Notes from Monday.
1. Georgia Tech pounded lumps into Virginia, pushing the Cavaliers up and down the field on offense and holding the upper hand on defense. Coach Paul Johnson’s reaction after reviewing the game video?
It wasn’t two thumbs way up.
“When you watch the film, there’s a lot of things we didn’t do well, a lot of things we can do better,” he said.
There were missed opportunities for more big plays than the ones the Yellow Jackets hit in amassing eight plays of 20 yards or more and four or 40 or more, the latter for the first time since the 66-24 rout of Kansas last year.
“We had several missed assignment and just finishing blocks and we missed tackles and we screwed up coverages at times,” Johnson said. “We were far from playing the perfect game.”
Tech will play Miami Saturday, a team that has allowed 521 rushing yards in its past two games, one against FCS Bethune-Cookman.
“They have a lot of good athletes, a lot of guys that can run,” Johnson said.
2. Offensive lineman Will Jackson was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week for his role in Tech’s 594-yard outburst against the Cavaliers. It’s the first time he’s won the honor and the first that any Tech player has won ACC player-of-the-week honors this season. After playing guard since his arrival at Tech, Jackson was moved to offensive tackle for the Virginia game.
Tech coaches also chose their players of the game, B-back Zach Laskey on offense, inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy on defense and defensive back Chris Milton on special teams. Laskey had 113 yards of total offense, including a 70-yard touchdown reception on Tech’s first play from scrimmage, before coming out of the game with an injured shoulder. Nealy led Tech with 10 tackles, many of them jarring, and intercepted a pass tipped by defensive end Emmanuel Dieke. In earning the special-teams award for the second game in a row, Milton made a touchdown-saving tackle on a Virginia kickoff return and was 16-for-18 on his special-teams assignments, Johnson said.
“I think he’s relishing his role and he’s doing a great job,” he said.
3. B-back David Sims, who missed the past two games as he recuperated from a stress fracture in his shin, is “full go” for Saturday’s game, Johnson said. He was not sure about safety Fred Holton, who has yet to play this season with a foot injury. B-back Charles Perkins is out with an undisclosed injury. B-back Zach Laskey, who missed the second half of Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury but could have returned if necessary, is able to play.
Johnson said he wouldn’t disclose who would start at B-back, Sims or Laskey, until Thursday.
4. Johnson backed off his statement Saturday that he believed that quarterback Tevin Washington’s helmet was pulled off by Virginia players, which resulted in Washington having to leave the game for one play due to a new rule. Johnson said Saturday that he was going by what Washington told him, adding that it was “ironic that it only came off on the goal line in the scrum.”
“I watched the tape,” he said Monday. “I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. It happens all the time.”
Johnson said that players need to wear tighter-fitting helmets. Sunday, Virginia coach Mike London told reporters on a teleconference that he didn’t believe Washington’s helmet was forcibly removed.
“Helmets come off all the time and there’s no one that’s trying to intentionally rip a guy’s helmet off to get him out of the game,” London said.
5. ESPN held off on choosing a kickoff time for Tech’s Sept. 29 home game against Middle Tennessee State. Tech had published a 7 p.m. start time, but the decision ultimately belongs to ACC and ESPN. ESPN has until noon Sunday to announce the kickoff time. The delay means that the game is under consideration for television broadcast.
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog