Tech notes on Duke, bowls, UGA

Greetings-

Some notes and observations from Durham and a brief look ahead to Saturday’s game.

1. It was one of Tevin Washington’s best games this season. He made plays both running and passing and got the ball pitched to the A-backs for a few big plays. He had that 39-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter in which he shook off a couple tackles to get to the end zone.

I haven’t asked Paul Johnson or Brian Bohannon about this, and perhaps I should, but he’s shown a knack for getting off pitches at the very last instant, as he’s going down, to free up the A-backs.

“I think it was really Tevin reading,” Embry Peeples said, explaining the alleys he had for his runs. “They were trying to slow play him (force him to keep the ball), but he could kind of get close enough to them where they had to attack and he could just kick it out.”

A great stat from Tech sports information guru Dean Buchan: Washington’s 321 yards of total offense were the most by a Tech player since a 367-yard game in 2005 by Reggie Ball.

2. Duke quarterback Sean Renfree had season highs for a Georgia Tech opponent with 26 completions on 42 attempts and four touchdowns. His 250 yards were shy of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd’s 295. Boyd was 23-for 40.

Tech did not sack Renfree, continuing a pattern of not getting consistent pass-rush pressure. Renfree made it hard by getting rid of the ball quickly, but there were instances when he took longer drops and had protection. He was hurried a few times and flushed from the pocket.

In the past four games, opponents have 121 pass attempts and have been sacked three times, a 40.3 pass-per-sack rate. In Tech’s first seven games, opponents threw 203 times and Tech had 16 sacks, or a sack for every 12.7 passes.

I realize the numbers don’t say everything. A quarterback pressure that leads to an interception is far more valuable than a sack, for instance. And Tech’s sack total through seven games is weighted with a seven-sack game against North Carolina. But, it says something.

3. Tech’s loss to Virginia looks a little better with the Cavaliers’ defeat of Florida State Saturday night in Tallahassee. Virginia will play for the Coastal title next Saturday against Virginia Tech. It’s funny; before the Tech-Virginia Tech game, everyone (and I include myself) basically said that the game was for the Coastal title, assuming Virginia was going to take a third conference loss at some point. It wouldn’t surprise me if Virginia were to win Saturday in Charlottesville. It’d be the first time the Coastal representative hasn’t been Tech or Virginia Tech in the game’s history, going back to 2006. Four schools (Boston College, Wake Forest, Florida State and Clemson) have come fro the Atlantic side.

Crazy ending to that game. After Virginia drove late to go up 17-16, Florida State got the ball back with a minute left. On the last possession, there was an injury to a Virginia player that required him to be taken off on a cart, a facemask penalty on fourth down that kept alive FSU’s drive, a pass completion that appeared to end the game but was judged an incompletion on replay, giving the Seminoles a chance to try a last-second field goal, a penalty on Virginia that moved the field-goal attempt five yards and then finally the field goal itself, which hooked left.

Mostly, I was thinking that I was glad I didn’t have to write that game story on deadline. That would have been brutal.

4. I think both Clemson and Florida State’s losses improve Tech’s chances of playing in either the Chick-fil-A or Champs Sports bowls. I think it goes without saying that any bowl wants to put the best game together that it can, because, among other things, it likely means better ratings and fan bases that are excited enough about their teams and their bowl game to buy tickets.

If the Tigers and Seminoles crash and burn next Saturday against South Carolina and Florida, respectively, and Tech pulls the upset of Georgia, I don’t know if it’d be probable that Tech would end up in one of those games, but I’d say at least their chances would be pretty good. If Clemson were to lose in the ACC title game, that’d be a three-game losing streak, the Tigers would be out of the polls and Tech would be the highest-ranked team of Tech, FSU and Clemson. It’s conceivable Virginia might be a more viable option for the bowls at that point.

A lot is still up in the air, though. Virginia is finishing strong. Virginia Tech, if it beats Virginia but then loses to Clemson in the title game, is always a popular choice for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

At this point, I’d think the Sun Bowl is still the most likely destination, but a lot can and will change things.

5. Except for the kickoff return unit, special teams was pretty good. The kickoff cover team kept Duke inside the 30 four out of six times and David Scully had his fourth touchback of the season.

