Johnson hopeful Attaochu can return for Miami


Paul Johnson seemed to be in a better mood Monday than he sometimes does on Mondays after wins. I would surmise he just wants to delete memory of the Virginia game as quickly as possible and get focused in on Miami. The notes that will run in Tuesday’s paper below. Thanks for reading.

1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn’t want his players to celebrate a win or despair over a loss longer than necessary, and Monday he modeled his instructions.

Agitated with the team’s play immediately following Tech’s 24-21 loss to Virginia Saturday, Johnson was in a fairly good mood after Monday’s practice.

“Water under the bridge, just like when you win the game,” he said. “You flush it.”

Johnson gave credit to Virginia – “We’ve got no excuses. We got beat,” he said – and said that coaches and players shared in the responsibility for the loss.

“It’s disappointing, because I think it’s a game we could have won, but we didn’t, so you move on,” he said.

2. Johnson was hopeful that outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu will be able to play Saturday at Miami. Attaochu, who has missed the past two games with a leg injury, went through conditioning drills with the team Monday.

Johnson also said that inside linebacker Daniel Drummond “should be back full go.” He dressed Saturday and was available if needed but did not play. Like Attaochu, Drummond sustained a leg injury in the N.C. State game Oct. 1.

(Johnson did say after the Maryland game that he thought Attaochu would be ready for the Virginia game. And Drummond was cleared to play against Virginia and dressed, but was held out. So, I’d think they’ll play, but am not 100 percent confident.)

3. Defensive coordinator Al Groh declined to discuss his unit’s performance in Saturday’s game – “the obituary’s over,” he said. The defense gave up a season-high 272 rushing yards. Defensive end Jason Peters was willing to offer his assessment, saying that the linemen didn’t win enough of their matchups.

“We’ve got to be more physical on blocks, we’ve got to be better at getting off blocks and making plays,” he said.

(Groh has his reasons to not discuss the game and it’s his right to do so, but it’s a bit disappointing, particularly because Tech’s policy is to not make assistant coaches available after games and also since Peters and others were willing to answer questions. His full answer in response to the first question, about the defense’s play Saturday: “Well, usually it’s an execution [problem], but frankly, fellas, the obituary’s over. You had a chance to write about it on Sunday and Monday. I’ve never forgot any game I lost, but it’s time to stop talking about that one and start talking about [Miami].”)

4. After reviewing game video, Johnson acknowledged that two costly penalties – illegal blocks called on wide receivers Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton in the third quarter – were legitimate. Hill’s penalty negated an 85-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tevin Washington on the first play of the second half. The second wiped out a 66-yard run by A-back Orwin Smith. Tech eventually scored a touchdown after the first penalty but punted after the second.

“The penalties they called were penalties,” he said.

Johnson said coaches gave out an average number of “efforts” – demerits for a player not giving full effort on each play.

“We had more missed assignments,” he said. “That was a big problem.”

(I didn’t get a great look on the replay of the penalties, but I’d have to agree. The Hill penalty was a penalty by the book – he ran into the player from the back and the player fell over – but it wasn’t like he shoved him. The efforts/missed assignments thing says, I suppose, that the team played hard, but maybe not smart.)

5. Cornerback Rod Sweeting was named the ACC’s defensive back of the week after making his third interception in the past four games. In the second quarter, Sweeting picked off Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco and returned in 32 yards for a touchdown, which tied the game at 14. He also had five tackles, including a half-tackle for loss.

(I asked Sweeting this evening why he decided to cut back across the field rather than continue down the sideline. His answer: “I didn’t see anybody over there. It was the quickest way to the end zone, so I took that route.”)

6. ESPN gave Tech’s Oct. 29 home game against Clemson an 8 p.m. kickoff on Monday. The game will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. A spokeswoman for ESPN said Monday that Tech is one of eight candidates to host its College GameDay show that day. The decision will likely be made after Saturday’s games. The last time that the GameDay show came to Tech was in 2006.

(If both teams win, and maybe even if just Clemson wins, I’d think GameDay will come here. I asked what the other candidates are. I’ll let you know if I find out. I’d have to think Oklahoma-Kansas State, Wisconsin-Ohio State, Michigan State-Nebraska and Stanford-USC would be four other possibilities. Maybe Illinois-Penn State. Penn is at Brown that Saturday, too. Could have big Ivy League title implications.)

