A thought on Georgia Tech’s offensive progress

Greetings-

Hope you are well. Sorry I didn’t put up a post this morning. I’ll be going to practice in a little bit, but wanted to give you something to consider.

Here are the total defense ranks for Tech’s first three opponents:

Western Carolina (in FCS): 119 out of 120

Middle Tennessee State: 108 out of 120

Kansas: 120 out of 120 (yikes)

I guess we can finish it up: North Carolina is 52, N.C. State is 88 and Maryland is 84. Tech, if you’re wondering, is 31.

The point being, we knew that Tech’s first three games were ideal scheduling for the Yellow Jackets because they’d allow them to gain experience and have a more than likely chance of winning. But I guess we didn’t know the scheduling was that ideal. (Yes, Tech’s games against each of those teams factors in their rankings, but 20 percent or less.)

First, it makes me think that perhaps the production from the first three weeks perhaps set the expectations a little too high.

Second, it makes me think that perhaps what we’re seeing now is a little closer to what we might see the rest of the season. And, even then, it’s not like the numbers have been in the gutter. Tech scored 35 against North Carolina and 45 against N.C. State and left points on the field in both games. The Maryland game was undoubtedly the poorest execution, but the Jackets easily could have scored more.

Which leads me to the third point. Third, I think it bears remembering that it’s still a young team that is probably still learning to handle success. After the N.C. State game, you might remember, A-back Orwin Smith said that the team hadn’t been tested yet and was looking forward to being tested against Clemson and Virginia Tech.

I don’t think he was trying to give a sound bite or talk trash; I think that’s how he honestly  felt. And, given how the team had played to that point, it wasn’t an unreasonable thing to say, especially if you were a fan or a team member not within earshot of a microphone. I’m probably like you in that I’m curious to see how Tech fares against Clemson far more than I am to see how the Jackets play against Virginia. (Hopefully Virginia beat writers won’t read this and tape it to their laptops.)

So, anyway, that’s about it. I’ll have practice notes up around 9:30. Thanks for reading. What do you think?

Links

A couple Washington Post reports on lineup moves at Virginia.

Virginia coach Mike London’s news conference transcript from Monday. He was asked what Maryland did against Tech, and he said it seemed like Maryland tried to let Tevin Washington keep the ball. Said London, “That might be some scheme built into it.  If anybody is going to beat you, then let the quarterback beat you.” (Kind of funny: I’m going to believe the transcriber goofed, but he’s referred to multiple times as “Kevin Washington.”)

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By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

249 comments Add your comment

K

October 10th, 2011
4:00 pm

jacket for life

October 10th, 2011
4:05 pm

go jackets and we will be fine…got tickets to the miami game in 2 weeks…..go jackets and be 8-0 when we meet clemson in atl….got tix to that one also….leggo

Delbert D.

October 10th, 2011
4:06 pm

Ken – Both links point to the same URL. We need the one for the transcript.

Simple Techster

October 10th, 2011
4:07 pm

Second. Thanks for the update Ken. I would hate to be a Tech player during practice right now, bet CPJ is wearing them out. I had know idea GT as a team was so young…is it true one of the youngest in the country?

CAptB

October 10th, 2011
4:09 pm

The key to Tech’s future success is foremost the blocking of the OLine. Maryland did what Iowa and Clemson did to Tech in past years…penetrating DT’s inside, and DE’s that crash and trail the play…how often did DE #11 tackle Washington on the opposite side from him; and DT #72 made tackle after tackle in our backfield. Point is the D lines of the teams we will be playing are better than that of Maryland overall, and unless our OL blocks better we will have tough sledding in the future.

addicted

October 10th, 2011
4:12 pm

“Hopefully Virginia beat writers won’t read this and tape it to their laptops.”

Lol…that was classic.

Tech Geezer

October 10th, 2011
4:12 pm

Earlier in the year, I think defenses were still preparing for a Josh Nesbitt style option rather than the Tevin Washington version. That helped. Defensive coordinators are figuring Washington out so it gets harder.

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:15 pm

K you have been BANNED if you are a Real TECH fan. “First”, really? That is something to feel good about?

juvenal

October 10th, 2011
4:17 pm

how many dropped passes, 5?

Delbert D.

