Jones returns to the scene of his greatest game

Two years ago, Roddy Jones was having a decent season as a redshirt freshman. He had scored two touchdowns, caught five passes and showed a glimpse of his big-play ability a few times.

And then Tech played Georgia at Sanford Stadium in what has been the highwater mark of Jones’ career.

He carried the ball 13 times for 214 yards and scored two touchdowns. His 54-yard touchdown run in that game has been watched on the internet thousands of times. He also returned four kicks for 98 yards in the game.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime performance. Georgia Tech (6-5) will play Georgia (5-6) in Athens on Saturday.

Since then, because of injuries, Tech’s scheme — which relies more on reading and reacting than set plays –  and the good play of opposing defenses, Jones has been more steady than spectacular. Not that he’s complaining. A positive person, he says his growth as a football player, particularly this season, can’t be measured in stats.

“I’ve improved in a lot of areas that I wanted to improve in, particularly blocking,” he said. “I think I’ve done some things that helped the team win. I feel I might have improved a bit more here and there.”

Tech coach Paul Johnson said that Jones is an outstanding blocker, which is why he doesn’t get more carries. But more than that, with praise that Johnson doesn’t use often, he said that, “You’d like to have a whole team of guys like Roddy Jones. He’s accountable. He doesn’t do everthing perfect, but he’s accountable and he’s a team player. I can’t say enough good things about him.

“The kids respect him. They respect the way he takes care of business. He’s going to be a very successful young man.”

Jones will be successful because he’s determined.

He dislocated his wrist while lifting weights during the offseason in 2009 and missed all of the spring practices. He was able to return for most of Tech’s ACC championship season, but said after the season that the injury affected him throughout the year.

He carried the ball 53 times for 345 yards (6.5 yards-per-carry average) and didn’t catch a pass. He scored three touchdowns. Compare that to his 2008 stats: 81 carries for 690 yards (8.5 per-carry average) with eight receptions for 155 yards. He scored five touchdowns.

This season he’s carried the ball 41 times for 273 yards (6.7 per-carry average) and scored three touchdowns. He has caught five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. His longest run has been 31 yards. His longest run in 2009 was 23 yards, evidence of defenses keying on stopping the A-backs.

He’s looking forward to facing Georgia in Sanford Stadium, the site of his best performance as a Yellow Jacket.

“You’re always excited to play Georgia,” Jones said. “We aren’t going to the ACC championship game. This will be the last game of the regular season. This is the last thing we have to look forward to. It’s a late game, the atmosphere is going to be great.”

73 comments Add your comment

Sheesh Jackson

November 23rd, 2010
4:40 am

LOL, OMG. I always saw GT as a place for running backs to go, but now you’re telling me that you can lose carries because of being a great blocker. lmao

Buzz29

November 23rd, 2010
5:37 am

I don’t understand why he doesn’t get more carries. Maybe CPJ should change the name to A-block. Bostic, O.Smith and Roddy need to touch the ball more. Embry P. has stepped up the last couple of games. Everyone needs to break the arm tackles and poor Cox keeps tripping over his own feet. All that said, I still love my Jackets!

Willie Coyote

November 23rd, 2010
6:58 am

Unfortunately Sheesh has a point.

Give your playmakers a chance to make plays Paul. Pick up the offensive tempo and get the ball on the edge to Roddy, B.J., and Orwin. Being a good blocker causing you to lose carries is not a good excuse.

Dawg-Hatin' Jacket

November 23rd, 2010
7:16 am

bb

November 23rd, 2010
7:23 am

Nonsense. Being a great blocker gets you on the field, then it is a matter of how the defense lines up whether you block or are the pitch back. The QB reads the defensive alignment to decide which side to run the play to. So, being a great blocker means you get more carries in the long run.

As Doug pointed out, defenses are focusing on taking away the pitch; that is why the A-backs are getting less carries.

Golden Hand

November 23rd, 2010
7:40 am

We average 320 yards per game, No. 1 in the nation. Any Internet commenter who thinks they have a constructive criticism about how we’re running the ball is mistaken.

NativeAtlantan

November 23rd, 2010
7:50 am

It’s been a disappointing season, but the fact that everything thinks they’ve figured you out, yet you still lead the nation in rushing, and gain more yds/game each season, bodes well for Tech teams of the future.

They’re figuring out Paul Johnson?

2008: 282.3 yards/game, #3 in nation
2009: 307.2 yards/game, #2 in nation
2010: 319.4 yards/game, #1 in nation

It’s the defense that’s killing this team…

MastersJacket

November 23rd, 2010
7:54 am

Golden Hand, please do not use facts to confuse the issue.

JD

November 23rd, 2010
8:13 am

UGA could use a good runner…..oops….they only want blockers too…so Bobo can let the ball sling around the field.

