Special teams a nightmare for Georgia Tech

CLEMSON, S.C. — Georgia Tech’s special teams play was “a nightmare” in its 27-13 loss to Clemson on Saturday, according to coach Paul Johnson. It has been a consistent issue this season and was a much different performance than those in last year’s two wins over the Tigers.

Six miscues were made:

A roughing the kicker was called after Tech held the Tigers to three downs on the game’s opening drive. Johnson said two players were cut loose by the Tigers on the play. Instead of blocking the ball, Johnson said the unidentified player turned and his head and got alligator arms, causing him to miss the ball and slam into the punter. Clemson scored on its next play.

The next error occurred when Anthony Egbuniwe was called for a late hit on Tech’s first punt. Clemson missed the field goal.

Isaiah Johnson had a chance to down a punt at the 1-yard line, but the ball flew right through his arms. The Tigers went down the shorter field and hit a field goal for a 10-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets were called for holding on the subsequent kickoff return, forcing them to start at the 17-yard line, instead of the 27.

After the Tigers’ second touchdown, the Yellow Jackets were called for an illegal block, backing them up to their 12-yard line, instead of starting on the 22.

Later in the game, Louis Young failed to recover a fumbled kickoff return that he seemed to jump on, and Scott Blair, who kicked seven field goals and threw a touchdown pass in last year’s victories, put a bow on the issues by missing a 49-yard field goal with 11 minutes, 4 seconds remaining.

There was a highlight: Lined up as an upback, Lucas Cox called a fake punt that he ran for a first down. But it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome all of the errors.

“We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board in practice and start to work on the little things,” Mario Butler said.

143 comments Add your comment

theriddler

October 24th, 2010
5:39 am

Lewis Buzzard

October 24th, 2010
5:49 am

If PJ doesn’t start recruiting some kids who can tackle and want to come up and hit on defense, it won’t matter how good his offense works. You can’t go out every game expecting your offense to win games. Occassionaly defense has to win games for you and at Tech it is non-existent.

The Situation

October 24th, 2010
6:15 am

Hopefully Butler is going back to the drawing board to learn hot to tackle. How many times did he run backwards trying to avoid contact yesterday? If Va Tech gets up by 14, we need to sit Nesbitt and start getting someone ready for next year. Who cares about making a bowl if it isn’t the orange bowl?

Glass half empty (and leaking)

October 24th, 2010
6:16 am

Special teams were only the tip of the iceberg. This team has fundamental problems all around. A quarterback that can not pass, Offensive linemen that can’t block. Receivers that can’t catch. Running backs that go down at the slightest hint of a tackle. Defensive line that can’t pressure a QB on an obvious passing down. Linebackers and secondary that can’r cover or tackle. A kicker that misses a 46 yard FG 30 yards wide. A defensive scheme that allows opponents to rack up impressive yardage and time of possession. Penalties, mistakes, and lack of motivation point to a lack of leadership that starts at the top and goes through the seniors on the field. It’s embarrassing, frustrating and angering. I don’t even want to watch the next 4 games. It makes you appreciate what a special team we had last year.

Southside Seven

October 24th, 2010
6:26 am

hopefully Mario is going back to learn to tackle and not back away from contact. It’s time to start resting Nesbitt when we get down by 14 also. Let someone else get ready for next year. There is no difference in bowls after the top 2. They are all useless and who is going to go after the let down of going from a BCS bowl to a second tier bowl.

Glass half empty (and leaking)

October 24th, 2010
6:36 am

Bowls? You’re talking bowls? Even with Nesbitt at QB, we’re going 6-6. I don’t know if the ACC tie-ins go that deep.

yellow fella

October 24th, 2010
6:50 am

Nesbitt would only be 50% passing with NO defense on the field… all those players with long braided hair are taking calculus.. Really ????? Bowl game… maybe the Weedeater Bowl in Sherevport ???

longdog

October 24th, 2010
6:50 am

ya’ll ain’t even going to shreveport

John Swofford

October 24th, 2010
6:52 am

I wish the ACC was better. We are the 5th best conference in America at best. ACC football is like “AA” baseball. Oh, bother!!

