UNC coach assesses Georgia Tech offense

Greetings-

Hope you’re well. I spoke with Art Kaufman, North Carolina’s defensive coordinator, from the side of the road on the north side of the Perimeter Wednesday. (on the phone, not in person) As you might imagine, he had some nice things to say about Georgia Tech’s offense that hopefully you’ll learn something from, and explained a little about what his defense has done.

Before I forget, I want to say I really appreciate the compliments and kind words about the blog. It makes it so much more enjoyable to do when it’s being received as it has been. I hope I’ll be able to keep it up.

1. On holding opposing offenses to 2.3 yards per carry, with only one run going longer than 15 yards, and that a 34-yarder.

Kaufman said it starts with the defense, starting with the tackles, then the ends and then the linebackers, committing to playing their “run fit,” basically staying in the gap they’ve been assigned to close up.

“I think the biggest thing is their technique,” he said. “They understand what we ask them to do and they understand how to make the adjustments and our guys, our cornerbacks and our safeties, they understand our scheme and how they fit into the scheme.”

2. What they have to do against Georgia Tech:

You’ve probably heard Kaufman’s answer before, though that doesn’t make it any less true: Being disciplined and playing your assignment.

3. On what he’s seen from Tech:

He called the offense “very, very explosive” and noted the scores from the first play from scrimmage. Players know their jobs and are efficient at them, and there are some explosive skill position players.

“I think there’s no question, they are as good as I’ve seen them in that offense. It’s as good as I’ve seen that offense run. I just think that the players, they understand what to do and how to do it and they’re talented within what they’re doing,” he said.

That might be as succinct a summary of what is happening (at least so far) as I’ve heard, and something Paul Johnson (not to knock his summarizing skills) has touched on a good bit. Everyone in the two-deep except for Roddy Jones and Tyler Melton was hand-picked to play this offense and most, if not all, of them, are doing a pretty good job of it. (You could add Preston Lyons and Tyler Kidney, who came to Tech as walk-ons.)

4. On if he might approach the first play any differently:

He said no, basically because those scores could have been any play of the game, and not just the first.

On the teleconference Wednesday, UNC coach Everett Withers said kind of the same thing, but he said he thought the players would be more heightened or aware of that first play, as they’re aware of the streak.

I asked Johnson Wednesday if he knew what he was going to run and he said, yes, but that “you’ll be unimpressed.” Maybe it’ll be a punt.

Guess we can scratch these two plays off the list.

And this one.

5. On guys who are playing well:

He mentioned tackle Tydreke Powell who is “playing really good football” and end Kareem Martin (”playing extremely well”) and safety Matt Merletti. (”He’s had a good year thus and that’s got to continue to happen.”)

More on Powell:

“To me, he’s a guy who’s starting to perfect his craft,” he said. He noted that he’s playing better particularly with his hands. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard the same things from (and about) Logan Walls and Jason Peters – fast and violent hands.

6. On how Tech has run for 300-plus yards in the past two Tech-UNC games, both wins for the Jackets.

The Jackets “have done a great job of executing their offense,” he said. “Some of it, we haven’t done a good job of defending it from a standpoint of technique and fundamentals.”

7. Not from Kaufman, but a link to a Raleigh News & Observer about UNC defending Tech.

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494 comments Add your comment

GTJason

September 22nd, 2011
10:22 am

The story of this game is not GT’s offense vs. UNC’s defense.. the offense will have 500 yards and 35 points. The real story is how our defense defends the short dump passes. If we hold them to 20, we win. If we allow 40, we lose. Pretty simple

RAMBLE ON!!!

September 22nd, 2011
10:23 am

Sorry UNC, but we are going to run all over you.

BigTimeTechFan

September 22nd, 2011
10:25 am

It’s going to be a battle this week!

YELLOW!!

BigTimeTechFan

September 22nd, 2011
10:26 am

I hope L Young gets a pick 6

Crazy Robert

September 22nd, 2011
10:27 am

If TECH can keep from getting the big head, and focus on their opponents, they can whip a lot of teams. I hope when they make a big play they don’t start acting like it is a first for them. Show some class, save some energy! GO TECH!!!!

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
10:29 am

NC is not the team that stops this offense. I’m not sure Tech plays a team this year that can. 45-17.

GT Dude

September 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

can it be a “first

GT Dude

September 22nd, 2011
10:30 am

nope, should not have read the article

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
10:32 am

JACKETS!!!!!!!

crackbaby

September 22nd, 2011
10:33 am

Time to crank it up for real – conference games. CPJ and Groh should unleash the hounds! Go Jackets!

Burdell

September 22nd, 2011
10:33 am

JACKETS!!!

Would love to see a pick 6 as well….stay humble and focused boys!!