October 10th, 2011
4:22 pm

juvenal – Maybe. One of the longer ones was off Hill’s fingertips in full stride. Even I couldn’t have handled that one ;)

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:23 pm

I am never happy, but the O-Line has to do better. For the Speed Pitch to work we need to get the D Flow the other way for just one step. The Counter Trap will be used more against the U and Clemson. The passes have to be caught. I don’t care if the receiver can’t run after the catch he better DIVE or JUMP for the pass. Don’t let the other team get a shot at the ball.

Georgia Tee

October 10th, 2011
4:24 pm

Tech is entreing the “meat” of their schedule and will be tested to see how good they are. I think the defense has a way to go still. They have improved aganist the run but an avrerage passer can pick them apart given time to throw. So far, they don’t seem able to pressure the QB. The offense, though explosive at times, seems to be slipping lately. Washington has loss his touch throwing the ball and allowing the defense to load-up the box and slow down the run. CPJ and Al G have their work cut out for them. Prediction: Tech finishes the season 9-3. Another good season but also another loss to the dawgs. Probably another bowl loss also. Not a good way to end the season. I had rather see Tech beat the dawgs than win the ACC title!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JM

October 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

That was not the best game. GT hurt itself on offense several times. I remember some good down and distances that were ruined by a hold or a procedure call. Teams will struggle when they play that way.

Saban

October 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

Tech will be fine. They do need a quarterback who can pass a bit better than Washington to take the heat off of the running game.

I almost wonder with the team being 6-0 would Johnson pull the trigger on Lee and let him play.

One thing to keep in mind to. While the schedule is a bit weak, about the same as Georgia`s Tech has one of the youngest teams in College Football and as they mature and Lee takes over things could really blossum.

It would be nice to send Richt to the dawghouse.

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:28 pm

Time for CPJ to work on more silent counts too. If the o-line players are jumping at home then we need to get them to concentrate more with silent or hard counts. IMO

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:29 pm

SABAN………………6 games in I don’t see LEE getting a shot and burning a red-shirt.

George Stein

October 10th, 2011
4:31 pm

They have only hit on one big pass the past two weeks (the long one to Roddy against NCSU). As soon as we hit on those again – and I think we will – we’ll be fine offensively. No one really thought we’d hang 60 up every game. I do think averaging 40 is a fair goal for this team.

George Stein

October 10th, 2011
4:33 pm

Beating UGA and winning the conference are not mutually exclusive, Georgia Tee. I don’t think we’ll win the conference – Clemson will beat us twice – but at this point, I believe we are better than UGA. Good news is we’ll know for sure in eight weeks.

GTPhenom

October 10th, 2011
4:34 pm

Georgia Tee, you say our pass defense has faltered and our run defense has been better? Have you not seen the stats of the past three weeks? We’ve held very good QB’s in check, and have faltered against the run, not the pass. This young secondary is only going to get better week after week.

Born2Buzz

October 10th, 2011
4:35 pm

CAptB, I agree but UNC’s DL was considered better than Marylands and we seemed to have much better success against them. I think Tevin (or is that Kevin :) ) missed a lot of reads on Saturday and CPJ said as much in the news conference. We also didn’t run nearly as many tosses to the A back or counters as in previous games. Not sure why.

Simple, yes we are very young. The OL is almost all RS So’s, RS Fr & Fr. I think we have 2 RS Jrs in that group and no Sr’s. And it’s the same for other positions. Only 36 total Jrs and Srs on the team!

GTPhenom

October 10th, 2011
4:35 pm

I’m not ready to concede that point yet George Stein. At home against Clemson for Homecoming? With a fired up team that could potentially be playing in prime time? I think we at least take that one. We’ll see. I think if we had to have a rematch in the Championship game it would be much more challenging, but it is like you said, wait and see.

Paddy

October 10th, 2011
4:36 pm

I think CPJ has seen teams employ this tactic of letting the QB try and beat you. My guess is he will figure this out.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 10th, 2011
4:37 pm

GTPhenom, I agree with you. But you left out one very important factor….Yabba Dabba Doo is STILL the Clemson coach, no matter who he’s hired as OC. That is a big point in anybody’s favor. LOL

Tech Man

October 10th, 2011
4:39 pm

Next year is the beginning of the Vad Lee era.

Born2Buzz

October 10th, 2011
4:46 pm

@Simple, yes we are very young. The OL is almost all Fresh, Sophs and RS Fr & So. We have 2 RS Juniors on the OL that play, Uzzi and Smith. The rest of the team is similar. There are a TOTAL of 36 Seniors and Juniors (RS or not) on the roster. This should mean that things will only get better with years to come.

