Notes: Miami pillages Tech defense

1. Through three games, the Georgia Tech defense had offered evidence that it had made clear progress from defensive coordinator Al Groh’s first two seasons.

Saturday was not so much a fly in the ointment as it was a pterodactyl. The final damage – the Yellow Jackets gave up 609 yards to Miami, which is 183 more than the Hurricanes were able to gain against FCS Bethune-Cookman a week ago. Tech has given up more yards in only two games, 667 to Notre Dame in a 69-14 loss in 1977 and 610 to Duke in a 41-38 win over Duke in 1997.

Said outside linebacker Brandon Watts, “I felt like we weren’t prepared.”

A stretch over the middle portion of the game suggested that the Tech defense had gained the upper hand. After scoring to take a 19-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, Miami’s next five possessions lasted a total of 16 plays, including a half-ending kneeldown. The other four possessions ended with a lost fumble, punt, interception and punt.

However, after Tech took its 36-19 lead, Miami then drove 74 yards for a field goal, 82 yards for a touchdown, 88 yards for a missed field goal and 91 yards for a game-tying touchdown at the end of regulation. The offense didn’t help, punting after possessions of five, five and eight plays to keep returning the ball to Miami.

Miami quarterback Stephen Morris finished with 436 passing yards on 31-of-52 passing with two touchdowns. In Miami’s history, which includes quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde, Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar, that’s the fifth-highest single-game total.

“We were expecting more of a run from watching film,” cornerback Jemea Thomas said. “We were going for the run but they came out and changed it to a passing game.”

As per team rules, Groh was not made available for interviews after the game. The team policy is to bring coach Paul Johnson and six players to the interview room.

2. Tech suffered a handful of injuries that forced backups into the game. Offensive lineman Will Jackson left the game with a leg injury and did not return. Jackson, who was playing tackle for the second game in a row after playing guard through his first two seasons, was replaced by Tyler Kidney. Cornerback Louis Young left the game in the second half with an injury to his right arm. Young fractured his thumb in the preseason and was still wearing protection over the injury. He did not return.

Punter Sean Poole also suffered what appeared to be a shoulder or arm injury making a tackle. He was replaced by true freshman Ryan Rodwell, meaning his redshirt has been burned.

3. A male fan at the game was treated and released from Grady Memorial Hospital Saturday after falling 25 feet from a staircase railing onto a service concourse in the northeast corner of the stadium. The only further information Tech spokesman Wayne Hogan could offer following the game was that the fan was not a student.

4. Coach Paul Johnson’s opening statemetn: “I don’t know what to say. I think I’m as disappointed as I’ve ever been. We made way too many errors in all three facets of the game. It was like two or three different games. It looked like we were going to get blown out of our own stadium then we got righted and it looked like we were going to blow them out of the stadium. To their credit, they came back. They made plays at the end of the game and we didn’t.”

5. Orwin Smith said a miscommunication played a factor in the safety he took on a first-quarter kickoff. With the lead 10-0, Smith took the ensuing kickoff from kicker Jake Wieclaw two or three yards deep in the end zone. He was about to return the kick, but slowed up. His momentum caused him to put his hand down past the goal line before trying to take a touchback. The NCAA rulebook states that a play becomes a touchback when “a kick becomes dead by rule behind the defending team’s goal line and the attacking team is responsible for the ball being there.”

6. The 17-point lead that Tech gave up was the largest since surrendering an 18-point lead against West Virginia in the 2007 Gator Bowl. Miami’s 30 first downs are the most by a Tech opponent under Johnson, passing the 27 gained by N.C. State in 2010. Tech gave up more than 500 yards for only the fourth time with Johnson as coach and the first time since 2010.

On the play, Smith said fellow returner Jamal Golden signaled for him to take the touchback. The “off” returner has the authority to make that call, Smith said.

