Tech counts on accountability, leadership to stop slide

Georgia Tech practiced Tuesday with a revived vigor, according to two of the team’s captains. Getting trounced by Middle Tennessee State will apparently do that to a team.

“I think they’re kind of excited to get back out on Saturday and prove to the world that we’re not the team that we showed last Saturday,” said guard Omoregie Uzzi, named a captain last week.

After back-to-back losses, each discouraging in its own way, the Yellow Jackets face a trip to No. 15 Clemson Saturday. Tech faces a turning point. If the Jackets lose, they will have their second three-game losing streak in three seasons and will go into the bye week with unresolved frustration and disappointment. With a win, the Jackets can restore their pride and look upon the second half of the season with hope to build on the momentum. How the team’s leadership responds this week and Saturday will go far in determining the game’s outcome.

“I think we got all (the motivation) we needed last week,” said quarterback Tevin Washington, another captain. “I think the best thing for us is just to go out and play hard and keep that taste in our mouth and I think we’ll get better results.”

When asked to name their favorite captains from their Tech careers, they both chose former defensive tackle Darryl Richard (2008), quarterback Joshua Nesbitt (2009-10) and A-back Roddy Jones (2011). Uzzi also picked safety Morgan Burnett, a 2009 captain. Further, they both saw the three players as quiet leaders.

“They weren’t really outspoken guys, but most of the time they’d lead by example and try to do the right thing, on and off the field,” Washington said.

Uzzi and Washington both fit the same mold, as does the third captain, defensive end Izaan Cross. While Uzzi might be the most given of the three to speaking up, all three are often cited by teammates for their dedication and not for grand oratories. Their response to the team’s slide perhaps reflects their style. With the team sliding, they and the team’s other seniors met to make sure that a message of accountability was being heard. Rather than a team-wide meeting, different seniors spoke with teammates in their position groups.

“Make sure that they’re playing at the level that you want them to play at, and also that you want to play at,” Uzzi said. “Don’t slack this week. We can’t cut anybody any slack. It’s that simple.”

It is a message that started at the top.

“You need some leadership, but the first thing you’ve got to do, everybody’s got to be accountable,” coach Paul Johnson said. “From coaches to players to whatever, you’ve got to do your job and people have got to be able to depend on (you) doing what you’re supposed to do.”

That ownership extends down to redshirting freshmen and scout-team players, Johnson said, making a pointed comment about a team whose enthusiasm was lacking against the Blue Raiders.

“They’ve got to take ownership in the team,” he said. “There’s got to be some energy on that sideline. Just because you’re not playing doesn’t mean you stand over there like a corpse.”

The captains and the other seniors, though, have as few as seven games remaining. The will to play with start-to-finish urgency will have to start from them. Uzzi, who has lived through five seasons’ worth of highs and lows at Tech, knows their fate if they don’t.

“From time to time, if we come out and lay an egg, that’s what we’re going to be defined as,” Uzzi said.

In case you missed it…

Notes: Abnormal heart rate gives Jackson scare

Tech considering safety options for stadium

Johnson addresses defense

Johnson: ‘You want fans that care’

Johnson to team: Stop pouting

Fitting MTSU loss into Tech history

After debacle, Tech braces for Clemson

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

209 comments Add your comment

Ice eater 1969

October 2nd, 2012
10:22 pm

Pride? Blitz and man to man! We r the hunter or the hunted. Go for it and get the ball to the offense and if they score so be it but the offense is back on the field. To hell w ga

www

October 2nd, 2012
10:28 pm

please add tackling to the list of things to count on to stop slide ;)

ENGRGT

October 2nd, 2012
10:36 pm

I believe! Go Jackets! Get’em Paul… Stand Firm D…. Show’em what we have O!

TechApp fan

October 2nd, 2012
10:42 pm

Beat Clem…don’t be an egg layer!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
10:48 pm

TACKLE TACKLE TACKLE !!!!!

GTGirl

October 2nd, 2012
10:59 pm

Amen Supersize!

GTGirl

October 2nd, 2012
11:00 pm

Ken-thanks for all the articles today; you are great at keeping the Tech world informed.

Delbert D.

October 2nd, 2012
11:03 pm

No wrist-tackling, get those shoulder pads in there and knock ‘em back. You did it last year, stuff ‘em again.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 2nd, 2012
11:03 pm

And a BIG AMEN to that, GTGirl !!!!

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 2nd, 2012
11:37 pm

Good energy from the fans. ” GO JACKETS “

Ken Sugiura

October 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

thanks! I really appreciate that.

Buzzzed

October 2nd, 2012
11:59 pm

This team is searching for an identity and a leader. If TW would have made that 4th and inches, they would be able to believe in themselves.

Tech Man

October 3rd, 2012
12:01 am

Beat Clemson and finish the season strong! JUST DO IT! GO JACKETS!!

Tech Man

October 3rd, 2012
12:07 am

Buzzzed…If Tech would have made the 4 and 1 in regulation, we would all be talking differently now. There was no reason for either game to go into OT.

gt40pinhd

October 3rd, 2012
12:33 am

super, tackling would be nice, along with some blocking, catching, etc. actually, for tw, he needs to read more of the option. seems he makes up his mind about giving the ball to the b back ahead of the snap…..

gt40pinhd

October 3rd, 2012
12:40 am

ken, thanks for the late article. did you get to interview the players? thanks for the insight.

macrotech

October 3rd, 2012
1:00 am

Ken…you ARE da man! Thank you for all the write ups….the WORST thing us fans would have had to endure after Saturdays debacle would be silence! I like what the players are saying….NOW, let’s just translate all that talking into action on the field and handle those tigers!!! GO TECH!!!

gtfan1951

October 3rd, 2012
4:41 am

Past time to walk the walk……..
another loss unacceptable….

superDawg

October 3rd, 2012
6:26 am

Time to get PUFFED up nurds.

