Downhill runners…is it all down hill?

Georgia Tech has had its issues stopping running backs this season.

Three of Tech’s opponents have posted career highs, culminating with Andre Ellington’s 166-yard effort in Clemson’s 27-13 win last weekend. Tech is allowing 162.2 rushing yards per game this season, eighth in the ACC. Of the four teams doing worse, only Duke has yet to play the Yellow Jackets and their run-focused offense.

Now, the Yellow Jackets will face Virginia Tech’s three-headed monster of Darren Evans, Ryan Williams and David Wilson, who have combined for more than 1,000 yards with 16 touchdowns this season.

Most of Ellington’s success against Tech started between the large tackles before he would cut back away from the flowing linebackers and safeties. His first touchdown, a 55-yard run, was a perfect example. he ran into the left side of Clemson’s line, broke through an arm tackle and then cut left to the sideline, outracing everyone to the end zone. Julian Burnett almost caught Ellington at the 10-yard line, but couldn’t push him out of bounds.

The Hokies’ trio is also good between the tackles, as are Miami’s and Georgia’s.

But to stop the first trio, inside linebackers coach Joe Speed and defensive end Izaan Cross said Tech’s front seven must adhere to technique and reads. Brad Jefferson said after the Clemson game that they were having trouble getting off blocks, which is a byproduct of those issues.

“I think it was  amatter of seeing our reads true and coming downhill like we need to and meeting them like we are supposed to, and not let them get a step on us,” Speed said.

Cross took responsibility for Ellington’s first touchdown run, saying he missed the initial tackle, which allowed Ellington to run away from the rest of the defense.

“It’s not a physical thing, mental aspect or coaching aspect,” Cross said. “We have to be sound in our technique. It only takes one time for someone to break a long one on us.”

Cross and Speed said they have instructive film to watch and learn from. They don’t want another performance like that one.

“The key is to focus on ourselves and doing our assignments and making sure we are in the right place,” Speed said. “We need to take care of business in-house for things to come to fruition on the outside.”

71 comments Add your comment

Stanley in Marietta

October 29th, 2010
1:20 pm

please tackle with two hands and wrap up.

jimmy

October 29th, 2010
1:51 pm

blah, blah, blah, blah. All you ever hear every week is this team talking about what they need to be doing, How come they never do it? Shut up and do something!!!

jimmy

October 29th, 2010
1:55 pm

This team is soft. I believe they have the talent but not the heart. Watching Mario Butler backpedal and allow clemson into the endzone last week instead of coming up and making a play was one of the most pathetic displays of “defense” I have ever seen. Time to put up or shut up Jackets, punch VT in the damn mouth!!

Burdell

October 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

Yes, the Mario Butler incident at the goal line was embarrassing to say the least.

You Can't Handle The Truth

October 29th, 2010
2:12 pm

I thought PJ was some master motivator who instilled toughness in his team? I don’t see it. This GT team is not tough.

Hal

October 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Will we or will we not be embarrassed in Balcksburg? That is the question. Has there been any indiccation this season short of wishing that we won’t?

JM

October 29th, 2010
2:14 pm

this defense has learned alot this year. they still have 4 games to show what they can do. they just need to go do what they’ve learned and stop thinking too much.

You Can't Handle The Truth

October 29th, 2010
2:15 pm

I agree Hal. I have that nagging feeling that we’re on the verge of an embarrassing blowout. All eyes will be on the nationally televised game Thursday night. We better show up because VT will be ready, for sure.

yellow fella

October 29th, 2010
2:23 pm

the down hill slide is depressing

David

October 29th, 2010
2:25 pm

Get your heads up boys. Play hard and play to the whistle. We’re behind our hometown team.

Not so fast my friend...

October 29th, 2010
2:30 pm

I do not see how Mario Butler can even play for Tech, let alone be a starter after his performance last week at Clemson. I am sure that his parents took sick days this week from their jobs due to the sheer humiliation.

We Hit and Run This State

October 29th, 2010
2:32 pm

I think Doug (or maybe CPJ?) mentioned earlier this week that this team has yet to play its best game of the season. Now we’re pissed off after not showing up against climpsun. And let’s be honest – VPI has looked pretty average this year, and pathetic at times.