7. For the fourth time in three different games, quarterback Tevin Washington’s helmet came off, requiring him to leave the game for one play, as required by a new rule. Offensive tackle Ray Beno’s helmet also came off once. … Attendance was 50,390. … Long snapper Tyler Morgan wore No. 40 in honor of former linebacker and team captain Julian Burnett, who suffered a career-ending injury in the Sun Bowl last season.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

62 comments Add your comment

Johnson's gimmick offense

September 22nd, 2012
10:36 pm

Johnson doesn’t know how to coach.

Johnson's gimmick offense

September 22nd, 2012
10:38 pm

He needs to realize that this isn’t GSU or Navy. We are expected to play big boy football.

Johnson's gimmick offense

September 22nd, 2012
10:39 pm

Best case we go 7-5

Johnson's gimmick offense

September 22nd, 2012
10:39 pm

Not that anyone cares…..but first.

T-TIme

September 22nd, 2012
10:45 pm

Our D has some very talented players, but our slack pass coverage will always be a concern. There is no way we can start getting conservative on O and expect to hold a lead. We made quite a few mistakes in the game, but no one mistake lost the entire game. Not our best coached effort! We should have put them away after they missed the FG.

Silly Mutts

September 22nd, 2012
10:45 pm

GT won’t win 5 games and who cares if they win more than that. This team is the laughingstock of college football! Al Groh just doesn’t understand 3rd down situations and that is really really evident over his tenure here. CPJ continues to do the same things that get GT beat. He’s not going to do anything different because he doesn’t know how to do it any other way. Get the lead, play to lose on offense and defense. That’s just how these guys know how to coach. GT will never be relevant in the college football scene again. I am finished with GT and its lousy players.

jacob

September 22nd, 2012
10:46 pm

Our lines are just way too small. Miami’s O-line looked like they were 3 feet taller and 2 feet wider than Tech’s D-line. You’ll never win big games against talented teams like that.

Silly Mutts

September 22nd, 2012
10:47 pm

@T-Time….the defense really really really sucks! Go back to smoking your crack pipe!

K

September 22nd, 2012
10:50 pm

If the defense was so bad today, why would you bet the game on it?????

Dogkicker

September 22nd, 2012
10:54 pm

A.G has got to go. 36pts should win an ACC game

Chris

September 22nd, 2012
10:59 pm

Groh no improvement over the guy before him.

Gr8 2B aFuzzyB

September 22nd, 2012
11:14 pm

I’m ready for Vad. Not to pin this on Tevin, but I said before the season started that we needed to win 2 of the 3 early conference games. Tevin is just not clutch enough. He doesn’t run strong enough, instead he tip toes around. At least let’s give Vad a shot now since the conf race is all but done for us. As silly mutts says, the coaching pattern is well established, get conservative with leads on O and D strategy is pretty similar. I never seem to have a good feeling in close games going down to the wire. It’s getting old, frustrating and frankly it’s hard to watch.

Silly Mutts

September 22nd, 2012
11:25 pm

@Gr8….I have never been more pissed at anyone like I am now at Paul Johnson. I would flat out bitch slap him if I got the chance! If I am calling the frickin’ plays from my couch how does he not realize that the other team’s dc doesn’t see that too? There just isn’t any variety b/c he has the success against lesser opponents. However, I think there is just too much focus at GT on the offense. The defense is just horrible and the same things continue to repeat themselves year in and year out. Paul Johnson is nothing but an offensive coordinator. He is NOT a head coach! Why? Because he hired the defense and recruited the players to play in it! The defense is a frickin’ turd!

Recruiting guru

September 22nd, 2012
11:28 pm

this is why the instate kids either wear red and black or leave the state……triple floption…..

WnE

September 22nd, 2012
11:35 pm

re:
Said outside linebacker Brandon Watts, “I felt like we weren’t prepared.”
_______________

Wow!

Wow again!!

Talk about pointing fingers and throwing your DC under the bus.

It might get ugly around our FB program if guys start pointing fingers and throwing COACHES under the bus, but can you blame Watts, he’s only doing what he has learned from CPJ, which is; throw the “other guy” under ths bus to save yourself.

Lots of I-told-you-so comments will be coming from Ol’ Wrecks this week, it oughta be fun!

