The good and the bad in Tech’s loss

Reviewing Georgia Tech’s 27-13 loss at Clemson on Saturday:

The game that was

Georgia Tech had many things go right on its way to the Orange Bowl last season. This season, things aren’t going their way with as much regularity and the result is losses. The odd thing is in each of the three losses there has been a single moment when, if one play is made, the result could have been different. On Saturday it was the failure to recover a fumble on a kickoff return. Against N.C. State and Kansas, it was allowing third-and-long conversions after Tech had just scored to take the momentum.

What we learned

1. The team needs to get mean. Paul Johnson said afterward that his team got whacked around. Brad Jefferson said the defense had trouble beating blocks (not the first time this season that has been said), and Johnson later said the offensive line needs to put its hand on the ground and blow somebody off the ball. That’s not all technique, some of that is just wanting to be meaner than the man in front of you.

2. Special teams need special attention. Tech isn’t good enough to overcome too many mistakes. It had a season’s worth of errors on special teams in the loss to Clemson, with six errors made. The punt-return unit, which has had issues throughout the season, had a penalty for roughing the kicker, and the punt coverage unit was called for a late hit. It also failed to down a punt at the 1-yard line.

3. The offense needs a game-changer. With the exception of Orwin Smith, Tech has nobody on the edge that can be consistently counted on to either catch the ball or take the option and turn upfield for a big play. Smith has become Tech’s most dependable receiver with two catches for 37 yards on Saturday in a group that had more drops. Smith also had four rushes for 54 yards. Anthony Allen was a game-changer on the edge in the rushing game last season at A-back. Because teams are focusing on taking out Joshua Nesbitt and Allen, who is now a B-back, one of the A-backs needs to step up … and the offensive line and wide receivers need to help by sealing the edge.

Injury report

There appeared to be no significant injuries.

Numbers game


Rushing yards per carry on 38 carries allowed by Georgia Tech on Saturday. The 236 yards allowed was a season high. Tech was susceptible to cut-back runs last season, and that hasn’t changed this year.

Sound bite

“We’re going to have to go back, watch the tape and get this thing worked out quick because we’ve got a couple more big games coming up.” — Allen said, referencing games at Virginia Tech and at home against Miami.

Loose ends

Nesbitt needed 44 yards to become the ACC’s most prolific rushing quarterback. He now needs 42 yards after netting just 2 yards on 15 carries against the Tigers. It was his worst rushing performance since Johnson took over as coach and an example of the offensive line’s issues. … Twice this season Tech has been held to a touchdown or less in the first half. … Tech didn’t force a turnover for the fifth game this season.

What’s next

Georgia Tech gets more than a week off to regroup before heading to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech. Tech’s chances of making it back to the ACC championship game are very slim, but they include needing a win over the Hokies.

118 comments Add your comment


October 25th, 2010
3:43 am

There’s a lot of work to do if there are any hopes at all of salvaging this season.

I do believe I’m first.

Rockdale Jacket

October 25th, 2010
4:11 am

Doug: I wonder if a net of 2 yards on 15 carries (0.1 yard per carry)
does not set a GT record or maybe an NCAA record low for a QB
running an option offense? Maybe no such record kept to prove or disprove
this statement. Anyway, besides the offensive line being the culprit, why did
the play callers not try something else when they saw Nesbitt was being stopped? Just curious.

brent cunningham

October 25th, 2010
4:19 am

Who could win a tight game in the entire country with as many stupid mistakes early from special teams? We had a nice stop to give us the mo from the start,but alas, the mo was shot in the foot.The first 10 minutes were a total special team nightmare. The entire offence and defence were given a steep steep mountain they were not qualified to climb.


October 25th, 2010
5:04 am

When we lose a game we lose it in all aspects. The defense makes a stop and the special teams group makes a stupid mistake and gives it back. The offense wakes up and scores to get it close and the defense lets the other team run it right up their gut for an easy score.
I’m still wondering what Al Groh is doing as DC. We keep starting a NT that is consistently pushed out of the way by a single player. No wonder the other team can simply run it right up our gut.
Got a long week to correct things or else we will be pounded by VT.

Alabama Jack

October 25th, 2010
6:42 am

The coaching is terrible! Can’t blame it all on the players!


October 25th, 2010
6:54 am

Let’s all stay behind this team. Clemson’s D Line is very good and credit is due to them. Special teams errors & no room for Joshua to operate lost the game. We all know there is a drop-off from last year, but there are 3 big games left + Duke. This team is capable of putting it together and winning any of these games. Fan base plays a role in successful programs. If you enjoyed the success last year, you need to support the team now and let’s see how they do…..

Alabama Jack

October 25th, 2010
7:13 am

To the dawg using my name – bite one.


October 25th, 2010
7:14 am

There is nothing bad about Tech losing. Tech losing is good for America.

As previously written...

October 25th, 2010
7:17 am

… so much for being 8-0 when the Va Tech and Miami games come around…


October 25th, 2010
7:18 am

…johnson surely got smaller after losing to a team coached by a guy name ‘Dabo’…


October 25th, 2010
7:19 am

…who was the moron last week that couldn’t wait for Joshua to break Dantzler’s record on his home field…

Hey, brent cunningham...

October 25th, 2010
7:21 am

…try taking some remedial courses next time you are at Tech, maybe you will learn how to spell ‘offenSe’ and ‘defenSe’…


October 25th, 2010
7:30 am

Face it we got whipped on all sides. The Groan defense appears to be no better than before. It seems to only have success against lesser opponents.

Most under utilized player on the field is Orwin Smith.

S. Hill’s position of wide receiver needs to be changed to “tall guy in uniform”, because in my book a receiver has to actually receive. Although

I guess that we didn’t expect Clemson to plan to stop Nesbitt.

No sacks on Pakrer? Again, weak d line, and weak o line. Sorry guys, but you need to be in the weight room instead of at the V.

For having the deepest team in his tenure, it appears they may be deep, just not very good.


October 25th, 2010
7:37 am

The problem is not with the coaching-it’s the level of talent they’re trying to coach.

Frustrated Fan

October 25th, 2010
7:43 am

I’m frustrated and I’m sure CPJ is frustrated. Here is the difference between Last year and this year. The Offensive line needs to take controll of the game. Something it has not done. We need a big play guy. Stephen Hill is not it and won’t be it. I’m sorry but he can’t catch. Tall yes, Fast yes, Can’t catch. Surly someone on Tech’s team can catch the ball. Its not the QB’s falt the puts the ball where I see other teams make plays. Last year Bay Bay made the plays when it came crunch time. This year we don’t have that guy and that is the difference between last year and this year.
After saying all that I’m not giving up on the team. I still believe in our coach, I believe in our players and I believe in our school. GA TECH until the end win or loose!


October 25th, 2010
7:48 am

Let Steven Hill watch from the pine for a couple of games. Move Orwin Smith to receiver to show him how it should be done. Then, throw SHORT passes. Forget the 30 + attempts. Stop with the desperation heaves to Hill. If a team stops our run game, and can stop a short passing game, then they out-thunk us. But we haven’t tried all the options yet.


October 25th, 2010
7:48 am

It has been a re occuring theme the entire season. The O-line has not been able to block anyone. Yes, the players are playing with no itenesity.

We will see what happens against the turkeys in early November.


October 25th, 2010
7:49 am

Game changing play @ Clemson? The roughing the kicker flag changed the whole game when they scored and did not look back.

old u

October 25th, 2010
8:12 am

The great al groh will shut down Virginia Tech just like he did at UVA (1-8). LMAO

Joe Schmoe

October 25th, 2010
8:21 am

Will someone please explain why Logan Walls gets any snaps at NG? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY NOT LEAVE TJ IN?

Paul in RDU

October 25th, 2010
8:26 am

After 8 games you pretty much know what a team can and cannot do. The 2010 GT team is far behind the 2009 team in many areas – OL, making long catches, turnover differential, etc. – and is highly unlikely to win out.

jacket fan in wisconsin

October 25th, 2010
8:27 am

brent cunningham , is that really you ??? the one from eatonton, ga. ? Man, I loved watching you run back in the late 60’s early 70’s ! Have I got the years right ??

Captain Obvious

October 25th, 2010
8:27 am

For those of you who tell me “that it is not the coaching, but the limited talent they have to coach.” Who do you think is responsible for the limited talent? Not me and not you. The coach is responsible. It appears that the cupboard was full when CPJ took over. The question then becomes..what does the cupboard look like now?

Rt in NC

October 25th, 2010
8:31 am

Hey, ThatStingHurts
You and I CAN”T be the only people seeing this. The reason Nesbit’s passer rating is so low is 1) receivers keep dropping easy catches, 2) He keeps throwing hail Mary’s. CPJ, THROW FOR AROUND 10 YARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 25th, 2010
8:34 am

It may be time to start playing another QB so GT can have somebody ready next year who has taken some gameday snaps…

I don’t think that it would really matter much at this point, because even if somebody could actually catch a pass, Nesbitt seems to have regressed in his already suspect passing ability.

This offense must be run to perfection for it to work, and that has not happened all year. Add to the fact that the passing game is non-existant, and it is downhill from here.

I won’t even get into the defensive issues but I would not blame it on Groh – he has very little quality to work with.

This program under CPJ has stalled this year, and if there is not marked imporvement in the next year or two, it may be time (God forbid again) to make a change.


October 25th, 2010
8:35 am

Where r u gtjoey? You said clemson would lose. You mocked Dabo. Your coach was outcoached and looked silly out there.
I knew you would disappear like the tool you are.


October 25th, 2010
8:38 am

Come on. This team is bad. They will lose 3 of the next 4, beating Dook.
6-6 and a trip to shreveport where you mocked the uga for going last year.
Uga 38
gt 17


October 25th, 2010
8:48 am

I was a season ticket holder for 35 seasons, and it looks to me like we are getting manhandled on both lines! Until our lines start blocking people, and getting pressure on the other quarterback, we will struggle to win games. Stephen Hill does not catch the ball well, and Joshua had a BAD game against Clemson with his reads. It is a game of fundamentals that we are not doing well–blocking and making the tackle on their ballcarriers! Stupid mistakes, penalties, etc., are killing us! The coaches can only do so much. The players on the field have got to want it badly enough to concentrate, and play smart football! I don’t see the fire in their belly that seems to show that they want to win more than the other guys like I saw last year!


October 25th, 2010
8:49 am

The good is Tech is not as good as last year, the bad is no one knows how much worse.


October 25th, 2010
8:49 am

The two yards rushing by Nesbitt are a misnomer. Remember, sacks count against the running game. So that tasks away yardage.

I do believe for the first time under Coach Johnson, we hava make or break game. He has always stated that good teams don’t lose two games in a row. We will find out what Tech is made of next Thursday in Blacksburg.

ramblin man

October 25th, 2010
8:52 am

throw more short passes to the a backs and slant routes…that is what has been working not the 30 yard bombs!

Max Sizemore

October 25th, 2010
8:52 am

1. Hey, Born2Buzz, you say the NT is being pushed around. Maybe he’s the best Groh has. 2. Doug, you say the offense needs a “game-changer.” Again, you simply fail to understand Johnson’s offense. It is a SYSTEM. If the defense does this, Tech can do that. You can’t say, OK, we’re giving the ball to the B-back or pitching it to the A-back so he can make a play. Somebody else wrote that Tech needs to throw short passes. The offense isn’t designed that way.


October 25th, 2010
8:54 am

I got the bad for you………Stephen Hill. That moron couldn’t catch a cold. I mean I realize this is a bit of a down year, especially with the hangover of losing some unbeleivable talent to the NFL, but there is no excuse for losing like that. Pathetic!!!!


October 25th, 2010
8:57 am

Clemson used a staggered defnesive line formation that I’d never seen before – both D-Ends played upright and off the line. It seems apparent that the good teams are starting to understand how to play against CPJ’s offense. And if you can’t pass out if it, it’s gonna get worse.


October 25th, 2010
8:59 am

Move Anthony back to A back to play with Orwin. Let Lucas play the B. Forget about the midgets. Let David and Tevin play some qb. Mix it up. We will not just get better and win. The O line and D line will not be bettter until next year. Need to use the talented skill players to effect change. Al G you better send some backers and DB’s on some stunts son and mix it up or UGA will run it on every play all day long like last year. If we stand still nothing will change. Change will only be effected by using our skill players more creatively.


October 25th, 2010
8:59 am

Doug Roberson, you are a perfect fit to cover the Nerds. You look like one, therefore you are. Paul Johnson won with Chan’s talent, nobody wants to play in that “system.” Good hire!


October 25th, 2010
9:01 am

ss the BullDawgs are going to put the final nail in the gt coffin.Good luck with Duke.


October 25th, 2010
9:08 am

PJ is getting a taste of humble pie. This arrogant SOB thought that he was such a genuis he could plug anybody into his “GREAT” scheme and he would win. Now we all realize just how terrible a recruiter he really is and if things don’t change he is going to end up doing worse than Gailey. Next year I could easily see this team below .500 and even chan didn’t have a season that bad. What happened too the mantra- wait until PJ gets his recruits to the flats? That now looks like a scary thought instead of a good one.


October 25th, 2010
9:12 am

Agree with CPJ’s spost-game assessment.

Clemson has “veterans” on the D-Line. By comparison, GT has “rookies.”
GT O-Line simply got manhandled at LOS.

UP UNITL NOW: Stephen Hill has shown he is not capable of catching ANYTHING more than 5 yards past the LOS.

GT secondary was out of position a lot on Saturday.

GT D-Line got pushed around pretty good too.

HOWEVER……….VT’s D is not nearly as good as Clemson.

Always a Jacket

October 25th, 2010
9:13 am

Lets be realistic, losing all the talent to the NFL and others is fact of life. No coach will admit to a rebuilding year. But, CPJ is building a program and this was always going to be a tough year. Tech had a great season last year and can still recover this year for a good season if the younger players stop making mistakes. It is realistic to believeTech will win its remaining home games and lose the remaining road games.
Clemson is a good team and Tech was in it despite all the mistakes and on the road. Assuming we beat Duke & maybe UM, we are going bowling and CPJ should finally get a bowl win.


October 25th, 2010
9:20 am

What the crap happened? I didn’t get to watch it because I was headed to the UGA game.

Looks like y’all are figuring out a harsh reality about trying to replace NFL caliber players with good college players like we did last year with Stafford/Moreno vs Cox/Ealey.

Defense gave up a ton of rushing yards? New scheme. Maybe it is the jimmys and joes instead of the x’s and o’s.

We gave up 31 to UK and head to Florida after Urban has had an extra week to prepare. GT gets to go play VT in 2 weeks.

Ain’t college football fun?

Tech Man

October 25th, 2010
9:21 am

Paul Johnson has won…forever…everywhere. He wins big consistently and will do so at Georgia Tech. At the end of this year, he will be averaging 9+ wins per year. A very good start by any measure. He is just getting started.


October 25th, 2010
9:22 am

We need more hotdogs!

Dunwoody Jacket

October 25th, 2010
9:24 am

I agree with Always a Jacket. CPJ is the right man for Georgia Tech. Duke is the only given left on the schedule, but I think the Jackets are capable of winning three of the last four. It all depends on which Tech team shows up for each game, or sometimes it seems like a different team shows up each quarter.


October 25th, 2010
9:25 am

it’s funny to see everyone become so negative, or even jump off the bandwagon when Tech can still win the ACC this year. All they have to do is beat Virginia Tech, Miami, and Duke, and hope Virginia Tech loses to either North Carolina or Miami. Not that much of a stretch. This team’s just inconsistant. Nesbitt is still a great QB in our offense, and our defense just needs to play with more confidence and keep blitzing.

Take what UGA has done the past few weeks as a model for what we need to do. I’m a GT fan, but UGA has turned around a season that looked awful (ask any UGA fan), and is now the hottest team in the SEC East. Believe it or not, both UGA and GT are in the same position now, with tough games ahead and still in contention to win their respective divisions. UGA has their ship sailing in the right direction it seems, while Tech needs to right the ship by the time they play VT in Blacksburg next Thursday.

Slide Rule

October 25th, 2010
9:37 am

Could some of you genius engineers please tell me how a Heisman candidate QB, with an ACC record on the line, who runs the freakin option for God’s sake, manages to come up with 2 net rushing yards? Are we hearing this right? As big as “joshua” is all he had to do was fall forward at the line the ENTIRE game and he would’ve gained more than 2 freakin yards!

So Yesterday

October 25th, 2010
9:47 am

This is not going to get better. Did you see our defensive back backing up to the endzone instead of attacking the Clemson reciever that caught the ball. It was third down and an aggressive play would have stopped the first down much less the touchdown. We have very poor efforts by some of our players, and the offense is a disaster. Not sure why some of these players are not giving the effort, but something is definitely missing from this team. No chemistry, no real leadership and it seems no guts. You are not going to beat anyone this day and time scoring 13 points. Listen we lost to Kansas, the worst team in division one football. Maybe they can beat Duke, but the other games will be beat downs if they do not change things right away, and after 8 games it is hard to imagine the change we need. Just a piss poor year, but CPJ will have em back next year. Maybe some of the younger guys will step up and be leaders as this team has none that is eveident at this time.


October 25th, 2010
9:49 am

Good game, Tech got beat everywhere, simply got beat by the better team.
Heck, Clemson played Auburn (#1) better then anyone in the SEC has so I’ll take this loss. CPJ has this team pegged, they are real close to being a real good team but it like they just never step up. They kill drives by a bad play almost every time, it does not look like team have them stopped but a bad pitch or something will put them in a hole.

Defense, inside linebackers were lowering their heads trying to take on 300 pound guards, could not even see what was going on with their head in the chest of the OL.

Nice game by Clemson, solid play everywhere, QB was off and they still won.

Reggie Balless

October 25th, 2010
9:49 am

How’s that Nesbitt for Heisman campaign going so far?

Yellow Jacket Joe

October 25th, 2010
9:51 am

Groh must go – the sooner the better!!!