Archive for September, 2012

After debacle, Tech braces for Clemson

Georgia Tech has myriad problems to fix. It can do nothing about one of its biggest.

The Yellow Jackets are playing Clemson, absolutely the wrong opponent after giving up more than 1,100 yards of offense in the past two games.

First, the No. 15 Tigers can safely be assumed to be considerably more talented than Middle Tennessee State, which dealt Tech one of its worst losses in school history Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Second, Clemson will likely spend the week plotting its revenge.

“If we don’t get ready to play a little better and a little harder against Clemson, it’ll be embarrassing,” coach Paul Johnson said Saturday. “They’ve got a great football team. We’ve got a big challenge in front of us.”

Tech has taken five of the past six games against the Tigers, including a 31-17 upset last October that dashed Clemson’s national championship aspirations. Saturday’s game will be a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Clemson on ESPN.

“I don’t care who Georgia Tech has played, beaten or lost …

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Video: MTSU 49, Georgia Tech 28

Post-game report for CineSport. Sorry it’s late. (Technical difficulties)

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Notes: Overlooked MTSU players rejoice

1. Following the game, Middle Tennessee State laughed best. The Blue Raiders roster includes 36 players from Georgia. One of them is cornerback Kenneth Gilstrap, a Miller Grove High grad who is a close friend and former teammate of former Tech star Stephen Hill.

Gilstrap made one of the plays of the game, intercepting a pass intended for wide receiver Jeff Greene in the fourth quarter. Gilstrap said he had about 40 friends and family members at the game and almost cried when he made the play.

“Georgia Tech gave a slap in the face to all of us,” he said, referring to his Georgian teammates. “We are all from Georgia. We’ve got more Georgia people on our team than they do. They tell us that we’re not good enough to play in our own state, but we showed we were the better team in this game.”

Gilstrap’s enthusiastic math, while understandable, is a little off. There are 80 players from Georgia on the Tech roster, according to the media guide.

2. Following the game, Georgia Tech …

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Tech fan falls off railing for second week in row

For the second time in as many weeks, a fan at the game fell over a railing and had to be taken to the hospital. A Tech student, a male freshman, fell over a railing in the northwest section of the lower stands and fell about 15 feet onto the ground in the first half of the game, school spokesman Wayne Hogan said. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and was treated and released after the game.

A week ago, a fan fell 25 feet in the northeast corner of the stadium from a staircase railing onto a service concourse. He was also treated and released the same day. Hogan said the two falls were unrelated.

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Georgia Tech quoteboard

“I told coach [Rick] Stockstill after the game they got after us and whipped our butts. I have to give Middle Tennessee a lot of credit because they played hard. But after saying that, it was embarrassing. I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it. We didn’t play with a lot of energy. We turned the ball over — we can’t do that — and we probably had as bad a day tackling as I’ve seen, maybe worse than last week. The bottom line we didn’t do anything really good. We didn’t block very well, we didn’t catch, we didn’t throw and when you do that and turn the ball over you get beat. That’s it in a nutshell, I guess.”

“Clearly we’ve got issues, we’ve got issues we have to address, there’s no doubt about that.”

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson

“It could have. We just weren’t ready to play. We talked, we tried all sorts of different angles, but they didn’t come ready to play. So that comes back to me.”

Johnson on whether last week’s loss to Miami affected Saturday’s …

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Turnovers hurt Tech’s offense in loss to MTSU

Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington said bad luck derailed the offense in Saturday’s 49-28 loss to Middle Tennessee State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets had four turnovers and allowed four sacks, hurdles high enough to trip them in what for a while was a point-for-point race with the Blue Raiders.

“We had a couple of bad breaks,” Washington said.

The stats would indicate that Tech played well. The Yellow Jackets finished with 425 yards and converted all four chances they had to score touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. The quarterbacks, Washington and Vad Lee, combined to complete 18 of their 26 pass attempts for 187 yards.

But turnovers were the problem, particularly two in the second half — one on downs and another on a bizarre interception — that sealed the defeat.

Trailing 28-21, Tech faced fourth and 12 on the Blue Raiders’ 36-yard line. Washington hit Orwin Smith coming across the field for 11 yards. His momentum taking him sideways, Smith …

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Georgia Tech’s defense undone by poor tackling in loss to MTSU

Georgia Tech was overrun by Middle Tennessee in Saturday’s 49-28 defeat because the Yellow Jackets could neither tackle nor get off the field on third downs.

Both are trends that came to the front in last week’s 42-36 overtime loss to Miami, in which the Hurricanes converted 11 of their 16 third-down attempts and frequently broke tackles after receptions.

The Blue Raiders were almost as successful on third downs, picking up first downs on seven of their 11 attempts. They totaled 510 yards and seemingly broke as many tackles.

“That’s probably as bad a tackling game as I have ever seen,” coach Paul Johnson said.

Middle Tennessee didn’t do anything fancy on offense. The one time they tried it backfired. They used their sideline-to-sideline play-calling to spread Tech’s defense before burning it between the hashmarks with draws and slants, or going back outside for quick, highly accurate passes. The defense played the entire game without outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, …

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UPDATED: Tech humbled by MTSU, 49-28

Georgia Tech did not need overtime to falter Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets, uninspired and perhaps still groggy from its second crushing overtime loss of the season a week ago, required only the regulation 60 minutes to capitulate. Tech was force-fed the worst loss of coach Paul Johnson’s five-year tenure, a 49-28 defeat to Middle Tennessee State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

MTSU, an FBS school out of the Sun Belt Conference that has produced wins this season over Arkansas (by Louisiana-Monroe) and Kentucky (Western Kentucky), pounded the listless Jackets with 510 yards of offense, forced four turnovers and neutralized Tech with force and energy. On this day, at least, little doubt existed over the identity of the superior team.

“I told (MTSU) Coach (Rick) Stockstill after the game (that) they got after us, whipped our butt, and give them some credit, because they played hard,” Johnson said. “After saying that, it was embarrassing. I don’t think there’s any other way to …

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Live blog: Georgia Tech-Middle Tennessee State

Is there a hangover?

Georgia Tech has more margin for error against Middle Tennessee State than it would against an ACC opponent, but not so much that it can sleepwalk through Bobby Dodd Stadium and count on winning. A week after a crushing loss to Miami, the Yellow Jackets can show they’ve put it behind them and are ready to play their final eight regular-season games with a dominating effort against MTSU. A-back Orwin Smith said the team has finished its moping and is moving forward.

How does the defense handle the Blue Raiders?

After Miami played the Tech defense like a fiddle, the Jackets will play an offense of a different stripe. The Blue Raiders operate a spread offense that stretches defenses sideline to sideline. They also work without a huddle, which Miami used to give the Jackets problems last week. With MTSU quarterback Logan Kilgore often throwing short routes, it may be difficult for Tech to pressure him, so effective coverage and good tackling will be …

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Attaochu, Young out of lineup for MTSU

Georgia Tech will be without two key defensive regulars Saturday against Middle Tennessee State. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and cornerback Louis Young are not expected to play due to injuries. Young suffered an upper-body injury last Saturday against Miami. Attaochu’s injury is undisclosed.

Neither practiced this week. Attaochu is seventh on the team in tackles. He will probably be replaced in the lineup by redshirt freshman Tyler Marcodes. Young, who has been playing as the No. 3 corner, is one of Tech’s most versatile defensive backs. True freshman cornerback D.J. White will likely play Saturday for the first time, losing his redshirt. He and Chris Milton are listed as backups on the depth chart behind starters Rod Sweeting and Jemea Thomas.

Without Young, outside linebacker Brandon Watts or safety Jamal Golden could also move into the nickelback spot, which will almost certainly be necessary Saturday. Middle Tennessee State runs a spread offense that features …

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