Miami next for Tech after pounding of Virginia

Revenge tasted sweet Saturday for Georgia Tech. Did the Yellow Jackets leave enough room for dessert?

After meting out a historic walloping to Virginia as payback for a crushing loss to the Cavaliers in 2011, Tech has the opportunity to take vengeance upon Miami, which has had the audacity to beat the Jackets three years in a row.

“We like to say we’re taking it one game at a time,” offensive lineman Will Jackson said Saturday after Tech’s 56-20 win over Virginia. “But we definitely kind of have a chip on our shoulder, knowing that we haven’t had much success on any side of the ball the past few times we’ve played [the Hurricanes].”

Tech plays Miami in its third Coastal Division game of the season Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in a 3 p.m. kickoff. If Tech can re-capture the ferocity that it unleashed on the Cavaliers, the Hurricanes may have less control over their fate than they would prefer.

“I thought that both, offensively and defensively, we played really well, especially from the start,” said coach Paul Johnson, who is rarely that effusive about his team.

Of the Jackets’ 62 plays Saturday, eight broke for 20 yards or more. Those eight alone covered 350 yards, which is 53 more than the Cavaliers in their 61 plays. The 36-point margin of victory was the fifth largest by Tech in an ACC game. It was the most points the Jackets had ever scored against Virginia in their 35-game series.

“It’s a great steppingstone,” said inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, who led a hard-hitting performance by the Tech defense.

Drawing conclusions from a three-game stretch is an exercise of questionable wisdom. It was only last year, after all, that Tech conjured up dreams of the Orange Bowl with its 6-0 start before faltering. That said, Tech does appear to be improving on both sides. Tech has improved in its pass rush. Its blocking, on the line and particularly on the perimeter, created running lanes on its litany of big plays.

“I’ve been waiting all year just for something like this to happen,” A-back Orwin Smith said.

Tech’s A-backs, who typically require downfield blocks for big gains, ran 15 times for 200 yards against Virginia. Two Saturdays ago against Presbyterian, easily the weakest team Tech will face this season, they had 13 carries for 103 yards, after which Johnson took the perimeter blocking to task. Even without Smith’s 77-yard touchdown run on an option play, Tech still had 14 runs for 123 yards. On that run, Smith was sprung by blocks from A-back Robbie Godhigh and wide receiver Jeff Greene. After the play, Johnson enthusiastically corralled Greene upon his return to the sideline.

“I said, ‘That’s your touchdown, because you’re the guy who just rolled the corner,’” Johnson said. “I mean, he rolled him, too. He almost had him out of bounds.”

Curiously, Tech’s performance did not seem to be appreciated by voters in the Associated Press poll. The Jackets were 35th with 15 points after beating Presbyterian, then fell to 40th with three points in the poll released Sunday.

110 comments Add your comment

K

September 16th, 2012
6:19 pm

gtjason

September 16th, 2012
6:21 pm

Jimbo

September 16th, 2012
6:22 pm

First! I think we can thank the folks up in Blacksburg for our fall in the AP.

GTPhenom

September 16th, 2012
6:26 pm

The AP screwed us in the polls royally. No reason for us to drop five spots after blowing out an ACC opponent. Oh well, screw the polls, just keep winning and everything will work out.

yeller bug

September 16th, 2012
6:51 pm

Win the next 3 and we’ll be in the top 15.

I hope we just keep the intensity each week—one game at a time—speculating and bloviating are our jobs.

JustinSyder

September 16th, 2012
6:53 pm

Agreed. I don’t care who VT lost to, we shouldn’t drop 5 spots after winning that big against a conference opponent.

Nick

September 16th, 2012
7:01 pm

Polls don’t matter at this point. Let’s beat our chests when we beat a team who will end the year with more than 7 wins.

2BT

September 16th, 2012
7:05 pm

polls, schmolls! Does not matter this season.

Fact – We’re not winning the National Championship
Fact – Even if the apocalypse was upon us and we ran the table – we would not make the BCS title game
Fact – Our conference brethren certainly did enough to keep any and all pollsters away from throwing any bouquets at an ACC team outside of FSU and Clemson.

that said, we still have MUCH to play for……….

Fact – although we don’t control our destiny in the Coastal, we do control a better-than-strong chance of achieving it with focused wins over Miami, Clemson, Duke, UNC, Maryland, and Boston College.

Fact – we’ve been ‘prone’ more often than not to lose to somebody we have no business losing to. Later on this season, we go up against more than one opponents who will have an off week prior to playing us. Time to do something about that ’skeleton’ that everyone says is in our closet.

Fact – We’re a ‘cusp’ Top 25 team. We’re always floating around (20-30) every year. If the team really wants to do something about it, just focus each week and there will be a very nice reward/opportunity in Miami in January against a very solid opponent but will require us to get by a very good looking FSU bunch first.

Week by week gentleman. Let’s take care of Miami first.

TechApp fan

September 16th, 2012
7:15 pm

No poll can hide that Jacket pride!

Beat UM!

GTGirl

September 16th, 2012
7:28 pm

2BT-very well stated! Take it week by week and win and we’ll finish in the top 10!
Go Jackets! Beat the ‘U’!

George Stein

September 16th, 2012
7:37 pm

The goal should be to beat every team this year that beat us last year and to win the ones we won last year again this year.

Max Sizemore

September 16th, 2012
7:39 pm

First, Miami is not very good at all. Second, NCAA sanctions could come down at any time. If it is this week, advantage Jackets.

Dogkicker

September 16th, 2012
7:45 pm

Just win and the polls will take care of themself.

George Stein

September 16th, 2012
7:45 pm

Opening line is Tech -12.5. You can find it up to -13.5 now. Not sure why, but that scares me.

RhinoGT

September 16th, 2012
8:07 pm

tech gets no respect at all. how do we lose points for destroying a BCS conference team while UGA beats a non-BCS team by the same score and that was closer than our game, and gets put in the top-5?!?!

2BT

September 16th, 2012
8:15 pm

@RhinoGT It is what it is. Win the rest, and we’ll garner greater respect for NEXT season. (More than you can probably imagine at this point). Until we get more than 1 win over the in-state rival every once in 5 years (under CPJ, that is) and until we get 10 wins per season on a consistent basis, the polls are justified in ranking us where they please. We control the ability to change it. It starts this Saturday.

K

September 16th, 2012
8:23 pm

Well said 2BT.

Go Jackets

September 16th, 2012
8:30 pm

Beat the Canes…….dont let that over hyped bunch of South Fla thugs come into our house and take a dump on our carpet…..I wanna kick their arses.

Jacket Dad

September 16th, 2012
8:35 pm

Team looked really good on Saturday. We have to show the doubters that we have turned the corner and play consistently well….against all competitors. We do tend to have some really strong performances and then we stink it up against someone we are supposed to trounce.

I really like what i saw on Saturday, but am not too upset by poll numbers. We tend to believe the press and polls when we start working into them and then we don’t take care of business.

Keep climbing Jackets!!!!!

Ol'JacketFan

September 16th, 2012
8:35 pm

@2BT right on point, the pollsters goes as much off reputation as games played. Tech’s heading in the right direction and the polls will take care of themselves as long as Tech takes care of its business.

Go Jackets, Humble the “u”!!!!

Jack_in_Homestead, FL

September 16th, 2012
8:37 pm

Ahhhh….the Bumble-Bees ! Proclaiming how they will beat up the young Miami ‘Canes before the game even starts.

I can still remember the Paul Johnson’s first year…winning big with a strange offensive-formation …leaving my ‘Canes befuddled. The raucous celebration in the stands, the screaming Bumble-bee fans who afterwards infested the Miami boards for months on end trumpeting their ascension to Mt. Olympus.

Then the next season happened…and there was ole PJ. cursing out his players under the harsh lights in SoFLA. Then the next year. Then the next year…….well….you get the picture. There was even the much-loved sports headline (it was catnip to the Bumble-bee fans)in this same paper:- …..Five Reasons Why Tech will beat Miami.

Well Bumble-bees …take your best shot while you got it. This Hurricane squad is nothing but young ‘uns …so if you can get any licks in….you better do it now….because you know what happens later.

5150 UOAD

September 16th, 2012
8:39 pm

I’ll care about polls around week 6 or 7 but not before then for any team.

SansWorld

September 16th, 2012
8:40 pm

keep pushing, don’t overlook the U, teh better team doesn nort alwawys win that game.

Ol'JacketFan

September 16th, 2012
8:41 pm

Ken, any reason why the filters are holding my post hostage? ;-)

ToeMeetsLeather

September 16th, 2012
8:49 pm

This defense is really fun to watch play. The number one unit has given up 24 points in regulation ball this year. Basiclly eight points per game. If we can get Holton and Drummond back in the mix to go along with the younger guys that are looking good in the two deep, this unit should only get better as the season progresses. It was good to see Young back in the secondary, just wish he had been on the field during that last 44 seconds in Blacksburg!