Tech Man, you are probably right.

Technically Correct

October 10th, 2011
4:46 pm

We’ll get a good sense of what the offense is really about when we play Virginia this week. They didn’t play this past Saturday, so they will have had 2 weeks to prepare for us…

GT TN

October 10th, 2011
4:47 pm

Georgia Tee, first of all…winning the acc is more important than beating uga…outside of uga/tech fans no one cares who wins that game…Washington has 2 bad games and u r ready to jump ship…if lee gave us a better chance to win then he would be playing instead of Washington…no one thought this team would be 6-0…enjoy the 6-0 and try to get better the next week..I want to be greedy and beat uga and win acc..

George Stein

October 10th, 2011
4:47 pm

Good lord, can we wait to see Lee play a game (maybe two) before, as Parcells would say, anointing him? Tevin has played great so far and the team is unbeaten. I’m almost embarrassed to be a fan of the same team as you, Tech Man.

Delbert D.

October 10th, 2011
4:48 pm

Maryland was 6-24 passing with 2 INT. Their big play was the pass and throwback lateral to the QB for a 77 yard run for the TD. The RB up the middle and off tackle was what bothered me early on, but he ended up with 86 yards total. They had 3 other running plays over 10 yards.

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:49 pm

George Stein

Clemson is in the ATLANTIC. if that is our only ACC loss the win the Coastal. and probably play Clemson again like in 09.

George Stein

October 10th, 2011
4:50 pm

That was my point, 5150. I think Clemson is a really good team and they’ll beat us twice.

ramblingbuzz

October 10th, 2011
4:50 pm

GT can’t always play a perfect game every week. Neither can the pros, just ask the Falcons. GT has a legitimate chance to win each remaining game. Will they? Probably not, but I’m willing to wait & see rather than predicting they will lose 3 or 4 games. Or maybe GT fans had rather be in FSU’s place, from 5th to 50th in 3 easy lessons.

Born2Buzz

October 10th, 2011
4:50 pm

Delbert & juvenal, I thought the long pass to Hill should have been caught, at least that’s what it looked like in person. But the picture showed him stretching out and barely getting finger tips on it. Maybe he could have dove.

Anyway, it didn’t look like a good game for Hill. He needs to get back into that groove against the Wahoos.

K

October 10th, 2011
4:51 pm

Johnson will figure this out!

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:52 pm

I love our chances against Clemson 2 times in one season.

Jacket Man

October 10th, 2011
4:53 pm

I think the Jacket offense will be okay…they scored 66 against Kansas with their second team playing quite a bit of time in the second half and Oklahoma State just scored 70 against them. GA Tech had 42 on NC State in a blink of an eye. If the Jackets would have converted the missed opportunities against Carolina (fumble inside their 10, dropped wide open TD pass, missed chip-shot FG), they would have scored more than 50 against them.

What happened against Maryland? Well, the team was up 21-3 after three quarters. They’ve scored three TD’s in a quarter more than once but for whatever reason, the team went into “cruise control,” seemingly playing not to lose rather than to win. Tevin held onto the ball rather than pitching – it seemed like he was afraid of fumbling the pitches. Receivers dropped some easy passes, once again, one that would have probably been another TD, and the team missed another FG.

With missed FG’s and inconsistent punting starting to occur, I suspect Paul Johnson to go for it on fourth down more than he has been so far this season. Teams are becoming “familiar” with GA Tech’s fake 4th down play so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do a quick snap on one of them to try to catch someone off guard.

Finally, GA Tech’s defensive backfield is tremendous, and allows the team to play the corners one-on-one in many cases so they can blitz or roll safeties for run support. Taking away the pass option is opening up the run, so the defensive line is going to have to find a way to attack the line of scrimmage before getting pushed back 4-5 yards so a lane can opened for a running back. Holding their ground, keeping the offensive linemen from being able to push them back or aside allows the linebackers to make tackles, which is the objective of the 3-4 defense.

Ken Sugiura

October 10th, 2011
4:54 pm

Delbert – thanks for pointing out. should be fixed.
5150 – no need to get on K for his comment.
K – well done.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 10th, 2011
4:55 pm

UOAD, that depends on us not losing to VT. We cannot lose any more games than VT (or anybody else in the Coastal), but beating VT helps our cause immeasurably

Ramblin Man

October 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

Finally Ken has let us all down and waited almost an entire day without a post. Is it a coincidence that Ken slows down as the offense does? All down hill from here.