Silly Mutts

September 22nd, 2012
11:39 pm

@WnE…..I don’t think I ever put you down on this blog! At least I can’t recall doing so. I wanted to feel differently, but I always knew you were right. Now what though? You’re right, everyone knows your right but where does GT go from here? I am just all pissed right now.

WnE

September 22nd, 2012
11:44 pm

re:
jacob
September 22nd, 2012
10:46 pm

Our lines are just way too small. Miami’s O-line looked like they were 3 feet taller and 2 feet wider than Tech’s D-line. You’ll never win big games against talented teams like that.
_______________

Miami’s top-44 players (their 2-Deep) has 34 1st & 2nd yr. players among them, we got beat by a very young Miami team today.

Our RS-Jr. & T-Sr. DEs, both in their 4th yrs. out of HS got manhandled by a T-Fr OT 5-months removed from his HS Prom and a RS-Soph.

I wonder do my detractors (not you Jacob) still consider Laskey a “diamond-in-the-rough” after seeing TRUE FROSH Duke Johnson play today?

1 4 GT

September 22nd, 2012
11:50 pm

Criticize Tevin if you like, but he did not lose this game….as in the VT game, Tevin put the game in the hands of a defense that up until today, had looked (finally) like they knew how to actually play defense. Today & against VT….the defense could not get a stop when it was needed….at the end of the game. Tevin is a QB. Not a RB, Not a WR. Not a Center. Not an OG. Not an OT. Tevin is one part of an 11 man unit. Maybe the most important part, but still just 1 part. He did not catch a pass. He did not take a pitch out. He did not take a hand off. He did not make a block, or not, as the case may be. He would have to be Superman to take the snap from center and then block, take a pitch out, take a hand off or catch a pass….doing all these ball handling jobs after beginning with taking the snap & then getting the ball into his own hands….well you’re Tech guys; you know what I’m saying….Tevin can’t win or lose by himself, but with 10 other guys working together, or not, with each doing a reasonably good job of their jobs. And the defense, Tevin surely didn’t miss any tackles. He didn’t get blocked out of the way. He didn’t not cover receivers, ala #1 on Tech’s defense. He was not out there not pressuring Miami’s QB. He wasn’t even on the field when those were not being done. I am NOT a Tevin apologist, but I am damn tired of some you so called GT fans blaming him for losing a game all on his own. BS!!!! I believe the debacle that happened today is a lack of proper coaching by one Al Groh. Just like in the Georgie game last year, the defense was coached to stop 1 facet of offense & Miami did the opposite & CAG did not adjust. I now think it is time to cut our losses & put CAG out to pasture. Selah.

1 4 GT

September 22nd, 2012
11:55 pm

I just can’t make myself say I agree with someone who has NEVER said 1, not 1, positive, good thing about GT on this blog. And now this person wants to gloat & rub it in. Well, maybe some of us deserve that.

realist

September 22nd, 2012
11:56 pm

Football program is hopeless.

Doesn’t matter who is the coach.

realist

September 22nd, 2012
11:56 pm

Tevin can’t handle the pressure of close games.

Silly Mutts

September 22nd, 2012
11:56 pm

1 4 GT…..finally a person with some sense on here! TW played great. I have no problem with him at QB. However, the defense just plain sucks again this year!!!! Please god…please fire Al Groh and get someone else here!! Please!!!!

Dubbs443

September 23rd, 2012
12:04 am

God we suck. al grog is garbage. cpj sucks and needs to go. I’m officially not a tech fan until we get new coaches….disgusting. Sick of cpj 2 words throwing his team under the bus makes me sick. do everyone a favor and resign and talk about the fans jumping off the bandwagon win we beat an overrated clemson or something….absolutel disgusted!

gg

September 23rd, 2012
12:13 am

This wouldn’t happen if Reggie Ball was still here.

Jacket Faithful

September 23rd, 2012
12:15 am

Why did we stop using the pistol formation in the second half? Can someone answer that for me? Is CPJ that stubborn to abandon something that works?

