Stopping 100-yard runners a must

Georgia Tech has given up a 100-yard rusher in six consecutive games.

Coach Paul Johnson said stopping that streak would be a good place for his defense to start improving. The Yellow Jackets (2-1, 1-0 ACC) will host N.C. State (3-0, 0-0) at noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

“We’ve got to be more consistent and continue to get better,” Johnson said. “We aren’t where we need to be by any stretch of the imagination. Our guys need to keep working.”

N.C. State hasn’t had a running back crack 100 yards in any of its three games, but that may be because two backs, Mustafa Greene and Dean Haynes, split carries. Greene averages 58 yards a game on a 4.3-yards-per-carry average, and Haynes averages 46 yards per game on a 4.9-yards-per-carry average. The team is averaging 140.3 rushing yards per game. Tech is allowing 154 rushing yards per game.

Improving the run defense may be a matter of improving the tackling. Johnson said the team missed more than 10 tackles in last week’s 30-24 win over the Tar Heels, one of the reasons that Johnny White rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown. It was his first 100-yard game.

Haynes had two fumbles in the the Wolfpack’s win against Cincinnati last week, the first two turnovers N.C. State has committed this season. He’s still listed as the starter for Saturday’s game.

“We still have confidence in him,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien told gopack.com. “It’s the first time that he’s had bad things happen to him. He has to mature. He has to be a little smarter. He was a little shocked on Thursday when it happened. It’s all part of growing up and getting better.

“A big part of being a running back is you have to forget about it. We have to help him move on. He is still going to be a big part of the offense. We have to get him back in the swing of things.”

Johnson said he can improvement in the defense from week to week, even if the stats don’t show it. He said the players are moving faster because each week a little bit more of the defense comes more naturally to them.

The Century Six

Georgia Tech has allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of its past six games:

Player, team…….Carries/Yards/TDs

Johnny White, North Carolina……17/113/1

James Sims, Kansas…………………….17/101/1

Asheton Jordon, S.C. State…………..18/132/0

Brandon Wegher, Iowa………………..16/117/1

C.J. Spiller, Clemson……………………20/234/4

Washaun Ealey, Georgia………………20/183/0

Caleb King, Georgia………………………18/170/2

54 comments Add your comment

Miles

September 21st, 2010
1:59 pm

first and did spiller really get 234 on only 20 carries? I guess a W helped me forget that.

Reality Stinks

September 21st, 2010
2:02 pm

KC in Smyrna

September 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

our defense was horrible last year. 234 on 20 carries looks like HS numbers. The week before 183+170 in the same game. It is amazing the UGA game was only 30-24 with those numbers. The other 4 guys should not have seen 100 yards.

GT+CPJ=SUCCESS

September 21st, 2010
2:07 pm

Thanks Doug I was wondering what the defensive issues were.

Wow, those are some really revealing numbers...

September 21st, 2010
2:09 pm

…that is some good reporting, Doug…

GT+CPJ=SUCCESS

September 21st, 2010
2:13 pm

It all comes back to missing tackles. Spiller is the only name in that group that can be considered a great RB. Ealey and King got help from several holds at the line, but piss poor tackling after that just like all the rest. The saving tackle by Petterson in the UNC game could have been broken if he had not been able to hold him just long enough for another defender to get there. I really think this defense has the ability to be really good, but they should be running 1-2 hours of tackling drills a day till it sinks deep into thier heads. If the offense had not been able to do what they do with those clock killing drives that could have been a loss.

On the bright side of those last 6 games...

September 21st, 2010
2:21 pm

…at least we were 3 – 3…good thing we rush for so many yards, too!

collegeballfan

September 21st, 2010
2:25 pm

The 183 + 170 yards rushing by UGA’s tailbacks last year says a lot about the inability of UGA to get the ball in the end zone. That was one of the problems they were trying to correct this season.

Mike Smith

September 21st, 2010
2:27 pm

To say that Groh’s defense isnt off to a good start is an understatement. Neither of these first 3 games have been against teams with good rushing attacks or offenses period for that matter. This has to be fixed quick because the second half of the season is loaded with teams that love to run the football.

We_Run_This_Country

September 21st, 2010
2:30 pm

2-0 in the ACC sounds a lot better than 0-3 in the SEC!

messin with the sasquatch

September 21st, 2010
2:50 pm

looks like we have to score more points than the other guys if we want to win?

GT Sambo

September 21st, 2010
2:55 pm

Mike Smith,
Were you expecting Groh to come in here and have these guys playing as an NFL caliber 3-4 in the first week? Our personnel certainly isn’t any better than last year and in fact we have some guys playing a position for which they aren’t necessarily suited. The transition to the 3-4 has actually gone fairly well, I think. Hopefully we will continue to make progress.

5150 P.O.A.D.

September 21st, 2010
3:09 pm

Hall( if he starts) really needs to take on 2 Blockers to keep them off the LBs. The NG has to plug the middle for this D to work. Right now we don’t have a BIGETIME PLUG for the middle. Barnes really need to get in shape to play the whole game.