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

Ken……………Are you going to meet us all at the BUS for the Fish Fry before the VT game…………..The First thing is just dumb. Maybe if he read it and could repeat it then i would be impressed. LOL

lanier

October 10th, 2011
4:57 pm

these are mostly all CPJ’s players now so I look for them to get better with each game. I worry about Clemmons because of their off. but thats the only one im sweating for a perfect season

5150 UOAD

October 10th, 2011
4:58 pm

I know SUPER but I will let you know better how I feel about that game closer to the game and i am FULL of Fried Fish. LOL

Supersize that order, mutt

October 10th, 2011
4:58 pm

Jacket Man, in all fairness to TW, he COULD NOT pitch; the MD defenders were too close on the pitchmen, and that’s scary. I don’t know if their defenders knew something nobody else does, or if our pitchmen were just not sharp, but I can think of very few real opportunities that TW had to pitch it. More toss sweeps might have worked though. But the real key was that he was not connecting on those passes (more the receivers’ fault than TW’s). Complete a couple of those passes and it opens up everything.

Diablo69

October 10th, 2011
4:58 pm

Enough of this “Tech doesn’t deserve it ranking” nonsense. Let’s examine some facts:

OSU beat KU 70-28 for a difference of 42
GT beat KU 66-24 for a difference of *gasp* 42

WVU beat MU 37-31 for a difference of 6
GT beat MU 21-16 for a difference of 5

OSU is unbeaten and ranked #6. WVU is once beaten (by LSU) and ranked #13. This is as close as you get to comparable results in college football, and based on thesel results (not future speculation or trend analysis) they sat that #12 for an unbeaten GT team is about right on the money.

Tech75

October 10th, 2011
4:58 pm

I was very disappointed to hear Orwin Smith’s comments. WAY TOO MUCH swagger there for a team that hasn’t proved anything, and who seemingly is gaining doubters by the game.

My thinking is that we ran it up on far inferior competition; now that we have seen better competition (but, apparently, only slightly better), they look pretty shaky. Certainly not dominating on offense.

In the back of my mind, I have this nagging feeling that this group lacks pride and the killer instinct.

Also, I think teams are seeing how we are blocking on the perimeter, and in some cases they have the athletes to defeat those blocks.

Also, perhaps Tevin is telegraphing his move? Or has the defense gotten into Tevin’s head, and they’re making him react to them rather than vice-versa?

Maybe things would have been different if we had hit some of the passes we missed?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 10th, 2011
5:00 pm

Ramblin Man, cut Ken some slack. Let’s hope he was spending at least a little time with his family today. God knows, he can’t get too much time with them, the way he has been working.

1Jacket7

October 10th, 2011
5:00 pm

The plays we run are designed for the Team we play. So counters and sweeps don’t always factor in the play calling week in and out. I agree that we will be fine, because after every game there is a film session that someone like Tevin can evaluate his mistakes and fix them. The defensive talent is getting better and we are starting to play teams the are familiar with us. This will cause a little bit of a hiccup as we have seen. But, know TECH has an understanding of what it takes to on their part to execute the offense. That said, If our guys accept the challenge and are willing to prepare throughout the week and show up on Saturday readied and focused. We will get the offense back on track and the Defense will continue to improve. Defensively, 31/120 in the country is something to be proud of and build on.

Delbert D.

October 10th, 2011
5:01 pm

Born2Buzz – He was running at an angle toward my side (East stands, 45 yard line upper) but down the field. When running full speed away from the ball, you can’t always jump. It depends on the timing of the ball and which foot is on the ground. I haven’t seen a replay, but that’s what it looked like to me. He’s catching a *lot* better than last year, and his weight room work shows. An announcer on one of the early broadcasts said he increase from 200 to 300 pounds on bench press. His blocking, stiff-arm and fighting for the ball has been good.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 10th, 2011
5:01 pm

Tech75, I think they may indeed be missing the killer instinct, but from everything Ken has told us, they DO have pride.

Jackets 2011

October 10th, 2011
5:01 pm

@Ken
You are forgetting playing Tech has a lot to do with the low rankings of our first 6 foe’s defenses.