The game that was
A day later, and it’s still a 45-28 loss that could have been much worse if not for two missed field goals. Statistically, the offense is similar to last season, but something seems to be missing, whether it’s a big-play threat at wide receiver or the execution of bread-and-butter plays. Defensively, it’s too similar to last year. There aren’t enough big plays being made or turnovers created.
What we learned
1. Tech’s front seven on defense is having a hard time winning the man-on-man battles. The Yellow Jackets were able to sack N.C. State’s Russell Wilson three times, but only one of those, a sack byIzaan Cross, came from a player winning a one-on-one battle. The rest came from players coming untouched on blitzes. Johnson said they may rotate more players in on defense in an attempt to keep them fresh. He said the players get tired and they quit paying attention to detail.
2. Tech’s passing game remains inconsistent. Joshua Nesbitt was 5-for-18 against the Wolfpack with several more bad misses. For the season, he is 14-for-43 (32.6 percent). Instead of approaching 55 percent passing, which is a goal, his numbers continue to decline. At least once a game he and his receivers don’t seem to be on the same page, withNesbitt throwing as if it’s going to be this route and the receiver runs another. He seldom had time to throw on Saturday, which has been an issue this season. He’s been sacked four times, including three times by theWolfpack.
3. Special teams aren’t dependable. This season there has been a 13-yard punt, a roughing-the-kicker penalty, missed blocks in 2-on-1 situations and against N.C. State there was a punt blocked and recovered for a touchdown. There was also a punt return for negative yards. The blocked punt on Saturday was a combination of a bad snap, a less-than-urgent Chandler Anderson, and anupback who blocked poorly.
Preseason All-ACC center Sean Bedford left the game in the first quarter after being kicked in the shin. Coach Paul Johnson said Bedford couldn’t play if the game was tomorrow. They hope to get backup center Jay Finch back this week. He didn’t dress out for Sunday’s game because of a hamstring.
Passing plays by N.C. State that went for at least 20 yards. That’s three more big plays than Tech had allowed through the season’s first three games.
“It was very similar to the second game [Kansas] with missed assignments. The effort was better. Last week we didn’t have the missed assignments, not with the numbers this week. It’s disappointing.”
Johnson said he was pleased with the play of wide receiver Correy Earls, who made his first reception of the season. … Johnson said that middle linebacker Julian Burnett played more snaps than Brandon Watts, but they he considers them to be interchangeable. Watts had six tackles and Burnett four.
Tech will turn its attention to Wake Forest, which has been beaten 99-24 in its past two games. However, it did score 54 points against Duke three weeks ago, so it is capable on offense, which must worryTech’s defense. The Deacons were defeated, 31-0, by Florida State on Saturday. Tech is 1-1 in the ACC, but it was in the same spot last year and went on to win the conference championship. A win in Winston-Salem would be a start.