Justin Moore made his fourth consecutive field goal and continued his PAT streak to 52.

6. An encouraging effort by B-back Charles Perkins in his stint filling in for Preston Lyons, save the fourth-quarter fumble Didn’t break any big plays, but he got four first-down runs and looked like he was running hard. I’m not sure how to tease out the numbers, but I’ll give the principal B-backs 905 yards (the 794 that Sims and Lyons had going into the game plus the 111 Sims and Perkins gained Saturday) for the season. (That wouldn’t count yards gained by Perkins and Richard Watson previously. It’s kind of nebulous, I realize.) With two games remaining, it would appear that they’ll be able to clear 1,000 yards to continue the B-back 1,000-yard streak, perhaps with ease.

7. Tech benefited from a holding penalty against Duke on the Blue Devils’ final drive of the game. It was just the fourth time this season that a Tech opponent’s offense has been called for a hold this season.

8. Two important objectives for Tech this week.

a) Find a way to stop Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. If the pass rush doesn’t improve, the onus will be on Louis Young, Jemea Thomas and their cadre to deliver. Georgia tight end Orson Charles looks like a matchup challenge.

b) Punch up the B-back production some more. The 111 yards and two touchdowns Sims and Perkins gained were a good start. (The 25 carries, the most this season for the position by one, helped.) Against the No. 2 run defense in the country – 81.3 yards per game, 2.8 yards per carry – Tech will need as many viable options as it can have.

9. Condolences to the family of Larry Munson. He is a legend in this state and in college football and is an indelible part of the Tech-Georgia rivalry.

10. Tech and Georgia fans – let’s be civil this week. Good-natured ribbing is fine, but if you want to be obscene, disrespectful and generally unpleasant, you aren’t welcome to post and I’ll do my best to make sure you can’t. No tolerance this week. I’ll be busy this week, so it might take me a few hours to get to it, but I’ll ban with pleasure those who can’t play nice. “He started it” and “I couldn’t let those remarks go without a response” are not legitimate excuses.

Links

Durham Herald-Sun game story with sidebar on wide receiver Donovan Varner, another from the Raleigh News & Observer and the Associated Press.

Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph reports on Georgia turning its attention to Tech.

All of Chip Towers‘ excellent coverage of the Bulldogs here, including an obituary of Munson that’s definitely worth a read.

An old story but a good one. A 2008 Jeff Schultz column about how Johnson nearly became Georgia’s offensive coordinator.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the week.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

366 comments Add your comment

Buzzfan®

November 21st, 2011
11:52 am

Good stuff, Ken (as always). Have a great TG and week!

glen

November 21st, 2011
11:54 am

Yea, you will not allow “disrepectful or unpleasant” post unless of course they are favorable to the nerds. There is a reason this rag is going down the drain. TO HELL WITH tech!!!

Kevin P

November 21st, 2011
12:06 pm

Looking forward to a good game this week. I’m a bit nervous if we don’t have healthy IC in the backfield or Carlton back from suspension. I’m a Dawg fan, brother in law is a tech fan, so this week is always fun going back and forth with him. Going to be out there early tailgating for sure. I hate these noon kickoffs!

DesignerJacket

November 21st, 2011
12:09 pm

It’s Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate week. This is me hoping my Jackets can put a scare into the Dawgs on Grant Field! Happy Thanksgiving, but the Yellow Jackets will be feasting on yardage!

BigTimeTechFan

November 21st, 2011
12:13 pm

Washington made a sweet move on a fake pitch, took it to the house.
Perkins looked real good, even had a nice catch, hope he gets more time because he will break one soon. I think he would do better being a feature back, kind that need a few carries to get rolling.

BigTimeTechFan

November 21st, 2011
12:14 pm

Tech will come out fired up like Clemson and Kansas game, UGA has no shot, Tech has to much talent for UGA to handle and UGA has not played anyone as good as Tech sense the Boise St game.

Ken Sugiura

November 21st, 2011
12:17 pm

Thanks, Buzzfan. you, too.
hopefully i’ll change your mind this week, glen.
for what it’s worth, Kevin, Richt said yesteday he expects Crowell to play.

crackbaby

November 21st, 2011
12:18 pm

Tech had a successful “business trip” to Durham. Like that theme.

Ken – is Attaochu good to go this week? I don’t remember seeing him come back in the game after going down on the sideline late in the Duke game.

Dawgs look formidable now. Jackets have a great opportunity to beat a good team and possible SEC Champion.

Although I despise Bobby Petrino, it would be interesting if the Hogs beat LSU Friday and Auburn wins the Iron Bowl. Dawgs and Hogs play for the SEC championship. Would love to see all those media talking heads make their case for keeping Bama/LSU whoever in the BCS Title game.

Despite the local sentiment, the BCS title game should never have two teams from the same conference. Never.

Maybe VA Tech wins out and sneaks in.

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

Thanks Ken, for wanting to keep the comments where younger fans can also enjoy. It wouldn’t have surprised me if the point spread had been 1 either way. Looking for a close and very exciting game. Still don’t feel like UGA has a win to compare to Tech’s over Clemson. Hope everyone is healthy and fired up. ” ROLL JACKETS “

GT93

November 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

“Clean Old Fashioned Hate” week begins with the sad passing of Larry Munson. For all the UGA fans who decide to visit the Tech blogs this week, I offer my deepest condolences on Munson’s passing … he was a legend and truly one of a kind.

Let’s get after it GT … UGA is playing good ball right now and they are big, fast and will be hitting hard. Buckle down, focus on fundamentals of OUR game and let’s take care of business. GO JACKETS!!

1 4 GT

November 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

8th!!!! Happy Turkey Day to all-even you mutts. And especially to Ken, your good work is much appreciated here. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JACKETS THWG

crackbaby

November 21st, 2011
12:23 pm

Ken – Didn’t get to see the UVA loss live. Watched it a few days later. Thought UVA played really well and was a good football team. Turns out they are. Credit to Coach London and his staff for getting them on track.

The ending of the FSU game was crazy. I though coach London was going to have a heart attack at the end with seemingly everything going the Noles way. Agonizing review on the last incompletion ruling.

Like it that he didn’t call timeout to “freeze” the FSU kicker. That tactic seems to backfire more often with good kickers.

RAMBLE ON!!!

November 21st, 2011
12:24 pm

WHAT TIME IS KICK OFF?

crackbaby

November 21st, 2011
12:25 pm

@GT93 – Ditto. Munson was Munson. One of kind.

I kinda miss that gravely voiced curmudgeon.

Spike

November 21st, 2011
12:31 pm

You guys know Richt owns you, right?

Casey

November 21st, 2011
12:31 pm

As long as the Jackets win Saturday – I couldn’t care less where the Bowl is played! Saturday is THE game.

1 4 GT

November 21st, 2011
12:32 pm

Well I was 8th when I started typing.

bb

November 21st, 2011
12:33 pm

I saw holds by Duke on several plays before the one that was finally called. Most notably, Duke’s first touchdown should have been called back due to a holding penalty – Tech’s DE was tackled (from behind) after getting past the blocker. I’m not sure why Tech rarely gets holding calls.

Hey, RAMBLE ON!...

November 21st, 2011
12:34 pm

Kick-off is 12:01pm…

cotter

November 21st, 2011
12:37 pm

It is funny to me that Tech, along with their fans, spend 365 days a year worried, focusing on and planning for UGA, while UGA only spends a few hours a few days a year on the cheats and more times than not wins. That has to really hurt, say cheats?

Tommy

November 21st, 2011
12:38 pm

Think about this? GT beats ACC champion and SEC champion.