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
10:36 am

Good point, Burdell, that would be sweet. It’ll happen soon.

juvenal

September 22nd, 2011
10:37 am

gotta do better on 3rd. down……

GT Fan

September 22nd, 2011
10:39 am

Should the Jackets not score on their 1st offensive touch, I’ll be interested to see if UNC’s D is high-5′ing one another as if they made a great accomplishment.

Hope the Jackets are staying grounded, and realize exactly what PJ is saying about UNC …. If they don’t bring their A game, UNC will embarass them.

Is UVA that good?? 468 total yards vs. UNC. All 3 of UNC’s opponents have thrown the ball fairly well. Does that mean UNC’s not getting a pass rush or they’ve put much of their focused to being very good against the run?

I have a feeling they will be giving up more than 15 yd runs a few times on 9/24. Run their big D-Linemen from sideline to sideline and let’s see what kinda shape they’re in……

How bout them BEES!!!

September 22nd, 2011
10:44 am

Another great job Ken, and it’s appreciated. I especially like the way you put links to other related sites, a really good touch and a perspective from the other side. I totally agree with GTJason. Its going to be our defenses game to win or lose. Our offense will be fine.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
10:47 am

It would be nice to fill the stadium. I know when Tech keeps winning it will happen. That would pump the players up even more. It’s going to be a great game.

killerj

September 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

See You At The Game!…..ROLL WRECK!

My first 3 games on TECH'S schedule have been WEAK!

September 22nd, 2011
10:54 am

For all of you Tech fans-let’s start with your schedule! You haven’t played anyone with talent thus far. The Catamounts, Middle Tenn, Kansas- REALLY? Tarheels win in a close one! GO HEELS!!!! D-LINE deep 8 and one of the best in the country! Better getcha popcorn for this one! Heels 35 / Tech 24. Heels 4-0 / Tech 3-1

Ol'JacketFan

September 22nd, 2011
10:55 am

As the game gets closer I find myself pondering the unknowns about both teams. How is the O line going to perform against better athletes than they faced in past games? Are the recievers going to be able to get separation? Will the backs find running room? Will Tevin continue to make the correct reads? Can the d line get a push? Will the LB’s fill and make tackles for loss/short gains? Can the DB’s stay focused in coverage? So many issues…………

Yet as I sit down to type this I look back at the questions and feel good that the answer to each of these will be a YES! We’ve not seen a significant failure in any aspect of this team and now we have a body of work to judge this team on. I do expect a more challenging game but I do not expect that this team will back down from the challenge. They know what to expect and they know that sucess follows preparation and hard work. The coaches have done a great job getting the team to this point and I expect that will continue.

As has been said as long as this team continues to be focused and each player handles his assignment they will be sucessful! We’re now seeing what kind of team to expect under CPJ as his recruits are in position and doing what they were recrutied to do in this offense and defense.

I can’t wait till toe meets leather! Go Jackets!

ormewood

September 22nd, 2011
10:58 am

Looks like the weather is going to be great, so no excuses not to show up if you’re a fan. Tech should target UNC CB #10, He’s been beaten deep at least three times so far this season.

GTville

September 22nd, 2011
10:59 am

These blogs are definitely more interactive and upbeat. Thank you.

The main thing that will stop this offense is fumbles and dropped passes. So far they are doing very well at holding onto the ball. I think the team is confident and very well aware that the schedule will get tougher each game until the end.

techfan

September 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

UNC hasn’t held us to less then 400 yds of offense since CPJ got here. Virginia put up 468 against them last week. It’s hard to imagine that they will be successful stopping us. They will have to outscore us to win.

Ol'JacketFan

September 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

BTW Ken, thanks for the much improved and much more active coverage of the Jackets!!!!!

ED

September 22nd, 2011
11:04 am

CPJ PREACHES AND TEACHES CHOP BLOCKING AND YOU GEEKS KNOW IT BECAUSE YOUR SCHOOL HAS A HISTORY OF LYING AND CHEATING. YOU LIED FOR YEARS ABOUT THE CAPACITY OF YOUR “STADIUM” AND YOU ARE CURRENTLY ON PROBATION AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE FOOTBALL PLAYERS ARE MGT MAJORS AND STILL THINK ALL ENGINEERS WORK ON A TRAIN.

Ol'JacketFan

September 22nd, 2011
11:10 am

Ed go take your meds and turn up your hearing aid so you don’t have to shout……………..troll

duronimo

September 22nd, 2011
11:11 am

I think this game comes down to taking care of the gall on offense and playing good defense. If Tech plays with few offensive errors, it will be no contest. If they put the ball on the ground and help UNC, the score will be close. This is true anytime Tech plays a good team. Even the best defenses can’t stop this offense …. only mistakes can.

DawginLex

September 22nd, 2011
11:11 am

38-30 Tech

UNC driving for go ahead score and QB throws a pick and Tech scores later to go up 8.

also, UGA 31-0

Defense shines and offense is good enough. Murray 2 TD’s Crowell runs for 2 and 120 yards.

