UPDATED: Tech humbled by MTSU, 49-28

Georgia Tech did not need overtime to falter Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets, uninspired and perhaps still groggy from its second crushing overtime loss of the season a week ago, required only the regulation 60 minutes to capitulate. Tech was force-fed the worst loss of coach Paul Johnson’s five-year tenure, a 49-28 defeat to Middle Tennessee State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

MTSU, an FBS school out of the Sun Belt Conference that has produced wins this season over Arkansas (by Louisiana-Monroe) and Kentucky (Western Kentucky), pounded the listless Jackets with 510 yards of offense, forced four turnovers and neutralized Tech with force and energy. On this day, at least, little doubt existed over the identity of the superior team.

“I told (MTSU) Coach (Rick) Stockstill after the game (that) they got after us, whipped our butt, and give them some credit, because they played hard,” Johnson said. “After saying that, it was embarrassing. I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it.”

Plenty of conditions for an upset congregated Saturday at Bobby Dodd – a tough loss the previous week, a noon start, key players sidelined with injuries (outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and cornerback Louis Young), a half-filled stadium and a confident opponent eager for payback and arriving with two weeks’ rest.

Tech did the rest in falling to 2-3.

On the road, with fewer resources and fielding a roster full of players deemed unworthy of a scholarship to Tech, the Blue Raiders (3-1) steamrolled the Jackets. It was the sort of result that Johnson produced regularly at Navy, leading to his hire at Tech following the 2007 season. Johnson said it was probably the worst loss of his career.

“We didn’t throw the ball much,” MTSU guard Josh Walker, who overpowered Tech defensive linemen all afternoon, told the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tenn. “We didn’t have to. We were so physical, and we ran the football right at them. We were more physical than them, faster than them and in better shape than them.”

The Jackets’ start offered little hint of the waterfall that they were heading towards. Inside linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days intercepted MTSU quarterback Logan Kilgore on the game’s first possession, a turnover that Tech turned into the first of quarterback Tevin Washington’s four rushing touchdowns. Washington’s four ground scores tied a school single-game record and perhaps set a new standard for least cherished record.

Tech’s fabric disintegrated quickly after that. The Blue Raiders countered with a 75-yard touchdown drive, the first of three such drives in the half. None of them measured less than 75 yards and included a 60-yard score by MTSU running back Benny Cunningham in which he shot through a gap in the line and scored untouched.

Tied at 21 at halftime, the Jackets found themselves in a shootout with a team they had defeated by a combined 56 points in the past two seasons and were favored to beat by almost 30 points.

“We went down and scored after the defense gave us the ball,” Washington said. “After that, there wasn’t much life on the sideline or out there on the field. We just came out too flat [Saturday]. When you give another team energy and momentum, it’s hard to stop them once they get going.”

The Tech defense was again flattened, done in by its opponents’ play-calling and offensive line and its own slippery tackling attempts. Prior to the game, Johnson said he thought that last week’s play against Miami – 609 yards, 30 first downs, missed tackles galore – was an aberration. Nothing much looked different Saturday, save the colors of the opponents’ jerseys and the chants from the visiting fans that drowned out the home crowd.

“That’s probably as bad a tackling game as I have seen,” Johnson said.

There was no tackling on the Blue Raiders’ two longest scores of the game. No Jacket laid a hand on Cunningham on his 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter or wide receiver Marcus Henry’s 75-yard scoring reception, also down the center of the field, in the third quarter.

MTSU’s ransacking ought to make McNeese State, Florida Atlantic and Memphis feel better. The Cowboys, Owls and Tigers all managed to keep the Blue Raiders under 500 yards in MTSU’s first three games. McNeese State, an FCS team, actually beat MTSU in the opener, 27-21.

The Jackets had a final opportunity in the fourth quarter trailing 35-28. After forcing a punt, Tech started a drive on its 17-yard line with 8:20 left in the game. Despite having been outplayed, a chance for a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback like the one that the Jackets had permitted last Saturday against Miami flickered in the afternoon light.