UGA=YAWN

November 23rd, 2010
8:29 am

I re-watched his run on youtube 4 or 5 times the other day. Spectacular. And, he did it right in front of the UGA sideline. Priceless! One of the best. Roddy is a great representative of Georgia Tech. THWG!!

TDone

November 23rd, 2010
8:29 am

Sheesh,

Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

ThatStingHurts

November 23rd, 2010
8:37 am

You guys are pretty good…..presenting facts instead of “Y’all suck’ opinions. An Auburn buddy recently said to me, “Guess everybody’s figuring out that run offense, eh?” I just gave him some facts. There is nothing wrong with the O (although I do wish CPJ would put in a SHORT PASSING game, instead of the 40-yard heaves). The D has not stopped anyone, and special teams give away too much. And stupid O mistakes have hurt. But there’s nothing wrong with the O. How could you conclude otherwise???

ThatStingHurts

November 23rd, 2010
8:41 am

Our usual 320 rushing yards and 100 passing yards will be enough to beat thUGa, IF we can hold them to under 37 points, and don’t put the ball on the ground in the Red Zone 3 times. Coach Al, PLEASE blitz the midget a few times. It’s obvious that it rattles him. They’re gonna get some rushing and passing yards (let’s be reasonable), so mix it up and try to dictate something.

astute observer

November 23rd, 2010
8:44 am

Tech’s three best opponents this season were Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami. Anyone disagee? Okay, Tech averaged 11 points per game against these teams. So who cares about rushing stats if you can’t put the ball in the endzone against the good teams. True that Tech’s defense has been awful this season but they weren’t really any good last year either. The difference last year is that Tech’s offense continually converted long scoring drives into touchdowns. All Tech’s defense had to do last year was usually just come up with one stop in the 4th quarter and they would win because Tech offense was so proficient at scoring. Tech goes into the 4th quarter leading by a touchdown and the defense comes up with a stop and boom Tech’s offense puts the jackets up by two scores. Thats not happening this season so you can throw all of those rushing stats out the window.

Nathan Hale

November 23rd, 2010
8:48 am

Someone tell CPJ that it is legal to throw a short to medium yardage
pass.

Just might help.

I guess he doen’t want people to think just because all of our opponents
have had success with this approach he would not be innovative.

Motocross Survivor

November 23rd, 2010
8:49 am

This thread is boring.

DawginLex

November 23rd, 2010
8:50 am

You could blitz Mason and it would be effective.

You blitz Murray(the midget) and you will get burned repeatedly.

Best chance Tech has is to mix things up. Otherwise, the difference in size and athleticism is going to put up about 45 points.

Sammy Dawg

November 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

Roddy is a good kid who had a great game two years ago against a lazy defense. Not going to be that way this year. Dawgs over jackets 52-14.

big hoss

November 23rd, 2010
9:02 am

There will be no blow out in Athens this year!! Period. Tech runs to much of the clock to give the hated Dawgs too many scoring opportunities. Unless Tech puts the ball on the groun it will be close and anyone’s ball game.

shon

November 23rd, 2010
9:28 am

Roddy Jones was outstanding in the 08 game in Athens, I want to know where is Marcus Wright? How can he still be hurt from a moped incident? We need him to be on the bottom of the pile again when UGA fumbles and come up with the ball in his hand. It was funny to see the smallest guy on the field be the last guy in a pile of ten players with the ball in his hand. Most memorable of all.

shon

November 23rd, 2010
9:31 am

GTSteve

November 23rd, 2010
9:42 am

Thanks for that link, that is the best blocking I have seen by the O line in a long time

UGAX

November 23rd, 2010
10:07 am

What’s the over/under on how many times Anthony Allen’s helmet is going to fall off?. Anyone heard?.

1-8

November 23rd, 2010
10:12 am

Enter your comments here

wesleywhatwhat

November 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

ditto what buzz29 said:

bj bostic, orwin smith and roddy jones need to touch the ball more.

also, ant allen should get no more than 16-18 carries.

any passes should be short crossing routes, with no more than 2 a game going to stephen hill.

on the D side – get some PRESSURE on the qb. send more guys.

ArkyTech

November 23rd, 2010
10:28 am

astute observer, you are not astute at math. Tech averaged 14.7 pts/game in those 3 losses. A game and a half were without starting QB. Twice fumbled inside 10 yard line vs. Miami and threw 2 picks in red zone vs. VT. Meanwhile, if you haven’t noticed, no one is scoring much on Clempson’s D (including Awburn. And dare I bring up penalties? As CPJ says, they are consistently moving the football but aren’t finishing drives.

wesleywhatwhat

November 23rd, 2010
10:39 am

http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/team/_/stat/total/sort/netTotalYards

gt in 2010

total yards 405.6 (43rd in nation)
rushing 319.4 (1st)
passing 92.8 (119th)

points, which is more important than any of the above stats 27.0 (tied for 62nd with temple and virginia)

gt in 2009

total yards 422.1 (16th)
rushing 295.4 (2nd)
passing 132.9 (116)

scoring 33.8 (15th)

gt in 2008

total yards 372.5 (50th)
rushing 273.5 (4th)
passing 107.4 (117th)

scoring 24.4 (T73rd)

to summarize – the offense has definitely slipped this season. total yards, passing yards and most importantly – scoring are all down this year.

being first in the nation in rushing only means something if we score better than the 62nd best team in the nation.

sure defense is the bigger problem, but rushing alone won’t get us enough points to beat the better teams we face.

blazer

November 23rd, 2010
10:39 am

roddy left the othe Jones holding his jock in his hand!

astute observer

November 23rd, 2010
10:41 am

My bad, I see that I did make an error but 14 points per game versus 11 in those key games doesn’t change anything I said. Tech’s offnese is not proficient at scoring this season. And your post actually backed me up on that fact. “As CPJ says, they are consistently moving the football but aren’t finishing drives”. That is exactly what I am talking about when comparing last years team to this years and bragging about empty rushing stats.

OC

November 23rd, 2010
10:47 am

NativeAtlantan I hope all that comforts you in spite of the fact that if they can’t finish a drive. What a dumbazz, You Paul Johnson apologists are like infatuated little girls and he is playing you for the suckers you are,

Hayseed Dixie

November 23rd, 2010
10:54 am

Leading Division 1 College Football in rushing is hardly an empty stat.

Our D needs to come online and our special teams needs to seriously tighten up. The End.

CamTheMan

November 23rd, 2010
11:04 am

Orwin Smith needs more touches: He’s carried the ball 41 times this year for 437 yards = 10.7 yds. per carry avg., not too shabby I’d say!!! And, 9 receptions for 173 yds. = 19.2 yds. per catch average, hmmm …. I’m starting to see a trend here …. starting to remind me of Calvin Johnson touching the ball twice against the dawgs and only twice against Wake in ACC Championship game his junior season! Shades of Chan Gailey? Let’s hope not! I’ve got an idea: Consider putting the ball in Orwin’s a bit more often ……. just a thought ……

Jack

November 23rd, 2010
11:05 am

wesley, cpj explaiined why anthony allen was given the ball the majority of the time in Duke’s game, it was the way duke was lined up protecting the outside and prepared for the pitch

wesleywhatwhat

November 23rd, 2010
11:27 am

hayseed dixie,

if we lead the country in rushing after being second last year, but our scoring has dropped a full touchdown per game and our total yards have dropped, where does that get us?

oh i know – a 6-5 record before the uga game versus 10-1 last year.

leading D1 in rushing guarantees nothing. and this year it accomplished very little.

wesleywhatwhat

November 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

jack,

thanks. i remember reading that as well.

i’m just concerned that CPJ has become overly reliant on the BBack dive up the middle, with mediocre results, when the ABack pitch has been a much bigger yards gainer for the past 3 years.

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 23rd, 2010
11:45 am

Anthony Allen is the best receiver on the team. He made a great play a few weeks ago, but they don’t throw to him. Go figure. A short pass to him would pay huge dividends. ” GO JACKETS “

ManUp...

November 23rd, 2010
11:46 am

Wesley, we used the dive against Duke all game because they were selling out to the perimeter leaving just their D-line to handle Allen. Knowing their D-line was undersized and could not compare to Allen’s conditioning, CPJ elected to use the dive to wear them down. It lulled them to sleep and then the pitch and toss sweep became very effective late in the game…as did a teeny little D-back guarding oversized Stephen Hill on the post route.

The dive (of at least 3.5 ypc average a drive) is definitely what we need when we’re ahead on the scoreboard and driving. It will open everything else and wear down the interior linemen faster. Also, you might just eventually pop one for a long gain.

I like it.

chuck

November 23rd, 2010
11:59 am

You need to stop crowing about leading the nation in rushing.

As one of the few D-1 option teams, you’d better be near the top. As anemic as your air game is, if you’re held to 250 yards in a game, you probably scored about 6 points.

If you’re not near the top of D-1 in rushing, you probably have about 3-4 wins, tops.

SOGABEE

November 23rd, 2010
12:34 pm

Orwin Smith gets those yards because Roddy Jones is making his blocks (I would like to see Smith’s stats for yards with Jones as on-side A vs others). Ask Roddy — he would tell you that he got the yards vs GA because the WR and A back made their blocks (and he broke a tackle or two)
Being a good blocker in addition to making the yards gets a job at the next level. Watch film of last night — BeBe in the middle of things making blocks when others had the ball.

Systemic

November 23rd, 2010
12:38 pm

Uh Chuck, how about Oregon and Auburn…they’re are both “near the top of D-1″ in rushing as you say. I think they have a few more wins than 3-4. You can also throw in 19th ranked Nevada and I think that’s enough proof to send you back to you’re own yard doggie.

