Tech defense update

Greetings

This isn’t apropos of much, but it occurred to me Monday that 15 percent of the regular season (games-wise) is already gone. I guess it’s 16.7 percent, to be accurate. It moves fast, doesn’t it?

Monday, defensive coaches and players, along with coach Paul Johnson, were available for interviews. Hopefully you read the notes I posted Monday night, as well as the story about Georgia Tech’s appeal with the NCAA. A few more gleanings.

1. An excellent synopsis of the Kansas offense, courtesy of inside linebackers coach Joe Speed.

“Kansas is a very physical football team. They’ve got different personnel groups than the ones we’ve just faced these past two weeks. They’ll go 11, 12, 21, 22, even 23 personnel. (Explanation below) They’ve got three returning linemen up front, they’re big and physical. They’ve got speedy wide receivers and a running back who runs pretty hard.”

The numbers are names for different offensive groupings. The first number is the number of running backs and the second is the number of tight ends. The number of wide receivers is whatever’s left to get to five (as you’ll always have five linemen and a quarterback).

2. Backup inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy is playing well in the packages he plays and is pushing Daniel Drummond for playing time in the base 3-4 package. Nealy gets time, I believe, in the nickel and dime packages that are used, broadly speaking, in passing situations and against 3- and 4-wide receiver sets.

Nealy got his first career start Saturday against Middle Tennessee State because coaches anticipated that the Blue Raiders would use a lot of wide receivers and handled himself alright.

“Quayshawn definitely brings speed to the game,” Speed said. “Although he’s a young player, he’s picking up the game well.”

3. The 61.1 completion percentage against the defense is a little misleading. It was in the notes, but defensive coordinator Al Groh said that 16 of the 22 completions made by MTSU were at the or behind the line of scrimmage.

“That’s why teams like to throw them,” Groh said, “because it’s like a running play. It’s a guaranteed competition. You’re going to catch it and see what you can get with it, just like if you were running the ball. They’re a reality of football. You’ve got to do a good job on those plays.”

4. The passing statistic that Groh finds most indicative of performance is yards per attempt, as he said offenses place the most value on it. He said the goal for offenses is typically 7.0.

“So then, obviously, we would like our numbers to be below 7,” he said.

Tech is at 5.4, to some degree because of the number of short passes MTSU and Western Carolina threw. Last year, Tech’s average was 7.2, which tied the Jackets with Florida State for eighth in the ACC. Tech’s yards per attempt on offense isn’t bad – 22.3.

5. The secondary isn’t getting babied much. While none of the four – cornerbacks Rod Sweeting and Louis Young and safeties Isaiah Johnson and Rashaad Reid – started last year, they all had playing experience.

“We’ve pressured a good bit with them,” secondary coach Charles Kelly said. “A lot of our stuff winds up being one-on-one matchups. … I don’t think [their youth] affects what Coach (Groh) calls.”

Kelly likes his group of players.

“They work really hard,” he said. “I think it means a lot to them.”

I remember Groh saying something similar about Young, that he loves every aspect of the game – practice, lifting, watching video, etc. It’s a telling compliment, I think, about the secondary, that those players are dedicated to improving.

6. I’m not sure what the takeaway is, but both Young and Reid, in talking about the defensive backs’ performance, both mentioned that they were communicating well on the field. I don’t know if communication was poor last year, so it’s been stressed, but I guess it’s certainly better than not communicating well. (You don’t get that kind of analysis just anywhere.) I’ll say this, though. It does mean that they’re more likely to be on the same page before the snap, which goes a long way towards eliminating mistakes once the play begins.

7. MTSU coach Rick Stockstill likes Tevin Washington, Stephen Hill and the secondary.

On Washington: “He’s accurate, and (even) when it’s incomplete, he’s giving the guys a chance to make a play.”

On Hill: “I really believe the receiver is a legitimate big-time player. They’ve got two really good receivers, but Hill is definitely a difference maker out there.”

On the secondary: “I think the difference is their skill players on defense. I think they’ve got good players. I think, probably, their secondary is better than it was last year.”

8. Kansas has some injury problems. The Jayhawks lost their starting defensive tackle John Williams for the season with a torn ACL and another returning starter tackle, Patrick Dorsey, is out. Linebacker Tunde Bakare, who had 16 tackles in the first two games, is questionable.

9. The ticket office didn’t get the bump it was hoping for from its three-game package. You can buy tickets to any three home games for $99, excluding the Georgia game. I wrote awhile ago that I thought that $50 for the cheapest single-game ticket is a bit prohibitive, at least for someone who buys a lot of diapers. (For my kids, I mean. I’m not a collector or anything.) But, I’d say $33 a pop for an ACC game isn’t bad. Here’s a link if you’re interested.