On a play-action pass on the first play from scrimmage, Washington heaved a pass downfield to wide receiver Jeff Greene around the MTSU 40-yard line. Greene couldn’t hang onto the slightly underthrown pass, which was intercepted by cornerback Kenneth Gilstrap and returned to the Tech 15-yard line. The Blue Raiders got into the end zone in four plays for a 42-28 advantage.

That was the end of the flickering.

931 comments Add your comment

Jacet Time

September 29th, 2012
3:24 pm

Dear haters,

I said you would be eating your words this year looks like I am eating mine. They taste bitter and hopeless…. Again

GT WOLWSGB

September 29th, 2012
3:27 pm

Smart of coach to give the players a Saturday off this week

desmond06

September 29th, 2012
3:29 pm

Time to go in another direction. Coach change and offense.

Triple Flop---tion

September 29th, 2012
3:29 pm

I not even going to say anything, 49-28 says it all. A year later……now who’s on the hot seat?

If do right, no can defense

September 29th, 2012
3:30 pm

DLine got crushed. LBs missed tackles. Secondary missed assignments.
Looks like our defense is a mess. Offense sputtered again. Won’t make a bowl game this year, for sure. CAG gets fired, CPJ on the hot seat.

Mook

September 29th, 2012
3:31 pm

Burgess

September 29th, 2012
3:32 pm

Just wasn’t meant to be was it ?

Stephen

September 29th, 2012
3:32 pm

FIRE PAUL JOHNSON!!!! His Pop Warner Offense does not work in D-1 Football!!! FIRE HIM NOW!!!

GT WOLWSGB

September 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

At least Vad will be well rested for Clemson…

Ken in Alpharetta

September 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

That was so funny! Out recruited by MTSU.

If do right, no can defense

September 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

Btw, we should start recruiting MTSU’s washouts, like we did with Tim Bryerly at QB. We might just end up with someone like Cunningham. 214 yards. He’s an athlete, all right.

JustinSyder

September 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

I’m more pissed about the fact that we were led to believe that our defense actually got better. It’s worse than ever. You gotta wonder if Groh is making the players watch “The Little Giants” during film study.

Rick James

September 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

It’s going to be ugly for Tech in Athens..

wt. king

September 29th, 2012
3:34 pm

Enough….. I’ve had enough. I put up with the Gaily years and this is just stupid. CPJ is a good O Cordinator at best.

WB

September 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

Total embarassment. Time to clean house and start over.

Techalum

September 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

It was what it was and that was an ASS WHUPPIN! Poor tackling, no creativity on offense or defnese and most importantly NO HEART! Embarrasing, humiliating and disgusting! No only werre we outplayed, MTSU were more talented and huungrier. This is the bottom of the barrel.

Georgia Tech is in Atlanta

September 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

Well, again, we do have the most god awfully overrated coach in the country.

Coaching Genius Paul Johnson

September 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

We’ve got bigger fish to fry. It’s the players’ fault. Just failed to execute.

Ted M

September 29th, 2012
3:35 pm

Yep Ken out recruited MTSU… but I bet their coach tries to recruit. Our coach does not even try to recruit.

Paul Johnson is a jerk.

BobDawg

September 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

Thank God for Kuchar and Bubba at the Ryder Cup! Go USA!!!

Outside Observer

September 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

When is the last time a player ran for 4 touchdowns yet played awful enough to merit losing the starting job before the next game?

Stephen

September 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

Please, WT. King, he is not a good O Cordinator. He needs to coach high school football and leave college coaching to the real coaches.

Ted M

September 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

the final score could have easily been 70-21.

GT WOLWSGB

September 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

I want that Cunningham guy tested for PEDs

GTpack

September 29th, 2012
3:37 pm

Embarrassing, disgusting, sickening, MTSU was the better team and congrats to them.

UGA and Clemson are going to kill us, this may take us back to the days of B L.

Time to bring back George O’Leary, but I don’t think he would come back.

Who would be the next coach you would hire for GT?

Jeff

September 29th, 2012
3:37 pm

Just a thought, we got beat by a High School team today. Can’t imagine how bad it will be when we play a real college football team again, like next weekend. Will Clemson be able to break the 100 points? Very possible.