Bamajacket

November 21st, 2011
12:39 pm

We can hope the Dawgs are frying fish this week, like Tech in 09. I still think turnovers tell the story this week. UGA has made a few that would cost them against a good team. Some weeks we are a good team, some weeks we’re not. We seem to have to outscore teams, except for the Clemson game. Athlete for athlete, I think GA is better than we are. A lot of IF’s in this game. IF we play defense, IF the backs hold the ball, IF we can avoid stupid penalties….If I was a betting man, which I’m not, I would take UGA and lay the points. But I’m a fan, and I would like to see us put a game on the dawgs. If we do, we can win.

cotter

November 21st, 2011
12:40 pm

bb -

The answer to your question is because Johnson teches and impliments the dirtiest, most cowardly, most dangerous tactic in all of sports. The chop block. Hope that helps.

fairburn1

November 21st, 2011
12:41 pm

UGA has momentum, while tech does not! Dawgs will defeat this high school offense and send Paul Johnson packing. UGA fans will be set up at the varsity, yelling woof woof to those nerds! GO DAWGS! Chick-fil-a bowl, yeah right. Probably going back to play at the blue turf in Idaho.

fairburn1

November 21st, 2011
12:42 pm

I wonder if any of the tech fans have seen this new defense that UGA is sporting! UGA offense is pretty good too! GO DAWGS!

UGA = Yawn

November 21st, 2011
12:44 pm

A week ago someone was in here barking about how UGA would be a 10 pt + favorite and I said more like 6 or 7. He thought I was crazy. Looks like right now, the spread is 5 1/2. So me not crazy! Me smart!

Game Time

November 21st, 2011
12:45 pm

Another GT objective this week, in addition to the two you mentioned, should be shutting down the doggies rushing game. I’m not interested in seeing a replay of 2009 where they rushed it down our throats the whole game.

Uga fan here

November 21st, 2011
12:45 pm

I gotta be honest….. We haven’t beaten a team that is worth a crap this year, on the other hand gt should be 2-0 against top 10 teams. The reason they are not is because of a bonehead play. Tech looks much better then we do and I don’t have a good feelIng about sat.

A.Bishop

November 21st, 2011
12:46 pm

Thanks for the condolences guys, and good luck this weekend. I expect it to be a good game like always.

Game Time

November 21st, 2011
12:48 pm

Cotter – before you come on this blog why don’t you learn to spell. It just confirms what everyone says about doggie fans!

fairburn

November 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

That high school offense did something LSU was unable to do, and that is score 3 td’s against Alabama….who has a better defense than you do. Just sayin

The New ACC

November 21st, 2011
12:50 pm

If GA Tech beats UGA, does GA Tech go to the SEC Championship game?

RUSS DAWG

November 21st, 2011
12:51 pm

I expect TECH to come out on top this year, thinking realistic. They have a better offense and are better coached. We’ll be be back next year. Just keeping it real..

Bamajacket

November 21st, 2011
12:51 pm

It amazes me that some folks seem to know so little about football. Like the difference between a cut block and a chop block. And making derisive comments about a “high school offense” that regularly mauls your SEC defense. UGA has won this game more lately because our defense is worse than your defense, and we have made more costly turnovers at really bad times. That’s all. Hope that’s not the case this week. Dawg defense seems better than our defense. That may tell the tale of the game.

GTFan478

November 21st, 2011
12:52 pm

Good coverage Ken and thanks for doing it all season. Glad that you are the beat wrighter. And to all the dog fans, sorry about Munson. No I never was a fan, but loved hearing him as the voice of God on squidbillies. In that way and that way only will I miss him.

mark Pricht

November 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

Hey mutts “Break a Leg”…..and if not by yourself may one of our LEGAL CUT BLOCKS do it for you

The New ACC

November 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

@cotter -

Please learn a bit about football. Chop blocks are totally legal.

mark Pricht

November 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

Hey mutts “Break a Leg Hey mutts “Break a Leg”…..and if not by yourself may one of our LEGAL CUT BLOCKS do it for you

Spike

November 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

GTFan478… “wrighter”? Really?

1 4 GT

November 21st, 2011
12:56 pm

I guess none of you mutt trolls have read any of the UGAG coverage in today’s AJC. There is a story about how close UGAG came to having Paul Johnson for it’s Head Football Coach. It seems that Dooley recommended Erk Russell for his replacement after his retirement. VD told the board conducting the search that Erk likely wouldn’t be there but 4-5 years due to his age and would likely bring his former Offensive Coordinator, Paul Johnson with him. PJ was then at Hawaii. VD said he would welcome Paul Johnson as Erk’s replacement as HC. He would like to see PJ’s “high school” offense running rampant thru the SEC as DO coaches tried to stop it. Well, in their infinite wisdom, the genius hiring board brought in the infamous Ray Goff instead. Anybody with A brain no bigger that a pea knew that would be a disaster. Go read it for yourselves mutts. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA as ya’ll enjoy saying so much. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JACKETS THWG

Jason

November 21st, 2011
12:59 pm

Record wise, Georgia Tech is the toughest team UGA has had to play since the Boise and South Carolina games.