Georgia Tech Virgin

September 21st, 2010
3:16 pm

Did you mean stopping the runners on the field, or stopping people running away from the tech ticket office, free hotdogs, and free Cokes? The honey bees are screwed on both counts.

Wolf1

September 21st, 2010
3:47 pm

Gentlemen the men of NC State will be calling on you this week….fear the Wolf Pack!

Dawgtards ruin this state

September 21st, 2010
3:49 pm

all thUGA has left is to make fun of Tech, How SAD!

juvenal

September 21st, 2010
3:50 pm

gtforever

September 21st, 2010
3:53 pm

Good Luck stopping the run! I will go out on a limb. NCS will have a running back break the 100 yard barrier. Just Sayin….

cluett peabody

September 21st, 2010
3:54 pm

Messin with the sasquatch: “looks like we have to score more points than the other guys if we want to win”… Isn’t that always the case with every team?

juvenal

September 21st, 2010
3:56 pm

since overtime, anyways..

Butts Wagner

September 21st, 2010
4:13 pm

It’s not just missing tackles, it’s the D getting pushed around by the opposing teams O-Line. In many of these games, Doug could have run for 100 yards the holes were so big.

Doug Roberson

September 21st, 2010
4:24 pm

What makes you think I couldn’t have run for 100 yards anyway? :)

juvenal

September 21st, 2010
4:35 pm

i don’t know, Doug, what’s your 40 time?

GT Sambo

September 21st, 2010
4:44 pm

I think Doug will say that 40 times can be very misleading ;)

Doug Roberson

September 21st, 2010
5:01 pm

My 40 times….ummm, it’s been a while, and i wasn’t wearing the right shoes, and at the time my girlfriend was living in canada in this town that you’ve never heard of, and i was up late the night before….

Stephen CC

September 21st, 2010
5:05 pm

Those numbers are telling, for sure. You’re right, Doug, we do need to stop that trend if we expect to be a better team overall. It has amazed me watching those games how runners are able to get such yards when our boys are trying so hard to stop them.

There are several reasons as I see it:
1. Some of those backs are simply good backs and quicker than our guys on defense.
2. Sometimes our tackling techniques are suspect (arm tackling, leaving the feet too early, failing to square up and establish position, going for the ball without wrapping up the player, etc.)
3. Sometimes our scheme doesn’t adjust quickly enough to what the offense is bringing (this is coaching).
4. Sometimes a player is out position and the opposing offense simply takes advantage (this is the mental breakdown of the player, not coaching).
5. Sometimes the player is trying so hard to do something good that he actually fails to carry out his assignment. For example, I often see defensive ends rushing the QB take an inside route and leave the outside open which can be disastrous. Of course the blocker will give the inside in many situations. We need strong effort, but we need to contain and carry out our assignments too.

These are just a few things I have noticed. I do see a great deal of improvement and believe we will be better as time goes by. We are certainly headed in the right direction. Let’s never stop striving to be the best we can be. GO JACKETS!

T3

September 21st, 2010
5:12 pm

Doug:

IMHO its meaningless to look back at the so-called “last 6 games.”

Youre talking about games that were played 9+ months ago, with very different rosters on both sides of the ball, and obviously the D schemes are very different.

It would have MORE CREDIBLE and comprative value to more generally look at the first 3 games of 2010 vs first 3 games of 2009.

Doug Roberson

September 21st, 2010
5:14 pm

wouldn’t the first 3 games of 2009 be even more inappropriate, following your logic?

3-4

September 21st, 2010
5:18 pm

T3- different roster, different season…same results….100+ rushers in each game. That was Doug’s point. There is a trend. Its just like folks were saying that Kansas had lost 6 straight before meeting GT. Lost 5 straight the year before and one this year. It’s all a “streak” no matter the relevancy. I’m sure CPJ is telling his kids that this year is different and start with a clean slate….but let’s be truthful. A streak is a streak.

3-4

September 21st, 2010
5:19 pm

My bad Doug…you can defend yourself!

Burdell

September 21st, 2010
5:29 pm

Getting blocked on the press conference blog…checking this one….Bueller….

Uncle Hud

September 21st, 2010
7:17 pm

“Johnson said the team missed more than 10 tackles in last week’s 30-24 win over the Tar Heels…”

More than 10? Looked like a LOT more than 10 to me, but we got the W because we benefitted from a couple of fortuitous turnovers and our offense always scores points by the bushel. Not pretty, but it’s still a W, a conference W, a division W, and our first step towards another Orange Bowl.

Is it just me, or is this offense fun to watch?

Joe Schmoe

September 21st, 2010
7:38 pm

One step helps solve eliviate this problem… Put TJ Barnes in there… Walls gets pushed around like a man 180 pounds soaken wet.

Dawg Fan

September 21st, 2010
7:50 pm

It doesn’t matter. GT will have a field day against Jawja this November. The only runners on Jawja’s team are already behind bars and the rest of them got schooled by S Carolina and Arky.

superDawg

September 21st, 2010
9:24 pm

Stop 100 yd rushers,how about green 400 yd recieving.

wes

September 21st, 2010
10:41 pm

Whenever Tech’s opposition runs toward Anthony Egbuniwe’s side of the field, I believe they average around 20 yards.

