Notes: Johnson calls loss ‘my fault’

1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson held two fingers inches apart.

“We’re about this close to being 4-0 and everybody ranting and raving,” Johnson said Monday. He then spread his arms wide. “But we’re also about this close because we haven’t done the little things to make it happen.”

Following the Yellow Jackets’ practice, Johnson shared his disappointment in his team’s performance in its 42-36 overtime loss to Miami on Saturday and accepted responsibility for the loss. Tech plays Middle Tennessee State Saturday.

“It’s like I told the team [Monday],” he said. “You get beat like that, it’s my fault. I’m ultimately responsible.”

After playing fairly well in the first three games, Johnson said he thought the defense’s giving up 609 yards to Miami was “an aberration” and called the fourth-quarter play more of a concern than any specific defensive shortcomings such as the pass rush or secondary play.

“And I’m also concerned that we didn’t score any points in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Addressing the possibility of fatigue playing a role in the team’s fourth-quarter failures in losses to Utah in the Sun Bowl and this season to Virginia Tech and Miami, Johnson brought up third downs as a contributing factor.

Saturday, Miami converted 11 of 16 third downs. In the second half, the Hurricanes were 8-for-11 overall and 6-for-7 when they needed seven yards or more. Last season, Tech was 83rd in the country in defensive third-down efficiency at 42.4 percent.

“If you can’t stop ’em on third down, your [butt] is going to be on the field for a lot longer,” he said.

As might be expected, the loss did not sit well with Johnson. After the game, he returned home and “replayed the game in my head 40 times” before falling asleep at 4:45 a.m. and getting up 30 minutes later to come to the office.

“You just want to punch somebody or go hang yourself or something,” he said.

2. Punter Sean Poole is out after suffering an injury making a tackle Saturday. Poole was in a sling with ice on his shoulder/collarbone area after the hit. He was replaced by Ryan Rodwell, a true freshman who was the first punter in Johnson’s tenure to come to Tech on scholarship . Rodwell became the third true freshman to play this season, following wide receiver Anthony Autry and defensive lineman Adam Gotsis.

Johnson said he expected cornerback Louis Young, who left the game with an upper-body injury, and guard Will Jackson, who didn’t finish the game after injuring his leg, to play Saturday. Johnson said that safety Fred Holton (foot) ran Monday and is improving, but he wasn’t sure about his availability for Saturday.

3. Wide receiver Jeremy Moore has been reinstated to the team after leaving for personal reasons last Tuesday. Johnson said Moore came to him Thursday and told him that he had made a mistake in leaving and wanted to come back. Johnson left it up to the team’s seniors, who accepted him. Moore practiced Thursday but did not dress for the game. He apologized to the team Monday.

“Young guys, they do rash things sometimes,” Johnson said.

4. Johnson said that there is not a “hard-and-fast rule” regarding the number of audibles that the quarterback can make at the line of scrimmage. Following the game Sunday, quarterback Tevin Washington said he is coached to only make one “check” at the line, which helped lead to a 4th-and-1 play in overtime resulting in no gain. Johnson accepted responsibility, saying that Washington may have misinterpreted being told to not get in “a checking contest.”

5. Defensive end Izaan Cross will wear the No. 40 jersey Saturday in honor of former linebacker and captain Julian Burnett, who suffered a career-ending neck injury in the Sun Bowl. Different seniors have worn it each game. … Tech will play its Oct. 6 game at Clemson at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. Tech’s home game Saturday against Middle Tennessee State will be a noon kickoff and be televised on regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South in the Atlanta market.

In case you missed it…

The meaning of Tech giving up 609 yards

After Miami loss, Tech tries to regroup

Mark Bradley: Johnson’s approach hurting Tech

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

305 comments Add your comment

Spyro

September 24th, 2012
9:15 pm

Glad to see CPJ take the blame here. Yeah, the offense should have been enough, but at the end of the day, the team was just outplayed; that comes down to the head guy.

wes

September 24th, 2012
9:34 pm

Was it also his fault our guy takes a safety on a standard kickoff play?

Everyone on the stupid ajc comment sections have lost their minds over 2 OVERTIME losses that we should have won during regulation.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

September 24th, 2012
9:35 pm

Well, I could see how hard PJ took this loss in the Wes interview that was removed from you tube almost as soon as it was posted.

Ultimately, although it was not his fault it came down to it, the decisions that TW made in the 2 OT’s this year tell me what I already believed: He is not the man. I hope that Vad is, and if he is, he will become the man soon. I like TW. He is a great representative for the Institute, but that doesn’t mean he is the right guy to lead this team.

OkieDawg

September 24th, 2012
9:35 pm

CPJ: “You just want to punch somebody”.

Whoa there big boy…I think you need to just go to a fish fry and forget the threats of physical abuse. Or go to Walmart and hang out with some of the less fortunate. I’m on your side, 2 losses in OT, but you’re starting to make me look silly.

Coach

September 24th, 2012
9:36 pm

It takes a lot of class to place the blame on your own shoulders. This one would have been easy to put on some of these young guys, but he did not do that. CPS’s straight talk draws a lot of comments, but I love the guy for being honest with us. We can give up on them, but these young men still have to go out and play a game Saturday. The coach can make or break a team in this situation – I would rather be playing for CPJ than most of the other guys around.

As for the other stuff, let’s quit piling on and pull for the Jackets!

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
9:37 pm

Yeesh. A brutal loss Saturday and 30 minutes of sleep that night? I’m sure he’s been a real peach to be around the past couple days.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 24th, 2012
9:37 pm

So much for him throwing players under the bus. I like that he took responsibility for the loss, as any coach should. I do wish, however, that he would address the “sitting on the lead” mentality that he SEEMS to have developed recently. I like the killer instinct he had in 2008 and 2009

Ramblin Man

September 24th, 2012
9:38 pm

CAG shares some of the blame as well. It was painfully obvious that the defense was ill prepared for the no huddle.

macrotech

September 24th, 2012
9:38 pm

I look forward to seeing our team’s response to this loss….I still believe in this team and won’t be surprised if we respond with a ten win season. GO TECH!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

September 24th, 2012
9:38 pm

LOL @ George Stein

Jacket Faithful

September 24th, 2012
9:39 pm

Why did we abandon the Pistol Formation in the second half? I still can’t figure this out. It seemed to really spread out the defense and we had some huge running lanes on opposite sides of the field and in the middle.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 24th, 2012
9:41 pm

@ Jacket Faithful……I think that’s the question we would all like to hear an answer to. It seems to be part of that “sitting on the lead” mentality that I mentioned

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
9:44 pm

I think he has abandoned the aggressive attitude, too, Supersize. I miss the guy who wanted to stomp on your throat.

Clearly I don’t know him personally (outside of a handful of pleasant conversations at alumni events), but he looks exhausted compared to 2008. It looks as though he just can’t get through to the players, and I think it’s because he rides them so hard. Sometimes guys respond to different stuff, and I wonder who’s playing good cop to Johnson’s bad cop.

Ramblin Man

September 24th, 2012
9:44 pm

SSuper I completely agree. Play the style that got the lead. It was like watching the sun bowl all over again. Good thing it’s Middle Tenn. then a bye week. Lots of things to work on. Would like to see Vad get the whole second half.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 24th, 2012
9:45 pm

@ Ramblin Man, the bye week is not until AFTER Clemson

fuzzybee78

September 24th, 2012
9:47 pm

I appreciate the coach’s response–
Give the guys credit when they win and take the blame when they lose.

36 points is surely enough to beat almost anybody. Offense is not the problem—

Poor tackling on D I think is the biggest issue, next the scheme on third and long has to change based on what we just read. Probably got to take chances with press coverage or certainly tighten up the cushion on the other guys receivers.

CPJ in AJC--"it's my fault . . ."

September 24th, 2012
9:47 pm

Mike Bell 790

September 24th, 2012
9:49 pm

North Avenue Rules

September 24th, 2012
9:50 pm

Note to CPJ:

Playing timid loses games. Your fans will respect you if you play like you are trying to “punch your opponent in the mouth” every play.

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
9:51 pm

Poor tackling compounds the problem. It cost us the game at VT, and now it has cost us another. However, I think the broader issue continues to be the complete lack of a pass rush. I can only recall one time (Jemea Thomas, not surprisingly) where we hit their QB in the pocket.

Ramblin Man

September 24th, 2012
9:51 pm

Clemson should have been listed sorry. Still drinking trying to forget.

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
9:52 pm

By the way, our pass rush is the EXACT OPPOSITE of Seattle’s pass rush. Wow.

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
9:53 pm

He talks about all the 3rd downs Miami converted. How about the offense getting four 1st downs in the last 25 minutes of the game? Offense couldn’t get a 1st down when we needed it (i.e., right before we punted to them). TW makes another game-crushing mistake in OT.

Time for Vad.

mp

September 24th, 2012
9:54 pm

Play Vad, period. The future is now. This is no knock on Tevin. The kid’s given his all. But, why continue to run out a 5th year senior who’s reached his ceiling when we have our future sitting on the sidelines waiting to get meaningful snaps and can most likely lead us to the same record? We’re not going to be any worse off on offense, in my opinion. This could be the catalyst for something special. We won’t know unless Coach allows it to happen.

Ramblin Man

September 24th, 2012
9:55 pm

GGeorge he was flushed out a few times in the second quarter. I don’t know if it was Miami adjustments or what but there was none in the fourth and end of third.

North Avenue Rules

September 24th, 2012
9:56 pm

I wonder how good Oregon would be this year if, when they got a 2 touchdown lead they immediately started playing conservative offense (versus continuing to run up huge scores?)

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
9:57 pm

So Tevin said he wasn’t allowed to “re-check” a play back to the original play. CPJ basically says he can. I’m going with CPJ on this one; TW blows it again.

North Avenue Rules

September 24th, 2012
9:59 pm

@mp,

I think the idea is to play Tevin because he is a senior and he is a really nice kid. Then next year can be Vad’s year to spend a year learning the offense. Then the following year 2014, Vad will be well versed in this offense to do well…

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
9:59 pm

Maybe, Rambling Man. I freely admit that I may have selective memory on this one.

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:00 pm

Sorry, how did we get conservative? Cause we ran the ball (which is what we do)? We got conservative because we didn’t let TW throw the ball (which he can’t)? FYI, he did throw it on 3rd and 4 (an incompletion of course), which led to the punt, which let to the TD, which let to….well you know.

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:01 pm

North Ave: if we are going to let Vad “learn the offense” next year instead of this year, maybe CPJ should be fired.

fuzzybee78

September 24th, 2012
10:02 pm

Guys, all this talk about offense and play calling and sitting on the lead—
The “game manager” TW put up 36 points! no 10 or 14! We are talking play calling etc ignores the fact that the D cant get off the field!

Goose Godsey

September 24th, 2012
10:04 pm

CPJ is the real deal. What a difference between CPJ’s response and Lane Kiffin’s response to a heartbreaking loss…..

North Avenue Rules

September 24th, 2012
10:04 pm

GT Joe:

My point exactly! I have read so many threads about how Tevin is such a nice kid, blah, blah, blah… The season is a bust. It stinks, but is true. Let’s get something out of this season. Give the fans something to cheer for – the development of Vad Lee. Let him play. Fans will be more forgiving of losses, if Vad is playing and being primed for an incredible future at GT!!

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:05 pm

fuzzy: If a team scores 36 points in 4 minutes, and the other team has the ball for 56 minutes, then no, 36 points is probably not enough.

TW got four 1st downs in the last 25 minutes of the game. 1 was due to penalty. Can’t win a game that way.

Not to mention the biggest mistake of the game, the audible on 4th down in OT, which rivals only the INT at VT in OT in stupidity.

Ramblin Man

September 24th, 2012
10:06 pm

I was hitting the rum pretty hard after the safety and could be wrong myself.
@North if we have to wait till 2014 then things will be pretty bad for CPJ. Unless Vad is having real issues then he needs to start seeing meaningful playing time this year.

Hayseed Dixie

September 24th, 2012
10:08 pm

What happened to Green Bay? They hitting the sauce before the game?

Glad to see CPJ took responsibility for the loss. That’s about right.

Now that the vitriol has died down: maybe Paul tried to give his defense a vote of confidence at the end. Let’s face it, you’re not going to win a championship without an accomplished D, and they won’t be accomplished if they…don’t accomplish anything.

It didn’t work. Hopefully this’ll be the right kind of humble pie. Personally, I’m not ready to write off this team or this coach.

Still flying in for MTSU. Who wants some ribs?

fuzzybee78

September 24th, 2012
10:10 pm

GT Joe, I understand the frustration, but 36 points is 36 points period. Why is there all this talk about the QB who doesnt play DEFENSE? The scheme on D needs to change based on third down conversion rates and the tackling STINKS, especially after the catch.

Dogkicker

September 24th, 2012
10:10 pm

the one time I want PJ to go for it on 4th down (4th an inches @ mid field with 2:00 left in the 4th qt) we punt the ball back to the jailbirds,and we ha not even slowed them down. one more first down an we win the game. Oh and by the way the saftey cost us 9 points!!!! Players got to play, Coaches got to coach

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:11 pm

Vad is faster. Vad is more of a running threat. Vad is clearly more of a passing threat. The only possible reason he isn’t playing MUST be because he doesn’t know the option plays as well as TW. If that is the case, CPJ should dumb it down just a little so Vad can get in the game. What happened to “getting the best athletes on the field”?

The fact that Days isn’t playing much at A-back and Vad isn’t playing at QB tells me that CPJ is more concerned about executing his plays perfectly vs. letting some athletes make some plays.

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
10:12 pm

Gonna go to Fat Matt’s, Hayseed?

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:13 pm

Fuzzy: 36 points means nothing. When the game was on the line, and we needed the QB to make a play, he couldn’t.

I could easily say, “the defense only gave up 20 at VT, that should be enough to win”. But it wasn’t. Because when the game was on the line and we needed the QB to make a play, he couldn’t.

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:14 pm

Fuzzy: the QB DOES play defense when he gets some first downs. ever heard of “the best defense is a good offense”? 25 minutes of ineptitude on offense will erase a 17 point led QUICK. As we saw.

North Avenue Rules

September 24th, 2012
10:15 pm

GT Joe:

You are reading my mind! Yes, CPJ spent years “perfecting” his triple option. He is so stubborn, he feels like he has to continue using it, even if there might be something else better for his “star” QB (Vad). The pistol works. Vad knows it like the back of his hand. Only problem, CPJ didn’t spend years creating it, so is not going to use it that often. Being a fan of GT right now is absolutely exhausting.

Hayseed Dixie

September 24th, 2012
10:18 pm

@George Stein

No- although I do love me some Fat Matt’s (you just sweat out that sauce).

Gonna marinate some in Coca Cola overnight- boil and simmer for about an hour on 5th street, round 10 AM.

Slather in BBQ and throw on the grill for about 10 minutes.

I’ll probably still have BBQ sauce on my face as I’m walking into Bobby Dodd.

You tailgate?

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
10:18 pm

Vad knows the pistol like the back of his hand? Where do you people come up with this nonsense?

GT Joe

September 24th, 2012
10:20 pm

It’s funny how CPJ talks about how the D gave up so many 3rd down conversions. What about his offense? 6-13 on 3rd and 0-2 on 4th down puts a lot of pressure on your defense.

It’s almost like he is so married to Tevin that he defends him too much. Like, he says “maybe Tevin misunderstood the check down policy”. After the VT INT, he said “Tevin was trying to make a play”, but tevin said, “I was trying to throw it away”.

This is so Reggie Ball-ish.

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
10:20 pm

Me too, Hayseed.

I tailgate most games, but I didn’t Saturday because I was concerned about the traffic from Music Midtown and other stuff downtown.

North Avenue Rules

September 24th, 2012
10:21 pm

Well George, try looking at his high school stats running the Pistol. I’m pretty sure he was Mr. Football in the state of North Carolina running the pistol.

George, what are your facts for disputing this?

George Stein

September 24th, 2012
10:21 pm

He specifically mentioned not scoring in the fourth quarter, Joe.