1 4 GT

September 23rd, 2012
12:16 am

It truly pains me to say some of what I said above.

1 4 GT

September 23rd, 2012
12:19 am

Jacket Faithful….good question!!!! I have been so upset I hadn’t even thought about your question. There is no guarantee it would have made any difference. But we scored a bunch of points from the “Pistol”. Why did CPJ stop calling it??

Jacket Faithful

September 23rd, 2012
12:25 am

I don’t know 1 4 GT? The pistol offensive formation spread the field and we had holes for Tevin to run through like I’ve never seen before. I feel like CPJ has put so many years into developing his “old faithful” formation that he would not put it down if he found something that worked better. This could be a coaching flaw.

I feel so defeated as a fan. Can’t imagine how the team feels.

robh

September 23rd, 2012
12:38 am

Tev Washington is to Paul Johnson as Reggie Ball was to chan the man
- in big spots, doesn’t show- inconsistent passer, makes enough passes as a runner, but commits miscues at the most inopportune times

robh

September 23rd, 2012
12:43 am

and al groh, time to go…but saying all that it is evident watch tech and other teams in the conference that the talent, speed, explosiveness just isn’t there which speaks to recruiting and overall management of the team..which point to the ……

It's over

September 23rd, 2012
12:50 am

Program in shambles….Johnson doomed….

GT is a 4th rate High School Team

September 23rd, 2012
4:06 am

GT should love and keep their coach, he just gives UGA an easier schedule. LOL

GT Help

September 23rd, 2012
5:17 am

This has got to stop. A once national powerhouse is becoming a joke. Look at CPJ’s record against VT, Miami, UGA and at Bowl Games. And all we get is comments about unmotivated players at practices, we played hard, etc. Start looking now and pay the money to get a good coach.

Buck

September 23rd, 2012
8:05 am

Recruiting is the problem. CAG would be a great coach with Notre Dame’s defensive personnel. Tech needs to add education majors and get a coach who is a tireless recruiter. Until this happens we will lose to any decent team.

Jorge O'leary

September 23rd, 2012
8:23 am

This has got to stop. A once national powerhouse is becoming a joke. Look at CPJ’s record against VT, Miami, UGA and at Bowl Games.

National Powerhouse? Maybe in the Dodd era..

Jorge O'leary

September 23rd, 2012
8:26 am

Coach Huxtable is at Wisconson after leaving UCF after they beat UGA in the bowl game a couple of years ago. He held the mutts to 6 points… now he’s a linebacker coach.. he might be interested

Fear the Veer

September 23rd, 2012
8:51 am

The Veer only works well at the high school level…..

Beat UGA

September 23rd, 2012
8:51 am

Losing by 6 to miami is not that bad a thing, stop with the doomsday comments!

Malcolm Mackey, Jr.

September 23rd, 2012
8:52 am

My favorite part of the article…….”Attendance was 50,390″…….so much for Radakovich’s decision to bring in a coach who would get the entire Metro Atlanta area interested in GT football….plus, it looked and sounded like a lot of those were Miami fans…..Radakovich should have hired Chris Hatcher….an air raid offense is more fun to watch than the high school triple option.

Tech man

September 23rd, 2012
9:06 am

Miami hurt Tech with it’s speed. Orwin Smith looked like he was running with weighs on his feet on a few of the kickoffs. The ran him down before he hit the 20. He is too slow to run back kickoffs.

Coach

September 23rd, 2012
9:07 am

The loss hurts, but for the life of me, I do not understand the cracks about the offense. We scored 36 points even though Miami had the ball for most of the 4th. Our defensive guys were not getting off the blocks; no quarterback pressure at all. That was the difference, period.

It’s one game and stall early in the season. Don’t give the haters the satisfaction.

UGA = Yawn

September 23rd, 2012
9:12 am

Attendance was NOT 50,000. Maybe that was the ticket sales. Expect 20,000 in the seats, maybe, for the next game. The safety (the most boneheaded thing I’ve ever seen) sealed the deal for GT. That was an omen. We’re not Alabama or Oregon. We are NOT good enough to overcome mistakes like that. I watched Clemson / FSU. They’re just like us – ony TEN times faster. Absolutely NO chance vs Clemson.