7. Groh said that inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy was “fairly decent” in his two games starting in Drummond’s place, noting that Nealy usually plays on the weak side and played on the strong side in Drummond’s place. Nealy led Tech in tackles Saturday with 10.

The move was “a little bit of a transition, but I think he and I both see more in his future than what we’re seeing right now,” Groh said.

(I’ll be interested to see how much of a difference Drummond can make plugging gaps Saturday. I think Nealy has a speed advantage, but Drummond is obviously bigger.)

8. About 5,000 tickets remain for the Virginia Tech game. The other two remaining home games – Clemson and Georgia – have sold out. … Johnson, asked for a response to critical comments from Nick Cellini on the 790 the Zone “Mayhem in the A.M.” show on Monday: “Who is he?” … Tech’s fall break is Monday and Tuesday, giving players a short reprieve from classes.

(Remaining sales for the Virginia Tech game will be affected considerably by the next two. Thursday night games are a tougher sell, and there isn’t much boost from Hokies fans, as not as many will travel for a mid-week game.)

Thanks for reading. Not sure what I’ll have up Tuesday morning, but hopefully interesting.

Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

65 comments Add your comment

George Stein

October 17th, 2011
10:14 pm

God, I LOVE Paul Johnson. Cellini is a complete clown.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

October 17th, 2011
10:30 pm

GT doesn’t have enough talent to replace a guy as good as Attaochu – they badly need him back.


October 17th, 2011
10:32 pm

I am a big fan of CPJ and just want our guys to play hard. Win or lose, hard play is what it’s all about. Good luck Jackets! Give ‘em all you’ve got!


October 17th, 2011
10:36 pm

Guys, most people are afraid to give it their all…with heart, focus, and attention. Live in the now. Pay attention to the situation and do as you’ve been trained. Good things will happen. Go Jackets!

Bad bad Leroy brown

October 17th, 2011
10:38 pm

As a dawg fan I was wanting to see tech unbeaten till the ga game, it’s time for the nation to see how big this rivalry really is! It’s up their with bama auburn and Ohio state Michigan!


October 17th, 2011
10:39 pm

It would be nice to have both LBs back in the lineup, healthy and raring to go!


October 17th, 2011
10:50 pm

OJFan. Good to see you back on the blog. I asked Ken to help out.
I can’t wait until Saturday


October 17th, 2011
10:53 pm

GT-UT, he helped get me out of the filter limbo ;-) I’ve managed to post today and it’s good to be back. I am looking forward to Saturday, it’s going to be an interesting game on a number of levels.


October 17th, 2011
10:54 pm

GT-UT, is the UT for TN or TX?


October 17th, 2011
11:06 pm

Going to call it a night, be back tomorrow fto check in.

Hayseed Dixie

October 17th, 2011
11:09 pm

I don’t know Cellini, but most of the guys on 790 (that aren’t Wes and Tony) and are carpet-bagging joey-bag-of-donuts types that should stick to talking smack about the NFL.

Let’s hope Tech gives as good as they get.


October 17th, 2011
11:18 pm

Bad bad Leroy brown…amen! Sadly, we didn’t make it! LOVE CPJ’s responses to ALL of the questions…I can’t STAND Cellini….”Who’s he?”….TOO FUNNY! GO TECH!!!

George Stein

October 17th, 2011
11:21 pm

Wes and Tony are the only two people worth listening.

The morning crew add nothing. They are boring and poorly informed.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 17th, 2011
11:27 pm

Can somebody tell me what Cellini said? I haven’t read anything about it today, so I don’t have a clue

Jacket Fan

October 17th, 2011
11:36 pm

Who is he is right – beautiful. The two linebackers are missed w/ Tech’s DLine – hope they’re back as well. I should give Tevin a bit more credit if he broke off an 85 yarder that was called back. My opinion is that you run it down Tech’s throat and make Tevin run the ball on offense (no gashes by the B or long runs by the A). If Tech had a bit more play selection on shorter passes and was able to get the ball to Hill more often – might be different. Still a young team that is enjoyable to watch, playing hard each week. Go Jackets!

