Tech drops fourth in a row to Miami in OT

The afternoon began with haunting familiarity, continued into indescribable cacophony and terminated in a gruesome fashion that has gained its own recognizable place at Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets’ 42-36 overtime loss to the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium was their fourth in a row to Miami and third overtime defeat in their past five games, dating to the Sun Bowl loss to Utah last season.

Sandwiched in the middle was a stunning comeback, in which the Jackets fell behind 19-0 at the end of the first quarter and then scored the next 36 points, a gutsy charge that ends up lost in the swirl of this stunning defeat.

“We just have to find a way to pull a ‘W’ when it’s clutch time,” A-back Orwin Smith said.

As night fell on Bobby Dodd Stadium, so did Tech’s chances of winning the ACC. The Jackets dropped to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the ACC with both losses coming at the hands of division opponents, both in overtime in games in which the Jackets held the lead with less than a minute to play in regulation. Before the season, coach Paul Johnson noted that the front-loaded schedule would mean Tech would know where it stood in the ACC by the end of September. The unfortunate answer for the Jackets is that they are looking up out of a hole that they have little hope of escaping.

“I don’t know what to say,” Johnson said. “I’m as disappointed as I think I’ve ever been.”

The final éclat Saturday was a 25-yard scoring run by Miami running back Mike James to win the game for the Hurricanes.

“I couldn’t believe it,” cornerback Jemea Thomas said. “Like, is this really happening again?”

Going first, Tech’s possession ended in another note of familiarity. Quarterback Tevin Washington, who had guided Tech’s surging comeback with big plays and five touchdown drives in six possessions, faced a fourth-and-1 at the Miami 2-yard line.

After a timeout to choose the play, Washington checked out of the called play — a quarterback follow — to a toss. After he made the change, Miami switched its alignment, putting two men over the right tackle. Figuring a toss play would not gain the first down, Washington decided to keep and lowered his head. He was met square by linebacker Eddie Johnson, a North Atlanta High grad who stonewalled Washington for no gain.

A Washington interception in overtime of the season opener against Virginia Tech also played a significant role, ending Tech’s possession and enabling Virginia Tech to kick a field goal to win 20-17.

“It’s almost like it wasn’t meant to be,” Johnson said.

The day began in the same fashion that Tech’s past three games had, with Miami jumping out early. The Hurricanes led 19-0 at the end of the first quarter, starting off by scoring on a 65-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Stephen Morris to wide receiver Phillip Dorsett that took advantage of impregnable pass protection and a blown coverage in the secondary.

A safety on a misplayed kickoff return by Orwin Smith was part of the Hurricanes onslaught.

However, Tech rallied with 36 unanswered points, a barrage that included forced turnovers, big plays from the Tech offense and long returns by the special teams.

However, the Tech defense gave way down the stretch, as was the case against Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes scored on three of their final four possessions of overtime and the fourth was a missed field-goal attempt in which they had reached the Tech 4-yard line. Further, they drove long fields to gain the tie and force overtime. The three scoring drives traveled 74, 82 and 91 yards, the last in the final two minutes of the game.

“They just manhandled us,” outside linebacker Brandon Watts said. “They out-executed us.”

Watts had delivered in the first half, forcing a fumble that helped Tech fight out of its hole. Like the whole of the team, he was unable to finish in the end. On Miami’s final drive of regulation, Watts had a bead on Miami running back on a swing pass on a second-and-10 play from the Tech 41-yard line. Watts was close to bringing him down, but cramped up and could only dive at Johnson’s feet. He ended up only with Johnson’s shoe, as he turned the play into a drive-extending 16-yard gain.

“I guess they saw something, and they were taking advantage of some of our schemes,” Watts said.

A day that for a time seemed full of advantages for Tech ended with none.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

775 comments Add your comment

DS CE'91

September 22nd, 2012
9:32 pm

Just …. ugh

DS CE'91

September 22nd, 2012
9:34 pm

“It’s almost like it wasn’t meant to be”

That is a PATHETIC quote from a Div 1 Coach…

superDawg

September 22nd, 2012
9:34 pm

PUFFED UP AND NO WHERE TO GO!

Dawg

September 22nd, 2012
9:34 pm

LOL…Just wondering when the “warnings” are going to start. Maybe you should have “warned” Miami, me thinks.

same old crap

September 22nd, 2012
9:35 pm

Defense coach got to go.

headley lamar

September 22nd, 2012
9:38 pm

Id love to see a poll and gauge where CPJ is with Tech fans.

Beating UGA in 2008 was a long time ago.

juvenal

September 22nd, 2012
9:39 pm

by, KEN…see you basketball season, or if tw doesn’t start……groh must go, & we will probably never get past where we are with cpj…have a nice Thanksgiving…

MC

September 22nd, 2012
9:40 pm

HC needs to go.

Sad

September 22nd, 2012
9:42 pm

3-4 don’t work
3-option don’t work
coach got big money, now only plays golf
got d-coach that never won anything, got fired from every job
got out-dated offence
can’t get good players because of academic standards
Wonder what we need?

lindseysnot

September 22nd, 2012
9:43 pm

GROH MUST GO! Gailey’s passD was crap too..this is not the nfl (and the ‘prevent’ doesn’t work there ether)…GROH MUST GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TechRon

September 22nd, 2012
9:44 pm

One philosophy that I have heard is that good players and good coaching gives you a good chance to win. Tech is experimenting with a different philosophy. Horrible coaching and mediocre players. It isn’t working too well, is it? Why have I been saying to dump Johnson for 3 years now?

!. High school offense. No passing threat when you get behind or have the game on the line.

2. Awful defense. We actually have not had a decent defense since Oleary left. Al Groh does not get it done. Anyone can see that, but we persist on the same self-destructive path. Our defense had the whole 4th quarter to make one big play and they couldn’t do it. ONE play. Wretched coaching. Players with little class. Face it, we suck.

If PJ had any sense of decency, he would resign tonight and pack up and leave town. We can’t beat anyone except patsies and teams from NC. We will probably get another bid to the podunk bowl and lose again to Utah. Is anyone actually in charge? Is there? Well then why don’t they DO something?

lindseysnot

September 22nd, 2012
9:44 pm

@ sad
you’re a idiot troll…

P B Orr

September 22nd, 2012
9:44 pm

I don’t know if to blame Johnson or Washington on offense. Again and again, Washington misses key opportunities – that is, he chokes.

BUZZ Fan

September 22nd, 2012
9:45 pm

Them dad-gum players keep messing up CPJ’s gravy train!!!

That was an epic fail; these are the hand-picked CPJ players we’ve waiting for; maybe time to take a hard look at this staff….. Guess just have to wait till next year.

lindseysnot

September 22nd, 2012
9:45 pm

TechRon you too are an idiot troll

juvenal

September 22nd, 2012
9:46 pm

head, i will not try to explain the disadvantage in the tv $ era having academic integrity causes, about like trying to explain the sunrise to one blind from birth…let’s try something simpler…your daughter brings home a Tech or Vandy football player to meet you, you are impressed-a u or dauug,your worst nightmare…

DS CE'91

September 22nd, 2012
9:47 pm

I’m not calling for CPJ’s job right now. I just want to see some accountability from him. No snarling bravado, no terse “how dare you ask that” answers to questions, just simple accountability. Also, I’d like to hear what he thinks HE can do to turn things around. Still not sure why everyone thinks Vad Lee is the answer. Maybe Vad converts that 4th down in OT, but that is just speculation. I really think this one was about dumb mistakes (that stupid safety) and poor coaching decisions.

crap old same

September 22nd, 2012
9:49 pm

another wasted season in september, a crappy bowl and 8-4 at best. Thanks for nuthin. A win over the drunken wife beaters wont make up for this. CPJ has to go.

?

September 22nd, 2012
9:50 pm

lowdown

September 22nd, 2012
9:50 pm

92 points in back-to-back games against ACC opponents are the signs of an offense that doesn’t work? You’re an idiot. Let’s see how the season plays out and then evaluate.

Hurt'n Jacket

September 22nd, 2012
9:50 pm

So similar to the VT game. Will not be good at Clemson. It was obvious the last four minutes in regulation how the game was going to turn out.

Jack_in_Homestead, FL

September 22nd, 2012
9:52 pm

Alas …..there’s no joy in Mudville…..the mighty Bumble-Bees have struck out. Seriously though ….reading the AJC this week ,the whole thing smacked of over-confidence on the part of GT and its fans.

Miami came into the game KNOWING that it could lose …but not expecting to do so just because of previous bad showings. Tech fans on the other hand were loudly proclaiming that (and I paraphrase here) “Miami was going to get what GT owed ‘em”.

Miami has a very very young D….but they do understand HOW to play the triple-option. This is not a trophy-win to be hung on the wall….nah. However it does give the youngsters a confidence -boost which they sorely needed.

lindseysnot

September 22nd, 2012
9:53 pm

I’d like to know who ordered CPJ to hire Groh…if it was Drad, then we might as well have Braine.You cannot convince me that CPJ wanted to hire CAG…if that IS the case, then bye bye CPJ…

Danl

September 22nd, 2012
9:53 pm

I am fed up. Sixty years of watching the Jackets is enough.
I do not care any more. All the announcers praise Johnson for using his head. Maybe he should use charts and show up more than one quarter a game.
Adious from Texas

Sad

September 22nd, 2012
9:55 pm

lindseysnot …. expecting something different by doing the same thing makes you an idiot
and you expect to win with PJ

crap old same

September 22nd, 2012
9:56 pm

of course the announcers do. they are chosen by IMG sports and approved by GT. What do you want, the truth? Everything today is one big PR event.

Buzzman

September 22nd, 2012
9:59 pm

Been watching the Clemson/Florida State game, it is going to be real ugly when we play Clemson, also Georgia. CPJ and Groh needs to retired before the games so they will not be tarred and feather out of Atlanta. I love the way CPJ said at the first of the year that the team was much better on offense and Groh had his defensive players working great. What world are you from coach. Wish you would go back to Georgia Southern. Nobody that wins games runs the triple option anymore, give me one team that is in the top 20 that uses a triple option? Go coach High School. I would be willing to give up a few years just to get another coach that believes in recruiting. Look at Clemson, they have one of the best or not best recruiting class coming up next year. Get a real job…

hotseats r us

September 22nd, 2012
9:59 pm

Guys i have an xxxxl hot seat for a guy name
paul johnson can one of you fine fellows direct me to the georgia tech athletic department

Danl

September 22nd, 2012
10:00 pm

I am fed up. Sixty years of watching the Jackets is over. The media announcers say that Johnson keeps game plan in his head, no charts. Maybe he should consider changing and he would show up
more than one quarter per game.
What a shame!!!

Jerry

September 22nd, 2012
10:00 pm

I have been watching Tech snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for 50 years. Al Groh has no idea how to put a good defense on the field. CPJ is a terrible play caller in the fourth quarter. Our players think that they have won if they are ahead after the third quarter. There is nothing to look forward to on the gridiron.

OldTimer

September 22nd, 2012
10:00 pm

Paul Johnson needs to step up.

Jacket Fan

September 22nd, 2012
10:01 pm

Pathetic – Johnson knew he had to play Vad in the fourth to win this one, but he could not bring himself to do it. Tevin, bless his heart – my Mom could run him down. They were so much faster than us, it was astounding – amazing we were in the game. This season just got destroyed – Clemson kills us, Georgia annihilates us, and we loose one or two more along the way. Then we are trying to get back to Shreveport and lose another bowl nobody cares about.

Johnson needs to go now, and take Groh with him. We can not recruit the type of personnel you need to effectively run the 3-4 against top level talent.

Will not throw when we have to because Johnson does not trust Tevin. Why play a guy you do not trust in the clutch?

The safety – I have been watching football over 50 years and have never seen that before, and probably never will again. Unbelievable.

ME 99

September 22nd, 2012
10:01 pm

I don’t usually comment but for some reason feel compelled to tonight. The last couple of weeks, all I’ve heard is that everybody has figured out our offense and that we need to get rid of our coach. I guess I’m not in the minority that figures that Johnson’s offense averaging over 30 ppg is better than Gailey’s pro style offense averaging about 18 ( I didn’t look it up, this is on memory). Actually I don’t recall our offense really being that sucessful other than two years when we had Joe Hamilton at quarterback and were scoring almost at will. I see that Tech fans want a pro style offense and that we’ll never recruit high caliber quarterbacks and such but I can’t think of any quarterback we’ve ever had that’s done well in the NFL. (Hamilton was drafted 7th round after finishing 2nd in the Heisman and really didn’t play). I’m upset with the defense blowing a 17 point lead and while the offense seem to stagnate at that point, I’m not putting this on our offense. We gave Miami a 19 point lead on a silver platter and was still able to come back and score 36 straight points (I guess I don’t recall when our pro-style offense coaches were able to do that). Our defense let us down again and our high-school offense got us the lead just like it did against Virginia Tech (passing for the touchdown and other yards during that time TechRon). I don’t know what Tech fans are hoping for as a head coach at GT but Bobby Dodd’s not coming back, the game has changed and nobody sense has been able to establish a consistent program with this school since. Ross won in 90 and then abandoned ship for the Chargers. O’Leary tried to get something going but decided five days at ND head coach was better. I’m starting to think I’m in the minority but I feel Johnson and his offense is our best chance to compete at GT in this day and time and I’ll support him till the end. Let the bashing of my opinion begin…..

GJ

September 22nd, 2012
10:03 pm

Woof Woof Woof!

Buzzman

September 22nd, 2012
10:03 pm

Meant to ask CPJ one question, when it was 4th and 1, with about 2 minutes to go, why would you punt, knowing our defense couldn’t start Miami. It is like you gave the game away. You would have been much better off going for it, hell Miami still scored starting on their own 8 yard line. And you think you know football…………

ME 99

September 22nd, 2012
10:04 pm

And my spelling since I made mistakes and that’s seems to be a favorite for posters on here to bash too.

GJ

September 22nd, 2012
10:04 pm

Hey Dani….put your red and black on. Go Dawgs!

collegeballfan

September 22nd, 2012
10:06 pm

As usual the team with the most talented players won the game. If GT wants to beat VT, UM and UGA they need to get better players.

Most teams win when they score 36 points in a game.

MC

September 22nd, 2012
10:07 pm

Look at the difference in us and UGA. The gap is getting wider. UGA’s D is one big play after another tonight. You can do any damn thing you want to do out of thet PRO SET too. We need to get a grip around here and get a 21st century football coach.

headley lamar

September 22nd, 2012
10:11 pm

head, i will not try to explain the disadvantage in the tv $ era having academic integrity causes

One of the favorite crutches for Tech fans.

uafuneman

September 22nd, 2012
10:13 pm

No leadership, just a bunch of mediocre players. Tevin is not a leader. Paul Johnson and AL GROW some big ones, need to go. Tech will be lucky to win 5 games this year.

CT_Jacket

September 22nd, 2012
10:15 pm

The D-line and LBs couldn’t get any pressure on the QB at all during the deep routes. How many times are opponents going to run quick slants before we figure out how to stop it. We made Morris look like a damn Heisman candidate. Our O-line and def secondary were supposed to be strengths and both groups disappointed. Miami has recruited very well the last few years to our mediocre classes and the talent difference is obvious in tight games. Where did the passing go after we went up 36-19? Did Johnson go conservative, like in the Sun Bowl, to burn time off of the clock? Just a very disappointing end to another game we should have won!

MORGANTECH

September 22nd, 2012
10:16 pm

WHERE ARE ALL YOU GUYS, WITH MAN CRUSHS ON C.P.J .NOT HEARING MUCH FROM YOU TONIGHT?

Jg

September 22nd, 2012
10:19 pm

Me 99 you hit the nail dead on the head.

Unfortunately Tech fans are becoming more like UGA fans by calling for everyone to be fired after a loss. Tech is 2 plays away from being 4-0 right now and it’s more bad luck than inferior coaching. Saban and going anywhere and the GT job is no Alabama… However Tech fans unlike myself fail to see that we weren’t very good before Johnson got here and at the very least, now we compete with everyone… We may not win them all, we may not be getting dozens of blue chippers, we may not be winning the ACC every year and beating the Dawgs every season but the real question is… When have we ever? When did we become this elite program that people feel needs to be restored (lol) to its national dominance? what better option is out there?

Fire Johnson, fire Groh, clean house, burn down the school, sign Charlie Weis, sign only 5-star recruits, win every game, always beat Georgia, win the ACC and drink a large glass of reality.

It is what it is folks, CPJ is the best we can get and over-analyzing everything only makes you sound foolish… We are a few minor plays away from 4-0 and everyone then would be singing his praises… They wouldn’t complain about the D or giving up 600 yards or any HS offense… They would be saying this team was gutsy and heart won out… Reality Check time fellow jacket fans… When Urban Meyer, Les Miles or Saban come calling please let me know and maybe I’ll reconsider. Thank you…

GTech Fan

September 22nd, 2012
10:22 pm

I can’t say I’m suprised by the outcome. I’m more suprised by predictions since the Virginia game that Tech will run up the score on MIami. Collegeballfan hits the nail on the head, GT does not have the talent to beat the best teams in the country. Plain and Simple. IMO, the CPJ’s system is fine, but any system will fail if you have mediocre players. Average players yield average results. I dont quite understand the vitriol for Al Groh. Perhaps he is responsible for a few bad defensive calls, but guys have to make plays. Case in point is Miami’s first touchdown. You’re telling me, when you see that play happen, you blame the defensive coordinator? What?! The D-Line had zero pressure on the QB and the secondary completely blew the coverage. Guys on the field have to execute. The problem is Jimmy’s and Joe’s not X’s and O’s.

George Stein

September 22nd, 2012
10:22 pm

I still think Johnson is okay, MORGANTECH. He needs to find a competent DC, though.

Better question is why you’re yelling?

Phys67

September 22nd, 2012
10:22 pm

Very well said, ME 99…I agree completely.

Ignition

September 22nd, 2012
10:24 pm

Much blame to go around here.. Isiah Johnson continuously getting burnt, CPJ’s anaemic offense in the second half, the complete lack of a running game between the tackles, absolutely not a single pass catch in the second half, and finally a defense that was unable to put pressure on the qb or stop the run..
This game was lost in the trenches and terrible coaching..

JustinSyder

September 22nd, 2012
10:24 pm

Can we all agree on one thing? Never ever ever should we schedule three Coastal opponents in September, as well as never scheduling VT in September again. I’m aware that we should be 4-0, but the fact of the matter is we aren’t, and as a result, we’re out of the title week, and we’re still in September.

ME 99

September 22nd, 2012
10:25 pm

MorganTech, I wouldn’t consider myself having a man crush on Coach Johnson but I’d be intrested to hear whom you would like to replace him. Saban? Not coming to Tech. Heisman? He’s been dead for several years. Would you rather have Gailey back and his pro-style offense that gets pummeled by Duke every four years? I guess I just don’t have the football knowledge you do that thinks we can get the very best to come to Georgia Tech and stay to build a successful program. Like I mentioned before, I’m perfectly happy with Johnson and the offense he brings here to compete against the schools we face in football. The defense is what seems to be letting us down because I’ll take 36 points against the University of Miami every game till he decides to hang it up and retire.