Georgia Tech defense rises, succumbs

The Georgia Tech defense played well in the middle of the game, just not in the beginning and not at the end. After providing little resistance on a Virginia Tech touchdown drive on the Hokies’ second possession of the game, Georgia Tech held Virginia Tech on seven consecutive possessions, followed by a drive that ended in a missed field goal. That run included three three-and-outs.

During that stretch, the Jackets’ pass rush challenged quarterback Logan Thomas and the run defense had tailback Michael Holmes contained. For the game, Virginia Tech was 5 of 16 on third downs, a good number for the Jackets defense.

“I think we beat them upfront the whole of the game,” cornerback Rod Sweeting said. “The d-line did a good job of harassing the quarterback.”

Defensive end Izaan Cross, who also subbed for T.J. Barnes at nose tackle, had one of the best games of his career, providing good push and contributing half a sack and half a tackle for loss.

“I was just doing whatever I could to get back there,” Cross said.

However, Georgia Tech allowed scoring drives on the final two series of regulation, a 42-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Demitri Knowles after he got behind Sweeting. Then, after the Jackets took a 17-14 lead with 44 seconds left, Virginia Tech responded with a 51-yard drive in six plays to set up the game-tying field goal. That drive included a 22-yard pass completion to Corey Fuller and a 23-yard reception to Fuller on 4th-and-4 with just 13 seconds left in the game.

“Played good up until the end,” coach Paul Johnson said of the defense.

The Jackets were playing without starting cornerback Louis Young and inside linebacker Daniel Drummond (out with suspensions) and safety Fred Holton (undisclosed injury). Jamal Golden played safety and cornerback, logging heavy minutes in his first start. Safety Coray Carlson played in a sub package and received his first extended playing time.

Starting for Drummond in his first career game, Jabari Hunt-Days played well, making nine tackles, second most on the team behind outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu’s 10.

“It didn’t take me long to get, I guess, focused for the game,” Hunt-Days said. “I was already ready for it. There were no nerves in my body. I was just playing, doing my responsibility.”

17 comments Add your comment

Biff Pocoroba

September 4th, 2012
6:31 am

Why do Tech teams think that it is illegal to pressure the QB at the end of a game. They always go to a prevent D and always end up losing. Groh and CPJ are too stubborn to ever learn, so we will b stuck with Tevin, too many runs up the middle for no gain, and collapses by the D at the end of games.

OldSchoolTechFanatic

September 4th, 2012
7:04 am

I agree about Tevin Biff but the D looked stronger and didnt get pushed all over the field like they did last year !!!

OldSchoolTechFanatic

September 4th, 2012
7:07 am

Chan would not take Ball out and CPJ will not take Tevin out… I was raised at Grant fField in the 70’s…. A life long fan, and I am tired of the last two coaches staying with one quarterback while we loose to good teams. Reggie and Tevin beat the little schools but hardly ever beat a real division 1 team !!!

louisville slugger

September 4th, 2012
7:07 am

First time under CPJ I can remember the defense fully outplaying the offense.

not oldschool

September 4th, 2012
7:51 am

I agree with OldSchoolTechFanatic putting Reggie and Tevin together. Both made mistakes as senior QB’s that left you with a sick feeling.

lucky21

September 4th, 2012
8:54 am

Biff Groh didn’t play prevent at the end he sent at least 5 on the 4th and 4, which is why we got burned. He should have played prevent, and we probably would have stopped them.

Crazy Robert

September 4th, 2012
9:09 am

I was impressed with the defense. Gave up the first quarter TD after being on the field for a good bit of the time. Johnson called a lousy offensive game. Hope Presbyterian won’t shut down the offense…

rxdawg79

September 4th, 2012
9:11 am

Unfortunate the way it ended. And while sticking with Washington may not look like a smart thing to do, perhaps he IS the best option QB that Johnson has right now.

William Casey

September 4th, 2012
9:20 am

OLDSCHOOL: You don’t remember Reggie beating Auburn TWICE? Both times they were highly ranked. Both times the scores weren’t close. Don’t revise history.

r2 bee2

September 4th, 2012
9:30 am

Heart-breaking loss. For whatever – I would count last year’s Clemson win as a very good win for Tevin & the Jackets.

yeller bug

September 4th, 2012
10:47 am

If our D held everyone to 17 points in regulation, then I’d take that right now. The D only had two bad plays—42 yd TD and a 23 yd pass at the end of the game—which the latter was unacceptable—give them 8 – 12 yds and let them try a 54 yd FG. Don’t give up 15 yds after the catch!
The O was terrible and the blocking was pathetic. The QB draw was open, but Days runs that better than TW and we missed so many open field blocks—Sims, Godhigh—-the WRs—no one could open field block or we would have busted a few running plays. We miss Roddy Jones and Stephen Hill because they could block!!!

Stumpknocker

September 4th, 2012
5:51 pm

…Sweeting getting beat on 2 big pass plays dulled what was an improved performance by the Defense I thought………….Was it just me or did ESPN run more commercial breaks than both offenses ran plays? Thought it was uncalled for and pathetic…….you can only go to the fridge and bathroom sooo many times.

Atlanta's Original Team

September 5th, 2012
5:50 pm

Thank you, Stumpknocker. ESPN was out of control with the commercials. There was a severe thunderstorm bearing down on the stadium (ended up turning away) and they should have been focused on getting the first half played before the storm hit, rather than running 3 minutes of commercials for every 2 minutes of offense.

Atlanta's Original Team

September 5th, 2012
5:52 pm

Only other thing I will say is to ask where all these fair weather fans and Tech critics hide when Tech is winning? You guys sure crawl out of the woodwork when Tech loses a heart breaker. Wonder what you will say if Tech wins ten games this year?

[...] Georgia Tech defense rises, succumbs [...]

Ed Odom

September 6th, 2012
11:25 am

I have been a Tech fan for many decades. This loss and the way it happened was perhaps the second or third hardest to take, behind perhaps only the loss to FSU and Charlie Ward when FSU scored two TDs in the final 4-6 minutes of the 4th quarter, the second coming after they recovered an onsides kick and the loss to UGA when they scored the winning TD late in the 4th quarter, after missing three straight passes and then getting a firstdown completion on 4th and 10. When you forge ahead 17-14 in the wonderful way Georgia Tech did, with 44 seconds remaining, in a tremendously important game like this one, you simply don’t project losing the game.

Larry Hoffman

September 6th, 2012
7:02 pm

a prevent defense will prevent you from winning