I just hope we are the ones doing the “blowing out” come Thursday. Cause really, we should be.

THWVPI

GT Sambo

October 29th, 2010
2:44 pm

The good news is that VT’s defense is soft as evidence by the fact that they gave up 400 yards to C. Michigan and 500 yards to NC State. Now the bad news, we haven’t yet proven we can take advantage of this on offense and I don’t even need to speak about the softness that our defense has shown. Bottom line, a well executed game at both lines of scrimmage and in the passing game, I think we’ve got a good shot to win. Of course that is a big IF after watching this team so far this year.

Bay Bay

October 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

Mario can still be a big contributor. Before you all want him banished from the team you need to know one important thing….. Paul said he does a really nice job deboning creek suckers. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

New season

October 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

It’s time to put up or shut up Jackets. Punch VT in the mouth and let’s beat the crap out of UGA in Athens again. Go Jackets!!!

JacketSteve

October 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

I’ve been watching Mario closely all season, and I can’t see why he’s still on the field so much. I’m hoping it’s only because the backups are Freshman and are still growing. That play against Clemson reminded me of Deion Sanders trying to make a tackle. The problem is that Mario doesn’t cover well in the passing game either.

Did anyone watch Navy beat up ND? I think the athletes we have coming in such as Vad Lee will improve our offense. CPJ probably would have had Dobbs (Navy QB from Douglasville) at GT if he was here then.

joeygt

October 29th, 2010
3:45 pm

stop all you teribble tech fans, tech had 2 great years and no their down on talent and not as good and eveyone is down on them please shuuuuuuutttt up with your whining, im a die hard tech fan and yes im disappointed in tech bc they havent played even close to their potential but i still love tech and will continue to support them. coach pj has been a way better coach than the one we had before, you idoit bandwagon fans are the same fans that if we beat va tech will come on here and say how we have a shot at the acc title..

all the real tech fans please stand up..

Gee

October 29th, 2010
4:10 pm

Dobbs would have never gone to Tech. He went to Navy because he wants to be in the Navy. Wants to be president of the USA one day. I know personally because he is from my hometown. Granted that he would have been great at Tech, It just never would have happened. Let’s hope Sims, Days, and Lee have a good QB competiton over the next few years. They all look like studs. Now all we need is a B-Back to take over the reigns and we should be alright in the future. Tech is due for a big game. I hope we put it together next week in Blacksburg… Would be nice to knock VT off its block on National TV. Oh and one more question… What does VPI stand for when referencing VT?

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
4:25 pm

We Suck!! Just face it!! We have never had such a lack of talent on the defensive line in the decades i have been watching Tech football. Logan Walls, the “anchor” of our defense, straight up sucks. He can’t get off a block to save his life. Watching Tech football, especially our defense, ESPECIALLY our defensive line, is depressing enough to put someone on Prozac. They should all be embarrassed of themselves and they should be forced to give up their scholarships. They need to be playing at Georgia Southern or Jacksonville State, these guys are not true D-1A players….the bottom line is they simply can’t compete.

Burdell

October 29th, 2010
4:31 pm

Gee– What about Jimmy Carter? He went to Tech.

GDBurdell

October 29th, 2010
4:34 pm

flies have zero chance in Blacksburg next week. VT has PJ’s number just like Clemson did last week. WTF does Annapolis have to do with teck? how would teck be an option if you want to go to the freakin naval academy???? you techies are insane. The Beef O’Brady’s Bowl is the best possible outcome this year flies (that means beating Duke though…). hahahaha god help you at UGA this year hahaha. Maybe you could start a new bowl, the “Traffic & undesirable downtown area” bowl which features teck and GSU

George P. Burdell

October 29th, 2010
4:36 pm

Everybody just calm down. This team is VERY young, including the defensive line. On top of that, they have switched the defensive alignment and we don’t necessarily have either the linemen or LBs that go with that defense. We were most likely going to have a down year this year regardless of who left early and it is way too early to jump ship. This team still has the potential to show up and win one of these that the pundits already have in the L column. This year has been tough at times no doubt, but its not over and we are putting the pieces in place to have some good years ahead, probably sooner rather than later.

GDBurdell

October 29th, 2010
4:38 pm

Jacket51: you should ask yourself if you would be willing to say that to one of Teck’s D linemen in person. These guys were recruited into a scheme that suuuuuuuucks and I don’t see them slacking. The coaching is the problem, not the players

ss

October 29th, 2010
4:39 pm

GT Sambo,

When you cant block any d-lines most of the season, the hokie d being soft means nothing

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
4:40 pm

GDBurdell….Yes we do suck, but what bowl did UGA go to last year? And what bowl did we go to?
And please let me know where the hell you learned to spell the word “TECH” as TECK, if your going to come on our blog and say something, please recognize that this blog is not full of idiots like the UGA blogs and when you sound stupid, you really SOUND STUPID. Please go somewhere else with your rural ignorance

ss

October 29th, 2010
4:41 pm

jacket51,

These guys have played with no intensitiy all year. Its funny how quickly this fan base blames the coaching when one down year happens.

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

GD Burdell…I used to play football for Geogia Tech on the d-line during Chan Gailey’s early years. I choose to remain nameless. I played with Joe Anoai, Darryl Richard, Eric Henderson, Gerris Wilkinson, Phillip Wheeler. The lineman we got now are midgets compared to what we were. I will bitch slap any one of the current GT lineman for the sorryness they are displaying on the field

ss

October 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

jacket 51,

What does what bowl game they went to and we went to a bcs bowl have to do with anything? You have no valid point. Their league schedule is always tougher than ours.

The obsession with UGA is plain sad

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
4:53 pm

The bottom line is this…..Chan Gailey was a sorry coach, but he could recruit very well and we always had top talent.

CPJ, is a great coach, but can’t recruit with his highschool offense that lacks the ability to send kids to the NFL. Kids want to go to the NFL, Gailey had a pro-style offense which provided them that opportunity. CPJ cant recruit, he can’t get any solid talent on the field because of our “highschool” perception. Now that Gailey’s recruits are finally gone (Derek Morgan, Dwyer, BeBe Thomas, Michael Johnson), who do we have? The only guy that shows effort out there is Nesbitt, and guess what everyone, Nesbitt is a Gailey recruit as well. I LOVE what Paul Johnson does as a coach, but his lack of ability to put top level talent on the field is a HUGE concern.

ss

October 29th, 2010
4:59 pm

NFL?

hahaha

Sure thats a goal, but they ARE STUDENT ATHLETES. So school is just in the way right? Its funny how Paul Johnson had the last coaches players and were more successfull in two years than what gailey did the whole time he was coaching at TECH.

Reggie Ball? haha

Gailey’s bills are off to a good start this year right? Oh wait they havent won a game yet.

Paul Johnson

October 29th, 2010
5:04 pm

Mario for heisman!!! BAHAHAHA!!!! BAHAHAHAHA!!!! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
5:06 pm

SS…..Obviously you were never a student athlete. Of course, a degree is great, something to fall back on. But the main goal of every D-1A scholarship athlete is to make it to the NFL. And CPJ has had success with GAILEY’S recruits, he has done NOTHING with his own. Look at how many of Gailey’s recruits were 1st-3rd round draft picks. Better yet, look even at the guys who didn’t get drafted, but are STARTERS in the NFL like Mike Cox and Gary Guyton and Mike Matthews. You can not name ONE current Ga Tech player that has the ability to get drafted in the top 6 rounds or start in the NFL.

You can deny it all you want, you can compare seasons all you want. Paul has won with Gailey’s recruits, and until he gets some talent BACK on the field, we will suck. And I don’t know why you are referring to the Bills, if you quit being an idiot and actually read what I said, I said that Gailey was not a good coach, but at least he put talent on the field. Talent that Paul Johnson had big success with. Now that the majority of Gailey’s talent is gone, who does he win with? Nobody because we have no talent, and it is showing its ugly face.

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
5:08 pm

SS and GDBurdell….go be a UGA fan or something, your both ignorant and have no idea what your talking about. You would fit in perfectly in dawg nation.

ss

October 29th, 2010
5:15 pm

jacket 51,

You comment the system he ran and the NFL yada yada yada. Your not making sense. They have to keep reasonable grades to stay in the program right? I think i know something about 1-a athletics huh?
Maybe like a 2.0 average which is a joke, or it could be more than that, but not really counting on that.

These kids are young, their going to make mistakes. It happens. Actually 3 of 4 of gaileys recruits are on season ending IR and one probally wont see a snap with the Steelers. They got paid, dont blame them for leaving.

Gailey has no clue what to do with talent when given to him. He has shown time and time again as a head coach or an OC that he has no clue how to light a fire under a team has run.

Im not naming starters because thats just a waste of time and im done with you

ss

October 29th, 2010
5:16 pm

jacket51,

If you want NFL type talent, your not going to get that at this school like the SEC schools do.

ss

October 29th, 2010
5:17 pm

jacket51,

Jumping off the bandwagon?

You one of those tech fans that buys tickets only when the hokies, dawgs and clemson come here?

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
5:26 pm

Actually SS, i was a student athlete at tech, i played football on full scholarship, and I know way more about what we are talking about then you could ever dream of knowing. So really your wasting your time trying to prove a point to a guy who was a part of the program. Sorry bud but it is me that is done with you.

Buford T. Pusser

October 29th, 2010
5:27 pm

@ Gee

VPI stands for Virginia Polytechnic Institute

The Sheriff has spoken.

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
5:28 pm

And I don’t buy the “we can’t get NFL type talent”, I can start listing them out if you want me to? Want me to? The fact is you have to try harder, RECRUIT harder, to get those players here. Of course we are not going to pack our roster full of 4 and 5 star recruits like some SEC schools, but we can get enough to compete, which we ARENT doing right now

Jacket51

October 29th, 2010
5:32 pm

Just do one thing for me…..focus on our d lineman this weekend and see how/if they get off blocks, penetrate, disrupt the play in the backfield. Please just focus on them, watch them every play just like a coach would who breaks down film. Then you will realize just how horrible, weak, and pathetic our entire d line is. The sad part is, we have good linebackers, they just cant ever get to the ball because our d line is getting bowled over like a bunch of panzies which allows the offensive line of the other team easy access to the linebackers. The linebackers have no lanes to hit because our d line cannot hold the point of attack. It is sad to watch

GT man

October 29th, 2010
6:14 pm

Cant understand why we cant tackle, we have Al Groh and his 3-4. We should be number 1 in defense this year ——–great choice PJ!!!!!!!

Get the ball inbounds

October 29th, 2010
6:16 pm

Jacket 51…..I have been wondering the same thing about Johnson’s recruiting. He didn’t need the same type of players it takes to compete at Georgia Tech as it did at Georgia Southern or Navy.

No Georgia Southern or Navy player is going to the NFL.

If you have a quarterback that can run and is quick and also can pass we can do o.k. They do take a pounding though.

We do look pathetic on both lines and our star receiver is afraid of contact.

Were not going to any bowl this year. At least I hope we don’t.

We will see what happens over the next 2 years to see if his recruits can make his system work at this level of football.

You have to be able to block though in all aspects of the game

ben

October 29th, 2010
9:18 pm

Chan might be a bad coach, but he never went 6-6.

Dog kicker

October 29th, 2010
9:23 pm

ben- he never won the ACC or beat uga

Alabama Jack

October 29th, 2010
9:56 pm

dawg fans – how about go home and watch the Gators whip your butt one more time.

college football

October 29th, 2010
10:18 pm

down hill, allright…straight in the gutter , where that bunch belongs

Techster

October 30th, 2010
12:37 am

Hey…geniuses…..I hate to break it to you, but there are a few Jackets who will get drafted. One of them will be Joshua Nesbitt. Not as a QB, but as a safety, a position he also played in high school. CPJ took the job over officially after the bowl game in December of 07(he was hired on 12/7/07). Recruiting is practically done by then, players officially sign up in what, early February, but are already fully committed months before that….all he did was damage control as assured that the recruits that Gailey signed didnt back out or current players transfer out, which fortunately, only a few eventually did. His true players, HIS actual recruits, didnt sign until Feb of 09. This past signing day was year two. He wisely redshirted a number of his first year recruits. Same thing this year. Here are some of his 09 recruits, followed by 2010 recruits. I will list thier position, but if you are a true fan, you already know who they are.
2009-Jackson(OG) Sims(QB),Lanier(DT), Cross(DE), Sweeting(S),Foster(OT),Smith(A back), Watts(LB), Hill(still needs to learn how to catch), Dieke(DE), Finch(OG), Burnett(LB)
2010-Ayers(CB-4 star), Green(DT-4 star), Mccoy(DT-4 star), Johnson(S), Bailey(OG), Bostic(A back), Attaochu(LB), Nealy(LB), Moore(K), Days(QB)