1 4 GT

October 17th, 2011
11:38 pm

To all of the GT “TEAM”. I don’t know any of you, but I take pride in your efforts on behalf of the entire GT family. We on these blog pages, for the most part,—there are some phonies on here—root for your efforts and very much appreciate them and yourselves. Keep 1 thing in mind. Win, lose or draw, you can take pride and enjoyment from your endeavors as long as you do your best. There is no shame in 2nd, or worse, if you try your hardest. I was born a Yellow Jacket and I’ll die one too. GOOD LUCK in all you do and best wishes for a successful life. We don’t live or die with wins or loses. GOOOOOOOOOOO JACKETS THWG

Supersize that order, mutt

October 17th, 2011
11:41 pm

1 4 GT, well put

Bad bad Leroy brown

October 17th, 2011
11:42 pm

The rivalry does not get the props it deserves

GT Grad

October 17th, 2011
11:49 pm

Take this one step at a time..
Dont EVER get cocky or arrogant…
Dont take the bait laid out by those sorry UGA fans on this and other blogs.


October 17th, 2011
11:53 pm

I’m starting to understand now why Virginia fans were glad to see Groh leave. What he should have said was the loss Saturday was all on me and my assistant coaches. I apologize for doing such a poor job game planning and not having my players prepared and ready to play. Arrogant and poor coaching are not a good combination.

1 4 GT

October 17th, 2011
11:55 pm

Thanks Supersize. I’m just checking in & right back out.
my pillows are calling my name. Seeya! “Nite to all!

George Stein

October 18th, 2011
12:00 am

He went into a stupid rant about how no one is holding Johnson’s feet to the fire and how he never accepts responsibility and blames his players and how we don’t fill the stadium.

Basically, he plagiarized the entire UGA playbook and then said lectured Johnson because he doesn’t go on their show anymore (which made his comment even more awesome). He said Johnson said something about them talking too much UGA, which only further endears him to us.

The upshot here is that Cellini is a complete bonehead. Dimino is complete idiot that think RBI are somehow a useful tool in judging baseball performance, and Shapiro says everything is the greatest or worst of all time. The three have the combined IQ of a chicken.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 18th, 2011
12:04 am

Thanks, George. I think that pretty well says it all. Glad I’m not able to listen to the show. I would probably be more pissed that I get with the trolls in here.


October 18th, 2011
12:17 am

i’m Nervous . didn’t see anything in ken’s post about practicing the PASS. tw must practice. or do you think he just gets real Nervous when called in a game?

Sagirin Latest Rankings

October 18th, 2011
12:25 am

Tech opponent’s: 217, 165, 83, 44, 78, 53, 64[loss].

oh yeah , GT 39, UGA 20

Supersize that order, mutt

October 18th, 2011
12:34 am

I think we had better worry that choke Grantham might come out on the field during the big game and tackle Roddy running down the sidelines……hell, he might even shoot him


October 18th, 2011
12:55 am


Can you speak to the fact that Tevin has 58 carries in the last two games and Orwin Smith has 9? Orwin is definitely the best back out there. It looks like Washington is missing a lot of the same reads he was making in the first 5 games. It also seems like CPJ needs to install some plays specifically for Orwin. You have to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. I understand this offense is designed to spread it around, but we have always had a feature back (Dwyer, Allen). Sims is not the same caliber as those guys and the feature back this year is an A-Back (Smith). Not taking anything away from Roddy either. Smith has more big play potential. Just asking.


October 18th, 2011
12:56 am

Supersize – Me and you may be the only ones still up now – I’m going to have a Coke before trying to catch up on some of the sleep we lost in Biloxi – just wish I could figure out how to get the $$$ back we left there !!


October 18th, 2011
1:08 am

Buzzsaw – you are absolutely correct about some more creative play calling by PJ – Also, one of the reasons Orwin has done so well is that Roddy consistently does a good job blocking his man leading the sweep, but I don’t always see that is the case when the other A Backs are blocking on the edge for Roddy -


October 18th, 2011
5:56 am

The 2 penalties really hurt. This has been happening way too often this year and the most egregious (and obvious, especially to refs) are mostly by the downfield guys. It’s discipline that is lacking. If it happens once, it’s youth and exuberance; twice it’s emotion; but the third time, it has to be laid at the feet of coaching. The stairs at Grant Field are long and steep – I wonder how many of them Hill and Melton have run this week?
Our D will simply not be able to cope with Miami’s O – especially the O line and their backs. And if their QB doesn’t lose his head – as he so often does – I’m not at all sure our O, even without fumbles, penalties and bad/missed blocks, can out-score them.
If big change doesn’t happen, we’re 7-5 and on to Shreveport – or worse.
I, too, am always a Tech-guy and am proud of them. Reality is another thing. My love and pride in Tech is that of a parent’s for his children – love them, yes, but do not be blind to their faults.