Southside Seven

October 24th, 2010
6:54 am

The ACC gets 8 bowls so unfortunately we have to go even if we are 6-6. We end up losing money because we will be forced to sell 7500 tickets to Nashville or Shreveport and no one is going to travel after this year. And now we are building a new arena for the worst basketball coach in history. And we know what Danny Hall is going to do. Great April and May and a choke job in June with a new contract extension. DRad is going to have a tough year.

mowreck

October 24th, 2010
7:31 am

I refuse to comment

GT BACKER

October 24th, 2010
7:41 am

Although the plays you have highlighted did occur, it amazes me that anyone sitting through any of our games this year continue to avoid discussing what the real issues are???? It is not poor special teams play, or our defense. Our problems are VERY SIMPLE:
1. We consistently make key mental mistakes causing untimely pentalties, or not make a play that is right in front of us (ie perfectly executed sky punt that should have been downed at the 4), or as CPJ points out 10 guys go one way and an 11th goes the wrong way
2. Our offense,for many, many, many, many reasons is simply NOT VERY GOOD this year. Except for the first few games, our defense has played good enough to win, but due to the offenses inability to have consistent drivees, the defense has not had time to make game time adjustments. When given the chance to make adjustments, the defense has held its own. Case in point, the second half yesterday.
We can call out special teams. We can call out the defense. But until we HONESTLY take a look at the ineptness of the offense, and its INABILITY to sustain drives and make at least a few key plays EARLY IN THE GAME, we will continue to play like we have all year. WE SIMPLY ARE NOT MAKING THE PLAYS WE NEED TO MAKE OFFENSIVELY…..PERIOD

Alabama Jack

October 24th, 2010
7:44 am

To hell with Georgia and with all you fair weather fans who think you know it all. They are still my damn Yellow Jackets and will be forever. Now if you don’t like it, go play in the Athens cesspool with all the dumb dawgs.

Dog kicker

October 24th, 2010
7:51 am

Thank you Alabama Jack !!!!

GT Sambo

October 24th, 2010
7:58 am

Nothing you can say, except this was a poor performance. We have three more decent opponents (VT, Miami and UGA) to put together a good game against a decent team, which we haven’t done yet this season. I think we’ve recruited some players that are better than the ones we currently have, especially on defense, so the future looks bright. But given that we will be pushed down in the bowl pecking order, I think our bowl ceiling at this point is the Music City Bowl, and that would be IF we won out.

HawkDawg

October 24th, 2010
8:10 am

@yellow fella, what does having “long braided hair” have to do with your intelligence? That’s border line offensive.

Hayseed Dixie

October 24th, 2010
8:26 am

Our team, like it or not, is built around offensive time-of-possession.

If the offense can’t find a way to stay on the field, the whole cart tips over.

We just don’t have that offensive snap this year, we just seem a step behind, lethargic, all year.

GT Fan

October 24th, 2010
8:32 am

But we beat UGA two years ago

Old Tech & Mountaineer fan in NC

October 24th, 2010
8:34 am

This Tech team may very well end up in Charlotte…..I said “end up” as in the tire/muffler bowl, not the champ game! LOL. Just have to laugh it off. Gnashing does not change the mistakes like the almost blocked punt.

Eric

October 24th, 2010
8:41 am

Hey joeygt where are you? I called it. I told you you would lose. You talked so much trash. What a moron. And as expected, you are not around. Enjoy your crow idiot and your 6-6 team and shreveport bowl. You have no clue about football.

North

October 24th, 2010
8:44 am

once again the play calling was a joke. to start off the game with 4 straigh passes on two different drives? and then when we do finally score a td, we hold them, get the ball back and on 3rd and 7 what do you do? a 40 yard pass to the end zone. im sorry but paul johnson is an idiot.
these are HIS players. i am starting to believe the people who said we were only winning because of chan’s players. we shouldn’t be this bad one year from winning the conference. this team isn’t going to win any remaining games aside from duke.

Glass half empty (and leaking)

October 24th, 2010
8:48 am

Acknowledging reality does not make a person a “fair weather fan.” This team has a lack of character. They started the year flat and they’ve rarely showed any sign of resolve or determination, much less enthusiasm and energy.

Jimi LIncoln

October 24th, 2010
8:53 am

CPJ cannot recruit and this team is horrible.

Cornelius Washington

October 24th, 2010
8:57 am

I hope Coach Double-Chin/Moobs-turkey neck is learning some humility. Bad things happen to jerks.

Buzz

October 24th, 2010
9:09 am

HawkDawg, right on man!

Once again a trailer trash, sidewalk, UGA fan lets their racism show. I am a white male from Kennesaw and this Exhibit A why I am glad to be a Georgia Tech graduate and fan. Please, the Dawgs can keep the sidewalk fans from around the state, we sure as hell do not want them.

