Sorry this is a little late. I ended up not being able to make it to practice because I was working on an ACC expansion story. Michael Cunninghan sat in for me and filed the following report. My thanks and gratitude to MC.
The next blog will be up after Paul Johnson’s press conference Tuesday morning, noonish. Thanks!
1. Georgia Tech is 3-0, boasts a new national ranking and has often looked unstoppable while piling up points, yards and big plays.
But any temptation for the Yellow Jackets to get complacent was discouraged in the video room by coach Paul Johnson and his staff. Even the Tech offense wasn’t immune to criticism after generating a school-record 768 yards during the 66-24 rout of Kansas on Saturday.
Despite the eye-popping numbers Tech has put up against over-matched competition, the Jackets feel they need to be better against North Carolina on Saturday in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
“The kids did some good things,” Johnson said of the Kansas game. “But we’ve got a lot of things we need to work on, too. Offensively for the most part they played pretty good. We still have a lot of fundamental stuff we have got to do better with. We still had some missed assignments. But, all in all, it wasn’t bad.”
The eruption impressed voters in both major polls. The Jackets are No. 24 in the USA Today coaches poll and No. 25 in the Associated Press media poll.
Tech’s defense wasn’t as impressive. The Jayhawks converted seven of their first nine third downs before the Jackets, buoyed by their high-scoring offense, got consistent stops.
The problems for Tech included soft pass coverage, a weak pass rush and missed tackles.
“Most of them were technique errors,” defensive coordinator Al Groh said. “If we play the call by design we make out a lot better. Each one was a different play, each one was a different defensive call, so there was no repetitive issue.”
Tech’s defense faces a tougher test against North Carolina, which is ranked No. 25 in the coaches poll.
“They are very physical, big, very athletic,” Johnson said. “The quarterback [Bryn Renner] is a good player and their offensive line is the best they’ve had since I’ve been here.”
2. The decision by the ACC to accept Pittsburgh and Syracuse as members was big news in college football circles. The drama of all the movement doesn’t really trickle down to the team level, though.
“They have got a lot of tradition, they have been very strong programs,” Johnson said of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. “Other than that I haven’t had much time to think about it.”
The additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse swell the conference’s ranks to 14 teams, and ACC commissioner John Swofford is not opposed to adding two more teams. It’s not clear where Syracuse and Pittsburgh will fit in the league’s two-division alignment.
“It will be interesting to see how they do it,” Johnson said. “Right now, no one knows how it will unfold or how they are going to do it. I am sure it will be good for the conference or else the presidents and the athletic directors wouldn’t have voted for it.”
3. The team voted A-back Roddy Jones and linebackers Steven Sylvester and Julian Burnett as permanent captains. Burnett, a junior, is the fourth non-senior captain for Johnson. The first three were in 2009: Morgan Burnett (no relation), Derrick Morgan and Joshua Nesbitt. … A-back Marcus Wright and guard J.C. Lanier both practiced on Monday; neither has played yet this season because of injury. … Johnson named Sylvester, A-back Orwin Smith and Jemea Thomas (special teams) as the players of the week for their play against Kansas.