Johnson, Tech in “new territory”

Though there’s still a chance that Georgia Tech can make it back to the ACC championship game, coach Paul Johnson thinks the odds are long.

He said if it doesn’t happen it will be a situation that he’s rarely experienced in 14 years as a coach: a year in which a major goal hasn’t been met.

Johnson led the Yellow Jackets to a tie for the ACC’s Coastal Division title in 2008, and they won the conference championship last season.

To get a chance to defend that title, Tech (5-4, 3-3) must win its remaining two ACC games, starting with Saturday’s matchup against Miami, and then hope for an unlikely combination of events from the rest of its division foes. Tech also needs one more win to reach bowl eligibility for the 14th consecutive season.

Because this is a “new territory”, Johnson said he’s doing his best to make sure that his players know there are still goals to meet.

“If you are competitive and you want to play, you are going to play no matter what,” Johnson said. “That is why you are out there if you are a competitor.”

Before coming to Tech in 2008, Johnson experienced a lot of success in previous head-coaching stops at Navy and Georgia Southern:

  • He won or tied for the Southern Conference championship five times when he was at Georgia Southern and won back-to-back national championships.
  • Though Navy is an independent school and therefore can’t win a conference championship, Johnson led the Midshipmen to an 11-1 record in games against Army and Air Force, taking the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy five out of his six years in Annapolis, Md.

“I am not worried about me getting ready to play because I am competitive and I know what it’s about, but I think you have to point out to the guys what you are still playing for,” Johnson said. “You are playing for bowl eligibility, you are playing for a winning season, you are playing for pride.”

109 comments Add your comment

first?

November 10th, 2010
5:32 am

I’m in new territory too — first!

Old Gold

November 10th, 2010
6:17 am

Get used to losing Johnson! You will leave Tech just like every other Jacket coach since Dodd unless you make some serious changes in your coaching!

ss

November 10th, 2010
6:23 am

Coaching?

This team put their best 60 minute game performance against a pretty good Offense and come up short and its coaching? haha

There is no talent on this team right now, which is the problem.

We have a young team, but i understand coaching wants to be blamed which is crap.

Spike

November 10th, 2010
6:34 am

GT Fan...

November 10th, 2010
6:51 am

Sorry to dissappoint you Spike (UGA Fan) … must suck that you were up at the crack of dawn eagerly awaiting today’s chance to read/post on a Georgia TECH blog.

Munson's Toupee

November 10th, 2010
6:56 am

BEAT GEORGIA!!!!

dawgfan

November 10th, 2010
7:25 am

Yeah, its not the coach’s fault that a preseason top 15 team is now 5-4. Let’s blame the players. They are useless bums with no talent. Yeah, that’s the ticket!!!

Who on God’s green earth would want to play for such worthless fans? And Techies wonder why they can’t recruit the big prospects. Its calculus, not their whiny attitudes. Life is so unfair!!

Good grief.

GTJeff

November 10th, 2010
7:32 am

How about a top 20 team with 5 STAR RECRUITS ABUNDANT sitting at 4-5 right now? Why would ANY human being with half a brain ever be a fan of a bunch of inbred d-bag criminals as the mutts???

Must suck being jealous of that tough engineering school on North Avenue you couldn’t get into in your wildest dreams.

Dawgsniffer

November 10th, 2010
7:42 am

Hey dawgfan and spike…you two ever been to a UGA game???? Fans??

5150 P.O.A.D

November 10th, 2010
7:52 am

Tech can still go 8-4, #2 in the Coastal, and 2-1 against the Dawgs. There is a lot to play for.

mountain_jim

November 10th, 2010
7:53 am

Hey I am a GT grad but I don’t see real success without a capable passing offense, and I don’t see real success there without better recruiting of WRs which wll not happen without even a shotgun package to allow the QB to see the field. WRs can see no future here, and I can’t see a great future without the ability to recruit for and execute a passing game. Plus it’s a boring offense.

ThatStingHurts

November 10th, 2010
7:54 am

Three of the first seven comments were from UGag trailer denizens? ‘Bout right. Hey, point is, there’s still fun stuff to play for. It’s been a strange season, but I’m still all in. The VT game opened a new curtain. dawgfan, if you get off saying negative things about a rival… that’s OK. We’ve come to expect it. And to ignore it. I still love my team. Maybe you should concern yourself with what’s gonna happen with Auburn (oh, yeah. I wouldn’t want to think about that either, if I were you.)

WhiteGoat

November 10th, 2010
7:58 am

Stupe spike, go lick your nads.

BCSstinks

November 10th, 2010
7:58 am

The Coaching is fine. People fail to understand that this is a very young GT team. Yes, they had a Senior QB returning and a few RB’s but in all this team is very young and breaking in a new Defense without the proper personal to run the 3/4. They will be fine in the long run but like alot of others we have to take our lumps this season.

In all it could be worse and we could have a top 5 recruiting class each and every year ala Texas and UGAG and still be under acheiving.

ThatStingHurts

November 10th, 2010
7:59 am

mountain jim – Maybe you are a Tech guy; maybe not. I agree that we need a little better passing game. But I don’t think the basic offense is boring. I call it ‘trampling,’ and it’s fun to trample people. But, when we encounter a huge D-line, or when someone has a month to practice against our (simulated) O, then we need a passing alternative.

UGA REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT

November 10th, 2010
8:03 am

I agree with GT jeff, uga has top 10 class after top 10 class and they went to shreveport last year and will lose 6 or 7 games this year with all that elite talent. GT has no top 10 classes and we were picked to finish behind VT,miami and unc as we are sitting now (even though we beat unc on the road)! So we really are sitting at a place where the experts had us. We have a chance to finish 2nd in our division if we beat miami and duke and unc loses 1 more game. We still have a shot to win 8 regular season games and 9 with a bowl win. 8 or 9 wins for our team after losing the 4 superstars we had and our QB for mostly the last 4 games of the year…would be a victory for us. This is very well within our grasp. Miami and duke at home and we won the last time in athens and uga is not good this year so there is no reason why we can’t win again there.

I would say that uga has been a complete failure in the last 2 seasons but it’s not for a lack of talent. We win with far less talent than uga and went to a BCS game last year with more wins than uga and very likely we will win more games this season. I have never seen a program like uga that does less with so much!! So next time you rednecks want to come on a GT blog and bark about coaching or we suck, just take a look into the mirror at what you mutts have accomplished in 2010? 2 wins vs possibly the worst programs in the nation, beaten nobody that was even preseason top 25, will have a .500 regular season record at best and another crappy bowl if you even get to go bowling. I think auburn will smoke you guys and the GT game will be a game where both teams battle and the better coach will win this game in athens. I will take CPJ any day of the week over CMR and the program that is going down like a virgin on prom night!!! I can’t wait for GT to give you the loss that hurts the worst of any all year. A home loss with a bowl game on the line and watching us trash your hedges again…it’s going to be a GT fans biggest dream come true!!! 7 losses on the way in just a couple weeks and NO BOWL GAME IN 2010!!! BANK ON IT!

Reality

November 10th, 2010
8:07 am

I don’t waste my time or thoughts on the Athens waste pile except for the one game in November. Other than that, I really couldn’t care less.

GA Tech has a lot to play for…..
1. Beating uga
2. Winning out the rest of season
3. Possibility of division title and then conference champ
4. Great bowl

And, I am already excite for next year’s team considering the experience our players will have.

GO JACKETS!

Spike

November 10th, 2010
8:13 am

GT FAN It doesn’t suck as much as you getting up at the crack of dawn to give me grief, loser. A little touchy this morning, aren’t you?

5150 P.O.A.D

November 10th, 2010
8:17 am

Spike did you just leave the EAGLE and get on the computer.

GTJeff

November 10th, 2010
8:25 am

No, I saw him this morning at Murrayville Quik Stop buying a 12 pack in his flip flops & dirty jogging pants, preparing for a full day of Jerry Springer reruns.

Spike

November 10th, 2010
8:26 am

POAD.. Ever heard of a question mark?

Buzz

November 10th, 2010
8:33 am

Enough of this crazy winning the ACC talk!!!! I just want us to somehow beat GEORGIA!!!

JM

November 10th, 2010
8:40 am

Go Jackets! The players need to listen to the coach. They still have much to achieve this season. He’s a winner and can help them achieve the remaining goals.

dawgfan

November 10th, 2010
8:47 am

Okay Techies. You’ve got no talent and CPJ should get coach of the year for pulling 5 wins out of this rag tag group of no talent azzclowns. For the sake of argument, point conceded. but what I don’t get is why your talent wasn’t such an issue when you were top 15 in the preseason and running your fat pompous mouths like you invented football. THAT is what I don’t get. Please help me out here.

My retort to all your big tough talk about how UGA underachievs is a simple one. If we underachieve, your punk azz sissy little football program doesn’t have a thing to do with it. 8 outta 9 and counting. If we’re such underachievers and your team is such overachieving heros, why can’t you beat us? Its year 3 of Paul Johnson and you clowns are STILL riding the coattails of Georgia’s other opponents. It’s hysterical.

Buzz

November 10th, 2010
8:56 am

Dawhfan go lick your BALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

juvenal

November 10th, 2010
8:59 am

answer is simple-SI jinx-something we both know something about……….

dawgfan's mama

November 10th, 2010
9:01 am

Please hurry son…….your boss at Waffle House says you’re late again!

Cecil34

November 10th, 2010
9:01 am

I am thinking that Washington might be the shot in the arm the passing game needed as I believe he is a better passer than Nesbitt.

If he can just hold up the running side of the offense GT might have someone who is not as one dimensional as Nesbitt is.

This will bode well for the UGA game. Expect UGA to employ the same strategy as they did last year – run, run and more run. Especially with a freshman QB.

Indeed there is always something to play for.

Bob

November 10th, 2010
9:04 am

Turns out all along UGA was just a nerd wannabe. Now you can add “helluva of a half ass engineer” to the fight song.

Gatorman

November 10th, 2010
9:15 am

Not good, not good at all. Johnson needs to clear his mind of what if and get on with the next game. Miami looks like they’ve found the next great QB, and beating them (even at home) will take a huge effort. My coach (Meyer) isn’t having a great season, so every year winning 10 or more games is not possible for most programs. He needs to build on this year and remember that his own calls at VaTech helped lose the game (going on 4th down with new QB and at mid field). That led to the touchdown that turned the momentum of the game. Play each game as if that is the last one they will play this year, and the outcome may be surprising.

DAWG Fan

November 10th, 2010
9:16 am

Most of you guys don’t know a lot about football. Ok Dawg fans lets take a look at history. Vince Dooley. How did all those teams at Ga teams do so well? They ran the ball! Hershel off the right side, Hershel off the left side, Hershel on the sweep, Buck B rarly threw the ball! Ok Tech is #1 or #2 in the country in Rushing offense. Seems to me they score points. All they need to do is strengthen the defense a little there ya go. Not to mention that when you run the clock runs and the other team stays off the field. I hope that Paul Johnson does leave town because before him The Tech GA game was a lock every year. Now we may just our asses handed to us again. Shoot just think what Johnson would do with our athletes! Can you say National Championship!

GT12

November 10th, 2010
9:27 am

” Expect UGA to employ the same strategy as they did last year…”

Twist the QB’s ankle?

Rodney Dangerfield

November 10th, 2010
9:29 am

Preaseason polls mean nothing. Every dawg fan should know that.

Spike

November 10th, 2010
9:34 am

Some of you Tech “guys”, i.e. Buzz, White Goat have a thing about ball licking,no?

wesleywhatwhat

November 10th, 2010
9:46 am

tech just needs to focus on winning out.

uga is less relevant than ever, but winning on nov 27th will help us end the year in the top 25.

Tech75

November 10th, 2010
9:48 am

I love the warped logic that led to new engineering programs being approved at UGA and Ga So. …

“There are a lot of students who want to be engineers but can’t get into Ga. Tech”.

Let them go to Southern Poly….

Maybe Kennesaw should start a law school for students who want to be lawyers, but can’t get into UGA’s law school….

delusion

November 10th, 2010
9:50 am

What happened to all of the “wait until year 3 pronouncements”? And don’t f**king deny it because thats all I heard last year. I even heard some of you proclaim we will compete for a national championship. PJ is a middle of the road coach in a BCS conference who got lucky with another guys recruits. He caught everyone of guard with that gimmick offense last year but now it is over. In fact I predict that this team could possibly finish below .500 next year. So STFU with all the lame excuses for why your team is failing. Your coach can’t recruit and the rest of the conference has caught up with the TO.