Put in Attaochu. I know he’s a true freshman, but he made some SICK plays towards the end of the game vs UNC.

Remember how T.J. Yates was unable to play the final 3rd down snap of the game? Yeah, that was Attaochu laying the wood to him in the pile.

This kid (#45) is gonna be a big star at Georgia Tech.

GT-UT

September 22nd, 2010
2:19 am

Been reading the blogs here for the past couple seasons. Decided to join in. CPJ is a great coach. His offense IS fun to watch. And, for the first time that I can remember, I’m excited about our depth. I think the D is a function of recruiting and it’s tough to get great big fast athletes that can spell their names and not get arrested. Will get better with success on and off the field.

savjacket

September 22nd, 2010
7:52 am

Hey Wolf1, little bit premature to be flexing those muscles, don’t ya think. We shall revisit this on Sunday morning.

James. T. Kirk

September 22nd, 2010
11:15 am

Does anyone else smell a national championship season? I think you do!!!

GT+CPJ=SUCCESS

September 22nd, 2010
1:45 pm

GT-UT,
I think you hit the nail square on the head. Hopefully McCoy, WOULD LOVE INFORMATION ON HIM IF YOU HAVE IT DOUG, got whatever the medical issue was taken care of and he along with others can build a strong D line along with some big athletic LBs and I really think Groh will build a strong D. Anybody that really thought this D was going to be a game changer this year was dreaming. Not saying things can be fixed and get better, but I don’t think offensive cordinators are saying oh “oh no we have GT coming up next week”.

wolf1

September 22nd, 2010
3:51 pm

savjacket nope we think anyone that lost to Kansas should be easy..talk to you gentlemen Sunday then!

wolf1

September 22nd, 2010
3:53 pm

James. T. Kirk when we beat Tech and then VT and Boston College we might start smelling a NC but its a little premature to start thinking that yet.

wolf1

September 22nd, 2010
4:14 pm

You know I’m just a visitor here but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of blog “traffic” slow week?

SMACK THE PACK

September 22nd, 2010
7:38 pm

well well well, just heard on the CPJ radio call in show, NC State is wearing the WHITE jerseys on our White Out day..typical…..well Wolfpack it did not work for Wake Forest and it will not work for you..So look for GT to have on Gold Jerseys and fans to have on White..NC State you suck

The Sad Truth.

September 22nd, 2010
8:39 pm

When will we open our eyes and see what is truly going on at Tech? We are competing in D1-A with D1-AA talent. With the exception of a few of Chan’s remaining recruits (and i am not saying Chan got the job done)…where have we taken steps forward in recruiting, or even on the field execution? We are under sized, under talented, and our coach loses his mind when the score is close and game is on the line. Shotgun, spread, ANY wrinkle would help throw the defense off and CPJ is too stubborn to try it in fear that it will look like HIS option system will not work. But the story goes to talent…we are NOT getting top level talent. Sure the argument can be made that we dont need it with this system but i do not see Michigan or West Virginia with linemen as small or skill players lacking talent or size such as what is showing up at Tech. We are turning into a glorified Navy. Yes they are respectable but nobody talks about them at the end of the day. Again, since CPJ has taken over…where have we made strides in recruiting. Nobody wants to play at Tech because it is clear CPJ could care less about developing professional talent. The only thing he wants are HIS wins with “HIS” system. Yes that mindset is nice, but with many teams getting professional talent, and GT getting glorified high school talent, the results will show in the coming years. Nice work D-RAD. Yes we will win 7-10 games a year but for some people, that is not enough. One step forward-Two steps backwards.

Technophobia

September 22nd, 2010
8:50 pm

Sad Truth, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Except for 2007, CPJ has out recruited Gailey every year. We won the ACC last year. We sent 4 guys to the NFL last year, 2 first rounders. The improvements in the program since CPJ came here are obvious, too bad you choose not to see it.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
10:08 pm

The Sad Truth,
I will echo Technophobia! You don’t know what you are talking about. No,we do not have recruiting success of UF, FSU, Alabama or UGA and we probably never will. That’s why I like Paul Johnson’s offense, we aren’t out there recruiting the 29th best pro style quarterback in the country, the 42nd best offensive tackle to protect our pro style quarterback, or the 33rd best pro style running back. We are recruiting some of the top guys for our system! I also liked the switch to the 3-4 for the same reason, unfortunately UGA also switched to the 3-4 so we are still competing for some of the same types of players there.

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
10:11 pm

And how have we taken a step back with CPJ. You said yourself 7-10 wins per year. That implies that we were at some point above that level, which of course in the last 20 years is only twice (1990 and 2010).

GT Sambo

September 22nd, 2010
10:12 pm

That should be 2009 although of course I think we could be above 10 wins again in 2010.

GT-UT

September 22nd, 2010
11:07 pm

Sad Truth, you are an idiot. Technophobia and GT Sambo are right on. If you are concerned about talent, see me previous post. It’s not that hard. Wondering if you are a poser?!! GT fans AND alumni don’t put up with car thieves. This is a hard working institution. We earn it day in and day out!