Its hard to say how good UGA really is. Here is a list of the teams that the teams UGA has beaten:

1) Ole Miss = 2-9
2) Miss St = 5-6
3) Tenn = 5-6
4) Vandy = 5-6
5) Florida = 6-5
6) Auburn = 7-4
7) Kentucky = 4-7
7) New Mexico St. = 4-7
8) Coastal Carolina = 7-4 FCS team

Here is the list of non-SEC East teams that those teams have beaten:
(not including Coastal Carolina’s wins because they are FCS)
Southern Illinois
Fresno St.
Memphis
Louisiana Tech
UAB
Tennessee-Martin
Montana
Cincinnati
Buffalo
Middle Tennessee
Elon
UCONN
Ole Miss
Army
Fl Atlantic
Utah St
Miss St.
Minnesota
New Mexico
Idaho
Western Kentucky
Central Michigan
Jacksonville St.
Furman
Samford

UCONN and Cincy would seem to be the headliners, and they aren’t that great themselves.

This doesn’t mean UGA is bad, it just means we don’t know if they are good. Their opponents sure have not been good.

It will be interesting to see if UGA’s #2 rushing defense is for real or a product of their schedule when they play GIT.

Bamajacket

November 21st, 2011
1:00 pm

By the way, I’m a Tech fan all my life, but Larry Munson was the BEST. Nobody else was close. UGA was blessed to have him. What an experience listening to him. He was not only a UGA treasure, but a king to all of us who love college football. We will never hear his kind again, and we will all miss him. Godspeed, Larry.

BornADawg

November 21st, 2011
1:02 pm

Thanks for the condolences on our loss of the “best damn DAWG ever!”…very classy! Now, with that said you Techies need to practice three things this week…1) Bend over…2) Grab your ankles…3) Grit your teeth and get ready for your annual spanking…Go DAWGS!!

fairburn1

November 21st, 2011
1:03 pm

I think Georgia southern scored 3 touchdowns against Alabama!

1 4 GT

November 21st, 2011
1:06 pm

MUTTS READ MY ABOVE POST AT 12:56 PM

BornADawg

November 21st, 2011
1:06 pm

Jason, I commend you on your research…very well done! But rest assured, this defense is for real. Maybe you have or maybe you haven’t seen them play but they fly to the ball, gang tackle and hit very, very hard. Take my word on this, there will be more than a few Yellowjackets still on the ground and limping to the side line wobbly after plays are over this Saturday.

blazer

November 21st, 2011
1:08 pm

Hope the offense is great because Groh’s d will not stop the people over there!

High scoring game?? Go Jackets!

All of the Great broadcasters are leaving us!!

The Bamboo Shaft

November 21st, 2011
1:08 pm

Virginia led (and won) 14-13 vs. FSU, not 17-16.

Ken Sugiura

November 21st, 2011
1:12 pm

good start. four bans in the first 90 minutes.

True Dawg Fan

November 21st, 2011
1:12 pm

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 21st, 2011
12:22 pm
Thanks Ken, for wanting to keep the comments where younger fans can also enjoy. It wouldn’t have surprised me if the point spread had been 1 either way. Looking for a close and very exciting game. Still don’t feel like UGA has a win to compare to Tech’s over Clemson. Hope everyone is healthy and fired up. ” ROLL JACKETS “

Wouldnt have surprised you if it were only 1 point spread???????? Are you on crack or just plain stupid?? Your signature win is against an ACC team, FYI ACC blows and clemson should never have been in the top ten.

Surprise surprise a tech writer “Not standing for negative comment” Wahhh wahhh wahhh

Maybe if your team wasnt such a joke we wouldnt enjoy bashing your delusional nerds.

By the way might wanna let the ban hammer down quick bc I will get very ugly with the retards… I mean nerds.