Turnovers hurt Tech’s offense in loss to MTSU

Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington said bad luck derailed the offense in Saturday’s 49-28 loss to Middle Tennessee State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets had four turnovers and allowed four sacks, hurdles high enough to trip them in what for a while was a point-for-point race with the Blue Raiders.

“We had a couple of bad breaks,” Washington said.

The stats would indicate that Tech played well. The Yellow Jackets finished with 425 yards and converted all four chances they had to score touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. The quarterbacks, Washington and Vad Lee, combined to complete 18 of their 26 pass attempts for 187 yards.

But turnovers were the problem, particularly two in the second half — one on downs and another on a bizarre interception — that sealed the defeat.

Trailing 28-21, Tech faced fourth and 12 on the Blue Raiders’ 36-yard line. Washington hit Orwin Smith coming across the field for 11 yards. His momentum taking him sideways, Smith tried to keep going around two defenders. Instead, they stopped him 1-yard short of the first down with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Blue Raiders flipped the quick-strike script Tech normally uses by hitting a 75-yard touchdown pass on the next play to take a 35-21 lead.

Tech responded with a touchdown to cut its deficit to 35-28 and then Tech’s defense, which struggled most of the day, forced the Blue Raiders to punt.

Washington dropped back on the next play and found a receiver running open down the middle of the field. As the ball got to the receiver, so did cornerback Kenneth Gilstrap, with all three colliding at the same time. The ball bounced high into the air while the receiver fell down. Oddly, Gilstrap landed on his feet, caught the ball and returned the interception 38 yards to Tech’s 15-yard line. The Blue Raiders scored a few plays later to take a 42-28 lead.

“The bottom line is we didn’t do anything very good,” coach Paul Johnson said. “We didn’t block very well on offense, we didn’t throw, we didn’t catch very well, we didn’t do anything very good. When you do that and turn the ball over you get beat.”

Sun Belt upset

Teams from the Sun Belt Conference, which Georgia State will play in next year, have beaten teams from BCS conferences three times this year:

Sept. 8: Louisiana-Monroe 34, Arkansas 31 (OT)

Sept. 15: Western Kentucky, 32, Kentucky 31 (OT)

Saturday: Middle Tennessee State 49, Georgia Tech 28

– Doug Roberson, AJC.

17 comments Add your comment


September 29th, 2012
5:19 pm

Giving up 49 is NOT luck.


September 29th, 2012
5:28 pm

Said last week might as well play Lee as you are heading to the Sum Bowl. Now that you are heading to a losing season… Anyway Washington is a fine young man but not a top talent. PJ needs to get over his passion for a) three stars to coach up and b) that horrible 3 option. Tech should have more top talent and the spread should be used. Tell Groh to stay at home

Jacket Time

September 29th, 2012
5:31 pm

Great thanks for the realization that we’re on the “got beat by the sun belt list”

Schultz Was Right

September 29th, 2012
5:38 pm

“Hello, I’m Al Groh. Can I get you started with some jalapeno poppers?”


September 29th, 2012
6:02 pm

CPJ forgot to mention the part where he and AL Groh don’t coach very good.


September 29th, 2012
6:30 pm

Look on the bright side guys, at least we won’t lose a bowl game this year :) I have to laugh to keep from crying.

Jacket Man

September 29th, 2012
7:02 pm

Time to put your big boy pants on or go crying home to mama. I would also suggest putting Vad Lee in as your starter from here on out. Right now Tevin is 2-3 and I don’t think he could do much worse. The players seem to feel he’s a better leader than Tevin, maybe they’ll rally around him and they’ll get their act together before they go up to Clemson and they return last season’s favor in spades.


September 29th, 2012
7:08 pm

inexcusable loss! this relationship has run its course… hate to say it but it is time for a change at the helm. a loss like this would not be tolerated at any other respectable college football program. and it should not be accepted at tech!


September 29th, 2012
7:27 pm

The exact same thing I have said for three years in a row. You can not run a High School offense in College. It is predictable, hard to recruit for and extremely boring. P.J. and his buddy need to go. I gave up last year and it is worse this year. Build a team like the Oregon Ducks! Fun to watch, easy to recruit and quite fun to watch. I think Parkview High School could beat this team.


September 29th, 2012
7:54 pm

my beloved yeller jakits have no heart


September 29th, 2012
9:49 pm

ugggh. we should NOT be on this list with other teams that have lost to sun belt teams. actually, when it comes to UK and ark., maybe tech could beat kentucky but i think they’d give up 50+ to arkansas.

1 4 GT

September 30th, 2012
12:53 am

Doug’s description of Orwin’s failure to get the 1st down is incorrect. Orwin caught the ball just short of the 1st down. With his back to the goal line & the 1st down line. All he had to do was push straight back with one foot and fall backwards….1st down. But no! He has to try & make a loop & get more yardage….giving up the 1st down because that’s when he got tackled. No awareness of where he was in relation to the 1st down marker. Not the 1st to this & won’t be the last.

GT Fan

September 30th, 2012
3:57 am

But turnovers were the problem, particularly two in the second half — one on downs and another on a bizarre interception — that sealed the defeat.
Bizarre interception…are you friggin kidding me DR!? That pass, which would’ve tied the game at 35, was serverly UNDERTHROWN by Tevin! That’s why it was intercepted. A poorly, underthrown ball which the WR had to slow down/stop to try and catch as the defender arrived.

A stronger throw, and WR Jeff Greene is long gone, untouched for a TD.

Joe Biden

September 30th, 2012
8:26 am

guess what Tevin,people who make stupid decisions in life are real unlucky!


September 30th, 2012
4:50 pm

I don’t blame the players one bit. I blame the coaches on both sides of the ball. The players were not motivated in the least. This is the coaches fault. The players were going through the motions but their heart was not in it. I’ve never seen either CPJ or CAG trying to motivate the players, only get on their arse when they did something that either one did not like. This is not motivation, this a turn off and it really showed in the last couple of games.


October 1st, 2012
1:46 pm

Bye,bye CPJ! Good riddance!


October 1st, 2012
7:12 pm

Lets face it, T Washington has peaked out……..if anything, he may have declined due to defenses playing the TO better. Johnson has said all along he’ll play the best players that give Tech a chance to win. Well why not start V Lee?…………he could definitely improve the passing game, he’s a better athlete and the time spent this season would improve him for next year. The defense is a different animal. Get rid of Groh and that stupid 3-man def front. Tech doesn’t have the big athletes to play in that system………and why they (the coaching staff) ever thought it would work is beyond me………..and once and for all, somebody needs to re-teach these guys the art of tackling.