1. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s message to his team was fitting for a rainy Monday two days after a humbling loss – get over it.
Monday, the Yellow Jackets reviewed game video from their 49-28 loss to Middle Tennessee State, corrected errors in practice and did conditioning work. Among the most notable shortcomings addressed was Tech’s inability to match the Blue Raiders’ energy on Saturday.
“It’s disappointing and it’s unacceptable and I think our guys know it’s unacceptable,” Johnson said following practice. “You move forward. Like I said, you’re not going to get anywhere looking backwards. Quit moping, quit pouting and let’s go play.”
From his review of the game, the same flaws that Johnson noted following the game – poor tackling, low energy and mistakes – held true.
“Bottom line, you’re not going to win a football game when you turn it over four times and you let the other back (MTSU’s Benny Cunningham) rush for 220 yards,” he said. “You’re just not.”
Johnson didn’t know the number of missed tackles off the top of his head, he said, “but it was bad.” He said a handful of players were responsible for most of them.
The Jackets have a whale of a challenge Saturday – a road game at No. 15 Clemson, a team itching for payback from its 31-17 loss last October at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Johnson said that, despite the embarrassing loss to MTSU, players were upbeat Monday.
“That’s the way you’ve got to be,” Johnson said. “You’ve still got a chance.”
2. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and cornerback Louis Young, both of whom sat out Saturday’s game with injuries, practiced Monday and are expected to play against Clemson. Offensive lineman Will Jackson, who missed the second half due to illness, also practiced Monday.
Johnson said he is not hopeful for safety Fred Holton, who has yet to play this season due to a foot injury, to play Saturday.
On the Clemson side, All-America wide receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play after missing Saturday’s win over Boston College with an abdominal virus.
Johnson also confirmed that B-back Charles Perkins is out for the season with an undisclosed injury. Two weeks ago, Johnson said that Perkins was out and that he didn’t expect him back anytime soon. Also, punter Sean Poole’s injury, suffered against Miami Sept. 22, is a broken collarbone. A return this season does not appear likely.
Johnson said he was encouraged by the play of offensive tackle Morgan Bailey, who received playing time in the second half in Jackson’s absence. Bailey has been a promising player but has been sidelined with numerous injuries. Saturday was his first game this season.
“He moved some people around,” Johnson said. “He’s got great ability. Hopefully he can stay out and have a good week of practice and we can play him. I’ve said from the jump, the kid’s got great ability.”
3. Quarterback Tevin Washington is tied for most rushing touchdowns in the country with 11. Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson also has 11. Washington tied a school single-game record Saturday with four rushing touchdowns. The single-season school record for touchdowns is 19, set by Robert Lavette in 1982. With 29 career rushing touchdowns, Washington is six behind Joshua Nesbitt’s record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
4. Junior linebacker Chris Crenshaw will wear No. 40 against Clemson in honor of former linebacker Julian Burnett. Crenshaw will be the first non-senior to wear the jersey to pay tribute to Burnett, who suffered a career-ending neck injury in the Sun Bowl. … Clemson opened Monday as a 10-point favorite over the Jackets.
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Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog