Sorry for the delay. This took a little longer to put together than I anticipated. Anyway, quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon fielded questions about last Saturday’s game and the one coming up Tuesday after practice. Lots of interesting stuff about both games, David Sims and Tevin Washington and the offense in general.
Q: What’s your take on N.C. State?
A: They’re a good football team. They’ve had some tough injuries, but they’re a good football team and they came in here and they got after us pretty good a year ago and they’ve got some of those same guys there. Obviously, they’ve lost some key players and positions but they’re a good football team that got embarrassed on TV and they’re going to come back fighting like all get out to redeem themselves.
(Two cents: I am pretty miserable at predicting games, but I think the fact that the Wolfpack will have a lot to play for could well make the game closer than most Tech fans probably think, or at least they’ll give the Jackets more of a game than maybe most might expect looking at the numbers. The Cincinnati game says something about their team, but I wouldn’t think they will play as badly as that game.)
Q: How did David Sims do against North Carolina? Coach (Paul) Johnson said he took all but one snap.
A: He did O.K. He did alright. That was his biggest workload. For all of them. The quarterback (Washington) took every rep. David took all but one rep but I think it was good for him. We hadn’t been in one of those (close games), but I think he did a good job. We won the game, and I thought our kid played their tails off, (but) I don’t think we were as sharp as maybe we would like to have been. A couple turnovers, penalty, key third down, there was just some things here and there if we could have executed even a little better… We left some points out there offensively.
(Two cents: Sims was much more productive in the second half than he was in the first. He had 15 yards on five carries in the first half, then eight carries for 56 yards, including a 22-yarder, in the second. He also threw a block that sprung Roddy Jones on his 48-yard run on the game-winning drive. I think coaches really want to see him bust some long gainers. I mean, of course they do, but I think they think he’s got it in him.)
Q: Is this maybe a week that, given N.C. State’s injuries on the line and its production from the outside linebackers, that David might get more carries?
A: I think a lot of that just depends on when you get into the game, what the flow of the game and what the flow of the defense (are), how they dictate what we’re going to do. And I think that’s the neat thing about what we do right now is you don’t know whose week it’s going to be. You get out there and you go play and Stephen might have a big game or Orwin (Smith) has a big game or Tevin.
Whoever it is, and we’ve got a good group of guys right now that are very unselfish and not worried about who gets what. They’re just out there trying to win. We’ll kind of play that see what they do and see how it unfolds.
(Two cents: It’s interesting – one of the biggest concerns prior to the season was who would replace all of the yards that Jonathan Dwyer and Anthony Allen gained out of the B-back spot. The answer, at least so far, is four or five guys.)
Q: Do you ever have an idea going into a game of who’s going to get a lot of touches?
A: Sometimes you have an idea, but you really don’t know until you get in the game and see how things, how it kind of flows. Once you get in the game and Coach (Paul Johnson) kind of gets in a rhythm of calling based on what they’re doing, then you kind of get an idea of what’s going to happen. We may have an idea but we don’t really ever know until you get into the game.
(Two cents: My prediction for Saturday is that Washington and Sims go above their season averages for carries, 12 and 11, respectively. Mostly basing that on last year’s game and the fact that N.C. State’s line is decimated.)
Q: With the North Carolina game, did the defensive scheming go the way you had anticipated, making Tevin try to beat them?
A:Yeah, maybe a little bit. I’m not sure that’s exactly it. They played the same way they’ve played for three years. They lined up the same. One thing they’ve done is they line up in their defense and you’ve got to go block ‘em. You’ve got to make some people miss and you’ve got to make some plays. And as things developed, Tevin was going to have to make some runs just the way things were unfolding.
I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a scheme to put the ball in his hands and make plays. I think that’s just the way the thing unfolded as the game went on. But every year we’ve played them, the quarterback has had to make some tough runs to win the game.
And I told him that at halftime I said, ‘You’re going to have to make some runs. I don’t know what play it’s going to be.’ It’s just, every year we’ve played them and you go back and look at the years with Josh, for us to win, he’s made some tough runs at critical times.
When you’re playing a good defense like that, you’re going to have to make some plays at times like that.
(Two cents: Part of me doesn’t understand the logic of why you’d keep doing something that, from a productivity and certainly a win-loss standpoint, hasn’t really worked for North Carolina. Tech has averaged 450 yards of total offense in the past three games, all Tech wins. But I think there’s a lot of sense in doing your thing and trying to do it well. Maybe doing something differently would simply be reactionary and would result in even worse performance. I’m going to guess that, if Tech put up low numbers against an opponent for two or three years in a row, Johnson wouldn’t try anything radically different with the offense.)
Q: Coach (Al) Groh said Monday that N.C. State is consistent in what they do offensively. Is the same true of the defense?
A: We only got one year with them so we haven’t faced them as much as maybe a North Carolina or somebody. Obviously, we expect what they did last year because they did a good job against us so I don’t know why they would change a whole lot of what they did given the success that they had a year ago. But you don’t ever know. Some [defensive] coordinators, they get ideas in their mind and want to try stuff. I would expect the same thing.
(Two cents: Kansas evidently did, showing a different look even before the game got out of hand. You could make the case that that’s an example of why doing one thing might be advantageous. Small sample size, of course.)
Q: How many times did you run the triple option Saturday?
A: I believe we ran it four or five times. Not a bunch.
(Two cents: Not sure what there is to say here. That was my question.)
Q: What’s a typical number?
A: It just depends. The way North Carolina, the way they were set up defensively and the way their scheme was, they were giving us some things other than that and that’s kind of the way it’s been some games. I think the Middle (Tennessee State) game, we probably ran it the most, but it hasn’t been a ton. It just kind of depends on what they’re giving us and what we can do.
(Two cents: It’s obviously early, and this isn’t a very novel observation, but it just seems like this offense is going to be very tough to stop. Maybe the answer is to take away the triple option and hopefully you have enough speed on the perimeter to limit tosses, options and play-action, but not every defense can do that. North Carolina kind of did it for a half – save the play-action pass to Hill, plus the Tar Heels got some help from Tech – but couldn’t sustain it for the whole game.
Q: Were there games last year you ran it 20-plus times?
A: Twenty would be a pretty high number. I think in the Middle game, we were probably around 10 or so. I can’t remember exact numbers. Depending how it’s going, you can get 15, 18 times, just depending on the flow of the game.
(Two cents: I was going to toss out a higher number. A big save from my colleague Larry Hartstein, whose reports for cbssports.com I recommend reading. I would not be good on “The Price is Right.” Speaking of which, I saw it the other day and a woman won four cars on one of the games. Must be a killer on taxes, though. And what do you do with four cars? I would hope to win a jet ski or maybe a giant television.)
Thanks for reading. Sorry it’s a little later than I intended. I’ll have something up after practice around 9.
Matt Winkeljohn’s write-up on Jeremiah Attaochu for Sting Daily.
Jon Cooper’s look ahead at the N.C. State game for Sting Daily.
Wilmington Star News story about N.C. State’s dire straits. One defensive lineman in the two-deep is a walk-on who isn’t even in the media guide.
A column in the Raleigh News & Observer (and Charlotte Observer) gushing about the Tech offense. Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien said the Jackets are throwing so much more that it’s “mind-boggling.”
You might have seen this, but fun to look at. It’s an interactive map showing how AP voters around the country gauged various teams in the poll.
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