After debacle, Tech braces for Clemson

Georgia Tech has myriad problems to fix. It can do nothing about one of its biggest.

The Yellow Jackets are playing Clemson, absolutely the wrong opponent after giving up more than 1,100 yards of offense in the past two games.

First, the No. 15 Tigers can safely be assumed to be considerably more talented than Middle Tennessee State, which dealt Tech one of its worst losses in school history Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Second, Clemson will likely spend the week plotting its revenge.

“If we don’t get ready to play a little better and a little harder against Clemson, it’ll be embarrassing,” coach Paul Johnson said Saturday. “They’ve got a great football team. We’ve got a big challenge in front of us.”

Tech has taken five of the past six games against the Tigers, including a 31-17 upset last October that dashed Clemson’s national championship aspirations. Saturday’s game will be a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at Clemson on ESPN.

“I don’t care who Georgia Tech has played, beaten or lost to,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday on his teleconference. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for their program, their coaching staff, the tradition of this game and all that stuff. You can just throw all that (overlooking Tech) stuff out the window.”

After permitting Virginia Tech and Miami to stage late fourth-quarter rallies to force overtime and then beat the Jackets, the Tech bubble may have popped. While Tech came within a couple plays of beating both teams, and came back from a 19-0 deficit against Miami to take a temporary 36-19 lead, the team that played Saturday had little energy or focus to give.

The Jackets were run out of their own stadium by a 49-28 score. They surrendered four turnovers and gave up 510 yards of offense to a team they had beaten by a combined 91-35 the past two seasons. This Tech team, with Johnson’s first recruiting classes having reached junior and senior status, has been expected to surpass the 2010 and 2011 teams.

The loss was possibly the most decisive home defeat to a lower-tier opponent in school history. While an FBS team, MTSU belongs to the Sun Belt Conference, a league with neither the resources nor pedigree of the ACC. The task for Johnson and his staff will be to excavate the rubble to find the team that led Virginia Tech and Miami going into the 59th minute of both games.

“I’m as disappointed as [the fans] are, I can promise you,” Johnson said. “I’m embarrassed, too. I’m going to do everything in my power to get it fixed and to get it right. That’s all I can do.”

Two defensive issues – poor tackling and being slow to the ball – could be exploited far worse by Clemson should they persist. The Tigers are ranked No. 16 in the country in total offense at 510.8 yards per game, 29 spots ahead of Middle Tennessee State (443.0 yards per game).

Clemson can attack the Jackets with playmaking wide receivers Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins and running back Andre Ellington. Watkins missed the Tigers’ 45-31 win over Boston College with an abdominal virus. Sunday, Watkins was feeling a lot better and was having blood work done, Swinney said.

“This is a whole different deal,” Swinney said. “I haven’t seen the game, I don’t know what happened. I know in the game of football, crazy things happen from time to time. Sometimes, guys don’t play like they’re capable of.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

384 comments Add your comment

GT Fan

September 30th, 2012
10:59 pm

Sorry for the possible tasteless humor here, but I see the link where a “Tech fan fell from the railing for a second week in a row” ……….

I didn’t happen to be a singing fat lady this week, did it?

GT Joe

September 30th, 2012
11:00 pm

Time for Vad yet? Or are we trying to red shirt him for the second time?

GT Joe

September 30th, 2012
11:03 pm

CPJ blew a perfect opportunity to get vad a start…. The fact thatvad hardly played tells me CPJ will never start vad this season, therefore I’m now officially on the bandwagon to fire CPJ

GT Fan

September 30th, 2012
11:03 pm

Trying someone new as the DC really couldn’t get any worse, could it Stein?
I mean, DAM*!, I’m sure we all thought AG couldn’t gotten some sort of resemblance to an Chris Long in 3 seasons.

I gotta believe there’s at least ONE the major states for GT, i.e. GA, AL, SC, FL, TN, and NC.

I’m flabbergasted that his DL is so bad.

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2012
11:04 pm

The interns need to be more careful with headlines. That one confused me at first. It got me to click on the link, though.

GT Fan

September 30th, 2012
11:04 pm

oops … AG could have gotten

ToeMeetsLeather

September 30th, 2012
11:04 pm

I am still at a loss for words at how bad our defense played yesterday. The kids appear to have lost all confidence in Groh’s system. Being without Sneezy and Young(and Watts for a big chunk of the game) was also huge. I thought our talent level on D had truly improved over the past couple of years, but we still seem to have very little depth.

It was obvious from the get-go that the two OT losses had zapped both the team’s, and the fan base’s energy level. CPJ had a tough job yesterday and failed to get it done( it didn’t help matters that every ball bounced MTS’ s way either).

I hope after CPJ watches the game tape, that he realizes if he will run the 4th quarter offense with Lee at QB that it will provide a much more balanced attack. And surely he will come to the conclusion that the 3-4 is not the answer at TECH. I still think CPJ is the man for the job, but those two OT losses have really made it an up hill battle. I don’t envy his position.

Circle the wagons Jackets and dig deep for some pride.

PE Major from Western Carolina is ready to fry some fish

September 30th, 2012
11:05 pm

Good night men…..I will be dreaming of a lot of fish to fry next Saturday. Ask Mark Bradley – I am a coaching genius and I still outcoached Mark Richt on Saturday. Who cares if UGA is 5-0. I have the best high school offense in college football and I am the best fish fry cook since Pepper Rodgers….come and get some bass for dinner…..fish fry baby!

GT Joe

September 30th, 2012
11:05 pm

Great coach, but if he thinks Tevin gives us the best chance to win, he has no grasp of reality.

GT Fan

September 30th, 2012
11:10 pm

36 pts and 400 yds offense
28 pts and 400 yds offense

BOTH weeks are good enought to win 85-90% of the time. PJ’s O, even with a ball-hoggin, call-my-own-# QB.

But a D that surrenders:
42 pts and 500+yds and
49 pts and 500+yds
Will lose you games 98-100% of the time.

Again, the O isn’t the problem. And, IMO, It will get better when Vad is ready to start.

Clyde

September 30th, 2012
11:14 pm

CPJ might just be cutting CAG a break because Al just needs the money from this one last season to finally buy that lake house on Tahoe. I’ve sure they’ve chummed it up a little over the last couple years. You don’t just kick an old man to the curb.

GTGirl

September 30th, 2012
11:14 pm

Ken-how many starters did we have out on defense Saturday against MTSU? I’m thinking 4 or 5 if you count Fred Holton. Louis Young told me he would be back for Clemson and Attachou should be too. If you read Roddy Jones’ blog on RamblingWreck.com we had 2 freshmen playing on ‘D’ that had not started before. All that said, I think Groh should go too. Most of the UVA fans could not believe we hired him in the first place.
Go Jackets! I still believe in our team. Now please pray we will have all our starters back this week.

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2012
11:14 pm

The problem is, we don’t know the reality. Maybe CPJ thinks playing Lee as a 2nd year guy is sending him out with 2 rounds in a 14-round clip. Maybe he observes that Washington has the full load, and he sees the thing jams occasionally at inopportune times. So he puzzles, what is the best plan, here?

GT Joe

September 30th, 2012
11:15 pm

Gt fan: “when vad is ready to start”? Wtf. Vad will never be ready to start. CPJ is probably trying to get another year of eligibility for Tevin so we can throw away a third season on Tevin.

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2012
11:19 pm

By the way, Clemson is allowing 20% more that 400 yards of offense a game.Not all of it was due to the Thompson kid at FSU.

GT Joe

September 30th, 2012
11:19 pm

Delbert: cpj’s obviously cannot see clearly regarding Tevin and vad. He has too much invested in Tevin now to bench him. If vad comes in and runs the table, CPJ will get exposed for the fool that he is for waiting so long to bench Tevin.

Vad should have started last year. If Nesbitt can learn on the fly, so could vad.

Al Bundy

September 30th, 2012
11:21 pm

@Supersize that order, mutt

I typically find your post to be good, constructive and informative, but calling out the people on this blog for calling it like they see it is wrong. If a player is not performing at his position the coach will replace him with someone who will. Let’s face it CPJ is failing at his job. He has lost 8 out of his last 12 games and with his recruits that were supposed to be better. I don’t think I need to re-hash our record agains GA, VT, Miami and Bowl games. You can’t blame this teams performance on injuries, the refs, bad weather or anything else. When the team doesn’t perform it’s ultimately the coach’s responsibility. He is paid way too much money to get a pass for the performance of this team.

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2012
11:25 pm

Seriously, now. If Groh gets fired, which graduate assistant is going to fill the void with the shuffling of responsibilities? Groh will retire at the end of the season, I presume. What good does it do to be short-handed with games left to play?

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2012
11:32 pm

Oh, excuse me. I completely forgot about the possibility of outsourcing Groh’s job to China.

Clyde

September 30th, 2012
11:32 pm

Maybe Walkosky will be promoted.

GTGirl

September 30th, 2012
11:33 pm

Hopefully Groh will retire at the end of the season.

GT Joe

September 30th, 2012
11:34 pm

Joe speed probably takes over for groh…but it will not happen anyways.

WnE

September 30th, 2012
11:36 pm

re:
Techster
September 30th, 2012
8:52 pm

There could be a major difference for football players who quit on their coaches and their teams. It is called the “One Year Rule.” Football scholarships are given one year at a time, fellows, so if you don’t want to give each play, each game, each season your best effort, you may just not have that scholarship when next year rolls around. Every year, a coach has up to 85 scholarships to offer and he can give them to current players or brand new ones. The only scholarship limit is 85. A coach could clean house anytime he wants…
_____________

If your fantasy world were to exist then the NCAA would also have to allow the players to transfer without sitting out for one yr.

IMO the players should be able to transfer now without sitting out one yr., that is the dumbest rule in all of sports.

If the coaches are allowed to clean house in your fantasy then players should be allowed to dump poor coaching also!

I am amazed that you come up with this “clean house crap” as if the players are to blame when the BLAME lies clearly on the shoulders of CPJ.

Lots of GT fans are in denial about CPJ and won’t attribute ANYTHING BAD to him.

Delbert D.

September 30th, 2012
11:38 pm

McCollum would be more likely, if that were to happen. It still would be bedlam. I still don’t see the rationale for doing it during the season. The man is not a traitor, he is trying to do his job.

Silly Mutts

September 30th, 2012
11:43 pm

@Al B……. First rational thing on here! I really respected some of the things on here but lately it hasn’t been too good. Not to pick on Supersize but he is awfully wrong and has been for three years now. A good example of why politicians just can’t get anything done. I think SS has good intentions but he just doesn’t know what he is talking about. He is a GT fan though and because of that I still respect him. Reality is that PJ is just here to prove his offensive system works. Winning is just a bonus. He doesn’t care about GT because it is a stepping stone to wherever he can take his offense. If he did care he would have hired a real defensive coordinator and recruited players for DI football. Not a washed up has been who took peanuts because his former school is paying his salary and a bunch of undersized, slow, weak quitters that currently play at GT.

Clyde

September 30th, 2012
11:47 pm

Agreed Delbert on CAG. He tried, had success in some games, but just isn’t consistent. I don’t recall the GT offense being so consistent with putting points on the board though. I can’t really see what the complaint is with the offense, I find old school football refreshing. I think the pieces are there for the O, probably for the D too.

North Ave Killer Beez

October 1st, 2012
12:19 am

The Defense is not doing us any favors but when was the last time it did? Nearly the whole VaTech game, when the season was full of opportunity. PJ’s offense never shows up against the big boys, now it can’t get the job done against the cream puffs.
36 pts and 400 yds offense
28 pts and 400 yds offense To say that this is enough to win most games is bogus. It’s college not the NFL look around the NCAA, teams are dropping 40 and 50 left and right.
We are in the ACC and it should be have been a year where we could compete for the title, but not with a DII qb starting.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
12:23 am

@ Al Bundy……I thought I was clear in saying that CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is fine and expected. But some of these guys haven’s offered anything in the least bit constructive. Look back at the posts that were made before I said what I did. Like I said, ONLY 1 4 GT, George Stein, and Delbert D. in the least bit rational or constructive. If you guys think Johnson is doing a bad job, fine; say so, but there is no need to put words or thoughts in his mouth than none of us have a clue about. And there is certainly no reason to call him “garbage,” which somebody did, if not on this blog, on one of the others. Do I have questions, complaints, gripes? Of course I do. But a public forum is no place to act like little children who are not getting things their way.

And what Silly Mutts (who is generally rational) just said about Johnson not caring about GT because it iw a stepping stone, sorry, but I think that is just garbage. I DO believe Johnson cares about Tech, and at his age, though not particularly old or over the hill, why on earth would he be interested at this point in going somewhere else and having to start all over again? Sorry, I don’t buy that, and anybody saying something like that is just expressing an opinion not based on any rational thought at all. NOBODY knows what is going on in Johnson’s mind, but even if he wanted to go somewhere else, don’t you think he would care enough to build up his credentials and go out on top?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
12:26 am

@ Clyde……I think the pieces are there on both sides of the ball also. I DO think Johnson can produce on offense, and probably produce big. I do not, however, think that Groh can do the same on defense. However, I am not going to sit here and slam the man. I think Groh is trying to, but he just can’t cut it. And because he can’t cut it, he needs to go. I’m not going to trash him however and call him garbage. He is just beyond the point of being able to build a consistent defense.

Clyde

October 1st, 2012
12:38 am

I concur, Supersize.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 1st, 2012
12:39 am

Thanks, Clyde

Clyde

October 1st, 2012
12:50 am

No problemo. We all want the same thing, a program with integrity that produces wins. There’s no reason CPJ and CAG wouldn’t want the same, along with the players. They were the ones on the field, on television, being embarrassed. Feel bad for ourselves when we have to answer for being Tech fans, fine. But they have more at stake then us, unless some of you are betting large sums on these games. If so, I can see where there might be a bit more heartbreak!

gtbme

October 1st, 2012
1:25 am

CPJ makes more than Frank Beamer, Jimbo Fisher, Chip Kelly, and Dana Holgorsen. In what world does that make any sense. I never understood the rationale behind extending his contract. It’s not like teams were lining up to steal him from us. Our Athletic Department has some serious issues. First money wasted on Paul Hewitt and now on CPJ. Awesome.

GT Fan

October 1st, 2012
1:59 am

North Ave Killr Beez …

On one hand you contradict my statement that, whether you like it or not, is accurate. 36 pts/400 yds of O, 28 pts/400 yds of O, is enough to win 85-90% of a team’s games.

Then you verify the validity of my comment by saying “We are in the ACC” indicating an inferior league. That, sir, absolutely validates 36 & 28 pts being enough to win a vast majority of games. Go look at GT’s 2011 schedule and see how many opponents scored more than 28, then more than 36 against the Jackets.
Then take a look at what GT’s record would have been had the given up 42/49 pts per game. I think GT scored in the 60s twice, and 49 vs. MTSU.

Dunwoodydel

October 1st, 2012
2:56 am

Did anyone tell the team that the starting time was moved up to 12:00? Maybe that’s why they didn’t show up at all. Maybe they still had a 7:00 P.M. kickoff in mind.

go42

October 1st, 2012
4:46 am

I think the most optimistic explanation for the loss to MT was looking ahead. MT came to play and Tech was somewhere else. Also, putting Big Al up in the booth probably affected the team chemistry but those are excuses and excuses won’t cut it! Tech’s a fickle team but they like playing Clemson so we’ll see.

ToccoaDawg

October 1st, 2012
6:10 am

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ToeMeetsLeather

October 1st, 2012
6:23 am

Good morning ToccoaDawg, thanks for checkiing in. It is almost daylight, isn’t it time to grab the “slow/stop” sign and orange vest & report to work. Thanks for keeping the roads safe buddy.

GT fan Alumni for 56 years

October 1st, 2012
6:24 am

Recruiting is the problem. Bottom line. They are not coming to GT for several reasons. You all know them.

Birmingham Jacket

October 1st, 2012
6:38 am

Johnson is just like General Custer!

dry dirt road

October 1st, 2012
6:49 am

Tech needs to switch to Vad Lee. They need to get back into te light is day and dark is night unis from the first two games and don’t go off on a tangent from those. They learned last week that a wildcat is needed to pass downfield and have blockers on the side of the qb as if the qb is wearing double six guns, a double pistol if you will. This lining up at the los for passes agaimnst a good rishing team results in a loss behind the los. And this hanging around in the backfield faking it after the snap results in not faking a good rushing team out, giving them ample time to play catch up to the qb during rushes. CPJ is stubborn and keeps trying faking it and los pas plays. Does he have Tech’s best interests in mind, and does Radikovich? Tech needs a tight end and screen pass plays to prove they can play Div 1 fotball like all the other scools prove. Tech is too limited in pass plays. The commenter who mentioned that Clemson might score 100 points against Tech might be right.

dry dirt road

October 1st, 2012
6:51 am

boy is it ever early to post, all the mistakes I made typing, not enuf coffee yet, ony 6:51 am

dry dirt road

October 1st, 2012
6:56 am

this is too hard to do at this time of day and w/o enuf coffee yet, proofread for typos is too hard to do early, sorry for the struggle, if this comment w/typos was a blue book English exam at Tech I would have been given an F, but in six English courses there I got three B’s and three C’s, and James Dickey taught English at Tech after I graduated

Cats hav fleas 2

October 1st, 2012
6:59 am

CMR can’t win the big game….CPJ can’t win the easy games. I’ll take the former.

Old Dog

October 1st, 2012
6:59 am

What you doing up, toemeetsleather? To Hell with Tek, today, tomorrow and every other day!

dagnabit

October 1st, 2012
7:15 am

I’ve waited as long as anyone to say this: Al Groh has to be dismissed . I would prefer now.

This just in

October 1st, 2012
7:20 am

Middle Tenn. just scored again

New Idea

October 1st, 2012
7:31 am

Giff Smith named new Head Coach of Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Football
Best idea yet.

Other idea.
Giff Smith named new Defensive Coordinator of GT football.

I like the first one better.

MORGANTECH

October 1st, 2012
7:41 am

@old d A wise man man once said ,you can teach an old dog new tricks ,but you cant teach a dumb one S#!T.

Bobby

October 1st, 2012
7:49 am

What time will DRad or CPJ announce Groh’s termination today?