us. Because our offense has hit a stride and VT struggles against the run, so I think it’s in the D’s hands…they need to step up end of story.


Big Play CJ

October 12th, 2009
10:31 pm

Start rashad reid at corner opposite butler. now that reese is back reid doesnt have to play safety anymore. the majority of big plays made against our secondary are on tarrant he cant tackle or cover worth a darn. thats why reid needs to take his place in the startin lineup.


October 12th, 2009
10:35 pm

Our defense needs to go simple. We seemed to have the most trouble with FSU when we were lined up in a 3-3-5 defense (most of the 1st half and into the 3rd qtr). I looked just like the Miami game in that defenders were out of position, turned around, not in position to make a play on the ball and we left the middle of the field wide open. Against UNC, we played a straight 4-3 all game and ran simple coverages and few blitzes. The defenders were rarely out of position.

buzz is wiser

October 12th, 2009
10:36 pm

Don’t think the 3-4 would be a good idea. Didn’t coach Johnson implement that whole wolf position due to a lack of depth at the linebacker position.

Not Disappointed

October 12th, 2009
11:18 pm

I know VT’s offense is improved. I just don’t think Boston College is that good.

We should VT to end, but we can score as well. We just have to stop them a few times. Let’s Go! Fight & Win!

Go Jackets!

GT Rich

October 13th, 2009
12:04 am

It is the 4 receiver sets that kill us. Miami and FSU would spread the field, then their QBs would pick GT’s secondary apart. VT never goes with 4, and almost never with 3. This game will be low scoring.


October 13th, 2009
12:20 am

zero turnovers equals victory…..it all starts with that…+2 in turnover margin and we should be able to control the clock and the scoreboard.


October 13th, 2009
6:44 am

Doug – you insight is provocative. You get to see them practice and spend time with the players. We only see their product on game day.

VT has been a force for a long time in Div 1-A. Now Tech is making a run and perhaps building to that end.

All of the preceding comments are almost ditto of the NC game.

Nice job – keep us informed dude!

Alabama Jack

October 13th, 2009
7:08 am

Win, lose or tie,
I am a proud Jacket until I die,
Unlike the dawgs
who are dead and stinkin’.


October 13th, 2009
7:42 am

The key to beating Va Tech is for our offense to control the ball thus keeping Va Tech’s offense off of the field. That’s how we were so successful against FSU in the 2nd half. Scoring in 1 to 2 plays is great, but it puts our D back on the field and over time, tires them out.


October 13th, 2009
7:49 am

A hybrid here, a personal friend of Bobby Ross, played football at his alma matter, VMI. Grew-up watching the dawgs. So I have always pulled for both programs even when they play each other. The thing that concerns me in general with Jacket and Dawg fans, is how people have forgotten how to respect each other. What happened to the old style fans, classy and respectful. The younger generations need to learn to curb their tongues and blogging.

Hope tech wins out the ACC and gets a BCS bid. Played defense against Johnson for 4 years, he will have some good years ahead of him.

Hope the dawgs have a Chan Gailey year at 7-5. Changes will be coming to the UGA coaching staff either by decision or forced.


October 13th, 2009
8:37 am

let jason hill-sr. play at dt some (hasn’t played any yet i don’t think)-move jason peters to de

for some plays-can antonio williams de freshman redshirt play any??
we miss robert hall and cooper taylor !

GT Parent

October 13th, 2009
8:41 am

WRT to TJ Barnes, it is not just balk that counts on the defensive line, it is also strength. TJ has to get stronger in the legs and lower body in order to hold his ground, and hopefully make some penetration. I saw him getting pushed backwards on the line more than once this season.


October 13th, 2009
8:54 am

This may sound naive, but I don’t think the problem is speed, strength, or how many there are up front. The problem is the lack of leadership and fire on defense. It is a cycle of doom, since it is hard to be fired up when you aren’t doing well; nevertheless, we need a dominant leader to step up and motivate his fellow soldiers — else, the defensive game is over before it even starts. Hooah?

The key to beating VT...

October 13th, 2009
9:04 am

…is to be Alabama – GT has no shot this year, but it should be an interesting game.

And, there is really no difference between a 3-4 defense and a 5-2 defense. And, Doug, do you really know what a “zone blitz” is?


October 13th, 2009
9:17 am

Good point GT Rich, I watched the game again last night (third time now), because I can’t believe the pass defense can be that bad. One thing I saw during the blitzes (spelling?) were outside guys taking the wrong route to the QB. I am not a football coach, but if I saw it, hopefully guys that are smarter than me saw it also.


October 13th, 2009
9:20 am

The problem GT has on defense is poor tackling. Players were in position to make the play but did not. I would suggest that today’s practice feature a tackling drill.

Gt must stop the VT running game & make Taylor beat them with his arm.


October 13th, 2009
9:29 am

First, I agree with DawgJAcket, Lets have some class and respect! My opinion on the VT game is that GT needs to focus on stopping the run. We can’t generate a pass rush, but we can stop the run! Don’t let the VT running game beat us, make T, Taylor throw the ball…sure we’ll give up some points, but we also might get some stops through bad throws, drops, and even an interception. Hopefully our offense will click and we can outscore them. VT is really good! Go Jackets!

the real Old Gold

October 13th, 2009
9:31 am

Surely to goodness we can figure out how to cover Taylor’s passing in the secondary. Don’t look for the pass rush to be effective with his great feet. There will be no use to blitz… we have to play smart and be disciplined. I hope Wommack fan figure it out.


October 13th, 2009
9:38 am

What we need (as many have already said) is better push from the defensive front. The problem is how the coaches will create that in one week. If it boils down to inexperience and a youthful lack of athletic abililty, there is nothing a coach can do to correct the problem from one week to the next.

Here’s hoping CPJ is smart enough to coach around the problem (I think he is).

Bulldog Mike

October 13th, 2009
9:47 am

Tech’s defense is horrible.


October 13th, 2009
9:58 am


October 13th, 2009
10:12 am

watch out what mutt

Gold & White

October 13th, 2009
10:20 am

Question: Can Tech redshirt Shaw if he does not play this year? Wouldn’t that be a good idea???

Statement: VT’s offense is certainly not to be confused with either UM’s or FSU’s. They will play conservative with a pass/run ratio of 1 pass per 2 runs. Are they capable of scoring more than three td’s ….very doubtful. At home they get the benefit of the their fans and their refs. At GT they’ll only have their refs for help. GT wins this game.


October 13th, 2009
10:28 am


I saw Kevin Cone in class today and he was on crutches! Any word on what happened to him at practice yesterday? Will he be able to play on Saturday?

paul johnson

October 13th, 2009
10:32 am

We could play a 4-12-5 defense and they would still be wide open


October 13th, 2009
10:33 am

I don’t know how to help the defense. It seems like they just need to grow up!

It sure is nice, though, to go into a game expecting the offense to put up at least 30 points. I don’t remember having that feeling under Gailey!

GA Tech Insider

October 13th, 2009
10:37 am

Gold & White; Jaybo cannot red shirt; in fact he recovered FSU’s last onside kick Saturday night.

My understanding is that Tyrod Taylor isn’t scrambling much this season for a reason; he has an ankle problem. If the Jackets can slow Virginia Tech’s running game and apply pressure to Taylor when he goes back to pass, I would give him a couple of chances to run and see what he can do when the pocket breaks down and his receivers are covered down field.

If Taylor can’t move as well as last season, our defensive ends and linebackers might just be quick enough to recover and handle him on their own and we won’t have to worry too much about any nickel or dime packages on defense. We’ll be able to use the zone blitz and even and occasional corner blitz that Doug alluded to in his article.

GA Tech Insider

October 13th, 2009
10:37 am

Nate; Kevin broke his ankle and is out.

Sea Island

October 13th, 2009
10:45 am

Glorified high school stadium not sold out for game against #4. ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.


October 13th, 2009
10:53 am

Hey Doug, I’ve felt bad for the way some of the Jackets fans have treated you. With that said, please take care not to ever say Tech in reference to Virginia Tech as I believe you did in your “What to know about Virginia Tech” article (it’s near the bottom). Not only does it create ambiguity, but Georgia Tech fans really do take it as an insult!


October 13th, 2009
11:38 am

Focus on the run. If we put the bulk of our effort into taking VT’s run game away we can win this game. Like CPJ said, we have to be good at something. We have to take something away. We are (obviously) better against the run than the pass so we have to focus on limiting their run game. Miami picked apart our secondary but what really hurt is that they also ran for 200 yards.

We’re going to get our points, I believe that. We just need to force a few stops again and we can win it. Let’s make Taylor beat us with his arm.

We are a better team than the one that came within a bad penalty of beating VT in Blacksburg last year. They are somewhat better as well, but I do not think their defense is as good as it was last year.


October 13th, 2009
11:53 am

Sea Island – You can have your full stadium and a 3-3 record. We’ll take a few empty seats and enjoy being 5-1.



October 13th, 2009
11:55 am

Things sure are quiet here on the Tech blog when the mutts are too embarrased to talk trash. I almost miss them. Almost.

Jackets Fans - BUY TICKETS

October 13th, 2009
12:01 pm

Enough said. Stop being crappy fans.


October 13th, 2009
12:14 pm



Hey, blazer, get a clue...

October 13th, 2009
12:26 pm

…we’re fighting for 5th place in the East!!!!


October 13th, 2009
12:27 pm

blazer – UGA will be LUCKY to finish second in the east.


October 13th, 2009
12:32 pm

G-Tech is going to need to drive the ball every time they get it and take 5-7 minutes off the clock on every possession. if we get many 3 and outs, we have no chance. GO JACKETS!


October 13th, 2009
12:44 pm

Blazer- UGA is fighting Vandy this week for fourth place in the SEC East…


October 13th, 2009
12:51 pm


October 13th, 2009
1:21 pm




October 13th, 2009
2:49 pm

Full steam ahead with the offense and don’t look back. Encourage the defense to go out there and have fun, after all it’s a game.


October 13th, 2009
2:59 pm

Keep a sharp eye on the officials. I thought they cost us the game last year. Here is an email I sent to the ACC:

HERE WE GO AGAIN!! 8:59 left, GT 17-VT 17, GT stops VT on 3rd down, 2 GT players hit VT QB IN BOUNDS,AND REF THROWS FLAG FOR A LATE HIT! ESPN/ABC ANNOUNCER: “I DON’T LIKE THAT CALL AT ALL!” THIS IS A GAME CHANGER. IF VT GOES ON TO WIN, THEY CAN THANK THE ACC REFS FOR THAT CALL! The 2nd GT player hit the QB simulataneously with the 1st to keep the QB fron turning upfield to get the 1st down. A TERRIBLE CALL! INEXCUSABLE!!

Refs called it helmet-to-helmet. ESPN/ABC announcer still didn’t agree. “I thought it was a clean lick!”

Johnny Test

October 13th, 2009
3:05 pm

Tech is pretty darn good this year but probably not good enough to beat VT. This VT team is better than last year’s team. They have played a harder schedule than Tech and have looked better every week. Tech’s defense is not near as good as their offense. That’s the difference. Tech should finish 10 and 2 this year unless they slip up against the Dawgs who need a big win to salvage an otherwise disasterous season.