Special Teams took a step back this past weekend. A muffed punt, giving up a long kick-off return, poor punting average and numerous issues on the PAT unit may well cost us a W in a close game if not corrected soon.

Let’s stuff a sock in Warren Sapp’s trap come Saturday Jackets!

5150 UOAD

September 16th, 2012
8:49 pm

OJF…it is happening to me on one of the Chip Towers blogs too…

JustinSyder

September 16th, 2012
8:50 pm

Jack…

Miami has been rebuilding ever sense losing the national championship in 02. Yeah, you’ve been beating us lately, but it seems like you’re expecting Miami to be a national power within the next couple of years. Your program is a laughing stock. The amount of support for your football team showed when it looked like there were 10 thousand people at the game yesterday.

wreckbone

September 16th, 2012
8:54 pm

What happens later is we keep showing up with a defense starting this year and pick up where Michael Johnson and others left off. Kind of funny a UM fan talking smack about the future when the NCAA is looking into time share ownership they will be in Miami so long. And let’s face it your only glory since joining the Acc is being a medium tier team that leveled the ir record against tech since joining. The days off coming in and blowing out everyone are long gone and according to the NCAA it will be a long time time before they return. I like how our future is shapeing up myself. And yes I will beer one of those fans screaming loud and talking smack to any and all UM FANS in my honer stadium. Thought that was kind of the point of home games…

ToeMeetsLeather

September 16th, 2012
8:59 pm

Jack, your Canes got their licks in while CPJ’s recruits were young’uns. His guys are just becoming upper classmen. I guess we’ll see where our two programs stand about 3:00 Saturday.

Oh, I understand Shapiro is taking the Canes to Lenox to go shopping before the game.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

September 16th, 2012
9:03 pm

I don’t pay as much attention to polls as I do statistical rankings. Right now, the Jackets are ranked 17th in total offense (compared with 20th for the Dogs). We’re also ranked 18th in total defense (compared with 42nd for the Dogs). We lead the nation in rushing yards (ranking 3rd in yards per game). We also rank highly in scoring offense, scoring defense, and several other categories. The best part of that is that we’ve accumulated those statistics against two conference opponents, while most other teams have built their statistics by playing 2 of 3 games against “cupcake clubs”. I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can do over the next couple of months.

GTGirl

September 16th, 2012
9:06 pm

From what i understand, Holton really wants to play but a lingering injury is keeping him out. The team is fired up to beat up on the ‘Canes. Go Jackets!

Ol'JacketFan

September 16th, 2012
9:09 pm

@Flowery Branch, the numbers are looking better and better as we go along, Pretty good 1st quarter of the season and I think the numbers will continue to improve. Looking back on the VT we see the mistakes in the blocking on the perimeter and by the WRs that over the last 2 games has improved dramatically along with the improved O line play. Putting Mason and Jackson in at starters this week seems to have made a huge difference. If the team can stay focused on the game at hand and continue to grow we could be looking at a pretty good season!

Big Crimson 75

September 16th, 2012
9:18 pm

George Stein
September 16th, 2012
7:45 pm

Opening line is Tech -12.5. You can find it up to -13.5 now. Not sure why, but that scares me.
——
Stein — No reason for concern — this isn’t your older brothers U.

GIVE ME A BREAK

September 16th, 2012
9:39 pm

If UGA could keep playing ” NOBODY ” they would be #1.

South GA Jacket

September 16th, 2012
9:41 pm

Yeah, apparently FAU > UVA. Ha! Just another reason why polls are meaningless until week 5 or 6. It just gives the talking heads something to talk about.

BartBuzz

September 16th, 2012
9:41 pm

Coach Johnson is right. The polls don’t mean anything this early. If GT keeps winning, the polls won’t matter. We’ll be playing in Miami.

Burdell90

September 16th, 2012
10:16 pm

What was the deal with Washington wearing number 40?

crackbaby

September 16th, 2012
10:17 pm

Jackets owe Miami a beatdown, just like UVA. The U, even more than Georgia, has “fans” who are reprobates with no affiliation with the school. Mostly punks and posers.

Jackets will have to get physical on Saturday. Hope the O-line is up to it. They really played well against UVA. Sounds like CPJ is going to stick with his best 5 guys. GOON SQUAD!

Go Jackets! Stomp dem Canes!

crackbaby

September 16th, 2012
10:18 pm

@ Burdell – It’s a tribute to Julian Burnett, our LB who suffered a career ending neck injury against Utah last year.