delusion is a fool

November 10th, 2010
9:56 am

delusion, the rest of the conference has caught up with the TO??? VT had a week and a half to prepare for it, and they couldn’t stop it, even with a backup QB in the game. If Nesbitt had not gone out, the Jackets would have won easily. What’s lacking with the Jackets is a consistent defense, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with the TO.

wesleywhatwhat

November 10th, 2010
9:58 am

delusion should probably STFU himself before he gets thrown out of the library. can’t be spitting all over the screen, man.

such a sad lot of bulldog commenters on EVERY georgia tech blog. amazing that the state is so full of fools who support other teams by attempting to talk trash on a rival school’s blog. get a life, guys.

delusion

November 10th, 2010
9:59 am

You just proved my point about Tech fans. If If If If If….. You’re team lost to VT so STFU!!!

wesleywhatwhat

November 10th, 2010
9:59 am

delusion is also a tool.

but about par for the course when it comes to uga fans.

wesleywhatwhat

November 10th, 2010
10:02 am

delusion – once again, your name is an apt description of what’s happening in your head son.

why so angy and bitter?

because idaho state is the biggest win of your season so far? and you lost to COLORADO, who lost to kansas? sad.

at least uga can claim the unusual distinction of losing to BOTH of the 1990 national champs this year.

of course, kansas BEAT both colorado and georgia tech, so i guess uga is a few notches below kansas when it comes to being relevant on a national level.

doc

November 10th, 2010
10:03 am

mountain jim, though i wasnt a gailey detractor, his pro style offense with a number one receiver was extremely boring. i have seen a lot more excitement with johnson’s offense than that. it is tough to recruit period at tech always was and always will be. maintain being competitive is all we can hope for.

look back at dodd. he had a couple of cpj moments early, then was mediocre for the last ten years until the last year where they fell to uga and in the orange bowl hard. it is what it is.

wesleywhatwhat

November 10th, 2010
10:04 am

i think the word you’re looking for is YOUR, not YOU’RE.

thanks for making everyone’s point about uga fans being ignorant d*uches.

and for the record, i’m not married, and i wouldn’t touch your wife with a dog’s d*ck.

EgginDawg

November 10th, 2010
10:05 am

I find it hilarious that the red-headed stepchild Nerds seem to have forgotten how you got your asses handed to you last year in Atlanta with the best team assembled on the Flats in decades. Remember this, no matter how bad we may stink, we will ALWAYS own your sorry asses.

delusion is a fool

November 10th, 2010
10:06 am

delusion, the point was not whether Tech won or lost; the point was that VT, nor any other conference team, has figured out or stopped the TO. In fact, the only team to consistently stop the Jackets during a game was Iowa. THUGa THINKS they did, but all they did last year was contain the inside game. Allen and others ran freely on the outside all night long. An ineffective passing game and TERRIBLE defense is what allowed the mutts to win last year, the same two deficiencies that have plagued the Jackets throughout this year. But back to your original claim that the entire conference has figured out the TO. You are obviously the deluded one, if you think that, so YOU STFU !!!

delusion

November 10th, 2010
10:08 am

I didn’t realize UGA lost to TECH this year. You know and I know that UGA will run all over you’re pathetic team in athens this year. So why do you chose to be in denial?

And TECH is the only team in history that I can think of, to try and claim a national championship after winning a middle of the road bowl game. The crowning of a National Champion after a citrus bowl win? Now that is a joke! No wonder so many writers voted for Colorado to be national champ.

gt45

November 10th, 2010
10:08 am

The next three games are going to be exciting. We have a young gun who won’t want to lose, and a supporting cast to carry him. And our coach is the best motivator of young men in the country-not to mention a helluva football mind! We start building for next year, today. Miami will be tough, but, win or lose, always better a Jacket than a butthole licker!

wesleywhatwhat

November 10th, 2010
10:11 am

“EgginDawg”

even a moron like yourself whould know to be careful when using words like “always”.

last year’s team wasn’t the best in decades. are you already forgetting the 1990 national champions? or the joe hamilton teams of the late 90s, with a heisman runner-up leading the team?

anyway, care to put any money on this year’s game?

and btw, please tell us WHY you’re on a GT blog?

delusion

November 10th, 2010
10:12 am

No it is YOU”RE idiot. I was adressing YOU specifically. YOUR is used to address a group or to generalize no one in particular. Geez. Talk about a stupid Tech fan.