THWGT

September 23rd, 2012
9:26 am

@GT Help

What National Powerhouse? Miami? They looked fine other than giving up a ton of points to Al Grohss’ D.

Hey, where’s Ken and his warnings? This board doesn’t look to civil at the moment. Calling Johnson names isn’t going to make him through somebody else under the bus any faster.

joeygt

September 23rd, 2012
9:50 am

wow, that was a gut-wrenching loss. for all those people calling for cpj/cag head are idiots. we have to play the season out before anyone should be making those determinations. I for one think we are one of the least talented teams as in players in the acc and cpj is getting the most out of them as he can, we do not have alabama or lsu or even georgia caliber talent.. Thats the reason why we struggle when we play teams that are physical. I hate hearing coach paul johnson can only win with gaileys players, heck gailey couldnt win with his own players. cpj coaches up his player and the tripple option is a great scheme, but we need the talented qb and b-back to make it work, josh nesbitt wasnt even recruited for the tripple option and he was a great tripple option qb, tevin washington tries so hard, you have to admit that but he is game manager not a game changer. vad lee looks very talented but he would have got demolished out there, simply bc he doesnt know how to run the offense yet. watch the post game presser by coach paul johnson ive never seenhim so dejected from this loss to miami, obviously he does care and it kills him we let the winnable game get away.

Genius Jacket

September 23rd, 2012
10:57 am

How did we lose this game?

Why do my fellow Tech fans still think Paul Johnson is the savior for our program?

Louis Ricca

September 23rd, 2012
11:16 am

Enter your comments here

Virginia dog

September 23rd, 2012
11:28 am

guys … i live in Charlottesville Va …. Groh can’t coach and if Johnson thinks he can them he is an idiot.

Louis Ricca

September 23rd, 2012
11:28 am

Reading this blog is amazing. I looks almost identical to theMiami herald Blog after Kansas State put up 52 points on us- fire the coach, fire the defensive co- ordinator. I fell sorry for tech fans, but do not despair, you have a wonderful tradition, loyal fans and things will eventually get better. Let me preface my remarks,by stat8ing I am a Hurricane fan, never plaqyed a down of organized football in my life- not a sophiscated observe othe tha ability to see the big picture. YOU COADH MESSED UP a little bit. First of all , all UM has to do to win again next year is watch the game fils form this yer, the year befor thtn and the year before that- We have lousy defensive coaches, but at least they can recognize the same old, same old. You guys need to get a little more variation of offensive plays. The wishbone/triple option went out when Oklahoma abandoned it 30 yrs ago. I watch a lot of college football-can’t recall seeing any major BCS team using it. Gotta change formations , at least for part of the game. Even though it din’t matter in the end, they shouldda gone for the FG at 4th and one in OT- old adage – you don’t take points off the board. Don’t make it, the game is lost.
But cheer up you have a wonderful tradition, good alumni. Fot those of you who are worried about attendance, I suggest you watch the U next Saturday. They will announce 39-40,000 attendance- The stadium holds 76,000 for football, the upper deck will be empty the lower dec about 40% filled- no one wants to see us play either.

Smyrna Gold

September 23rd, 2012
11:41 am

This is what recruiting 2 and 3 star players and bonehead coaching gets you. We can defend CPJ and his triple option all day but after 4 years of BS and a deterioating program changes need to be made SOON. Who do we hire? Don’t know but the AD better be figuring something out. With a $2.3 million dollar salary, we can do better.

dawg52

September 23rd, 2012
11:42 am

Man is this years’ Teech-UGA game gonna be fun……nuff said…..WOOF WOOF Paul Johnson….lololololololololololol…….”the Bulldogs will never defeat another Paul Johnson coached Tech team”…….what a laugher……..that ajc writer should be given the key to the city…..in Athens, not Atlanta!!!!