October 18th, 2011
6:02 am

I would have to say if Drummond was dressed and available if needed, I would think it was pretty obvious he may have been needed after UVA gashed us for a twenty yard run for the tenth time.
Don’t quite understand that comment.

I was dead wrong about TW, I thought he was going to step up and have his best game of the year.
Did not happen and I really don’t know where to place the blame. The O-line had a horrible day and gave him no time to operate, and Miami will be an even bigger test for them.

The game with Miami is huge and will set the tone for the rest of the season.


October 18th, 2011
6:05 am

Who is Nick Cellini? What team did he play for?


October 18th, 2011
6:53 am


We need Attaochu back!

chief oseola

October 18th, 2011
6:56 am

If you guys want to see the biggest bunch of giggling monkeys ever assembled, watch csssportsnite at 6:00 every night.Between nick cellini, bob neal, matt stewart,or chuck oliver itis hard to pick the dumbest in this crowd or the one with the biggest ego.


October 18th, 2011
7:17 am

@TML, my take on the “if he (Drummund) is needed” comment —- obviously, he was “needed” to help stop the gashing we took, but I think that the “needed” meant that he would only play if one of 2 inside guys got hurt and he had to play. Otherwise, they wanted to give him another week to get well

High school

October 18th, 2011
7:28 am

I can’t wait for Duke!


October 18th, 2011
7:37 am

We will be ok in Miami. Their D is horrific.


October 18th, 2011
7:39 am

Glad to see the coach moving on and the rest of the players- it will be interesting to see how Miami plays now with Golden as the coach- living up here in PA he did wonders for the program down at Temple- I hope the Jackets are focused and ready to go- Agree with all here- GET SMITH THE BALL!!! Having both LB’s back will be a huge bonus for the Jackets. Execute men and we should come out on top!

High School

October 18th, 2011
7:40 am

I just love that big bruiser Grantham defending my dogs. We beat Vandy in Nashville…we should be preseason NC’s next year.

Its Time

October 18th, 2011
7:57 am


October 18th, 2011
8:05 am

who cares. these losers can’t beat virgin ya. i agree time to bench tevin. what a bi polar creature he is. looks great 5 games. looks like a zombie from walking dead the next 2. miami will pick him off 3 times.


October 18th, 2011
8:10 am

Hill’s penalty was more of the UVA player drawing it than him committing it. When your ten yards behind the play, you need to use your head and get away from people. Melton’s was an act of commission.


October 18th, 2011
8:14 am

HS – You are ALWAYS pre-season NCs. That’s what pre-season is for – Goals and Trolls. And always ‘top 10′ recruiters, huh?
But where oh where are you at end of season? Not even DC’s in the weak East of SEC.
And don’t give me that bull about beating Tech – you’re talking National here, not state-wide’.
See you in Nov, schmuck.

Technically Correct

October 18th, 2011
8:42 am

Anybody notice today that the story on this AJC page about Georgia’s thuggish defensive coach’s bad behavior at the Vandy game had comments blocked? I guess that means we will get all the UGA traffic on this story today…

Ramblin Man

October 18th, 2011
8:57 am

Thanks for the update Ken. I hope that Attaochu and Drummond return as the D needs them. It may not have been great with them but it was better. Hopefully the team can focus get in some good practices and for the love of god find some resemblence of a passing game.


October 18th, 2011
9:03 am

i swear these bandwagon fans and mutt fans after we lose one game its like the wheels are coming off… what a joke of fans , are you serious???? we lost one game.. yes to a not very good virginia team, but we gt are young and i think we needed to lose, bc now we will not overlook anyone anymore and come more prepared, im sure we kill miami 38-21


October 18th, 2011
9:07 am

huh, you think they will throw that many times?……against 8 syacked in the box, instead of throwing, reverting to B dives & QB keepers…..PJ not flexible, when you keep doing the same failing thing thinking it will work is called what?…grohss incompetence, at least i am 10 years younger & should survive him if watching the ball continuously jammed up the middle does not kill me…….Ken, you know i foresaw this, rotate a lot of younger, quicker guys on the D-line, could not be any worse, & ROTATE THE QBS!…my 6 win prediction may still come true……


October 18th, 2011
9:21 am

George Stein, why insult chickens?
Go Jackets!!!


October 18th, 2011
9:28 am

I don’t know who Cellini is either. Who cares?


October 18th, 2011
9:36 am

Looks like CMR needs to do some missionary work with coach choke. Go Jackets!!!