Braves continue implosion. All of us destroy our tomahawks in disgust

Brock

September 22nd, 2011
11:13 am

Ed- why are you yelling?

Cosmo

September 22nd, 2011
11:14 am

Hello Ed….Hello, hello. Must’ve been a wrong number.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
11:15 am

Too funny, Ol’JacketFan.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
11:16 am

Good point, only Tech stops this offense.

How bout them BEES!!!

September 22nd, 2011
11:16 am

Calm down Ed. Remember, it’s better to stay silent and let people assume your ignorance than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Ol'JacketFan

September 22nd, 2011
11:17 am

@DawginLex,the Braves have me about ready to tomahawk them! I think you’re spot on about the Dogs, they should clean house in Oxford. Hope the Tech game doesn’t come down to a pick 6 late!

Brock

September 22nd, 2011
11:17 am

you went from chop blocking to mgt majors in 2 sentences. slow down and explain how you really feel. and why do you type in all caps? Is it easier for you?

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

‘Mornin, ED. Jealous are we? I’m sure whoever your team is will win a natty this season. No need to bother yourself with Tech games then.

JT

September 22nd, 2011
11:19 am

Ed, you forgot to take your medicine this morning. Go take your pills and calm down, you’ll feel better about your life.

I don’t usually comment on here, but I’ll be at the game Saturday. I usually go to 1-2 games per year, but if this team keeps playing mistake-free I’ll be going to more than usual this year.

I also wanted to say thanks to Ken, you do a great job on these blogs, I always get a laugh from them, and the updates are often and insightful. Great job, keep up the good work.

Tech '10

September 22nd, 2011
11:20 am

Lex: Sad prediction about the Braves, but I tend to agree with ya on that one.

ED: http://fatkidatcamp.com/2010/08/17/tuesday-funny-71/suddenly-caps-lock/

ED IS AN IDIOT

September 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

Ed, Maybe if you concentrated more on your on team you would know the following:

1-GEORGIA is a combined 0-5 against Top 25 teams in 2010 and 2011
2- GEORGIA has lost 10 of its last 12 against ranked teams. (2-10 record)
3- GEORGIA is now 15-14 in his last 29 games
4-GEORGIA is 6-10 in the past 16 SEC games.
5- GEORGIA is 3-5 in their last 8 games going back to last season
6- GEORGIA has won 1 of it last 4.

ccrider

September 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

Ol’JacketFan; Ed is a she troll

macrotech

September 22nd, 2011
11:22 am

“My first 3 games on TECH’S schedule have been WEAK!”, NOBODY disputes this….however, Tech has done what teams are supposed to do to weaker teams…beat the stew out of them! Not to mention, broken records in the process!!!

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

Good job, Ken. I hope GT’s defense covers as good as you do. ” SMOKE NC “

GTFan

September 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

This is going to be a really interesting good!!!!

GTFan

September 22nd, 2011
11:23 am

Sorry, game!!!

carolinajacket

September 22nd, 2011
11:40 am

The good news is that the O-line is in the best shape of the year. I think that if we can hold down their big plays we should be ok. Just remember, UNC is loaded with talent. Go Jackets.

1 4 GT

September 22nd, 2011
11:43 am

ED You are a big part of why I could care less about UGAG butt sniffers even though I try to be supportive of all things Georgia. Just shut up. Pull your lower lip over your head, swallow and quit embarrassing Georgia.

GTVegas

September 22nd, 2011
11:45 am

This game scares me as it is the first real test of the mental state of these players. I hope the come out confident, but not cocky.

I am certainly not as worried about the offense as I am the defense. We can’t afford to take a half to figure out what adjustments need to be made.

ED cracks me up, certainly a fine example of a UGA “fan” that makes thier Alum cringe.

Burdell

September 22nd, 2011
11:45 am

Ed…they are called cut blocks…they are legal.

Why in the world would a coach teach his players to commit personal fouls at 15 yards a pop?

Ignoramus. Or better yet…Ignored.

Up with the White and Gold baby!!

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 22nd, 2011
11:48 am

The ” Goon Squad ” is pumped. Look for them to win the line of scrimmage. ” GO GOONS “

PerimeterCenterJacket

September 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

Anyone know the size differential the UNC D-line has over our Goon Squad O-line? I’d love to know how the pile of beef stacks up. It doesn’t necessarily have to matter if our O-line keeps crisp technique (pad level, lateral quickness, prolonging blocking, etc.), but it’s always interesting to note. They blew Kansas off the line all day long. Tevin was not having to drop back on the option at all…just trotted laterally down the line most of the time. That’s good O-line play!

Ol'JacketFan

September 22nd, 2011
11:55 am

@Burdell, same old thing about “chop” blocking, some troll with the handle of babyblue came in with the same stuff yesterday, I “chopped” him about it then and advise him to acutally find out the difference between the two.