Archive for September, 2012

Paul Johnson, fount of hope?

A few quick notes from the Paul Johnson news conference before going out to talk to players and coaches post-practice:

1. Johnson commented on Middle Tennessee State that the Blue Raiders have won two in a row (Florida Atlantic and Memphis) and have scored a lot of points. They play out of a spread on offense and have a returning starter at quarterback (Logan Kilgore). Defensively, MTSU has a new coordinator (Tyrone Nix).

“Our goal is to come back and try to have a great week of practice and come back and play well on Saturday,” he said.

2. On the secondary: “I think that before Saturday, they played fairly well. Saturday was not a great day for anybody. It’s like anything else. When you’re playing coverage back there and you’re matched up and there’s not a lot of pressure, there’s going to be some exposure. I think you have to give the other team some credit. They have pretty good receivers and their quarterback was hot and they made some plays.”

3. Jamal Golden will see more …

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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 …

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The meaning of Tech giving up 609 yards

Could Georgia Tech’s 609-yard meltdown have been an aberration? From one perspective (and probably many others), possibly, but most likely not.

In 2011, there were 22 games between BCS conference opponents in which one team gave up yardage within 25 yards either way of the 609 surrendered by the Yellow Jackets to Miami. Some defenses were torched multiple times, 16 teams in all.

Of those 16, 10 finished 81st or worse in total defense at the end of the 2011 season. The rest were Wisconsin (15th), Arkansas (47th), Oklahoma (55th), Missouri (61st), Clemson (71st) and Purdue (73rd). Tech finished 44th last season at 359.3 yards per game. Those six could be well explained by their opponents.

The opposing offenses, with 2011 rank in total offense, were No. 4 Oregon (vs. Wisconsin), No. 7 Texas A&M (Arkansas), No. 5 Baylor (Oklahoma), No. 12 Oklahoma (Missouri), No. 15 West Virginia (Clemson) and No. 14 Wisconsin (Purdue). It’s a lot of Big 12 offenses and defenses, though in some …

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Tech gets 3:30 kickoff for Clemson

Georgia Tech’s Oct. 6 game at Clemson has been given a 3:30 p.m. kickoff time and will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2. The ACC made the announcement Monday.

The determination on the television outlet will be made following Saturday’s games.

Tech will play at noon on Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee State at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The game will be broadcast on regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South in the Atlanta market.

The entire ACC slate for Oct. 6.

Boston College at Army, CBSCS, Noon (previously announced)

Virginia Tech at North Carolina, ACC Network, 12:30 p.m.

Virginia at Duke, RSN, 3 p.m.

Georgia Tech at Clemson, ABC, ESPN or ESPN2*, 3:30 p.m.

Wake Forest at Maryland, ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.

Miami vs. Notre Dame (Chicago, Ill.), NBC, 7:30 p.m. (previously announced)

Florida State at NC State, ABC or ESPN2*, 8 p.m.

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After Miami loss, Tech tries to regroup

With two ACC Coastal Division losses, Georgia Tech is left to take a test it had no interest in taking when the season began three weeks ago Monday. Do the Yellow Jackets have the requisite coaching and leadership to compete over the final eight games of the season with almost no chance of winning the ACC title?
Objectives remain – beating rival Clemson for the sixth time in seven tries, ending losing streaks to Georgia (three games and 10 out of the past 11) and in bowl games (seven) and winning 10 games for only the fourth time since 1956. Tech can show its defensive hemorrhage was an aberration.
The first item, though, will be picking up the pieces from their emotionally costly loss Saturday, a 42-36 overtime defeat to Miami at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Monday, Tech begins preparing for Middle Tennessee State, a game that the ACC announced Sunday will kick off at noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
“I feel like we have some good leaders on the team, and they’re going to keep everybody …

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Video: Miami 42, Georgia Tech 36 (OT)

Report following post-game news conference.

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Tech receives noon kickoff for MTSU

Georgia Tech will have a noon kickoff next Saturday against Middle Tennessee State. The game will be played on regional sports networks, which for the Atlanta market will be Fox Sports South. The game had been publicized by Tech as a 7 p.m. start, but ultimately the decision on game times belongs to ESPN and the ACC.

NC State at Miami, ESPNU, Noon

Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech, RSN, Noon

Duke at Wake Forest, ACC Network, 12:30 p.m.

Idaho at North Carolina, RSN, 3:30 p.m.

Clemson at Boston College, ESPN2, 3:30 pm

Louisiana Tech at Virginia, ESPN3, 3:30 pm

Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati, ESPNU, 3:30 pm

(Fedex Field, Landover, Md.)

Florida State at South Florida, ESPN, 6 pm

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Miami has Tech’s number again

By Michael Cunningham

There’s something about facing Miami that makes the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets seem unlike themselves.

Suddenly those option pitches get smothered by swarming Hurricanes defenders at key times, and quarterback Tevin Washington is running from pressure. Now the small leaks in Tech’s secondary become gaping holes for Miami’s wide receivers and the Jackets can’t get any pressure on the quarterback.

The Jackets lost to Miami 42-36 in overtime Saturday at Bobby Stadium for their fourth consecutive defeat in the series. The Hurricanes are a young team, too, so many of their playmakers will be around for a while, and the poise they showed in winning Saturday figures to improve with maturity.

Miami roared to a 19-0 lead and then gave up 36 consecutive points. The Hurricanes came back to tie the score in the final minute of regulation after they missed a field goal and then held Tech on a goal-line stand in overtime.

The Hurricanes won the game when running back …

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Crazy first quarter sets stage for game

By Michael Cunningham

The Miami Hurricanes topped Georgia Tech at the end in large part because the Yellow Jackets were so bad at the start.

The Jackets trailed 19-0 after a quarter, their largest first-quarter deficit in more than 30 years. They suffered from unforced penalties, mental gaffes, blown coverages and a general malaise.

The Jackets rallied with 36 consecutive points, only to give the lead back in regulation and lose 42-36 in overtime. Tech couldn’t finish after it struggled to get started.

The problems began on the third play of the game. Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris, unhurried by Tech’s anemic pass rush, found Philip Dorsett running free in the secondary for a 65-yard touchdown pass.

The Jackets looked ready to make amends when they quickly moved to midfield. But the Hurricanes stuffed Orwin Smith for a 7-yard loss on fourth-and-3.

The Jackets stopped Mike James for a 1-yard gain on second-and-3, but were too slow to substitute players against Miami’s …

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Georgia Tech quoteboard

“We had some kids who really played hard all the way through. There were so many things to think back about. You just wish you had plays back like with the ball at fourth-and-1 at the 50-yard line. I’m disappointed in the outcome. I’m just surprised by the whole game. You look back, and it just seems like it wasn’t meant to be for us.”

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on the game

“When we came out in the second half and scored a couple touchdowns, it seemed like we really had them on the ropes. We did a great job in coming back, but to their credit, so did they.”

Johnson on getting the big lead after trailing 19-0

“They just manhandled us and out-executed us. I just felt like we weren’t prepared. I can’t really say too much. … A positive is that we kept fighting the whole game. We got started bad and got down a lot but, we kept fighting through.

Tech linebacker Brandon Watts on the performance of the defense

“The play that was called was a quarterback follow, and I checked to …

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