Miami has Tech’s number again

By Michael Cunningham

There’s something about facing Miami that makes the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets seem unlike themselves.

Suddenly those option pitches get smothered by swarming Hurricanes defenders at key times, and quarterback Tevin Washington is running from pressure. Now the small leaks in Tech’s secondary become gaping holes for Miami’s wide receivers and the Jackets can’t get any pressure on the quarterback.

The Jackets lost to Miami 42-36 in overtime Saturday at Bobby Stadium for their fourth consecutive defeat in the series. The Hurricanes are a young team, too, so many of their playmakers will be around for a while, and the poise they showed in winning Saturday figures to improve with maturity.

Miami roared to a 19-0 lead and then gave up 36 consecutive points. The Hurricanes came back to tie the score in the final minute of regulation after they missed a field goal and then held Tech on a goal-line stand in overtime.

The Hurricanes won the game when running back Mike James ran 25 yards for a touchdown.

“All game we tried to keep going,” Miami coach Al Golden said. “If you look at the momentum, you are not going to be happy. We hung in there.”

The Hurricanes appeared to be the more inspired team from the start. They raced to the 19-0 lead largely on the strength of big passing plays.

Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris completed 31 of his 52 attempts for 436 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett was open all game long and finished with nine catches for 184 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown on the third play of the game.

“We had a great game plan,” Morris said. “We knew a lot of things we wanted to attack. There were a lot of things in Georgia Tech’s defense that left some hole for us, some crossing routes and over routes and things like that. I just felt like our passing game was really sound. Everybody knew where to be and I trusted my receivers.”

It helped that Miami’s pass protection was so sound. In spite of starting four sophomores along the offensive line, the Hurricanes didn’t allow a sack, and Morris wasn’t pressured often.

Tech’s rally from 19 points down actually was sparked by an unusual penalty: an unsportsmanlike-conduct foul against Golden that led to a first down at the Tech 36. Up to that point, Tech had managed only 39 yards on 12 plays; the Jackets eventually would pile up 419 yards, including 314 passing, but Miami made lots of key stops.

The final one came in overtime, when linebacker Eddie Johnson stopped Washington for no gain on fourth-and-1 at Miami’s 2-yard line.

67 comments Add your comment

Outside Observer

September 22nd, 2012
10:57 pm

This was definitely not the same defense from the first few games of the year. With likely losses upcoming against Georgia and Clemson, this year could end up back in Shreveport. I just hope we don’t have another game go to overtime. We have lost three of our last five that way.

Johnson's gimmick offense

September 22nd, 2012
11:25 pm

The entire stadium knew we would lose when it went to overtime, The somber tone in the stadium said it all.

Nice Offensive Line

September 22nd, 2012
11:31 pm

I thought Tech’s offensive line was supposed to be mature and a real strength. A young defensive line from Miami stoned you boys on 4th down. I guess Miami wanted it more playing on the road. You guys are an embarrassment to the great State of Georgia. Shreveport, LA is calling your name.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

September 22nd, 2012
11:59 pm

And Virginia Tech, and Georgia, and whoever plays the Jackets in a bowl. It’s incredible how far Tech has fallen since Boss Ross left. Or even since O’Leary left!

JohnYonko

September 23rd, 2012
12:01 am

Well, let’s see. Oklahoma gave up on the triple option (the only play they ever ran for over 100 years) and decided to try passing. When was that? Oh yeah, back in the 80’s, when guess who (Miami) beat them and their option consistently.

If Tech could just figure out a way to get Miami to burn those old Oklahoma tapes, maybe we’d have a chance.

FL Jacket

September 23rd, 2012
12:23 am

Trolls gonna troll…

Bobby Dud

September 23rd, 2012
12:29 am

We’re in trouble.

Mike

September 23rd, 2012
12:31 am

I think its clear that Johnson hit his ceiling with Gailey’s players. Im not sure how this team is supposed to get better on defense either. How does a team running the option properly prepare its defense for a pro-style or passing spread system? UGA can practice first team against first team, strength on strength, and expect it to be relevant when they face everyone except Tech. Tech cant do that cause no one on their schedule runs the option. We dont have the athletes or the system to mimic what other teams are doing.

Dawg 1

September 23rd, 2012
1:08 am

I’m a little surprised. But I think we all forget that Miami’s Defense is very fast and athletic and matches up well against the run. With this said, you still put up 36. We all know that the weakness CPJ teams have had since his arrived has been defense, with perhaps the first couple of years. But if you evaluate that honestly – those were CCG players. And Tech had very solid defenses under this guy.

