Georgia Tech has one sack in its past four games.
“We haven’t gotten a lot of production in that area,” coach Paul Johnson said, his dissatisfaction evident.
In Al Groh’s 3-4 scheme, the linebackers are supposed to be the playmakers. One, backup Jeremiah Attaochu, has the lonely sack, which came against Duke last week.
Trying to protect his players, Johnson said that they substitute a lot and use a lot nickel- and dime-packages, so some of the starters don’t get chances in obvious passing downs to make plays.
But Tech must pressure redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray if it hopes to slow down Georgia’s passing attack. Murray has passed for 2,580 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. Georgia’s signal-callers have been sacked 21 times. Murray has the skill to evade rushers and scramble.
Many teams this season have used the shotgun formation or short drops and quick releases to negate Tech’s pressure. Duke did so last week.
“There were a large number of passes the other day that, with the quickness of the passes … that you couldn’t sack the quarterback,” Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh said.
Against Virginia Tech, the Yellow Jackets seldom rushed more than four defenders to try and make sure that Tyrod Taylor couldn’t scramble for big plays. That tactic mostly worked. Taylor averaged 9.1 yards per completion. He was averaging 14.5 yards per completion.
“But in the last two we certainly would like to have had more than we did,” Groh said of the games against Miami and the Blue Devils.
Tech’s secondary players said they are prepared should the Yellow Jackets’ front seven not be able to consistently get to Murray.
“Just guard our guys,” cornerback Dominique Reese said. “Front seven gets sacks because we cover. We get interceptions because they get sacks.”