Here’s hoping that wasn’t a “once in a lifetime performance” by Roddy as Doug indicates.

Go Jackets!

ManUp...

November 23rd, 2010
12:45 pm

Systemic, I think your point is exactly what Chuck means. Oregon and Auburn are not option teams. Their yards are netting them big points and lots of wins while our yardage is not netting us as many of those. He’s saying that if we were to do any worse we’d probably have way fewer wins.

Now, is this because we run a spread option? No. We are indeed rushing BETTER than Auburn and Oregon if you’re looking at the yardage, BUT that means nothing for us if field position is worse and we turn the ball over. Both of these will leave us with exactly what we have now – inflated rushing numbers with few points and few wins. It’s about efficiency, and unless we can rack up these kinds of rushing stats on better field position and while converting every drive into touchdowns (the things currently setting Auby and Ducks apart – and what made our 2009 team so effective) we will not improve and certainly not have a chance against georgie.

Of course, a defense that holds opponents to fewer points and better special teams would help too.

the real Old Gold

November 23rd, 2010
1:09 pm

If Tech wins..Johnson is the Genius that he believes he is…If Tech loses…it’s the players or the other coachs fault! Either way..Johnson is up on everything and in a no lose status because Johnson knows that there is not another coach wanting to coach at Tech!

Billyboy

November 23rd, 2010
1:13 pm

If CPJ takes risks then Jones will have another great day and UGA cries as they have no bowl game . . . the only question is will the Dawgs blame the refs for their loss. Go for it CPJ, this is a year that the Dawgs sit home for the Holidays . . . let’s have a Merry Christmas

ManUp...

November 23rd, 2010
1:14 pm

Go slobber on some ice chips, the real Old Gold. You’re not worthy to lick the Grant Field mud off our coach’s sneakers. It wouldn’t be enough like cesspool mud for your tastes anyway, mutt. To Hell With Georgia!

Go Jackets!

wesleywhatwhat

November 23rd, 2010
1:54 pm

manup, i agree with you that the Bback dive wears out the defense and is a good way to eat up clock when we have the lead.

i just think the pitch to the Aback is underutilitized. the yards per carry of our Abacks is impressive. would those numbers go down with more touches? sure. but i think there is more big play potential on the outside so i want to see more touches for bostic, smith and jones on the corner.

Carter Saveland

November 23rd, 2010
1:59 pm

Doug Roberson! Hey man, I just realized you’re doing the Tech blog!! Man we had some good times in Athens back in the day together brotha! Hit me up when you get to town and we’ll go back to the usual spots. Later man!

ManUp...

November 23rd, 2010
2:02 pm

Wesley, we’re in agreement there. I think to have an effective game, our opponents need to have little idea where the ball is going. And, big play potential goes for any of those. Do a lot of perimeter running and pitching, and soon enough the dive play gets a huge hole to run through. Run the dive then the keep and pitchout get similar holes. If the box is all stacked and no running option is getting more than about 3 yards then it probably means a passing route has opened up.

Like CPJ, I think any of the 3 options should have the ability for a surprise big gain. Personally, though, I do find watching the pitch man make a guy miss and take one to the house the most exciting play to witness. Which brings us back to Roddy Jones. I contend that ALL the A-backs need to learn to hurdle a defender reaching up from the ground to shoelace them. Orwin Smith and Bj Bostic have been better than Roddy Jones at this little move so far.

smitty

November 23rd, 2010
2:04 pm

less turnovers
less penalties
employ a short passing game to compliment the option
and give the damn ball to orwin…..go jackets….thwg

WrecksNEffect

November 23rd, 2010
2:18 pm

re: NativeAtlantan

The last time I checked the HC is still responsible for the performance of his Defense and the players that Recruited for that side of the ball, just to clarify things for you that would also be CPJ.

Being #1 in Rushing “between the 20s” doesn’t mean much when your passing game is ranked #119 among D1-A Teams and your Scoring Offense is somewhere down in the 50s to 60s ranking-wise.

Parroting the “company line” that CPJ has fed the GT fanbase to take the Focus AWAY from his poor coaching this season only shows that the GT Fanbase loves CPJ more than they actually love GT FB.

This is how FB Programs go downhill in a hurry.

ManUp...

November 23rd, 2010
2:20 pm

I’m only doing this because it seriously bothers me, and I believe fanbases should police themselves. No offense, but, Smitty, you mean to say “fewer” turnovers and penalties. “Less” is a term for quantities with non-solid-mass units. Things like liquids and abstract ideas. (Less alcohol, less violence, fewer Bulldogs.) Ok…that’s off my chest. Raising my glass to education! Sorry if my grammar extremism seems pedantic.

Go Jackets!