When looking at the schedule, there is no reason to believe that you’ll finish out with a max of four losses in the regular season. And Tech plays very well against Clemson. And while Georgia has dominated since CMR arrived in Athens, it’s still a rivalry and anything can happen.

A week ago, things felt very different. The schedule is in your favor. I would keep my head up and give the defense a little more time to mature.

Before everyone starts calling for CPJ’S job – I would let the season finish up. Two years ago, the loud mouths did their dead level best to have CMR ran out of Athens. It hurt recruiting and to a small degree attendance. Nothing positive comes from that.

Stick together and keep the noise level down. Otherwise, getting on these blogs becomes a blood bath.

Next week is MTSU – that’s a win and you build off of that.

'83 Cane

September 23rd, 2012
1:40 am

Well said Dawg 1. You cannot give up on a coach who is obviously as good as CPJ. I played LB for the Canes in the early ’80s and we have always played the option very well because of excellent preparation, speed, and pitch discipline. Believe me, Miami was thrashed today in many ways by CPJ’s cunning play calling to get LB’s and safeties totally confused. I have been a Tech fan since having moved here in 1992, and from a former player’s perspective, CPJ is the best coach I’ve seen at Tech in that period of time. I will say this though, Tech needs to implement a spread passing game, or more specifically, a West Coast passing package. Something that will stretch the defense so the option can be run effectively. The emotional fan base called for CMR’s firing at UGA precisely because most fans do not understand the game as well as they they think they do and thus get very emotional over losses. A successful college program is very hard to build. It takes years to develop the talent and excitement among recruits. Unfortunately, the short-term mentality of the fan base and administration too often jump to “improve” a program by changing coaches continually, precisely the prescription for long-term failure. CMR did not give up, and now Georgia fans are very happy he did not. CPJ will not either. Leadership does not dwell on the failures but instead builds upon the lessons that can be learned from them to develop a model for success. CPJ is that kind of leader, and so is CMR, and so is our young coach at Miami.

SJMPARMAN

September 23rd, 2012
2:02 am

I am a Canes fan as well and I feel for you. I can’t think of a single thing you did wrong. I don’t think any GT coach would have made a difference. Sometimes the bad guys win. It wasn’t scheme or anything like that, it was Miami winning. It sucks I know, play this game 10 times and maybe Miami wins 5. There were no coaching errors. Sometimes you lose. I think GT is an astounding team, and will run the table from here.

SJMPARMAN

September 23rd, 2012
2:22 am

I disagree. There is nothing wrong with the GT offense. And I can’t say there was anything wrong with the defense. Nobody was exploited. When you add up all the talent on both sides of the ball, Miami just had more especially on the defnesive side. And defende not offense, wins championships.

GT Fan

September 23rd, 2012
3:31 am

GT, at the 10 minute mark of the 3rd qtr and stretching the lead to 36-19 over UM, looks to be on cruise control. Coaches, both PJ and AG, gotta make these kids understand that there’s 60 minutes of football, not 35.

A defensive letdown like this, IMO, should mean that if AG can’t right-the-ship from here forward with his 3rd yr, he should be fired. And if GT’s D can’t hold a lead like this again this season, AG should be fired at game’s end.

What a pathectic performance by the D after the O put the 36th pt on the board.

Mike

September 23rd, 2012
3:31 am

You cant compare Richt to Johnson, although I would agree it takes 2-3 years to rebuild a program. UGA fans were jumping the gun mostly because this SEC national title run has put a lot of pressure on programs that havent won one yet. Richt has been recruiting in the top 10 for over a decade. Winning 6-7 games with that talent while losing to the likes of Kentucky, Miss St., Colorado, and getting drilled by conference rivals doesnt cut it.

Johnson has not been recruiting the same talent he inherited. Chan Gailey had broken into the top 15 and had another projected top 15 class on the way when he got fired. Johnson used that talent to have a couple of good seasons, but failed to capitalize on it recruiting. Fact is, top recruits dont want to run the option. No matter what Johnson says, he needs top talent to beat a team with athletes that is truly ready to play him. He needs players that can win the one-on-one battles against the likes of Va Tech, UGA, and other highly talented teams. He just doesnt have it.

Mike

September 23rd, 2012
3:37 am

That being said, I dont think this Miami team is very good. This one is definitely on the defense. This is a game Tech has to expect to win (even though they havent been haha), until Miami shows they can get those high profile recruits to produce on the field. If you want to win the ACC or even compete for the title and have a chance to beat teams like this year’s UGA squad, you can’t let an obviously average at best Miami squad come back and win a game like this. Miami wont win more than 6 or 7 games this year. Its a division loss and all but clinches Tech not playing in the ACC title game.