Almost all of those players listed above had higher recruiting/position scores than Bay Bay, Brad Jefferson, Roddy Jones to name a few. Now, there is a former Jacket player on this blog stating that CPJ cannot recruit the talent necessary and lacks the ability necessary to send players to the NFL due to his lack of talent and/or his offensive scheme. Yeah, the Steelers seemed REAL concerned about Dwyers abilities in the triple option. Broncos felt the same about Bey Bey. Using ESPN’s recruiting score as a basis, not the 1-5 star rating, CPJ’s recruiting classes for 09, 10, and 11 are ranked the same if not HIGHER than Gaileys were. He is getting the players. Before you go bashing him, give him a chance to redshirt them, let them learn the system, and get some weight on them before you start questioning his abilities. Every other coach in the country is allowed the same opportunity. And Jacket51, you of all people should know that it doesnt just take a big body with the ability to block that allows you to be successful. The lines, both offensive and defensive, have to have coesion, they must work together. If 10 players goes right and one goes left, then the play is busted. The O line has had 5 combinations in 8 games due to injury. The D line is still 8 games into a new scheme. Give them a chance. Give this team a chance. Give the coach a chance. There are still 4 games, all winnable, and yes, all losable, left to play. CPJ is, if i am not mistaken, 25-10 halfway thru his 3rd year here. He is 137-51 lifetime. Thats a .728 winning percentage. Thats right there with Paterno and Richt.Look at his losses. 08-the heartbreaker at VT. the UNC game where we couldnt catch a break. 09-Losing to Miami, the 3rd game in 12 days. One dropped pass at the end of the UGA game. And you are complaining? Gailey never, ever beat UGA. CPJ is 1-1. He has been the ACC coach of the year TWICE. In 3 years. He took a team that most people, SI and ESPN included, said could win no more than 3 or 4 games in 08….and won 9. He has already won the ACCCG. He demands perfection. Al Groh came here, instead of retiring, because he believe this man with his team can win a NC. The things he needs help with, lack of focus and prep for bowls for one, are things that Groh can help him with. Techs worst enemy this year hasnt been the teams it has played….its been itself, over and over and over. No passion, no fire, no urgency. How much of that is coaching, and how much of that is the players? I believe some leaders have stepped up this past week, and i personally believe we will see a better team in Blacksburg next Thursday. I believe we will win out the season, and win our bowl as well.

NOW GO ROOT FOR YOUR TEAM! GO TECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And i’m sorry to say this, but for all you idiots who keep saying something about CPJ and his inability to recruit the necessary players for success, you are plain wrong and fully mistaken. Dont believe me? Go look for yourself, check out rivals or espn and look at the past individial recruit rankings.

Oh, and “get the ball inbounds”, There have been 26 players who graduated from the Naval Academy who went on to play for the NFL. There have been 5 players from Georgia Southern who have played in the NFL in the past 14 years including a Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl winner.

hiveredtech

October 30th, 2010
6:46 am

Hey….football geniuses….Mario Butler was not even the man that was supposed to be there on the swing pass to Ellington…he just tried to step and cover someone elses rear and make a play. Egbuniwe was supposed to cover Ellington in the flats on that play and he got lost in traffic and eventually fell to the ground after being bumped. Butler left his man after he saw Ellington make the catch.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

October 30th, 2010
7:24 am

It’s been a few weeks, but the last time I saw a statistical comparison, Isaiah Cross’ sophomore numbers looked comparable, and in some cases BETTER, than Derrick Morgan’s. Overall, we still have a very young defensive team that’s working to learn a completely new defensive scheme. Give them time. Their performance will improve. I believe we have both the talent and the coaching to ultimately compete, not only in the ACC, but with the best teams in any other conference as well.

Gold Helmets

October 30th, 2010
9:41 am

I know the team practices hard and the players want to win, but frankly toughness appears to be missing big time.