40 was his number and the Seniors are taking turns wearing his number.

Ga Tech Old Timer

September 16th, 2012
10:19 pm

Ken – Want to pass along why my post @10:15P was rejected??

Burdell90

September 16th, 2012
10:21 pm

Thanks, makes sense. Just had not heard that they were doing that.

Ken Sugiura

September 16th, 2012
10:29 pm

GTOT – i think it was a profanity, one with $’s in it.
OJF – don’t know. i just cleared it.

Ken Sugiura

September 16th, 2012
10:30 pm

just posted something about the oddity of tech moving back five spots. not a big deal at this point, but kind of curious.

1 4 GT

September 16th, 2012
10:34 pm

Guys & gals (now that there are a couple of girls posting)! Forget about the polls!! Remember when we were ranked #12 last year & we hadn’t really beaten anybody worth bragging about. Yeah the numbers game is exciting, but I knew, and so did a great many of you, that GT wasn’t really all that good. I think the team read too much into that and look what happened. We lost to UVa in the 7th game. Polls are really a reflection of the past at this time of the year. How else could the pollsters reach such conclusions. Georgie is good….but from what I have seen of them, they are not the #5 football team in the USA. They might end up being that or better….UGH….God forbid….or better. I think the polls serve no purpose….except as talking points….until after the 7th game. If GT deserves being ranked, it will come after we have earned it!!!! BTW….welcome ladies. Always good to have a girls viewpoint. Just don’t go all girly on us & start trying womanize the uniforms. LOL

Ol'JacketFan

September 16th, 2012
10:34 pm

Ken, thanks, I was a bit surprised it got caught up :-)

1 4 GT

September 16th, 2012
10:50 pm

Being somewhat ignorant of such things, what does -12.5 mean. Is GT favored or UM favored. I have to think GT is, but I don’t know what the -12.5 means other points.

Ol'JacketFan

September 16th, 2012
10:52 pm

1 4 Tech favored by 12.5 points

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

September 16th, 2012
10:54 pm

Big C – you are right about the spread. GS was mystified by the spread for UVA, I get the feeling we are rolling right now – still gotta get it done on the field, I know. But CPJ marked this game down well in advance. I don’t see a let down. What I’m a little concerned about is whether we can keep it going and finish the season strong. As long as we can keep this roll going now, that’s a concern I like to have!

SJMPARMAN

September 16th, 2012
10:55 pm

The reason your team is such a favorite over my team is that the Miami Defense is just plain aweful. Miami is 100 out of 120 teams in total defense, 102 in rushing defense giving up a whopping average of 205 yards per game, 85th in pass efficiency defense (helped only because of the fact no one has to try to pass when they can run so well and the fact that their fbs opponent was aweful in the passing game. Miami gave up over 400 yards to BC and over 240 yard in the air against K State). The Defensive coordinator is the worst at Miami since the 1960’s buthappens to be Al Golden’s college buddy. It is a plain joke what is going on in Miami right now on the defensive side of the ball.

On offense, Stephen Morris has struggled to find his very young recievers. The Canes are 79th in passing offense. Mike James hasn’t produced as a runner who can break a long one. Although they showed some improvement against their FBS opponent, the offensive line is adequate at pass protection but hasn’t been dominant in the running game. Miami has a special player in Duke Johnson, a true freshman who has flashed some brilliant plays in their two wins. But he is a small back who hasn’t developed physically enough to handle the work load. Miami is 68th in rushing offense and 83rd in total offense.

14 points may be even a low number based on the stats. You all are 3rd in rushing offense, 113th in passing offense and 17th in total offense. You are 34th in rushing defense, 22 in pass efficiency defense, and 18th in total defense. The Canes probably have an edge in special teams.

Given the fact that Miami has not yet figured how to stop the run, and the players on the perimeter are almost all freshman or sophmores or guys with little actual game experience you are rightfully prohibitive favorites. The only way Miami makes this a game at all is if somehow Morris breaks out of his slump and the offense can match you guys because you will score at will against this Miami defense. I am a long time Miami fan but I just don’t see us beating you all this year with this coordinator.

BTW, I watched the VT game and clearly you all should have beat them. Pitt exposed VT for the sham they are. Hang in there, I think you guys will win the coastal if you beat us, which I expect you will do.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

September 16th, 2012
10:59 pm

@ 1 4 GT, you mentioned unis and girls…was it just me or were the Tech cheerleaders much better than I’ve seen before. I recall just one rather quick camera shot during the broadcast but it seemed like a different group. You all at the game can chime in with your takes.