Mike

September 23rd, 2012
3:46 am

The offense isnt completely absolved of guilt though. Its actually a very odd game to critique. On the one had, 36 pts should be enough to beat Miami. On the other hand, those 36 pts came in a span of about a quarter in a half from the start of the second to the middle of the third. If it was a methodical, game-long assault, it would be different. Instead, it was a massive burst in the middle with a big goose egg in the first and fourth.

Mike

September 23rd, 2012
3:56 am

As far as Johnson on the hot seat, I dont know what to say. Its not like he’s a bad coach and seems like a class guy. I’m just not a fan of the option at all and never was. This is Johnson’s fifth year, so its hard to imagine it getting better. I suppose I preferred the similar records, bowl losses, and UGA losses under Gailey because we at least got to see the likes of Calvin Johnson and Tashard Choice. We also got to see a mostly excellent and agressive defense under Tenuta. You knew that talent was there at least, just not being coached up on the offensive side of the ball. Now, I’m just not sure what to think. CFB shouldnt all be about winning, right?

Cutlass81

September 23rd, 2012
4:20 am

Can we just bench Washington and bring out Vad Lee or someone? When you average 2.4yrds a carry and are making poor decisions all over the place, you don’t belong running the option. It was bad enough a friend of mine who doesn’t even watch football was asking why he was making the decisions he was.Tevin clearly lacks what it takes to be a clutch QB as well. Second game this season he has failed us in OT.

Jacket Detective

September 23rd, 2012
6:27 am

Tevin won both the VT game and this one.
CPJ and CAG lost them.
Tevin not clutch?
What do u call what should have been a game winning drive vs VT that ended with 44 seconds on the clock?
If u r not getting to the QB, u need to blitz.
I did not like the Al Groh hire because I do not like coaches who get millions after they are fired.
Yet they tear up the contract if they want to leave.
Nothing I have seen convinces me different.
Watts comment says it all.

Jacket Detective

September 23rd, 2012
6:31 am

Neither game should have gone to OT nor should the Utah game.
It is CAG and CPJ who are not clutch.
Jamea Thomas is a good corner but no one can cover if u allow the QB to get as comfortable as Miami’s was.

Jacket Detective

September 23rd, 2012
6:42 am

And let Orwin decide when to run it out of the endzone.
I admired the nerve of Miami’s punt returner catching the punt in the endzone and getting it out to nearly the 30 before the block in the back penalty.
Let your stars play.
How many kickoff have been run back for TDs from deeper in the endzone than the Big O was?
A lot.

Jacket Detective

September 23rd, 2012
6:51 am

Colleges need better lawyers to write their contracts.
If the coach gets to tear up the contract and dump all the players he has recruited to a school as well as the fans that supported him as soon as somewhere else offers him more money, colleges should be able to fire someone without being on the hook for millions.
And that is why I do not like Bobby Ross all that much.
Hewitt would have won a NC too if he got to play an average team in the final game of the year.
Yet Tech fans seem to love Ross when he dumped us, just like Curry did even though we had tolerated terrible years and losing to Duke 4 times in a row.
Coaches are paid too much and yet have no loyalty at all.

techster

September 23rd, 2012
7:05 am

I know opinions are a dime a dozen and yes the defense got troched for 609 yards. However, with a 4th and 1 that I can’t beleive we didn’t go for and then a weak qb who somehow changed the play and then didn’t make 6 inches, we should have won and then might have won anyway. Coaches make mistakes and let’ stick with CPJ but today was not a good day for him. With one 4th and 1, he could have won and he chickened out.

Malcolm Mackey, Jr.

September 23rd, 2012
7:53 am

Tech will lose to Clemson and UGA but should win the rest of their games….8-4 is about right given the talent on campus at GT….Johnson is a good coach, but he cannot recruit for his system….are there any players on offense who will play in the NFL? Uzzi….Orwin Smith would be a long, long shot to make it as a free agent…..good player but he would have to try to play receiver in the the NFL….

RambleOn84

September 23rd, 2012
9:00 am

Blaming the style of offense is short-sighted and incorrect…

Johnson does deserve blame, but not for the offense…

1. He has not properly motivated his players for these games where we’re “supposed” to win. See: UVA last year, UGA in 2009, Miami this year…
2. The punt on 4th down with 2 minutes to go when our D had folded against the pass all day long? He never would have made that call in 2008. He has lost confidence in his own scheme, and that is a major problem.
3. He has to fire Groh. Honestly, he should do it this week. This is 3 of our last 5 games where our D has given up a 4th quarter lead and allowed the opposing O to breeze down the field.

I still support PJ, but his seat is getting hot…he needs to show the fanbase he still has the fire and passion to win. This will be a very difficult week for Tech’s players, coaches, and fans.

GO JACKETS!

GT is a 4th rate High School Team

September 23rd, 2012
9:10 am

Support for CPJ is a support for UGA. HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAHHAAHAHAHAHA

Uh, GT Fan...

September 23rd, 2012
9:17 am

“GT, at the 10 minute mark of the 3rd qtr and stretching the lead to 36-19 over UM,…What a pathectic performance by the D after the O put the 36th pt on the board.”

And just how many more points did that fantastic O score in the next 25 minutes, + OT?

It is not fair to hang all of this on the D…

And, THAT, ladies and gentlemen...

September 23rd, 2012
9:18 am

…is why they play the game…

GT-UT

September 23rd, 2012
10:03 am

Folks, the Jackets and CPJ need support of the fan base. I can’t stand the sniping about the O when it puts up tons of points.

Classy posts from Canes folks, appreciate it

Sad

September 23rd, 2012
10:38 am

Sad to say, Dave Braine was right. We’ll always be a 7/5-8/4 team.
Maybe a 10 win season once every ten years or so…We’ll never beat UGA again.
Johnson doesn’t understand that UGA is really the only game that counts.
He’s not a Tech man, he doesn’t hate UGA.
Sorry to say his end will be like CG’s after another loss or two to UGA
He’d be good for Tech if he’d change a few things, but he won’t.
It is what it is!

Diablo69

September 23rd, 2012
10:40 am

What is truly unique about this team dating back to a year and a half ago us how they cine together as a unit to lose big games they have fought so hard to win. This loss, like many of the other was a team effort. The defense gave up play after play on 3rd down when a single stop would have win the game. The offense completely shuts down after hanging 36 unanswered on Miami. Our coach decides not to go for a 4th and one at midfield when we were gaining at least 2 yards on every dive on that drive. In order to blow a 17 point lead it takes a total team effort. And thus bunch has been all too willing to chip in starting back in Blacksburg in 2010.

Diablo69

September 23rd, 2012
10:43 am

BTW I just found out the EVO 4G LTE is terrible at posting on web based blogs.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
10:44 am

It was a crazy game for sure.
Turns out when JOHNSON wasn’t Johnson it probably cost us the game.
Not going for it on 4th and 1 at about the 50 was un-Johnson like.
Not trying took away a shot and controlling the clock more to end the game.
IF we didn’t get the 1stdown things would not have changed but getting that 1stdown would have secured the win.
Had a great time seeing the bloggers and tailgating before the game just the last 2 minutes of regulation really sucked.
Chances of winning the Coastal are gone but playing spoiler it always fun. We have a lot to still play for.

If all you want to do is complain then get off the Tech Fan base and go be a Dwag.
The offense does enough for the most part to win games.
The Defense still has work to do.
I think we needed to keep rotating D-linemen more to keep them fresher.

Telling me the triple O don’t work is crazy.
We spotted Miami 19 and scored 36 points in less than 30 minutes.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
10:48 am

The D has to get better.

That was a BAD Officiating Crew.
A lot of pushing and MIAMI Thug playing early in the game and the Refs were not flagging it.
The refs were at times seemed confused as to what was happening on the field.
They were not good. The reviews took too long and some plays didn’t need to go to the booth.

And then, POAD...

September 23rd, 2012
10:52 am

…for the last 25 minutes plus OT, the TO did not work, and UM even tried to hand us a victory when they missed the chip shot FG when the score was 36-29, and still the TO could not function on all cylinders at crunch time.

However, I like you, see this as an aberration rather than as an indictment of the TO…

And what’;s up with all the folks on Kens’ blog lamenting their 50-60 years of frustration with Tech football – it is like 1990 and other great years never happened…some of us are just whiners…

And, POAD...

September 23rd, 2012
10:55 am

…the refs have no contrrol over what gets reviewed unless a coach makes a challenge – those are all called from the booth – and yes, they did take too long, even my wife said the refs took too long and that there were too many reviews. But, the refs were bad on both sides, especially with phantom pass interference calls on both teams…

Are everybody but Tech players thugs to you?

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:06 am

Miami was rough playing to start the game. The jumping on the pile. The shoving after the play. Yes Miami was trying to be the Old Thug U persona to start the game.
The refs on the field didn’t go to the booth the booth made the call to review plays but there was little reason to do so on many of the plays then they took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to make the call when we could see it on the big screen to know the right call.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:08 am

Well, DIEKE & GOTSIS I hope you guys have a great Birthday today, but it has to hurt some after that game.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:14 am

KEN………….any word on the Miami player who Broke is leg.
Man that was UGLY.

Sad

September 23rd, 2012
11:17 am

It’s like the recruit that choose UGA over Tech said…
“Tech is a academic school, Ga is a football school, I’m going to Ga.”
We could be Duke or Maryland. Be happy with mediocroty. It’s what we get. It’s what we are.

Biff Pocoroba

September 23rd, 2012
11:23 am

When Miami cut it to 14, I said it was over and people on here said I was an idiot and too negative. I refused to buy tickets this year when Groh was brought back because I knew we would lose a lot of games like this. The guy is old and likes to play soft defense when he gets the lead and just prays the other team drops the ball. If CPJ wants to keep Groh, then he needs to go also. Groh and Danny Hall are too predictable. You can give them what ever talent they want, but they will find a way to waste it late. Now that this season is over, it is time for Vad to play the rest of the way and for CPJ to quit with the excuses of why we can’t execute the forward pass in the fourth quarter.If you can’t trust your senior quarterback to not cost you the game in the fourth quarter, then something is seriously wrong. Get a new quarterback or a new quarterback coach that can teach him how to throw.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:38 am

Biff………………don’t EVER buy tickets again and our feeling will not be hurt.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:41 am

Biff IF the season is OVER and Johnson plays ALL young players and goes 5-7 then you will be the first to CHEER Johnson and that he is doing what is BEST?
You are full o crap.
The season is 1/3rd over and much to play for.
Go be a GaState fan they would thing you are GOD if you showed up to see their games.

Biff Pocoroba

September 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

If he gets rid of Groh and plays a real QB instead of a running back, I will be happy. DRad finally made Danny Hall get rid of his buddy and hire a real pitching coach. Now he needs to step in and force Paul to hire a real DC. He thinks that his offense is so unstoppable that he doesn’t need one. There is a good reason that Groh was run out of UVA when they used to love him. The only thing left to play for this year is the UGa game so get Vad in there now and get him ready for that game. I could care less about any bowl games that we go to since the team never wants to be there and look like they would rather be home with their family for Christmas. Paul needs to get a QB coach that can teach the forward pass also. If he doesn’t trust Tevin in the fourth quarter, then get a coach that can help him improve and quit giving the games away by just being conservative.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:53 am

Biff……………WHO?

Don’t bring me a problem without a SOLUTION.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
11:55 am

I did expect to see VAD in the game after TECH got the lead and was ahead by more than 14.

Biff Pocoroba

September 23rd, 2012
12:06 pm

Get any DC coach that is willing to play a system that fits his players. CPJ is not a good recruiter and is not going to get the big defensive players he needs for a 3-4. Get a young guy that wants to win instead of an old guy looking to retire with his NFL pension and isn’t willing to go out on the road and recruit anymore. We can’t do much worse that what we have. Right now we just have a head coach who spends his entire call in show counting how many freshmen and sophomores he has and making that his excuse week after week. Play to win instead of playing not to lose in the 4th and you wouldn’t have to make excuses about youth every week. That is what cost O’Leary so many games. Too much soft defense in the fourth quarter.

DS CE'91

September 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Tough loss last night. Some time adds perspective. I still think the ultimate failure in the game was the decision not to go for it on 4th down late in the 4th quarter. Just mind-boggling, in my opinion. At least it appears CPJ has indicated in his post-game quotes that was a bad choice.

We don’t need to junk our offensive scheme, just EXPAND it. Eight (8) passing attempts just …. doesn’t….cut it. I don’t know if we can recruit better players for this system, but places like UWV and Oregon seem to be able to find offensive playmakers for similar systems.

Defensively, I just don’t know. From the get-go, I thought the 3-4 was a bad scheme for us from a recruiting standpoint. But I’ve read some about the “3-4 heavy” that Boise State runs, and that would seem to work with the kinds of folks we can recruit. I was really encouraged by the defense’s performance in the first three games. I don’t like to be reactionary, so I guess I’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see if Saturday was an aberration or the true norm as far as the Defense goes.

DS CE'91

September 23rd, 2012
12:18 pm

One other point …. firing a head coach or coordinator during the season is never a good idea unless you have a Penn State level controversy. There’s plenty of time to make personnel changes after the regular season ends.

5150 UOAD

September 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

Biff Pocoroba
September 23rd, 2012
12:06 pm

Get any DC coach that is willing to play a system that fits his players.
==================================================

Well aren’t you just the Rocket Scientist with a SOLUTION.
I am sure that is how Coke or Microsoft find their next CFO.