Buzz

October 24th, 2010
9:10 am

Cornelius, so based on your theory, the 11 kids that were arrested since last season …… just saying!

BUZZMAN

October 24th, 2010
9:16 am

I told you this 3 weeks ago, we will lose to VA Tech,Miami, and now Georgia. My predications is Al Groh will be let go at the end of this season (and he should) and Paul Johnson will be given one more year and if he doesn’t produce he is gone to. This trple option is not a winner, Do you see any teams in the top 10 or 20 using the triple option?? It might be great the first couple of times you play another team but after these two times they know how to stop it, Clemson figured it out. Score another loss for Al Groh.

Cornelius Washington

October 24th, 2010
9:16 am

Buzz….CPJ is an arrogant jerk….he is rude to 790 the zone reporters (from his flagship station), female TV reporters, Tech fans, and even AA members (I have been told). One GT man told me that is fine as long as you keep winning….those days may be over for CPJ.

BUZZMAN

October 24th, 2010
9:18 am

We can always go to the BLUE CARPET BOWL!!!!!!!!

Buzz

October 24th, 2010
9:25 am

Cornelius, I don;t disagree that he is “gruff”, that said, what do you have to say for the 11 arrests? You like to throw stones, so why don;t you offer your pious opinion on what is going on at the new thUGA “u”

Cornelius Washington

October 24th, 2010
9:27 am

Bad things also happen to stupid college kids like the 11 who were arrested. I am a UGA fan, but we have some knuckleheads on the team….not thugs, just goofs.

redhairpimplefacetechnerd

October 24th, 2010
9:32 am

Another Heisman performance by Nesbitt

Nate

October 24th, 2010
9:33 am

It’s pretty sad that the team paul left, navy, is better than the one he is currently coaching.

Herschel Talker

October 24th, 2010
9:44 am

Fire Paul Johnson and the whole sorry bunch of coaches!

Smyrnaguy

October 24th, 2010
9:51 am

Al Groh is a retread. Wasn’t he supposed to be the best D coordinator in the state? Yoda of the 3-4?

Smyrnaguy

October 24th, 2010
9:53 am

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed PJ has lost a few pounds?

Chris

October 24th, 2010
9:55 am

Ga doesn’t win their game without the bad kentacky turnovers. Tech’s offense has fallen flat. Bad play calls and fumbled pitches is the problem. Not sure why PJ is making some of the calls he is. He needs a off coord.

superDawg

October 24th, 2010
10:01 am

Come on out macriod you can do it.

John Doe

October 24th, 2010
10:02 am

CPJ needs to go. Gailey’s players are gone and he used a new, high school option offense to success its first TWO year surprising people in a weak ACC. ALL of that is now over. GT looks like a poorly coached and motivated team. Alumni already stirring with his demeanor; not what school wants to be known for nationally.

superDawg

October 24th, 2010
10:03 am

Chris your not going to find a off coord to run that silly offense their all dead.

superDawg

October 24th, 2010
10:05 am

Murray is too short but he plays tall and UGA is going beat the snot out of gt.

GT, Sr.

October 24th, 2010
10:08 am

Johnson ,a football coach, is rude? Imagine that. A sincere man that allows you to know where you stands, a straight talker in a world of bs. College football was started at the turn of the 20th century, long before there was an athletic department, or women reporters on the sideline, or pro football for that fact. It got hijacked by a news media that now thinks and maybe does own it. My father played in front of 100,000 people at U of Mich. in 1933, for Tech. Point is there was football before ESPN and coaches were not characterized by how few or many in the media they made happy. I think this whole country has gotten away from substance and is totally focused on image. Since that is against nature you end up with a lot of liars and fakes. We may have lost a game to Clemson but my man Johnson is no liar or fake and has not sold out to this circus we call college football. A lot of his players have sold out to it, I noticed those helmets were not popping off their heads this time on national television, but under a guy like Johnson and an academic school like Tech they will grow up. Herschel nailed it the other day talking about Georgia. Truth is Johnson comes from the linage of Dooley through Russel same as Herschel. Richt’s heritage is Bobby Bowden. Check the histories and see if both programs don’t resemble where they came from or as Spurrier use to say, Free Shoe University. Apples don’t fall far from the trees.

Glass half empty (and leaking)

October 24th, 2010
10:16 am

The option offense wasn’t what roughed the kicker. It didn’t give up 166 yards to Ellington. It didn’t make Kyle Parker and a crew of average receivers look like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. It didn’t miss a 49-yard field goal 30 yards wide. It did put up 242 yards rushing against a stout defense.

The flaw with the offense right now is that we don’t have a viable threat of any sort of passing game. Someone refresh my memory, but two years ago wasn’t a great deal of praise heaped on Joshua Nesbitt because he was able to adapt to the offense when it was recognized that he wasn’t recruited as an option QB? With the passing that he shows, just what offense WAS he recruited for? His throws are AWFUL. Of course, when he does get one close to our receivers, they can’t hold them. Up until this year, he’s been blessed with having at least one very talented receiver to make him look decent as a passer.

Tell Notre Dame that this offense doesn’t work. They got shredded by this offense yesterday despite the fact that they had bigger, faster and much more vaunted recruits.

The major problem with this team is defense. Against a team with any sort of QB, we get GASHED and the offense sits on the sideline unable to establish any sort of time of possession. I think the 3-4 scheme is a poor match for our style of offense. To make this work, we need a defense that is aggressive and puts pressure on the other team. 3-4 is a “bend-don’t-break” scheme that relies on the other team to not be able to sustain drives. Unfortunately, our players are inept tacklers and we play extremely soft. Groh better get some players to play more aggressively, or he’s gone in a hurry. PJ will not have any more patience with him than he did with the last DC.

Brunswick Tech

October 24th, 2010
10:16 am

God I hate it but thats my team….long long season….here is to another chance next year. Good luck everybody else

Paul Has A Small Johnson

October 24th, 2010
10:17 am

I think the problem with Tech is simple, ARROGANCE

Your coach is arrogant, he thinks he is going to win with a joke offense, good luck

Stay thirsty my friends

CV for GT

October 24th, 2010
10:41 am

Paul — Although I do disagree with the “joke offense” comment, the last line is classic hilarity, so props for that. CPJ is simply a proud and confident man, and confidence is often misconstrued as arrogance. The problem with this team is that on both sides of the ball, the margin of error is minimal, which was not the case last year. Too many crucial mistakes are being made (i.e. roughing the punter after a 3 and out / Roddy Jones overrunning the pitch play and fumbling the ball after the team established a little momentum). On defensive it’s an absolute nightmare. You’ll notice that teams are able to run the ball on first down with relative ease, gaining at least 5 yards. Talk to any offensive coordinator and he’ll happily take 2 and 5 every set of downs. Groh should be given time to establish his scheme for GT, but the defense most certainly needs to improve substantially next season. As far as this year, it really appears that there’s only 1 win left on the schedule, and at this point, I wouldn’t sleep on Duke.

Chicken Farmer

October 24th, 2010
10:44 am

Glass half empty, you said it all! My sentiments entirely and unfortunately I don’t see any improvement for the immediate future. This bunch of yellow jackets appears to be the most uncoachable bunch ever.

smitty

October 24th, 2010
10:46 am

the defense is getting too much blame……yeah, the D is bad, can’t tackle, gives up too many third down conversions……but this year, the D is giving up 24 pts/game…..not great but similar to last year….. the offense is the real culprit……poor execution, turnovers, no passing game, no time of possession dominance……the opposing offenses get the ball repeatedly and usually in good field position……..no defense can hold up under that kind of pressure……i would even venture to say that the defense is actually improved over last year and that’s without a real ringer on defense ( ie, the morgans)……the offense is truly broken…..i think thats a combination of things….opposing defenses game plan to stop the run first and not worry about GT’s passing game…..throw in poor receiver corps, nesbitt’s inconsistent passing, too many third and long situations when tech is forced to pass and there you have it……..can’t run, can’t pass ( at least compared to last year)…..add in poor special teams play and you have the recipe for a mediocre season….i hate to use that word, especially thinking of PJ’s predecessor……..speaking of chan, PJ is a far superior coach and will figure this out……..chan was indeed awful over an extended period………..just ask Bills’ fans in Buffalo……go jackets, just beat georgia

Majord

October 24th, 2010
10:46 am

Can we hire chan gailey as our recruiting coordinator or Paul Hewitt? They recruited well.

Paul Has A Small Johnson

October 24th, 2010
10:47 am

CV for GT

and the rest of the Tech faithful

Paul Johnson will never win big in Div 1 until and I say until he finds a Tim Tebow Qb for that offense

You cannot be one demsional as Tech is and win big,

your one demsional because your QB couldnt hit a Mack Truck traveling 5mph, 7 yds away.

Thats your problem, and your defense can be fixed with another coach