10. Kansas’ first two opponents (McNeese State and Northern Illinois) completed 78.4 percent of their passes. That is astounding. It’s the second-highest rate allowed in FBS. (Congratulations, Arizona) Yards per attempt, for you Groh disciples, is 8.65.

Kansas plays Baylor Nov. 12. The Bears have completed 79.3 percent of their passes (although they’ve played only one game. They were 66.5 percent last year.) There might not be a ball that touches the ground. That wacky Big 12.

Thanks for reading. I’m planning to post after Johnson’s press conference, which starts at 11:30 a.m. Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

98 comments Add your comment

macrotech

September 13th, 2011
7:52 am

KU is going down…we’re bitter about last season!!!

macrotech

September 13th, 2011
7:56 am

Oh my goodness! I NEVER thought I’d get to cry out “First” on a blog, but to be able to do it twice goes beyond the pale! Again, i’d like to thank my mother and father for bringing me into the world…without them, I would be here! For the fans that have supported me through all those blogs without a single first…thank YOU! I am humbled by this highlight in my life! ;)

Mole

September 13th, 2011
7:56 am

Time for some Kansass PAYBACK

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

September 13th, 2011
8:02 am

Looking forward to Saturday’s game. Although I didn’t buy season tickets, the Triple Option promotion has allowed me to end up with tickets to all the home games except UGA … and at a VERY reasonable cost. I hope more people will take advantage of it and help fill up Bobby Dodd.

Ernest

September 13th, 2011
8:03 am

A 3-0 start to the season will be good and help with overall team confidence going into the ACC schedule. Go Jackets!

wreckbone

September 13th, 2011
8:06 am

Getting really excited about this year. Looks like VT’s offense is bogging down and can’t move the ball as effectively as when Tyrod was back there. The new QB will have time to adjust but I like our chances with this season. Hopefully we can keep moving forward with this offense. I like the fact that the defense has ben pretty vanilla so far. I will reserve judgement after the UNC game as they say they are only running 4 defenseplays at the present time. I hope we can keep hitting high producitn on offense. It will get tougher but it looks like they are playing together well!

Go Jackets!

Todd

September 13th, 2011
8:08 am

I thought we would dominate MTSU and we did. Now, I want to see the defense attach and destroy Kansas like they should… but I’m not so sure it will happen :(

Augusta YellowJacket

September 13th, 2011
8:11 am

Yes Kansass payback is hell

Sean

September 13th, 2011
8:13 am

Line is 15. Was 14. Go jackets!

GT

September 13th, 2011
8:14 am

KU will have to prepare for the pass this year.

Rduck

September 13th, 2011
8:16 am

time to take out some revenge for the fiasco from last year. need to take these guys behind the woodshed early and often. that is one thing that this Tech team is doing. taking the wind out of the opponent early and keeping them down. i know it’s early and our opponents haven’t been world beaters, but you just get a sense of urgency and “prove you wrong” from this team. i am personally loving the attitude of this team. keep it up boys! Go Jackets

Augusta YellowJacket

September 13th, 2011
8:16 am

Kansass there no Yellowbrickroad in Atlanta only YellowJackets

Tokyo jacket

September 13th, 2011
8:23 am

I’m just like everyone else – I want to blow Kansas out of the water after last year. But, I’ll be happy with two criteria: 1) we win and 2) we show improvement. This is a team that should show improvement week to week because of their youth. If they continue to improve, the second half of the season should be fun!

Let’s go jackets!

dawg day afternoon

September 13th, 2011
8:37 am

tech defense update: still hasn’t faced a real offense.

tech NERDS update: still haven’t touched a real, live woman.

yellow britches

September 13th, 2011
8:42 am

For the past two weeks Georgia got all the air time on radio and TV because, as we were told, they were playing two ranked teams and their games mattered. So they lost both games and are now set to play perennial powerhouse Coastal Carolina. Tech meets Kansas, at home, in a game with two (2) undefeated teams. And who gets all the air time on radio and TV. You guessed it. I tried calling one of the local sports talk stations to discuss Tech football. If you do, you have to be prepared to be put on hold for 20 to 30 minutes. UGA graduates don’t have jobs so they can afford to wait. Tech people are usually busy being gainfully employed so they (we) don’t have the time.

mwh6767

September 13th, 2011
8:44 am

I’m with Tokyo. Give me improvement every game. The blowouts are nice, they give the 2nd and 3rd teams some pt. Hope the team comes out focused, and remembers how bad that trip to Kansas was last year. Give me Gt 28- Ku 10 and ill leave the flats sat. a very happy guy.

mwh6767

September 13th, 2011
8:46 am

Dawg Day update: Your team is 0-2
Your coach is checking prices on uhaul’s
Your fanbase is unrealistic about the state of your program
You only have coming on the Tech blog with lame insults to live for
Have a nice Day!!!

ToeMeetsLeather

September 13th, 2011
8:47 am

Dawg Day, you guys have and it was not pretty!

mwh6767

September 13th, 2011
8:50 am

Yellow, let em have the air time, let em have the sports talk radio, let em have all their shirts in walmart. Ill, take a young improving team, a coach that isn’t satisfied and still has a sour taste in his mouth from last year and oh yeah ill take THE WINS!!!!

reebok

September 13th, 2011
8:50 am

time for the fans to show up and give our team a REAL home field advantage. get your butts down to BDS, techies!

thebull35

September 13th, 2011
8:56 am

@ dawg day:

I, my friend have had PLENTY of live women. My girlfriend thinks that I have had a few too many during our relationship.

dawg day afternoon

September 13th, 2011
8:57 am

Ugly North Avenue stadium update: still empty.

Ugly honey bee cheerleader update: still ugly.

Upset Fred

September 13th, 2011
8:59 am

Wow, I figured we would at least be the best academic school in the state if nothing else, but that title belongs to Emory. We suck at everything, well, at everything except defeating bad high school teams at football.

ToeMeetsLeather

September 13th, 2011
8:59 am

I agree reebok, in fact get there at 10:00 for Yellow Jacket Alley to welcome the team into the stadium to get this team ready to “get after it” Saturday against Kansas!

Landry

September 13th, 2011
9:03 am

I think it is safe to say we are a top 5 team this year. Our performances to date is all the proof anyone would need to justify such a statement. The only thing that will hurt our schedule when we go undefeated will be having destroyed a 2-9 UGA team Thanksgiving weekend.

dawg day afternoon

September 13th, 2011
9:13 am

Don’t overinflate or lay on your “girlfriend” too hard, or she may burst. Careful there, NERDS.

Hi Yeller

September 13th, 2011
9:17 am

This is a big ‘un folks!

Kansas has already defeated both McNeese State and Northern Illinois. If we can pull off a win in this game, then I expect to be in the Top 5 next week!

thebull35

September 13th, 2011
9:26 am

Not a nerd by any means. Just a somewhat smart gentleman. Enough of that rif raf…Tech defense looks decent so far. I think we will stop the run and play ok against the pass. Would like to see us against a similar type offense with better players. Looks like a decent season for the Jackets…minimum 9 wins.

Freezekalo72

September 13th, 2011
9:34 am

I believe that the whole revenge factor will only come into play at kickoff and die out through the 1st quarter. I do think that Tech will win the game by 21 points. I think that Kansas could come up with some special teams plays that could make the game closer.

We’ll see.

Go Tech! And THWG!

dawg day afternoon

September 13th, 2011
9:35 am

9 wins seems reasonable. This team looks unstoppable!

I mean, after beating Middle of Nowhere State U, WHAT’S LEFT???

I’m genuinely impressed by you NERDS.

collegeballfan

September 13th, 2011
9:47 am

The Tech team needs to focus on Kansas as they focused on the last two teams.

The first two wins prove nothing. Tech won games they should have won. They need to do the same this week.

And since UGA folks are on the blog, a question for you. Why all the crying in Dogland? UGA lost two games they were expected to lose. All they have to do is win the games they are expected to win. Do that and there is a 8 or 9 win season in the books. And for UGA that, historically, is a good season. So why all the “fire Richt” talk? Richt, based on won-lost record, is the best football coach UGA ever had.

Jacket1985

September 13th, 2011
9:56 am

DDA I don’t care if it’s 9 wins or 9 losses as long as we pick up that W in November against your dawgies…….

Tech Fan Since 1950

September 13th, 2011
10:00 am

I do not remember the Alamo, but I do remember being in Lawrence, Kansas last year. Lawrence is a beautiful campus, but the Tech team that day was just ugly. Guys, please take the Kansas game seriously. You always need to play one game at a time, but I believe this game will dictate what type of season the Jackets will have. Stay focused this week. I am glad Coach Johnson had the guys running on Monday. Expect a physical game. It is going to be tough.

dawg day afternoon

September 13th, 2011
10:05 am

Let me guess, you haven’t kissed a girl since 1985. Or was that the year your undefeated streak of virginity began?

You NERDS are funny. Any tickets left for the Kansas game?

Bobo

September 13th, 2011
10:10 am

Doesn’t Richt look more orange this year? If I keep screwing up, maybe his complexion won’t clash with his next team. What color is Boca Raton HS, anyway?

Tokyo jacket

September 13th, 2011
10:15 am

Dawg day, here’s an update on your team:

* 111th ranked scoring defense – imagine what happens when you meet the nation’s 2nd ranked offense
* Have given up 11 touchdowns and 1 fild goal in 26 possessions – this is an average of 3.1 points per posession

All this said, I think UGA’s better than they’re showing (the mantra of the team for three years now). I hope you guys to do okay.

Ramblin Man

September 13th, 2011
10:16 am

Macro congrats for two in a row. I will tell stories of you to my children to inspire them so that they too can achieve high goals if only they put in the effort.
I don’t see the players or coaches looking past anybody this season and expect to see 100% effort out of the gate. Now keeping that 100% is the key. Some of the guys have slacked off after the game was well under control and that bothers me.

Ramblin Man

September 13th, 2011
10:19 am

I would love to see the offense to continue with the progression they have shown and would really love to see a better pass rush now that GT will be playing a more traditional offense.

Kate

September 13th, 2011
10:19 am

Georgia Tech and University of Georgia got high marks on the list of public national universities. Georgia Tech came in at No. 7 and has been in a top 10 school for more than a decade. UGA tied for No. 23 with Purdue University.

On the list of national public and private universities, Tech landed at No. 36 and UGA was in a six-way tie for No. 62

gtfanfrom1951

September 13th, 2011
10:20 am

They’ll go 11, 12, 21, 22, even 23 personnel. (Explanation below)????????

Bobo

September 13th, 2011
10:23 am

GTfan – UGA has some reading comprehension skills – 2nd para. bullet #1 reads:
“The numbers are names for different offensive groupings. The first number is the number of running backs and the second is the number of tight ends. The number of wide receivers is whatever’s left to get to five (as you’ll always have five linemen and a quarterback).”

DawginLex

September 13th, 2011
10:23 am

I say 45-28 Tech

Lots of talk about the Dawgs.

Defense stats are misleading, especially points allowed.

Defense only allowed 17 Saturday, the rest were gifts from the offense

I was encouraged by a lot of things I saw even though we lost.

I think Tech can win the division. VT is not good on offense.

UNC,Miami and Maryland won’t be able to keep up points wise either.

Clemson looks like the toughest game to me and it is at home.

You guys COULD be looking at something pretty sweet.

If we recover and are 9-2 and y’all are 11-0, the blogs would explode.

DawginLex

September 13th, 2011
10:24 am

Ken your filters suck

I ain’t typing all that again

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 13th, 2011
10:25 am

Guess we’re getting all the attention now, since there’s not really another in-state team north of the Piedmont with much hope for a solid record this season. Ah well, it’s good to be in the eye of the public. Love and hate are the same thing when it comes to publicity. Keep it comin, then!

GO JACKETS!!!

DawginLex

September 13th, 2011
10:32 am

POST TO GET ME BASHED

MY PREDICTION

GT 11-0
UGA 9-2

When we meet the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Blogs will explode.

Servers will fry.

William Casey

September 13th, 2011
10:33 am

Only time will tell but, this Tech team is seemingly playing with more focus and precision. Regardless of who the opponent is, a game is quite different from practice. It will be interesting to see how the Jackets react to playing a bigger more physical team than the last two opponents. Both lines of scrimmage need to step it up. Guardedly optimistic.

Ramblin Recluse Road

September 13th, 2011
10:43 am

will ramble reclusively this Saturday not watching the game b/c of navy-numbered jerseys; was wondering if more people liked the gold-numbered jerseys than not; was almost spared finding out first jerseys were made in cheap labor Mex plant, but b/c of cry baby complainers claiming they could not see numbers, now I know what I should not have become privy to nor wanted to become privy to; Radikovich promptly plopped navy blue-numbered pacifiers in cry babies’ mouths which he should not have done to grown up Tech students

dawg day afternoon

September 13th, 2011
10:44 am

The Braves are hosting a Star Wars night at Turner Field. The honey bees could have used this idea to finally sell out their hideous stadium, and they could have explained that the butt ugly cheerleaders were just in costumes! You NERDS could have made a fortune, and used footage of your first ever (tiny) capacity crowd to trick more suckers to attend your college and honey bee football games. Instead, maybe you could host Dragon Con next year at your dump of a stadium and surprise all the freaks with an exciting matchup against yet another directional school.

Ramblin Recluse Road

September 13th, 2011
10:46 am

this is my third post attempt here; the first two did not get posted; this one will not contain anything meaningful like the first two did; too bad my first two were not promulgated

Freddy Blassie

September 13th, 2011
10:48 am

“Dawg day afternoon”,

What is that, your alarm clock setting when you and your sister and all your inbred kids roll out of the rack in your tornado magnet meth lab?