SavannahJacket

September 29th, 2012
3:38 pm

Out Recruited! Out Coached! Out Played! Tevin wants all of the spotlight and won’t do anything with the ball.

Sorry Paul, but its time to make a change!

CPBEE

September 29th, 2012
3:39 pm

Looks like this bunch of quitters are more concerned with which ugly uniform to put on each week instead of a GAME face.5 years is enough.

Ted M

September 29th, 2012
3:39 pm

Tech’s defense sucks but its not Groh’s fault…Its Paul Johnson fault completely.

GT WOLWSGB

September 29th, 2012
3:39 pm

I am not saying anything bad about TW. Just time to give the QB of the future some reps.

Jacet Time

September 29th, 2012
3:39 pm

Its tough to respect a team with zero heart and no desire no win.

Jacet Time

September 29th, 2012
3:40 pm

GT Fan

September 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

Hey, let’s look on the bright side fellow GT fans …. Stephen Morris has thrown for 469 yds and 4 TDs vs. NCST today…still playing, UM up 37-34

Ted M

September 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

I’m curious, why was that intentional grounding on MTSU early in the game?

Buzzerd

September 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

Good game played by MTSU but I thought we would pull it off, even in the 3rd quarter. Why were the stands only half full?

GT Fan

September 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

Oh, and Al Groh’s gotta Go!

Jeff

September 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

I agree with you Jacet Time. That team and coaching staff have zero heart in them. Ga Tech was lucky they did not put up 70 points or more. To the Ga Tech Football Program……you are awful! Have to give credit to how UGA is doing and how the Gators have bounced back.

Ted M

September 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

the bright side….hahahahaha!

Chaps

September 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

Out prepared; out performed; out coached. This team has quit on the season and I can’t blame them becasue of coaching “leadership.”

Tampa Wreck

September 29th, 2012
3:42 pm

Just embarasing! What more can you say. Haven’t felt this bad about Yellow Jacket football since Bill Lewis days..

Ol'jacketFan

September 29th, 2012
3:43 pm

I was really hoping MTSU would hang 50 today. If Groh had one ounce of self respect he would tender his resignation TODAY!!!!!!

GT WOLWSGB

September 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

Easy Tech math:

VT heartbreak + UM heartbreak = No more heart

GTPhenom

September 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

This is one of those times where the “I told you so,” feels like crap. I still like CPJ. I still think he gives us a great shot at winning and competing. But it’s time to let other players start playing. Loyalty to seniors be damned. Anyone questioning why I said start gearing towards next year before this game now has their answer. A complete and utter failure by this team at every level. No excuse.

Ted M

September 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

Its Paul Johnson’s fault…that coward is afraid to recruit good and great players.

Mountain Jacket

September 29th, 2012
3:45 pm

I could see that PJ was not recruiting the talent he needs to compete in the ACC/NCAA in year 3 as his players replaced Gailey’s. Where is Chan these days?

MTGrad1

September 29th, 2012
3:46 pm

As a MTSU alum/fan and casual fan of the Jackets, even I’m shocked. You hope to win, but dominate??? I did notice the class of the fan in the end zone seat applaud Amos after his one-handed catch…nice. At least you can go to The Varsity.

oldreck

September 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

Have we applied for division 1-AA next year? We need to!

Reebok

September 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

Today will be remembered as the beginning of the end of the Paul Johnson era. It may take another season or 2, but he’s done. The bowl streak ends this year, no one is going to come to the games, and the recruiting, which was already borderline, is going to get even weaker.

JANICE

September 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

While, Johnson is OK, it seemingly is time for him to go. Tech should be not losing these games and am surprised he is still here after last year.

Rooty Tooty

September 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

The best team definitely won, no doubt. CPJ should have taken himself and CAG out of the game. It appeared to me the D was just walking around. They could not stop a good high school team today. As much as I hate to say it, I do not see another win on the schedule. The best thing that could have happened today was to get off the field asap before they were all arrested for imitating a football team.