Old Dog

October 3rd, 2012
6:29 am

To Hell with Tek, today, tomorrow and every other day!

Too Easy

October 3rd, 2012
6:47 am

dagnabit

October 3rd, 2012
7:01 am

Here’s some motivation. If Tech loses at Clemson this weekend, the defensive coaches walk back to Atlanta. If some don’t make it back, then good.

Dallas Jacket

October 3rd, 2012
7:25 am

Can’t Johnson just fire Groh now instead of at the end of the season? That would help to motivate the fan base at least!

Reg, the founder and glorious leader of the PFJ

October 3rd, 2012
7:27 am

Pick up the pieces and move on…GT wins this weekend…

Bama Fan#2

October 3rd, 2012
7:54 am

MTSU JUST SCORED ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bobby Dodd Jr.

October 3rd, 2012
8:18 am

If Johnson can get a great B-Back like Dwyer and let Vad play QB, this offense would be amazing. Just get rid of Groh.

Remember when

October 3rd, 2012
8:21 am

I’m not saying tech won’t come out and play inspired but i just don’t see them beating clemson in death valley. Clemson has the best back and pair of receivers in the acc. Tech will fight hard but lose by at least two touchdowns.

Wal-Mart Retards

October 3rd, 2012
8:26 am

Time to get puffed down, Bullfrawgs. USC is gonna eat yo ridnik lunch.

GTVegas

October 3rd, 2012
8:26 am

I support the team 100%, but Groh has gotta go. He couldn’t get the job done from the sideline so CPJ booted him upstairs for some additional perspective. Where will groh view the game from this week? Maybe in front of the television might not be a bad place. It’s additional perspective and CPJ would be less likely to strangle him on the way home.

I would also like to tip my hat to those non-GT fans posting above for showing maximum potential with their quick witted comments.

Jacket Detective

October 3rd, 2012
8:31 am

If…
If we could recruit players on the same level as Dwyer, Thomas, Morgan, Burnett and Nesbitt every year instead of one out of ten.
Attaochu and Watts will be back.
So the D should be a lot better.
The competition will be a lot better too.
MTSU noticed we were demoralized from the three tough losses and took advantage.
We’ll bounce back.
We may not win but the effort will be there.

tooltime432

October 3rd, 2012
8:39 am

Ken, you said yesterday Holton is doubtful again. What is up? I’m starting to think he is a figment of my immagination like santa claus, the easter bunny, a georgia tech bowl game victory, and slash. Also we need to tackle somebody. It dosent matter how well the offense plays if we give up 50 points every game.

Jacket Detective

October 3rd, 2012
8:41 am

BTW I despise a big game being the first one to please ESPN or to get extra money. (or both)
Lose that game and letdowns have happened to a lot of teams.
Even destroyed Bama one year.
With the two tough losses, goals have to be reset.
One goal might be showing we are a whole lot better than we played last week.

GT

October 3rd, 2012
8:57 am

We have leaders?! News to me..

WnE

October 3rd, 2012
9:08 am

re:
Jacket Detective
October 3rd, 2012
8:31 am

If…
If we could recruit players on the same level as Dwyer, Thomas, Morgan, Burnett and Nesbitt every year instead of one out of ten.
Attaochu and Watts will be back.
So the D should be a lot better.
The competition will be a lot better too.
MTSU noticed we were demoralized from the three tough losses and took advantage.
We’ll bounce back.
We may not win but the effort will be there.
____________________

I’m not so sure about Watts Mr. Jacket Detective.

Watts looks good when he’s using his speed to chase down plays and in pursuit, but when teams runs right at him, he is very weak against the run and weak at the point of attack.

On more than one occasion Benny Cunningham ran #11 over and it looked real bad, and even worse on CSS’s replay last night at 9:30pm.

Attachou has disappeared this season, and Watts seems to be a workout wonder that disappears when the game gets physical.

When our Backup LBs went in to the game they were ATROCIOUS, Harrell (#51 I think), and Marcordes (#35) looked like they didn’t belong in D1-A at all, they looked like D-II LBs, which is way below D1-AA.

Our LBs looked really bad, what everyone thought was a strength isn’t a strength at all.

In fact during pre-season practice I warned many GT fans that they shouldn’t expect too much from guys (like Watts) that could not beat out LBs that couldn’t even get an NFL tryout and Watts couldn’t beat out those guys in front of him for 2 straight seasons.

The same thing with TJ Barnes, he couldn’t beat out Logan Walls for 2 straight years maybe 3, and Walls didn’t even get invited to any NFL camp.

The major disappointment is that many GT fans had unrealistic expectations for players that had shown NOTHING for 2 or 3 seasons, yet were supposed to play at a level that would allow us to compete for the ACC title.

Too many delusional GT fans set themselves up for disappointment.

This is where I say, not me of course.

DOC 51

October 3rd, 2012
9:12 am

Great tackling is about technique,accountability,and desire.These items are in short supply w/ GT defenders.Football basics are learned in early August,not mid-season.

Lost Chapter to GT Playbook

October 3rd, 2012
9:14 am

FORWARD PASS: throwing the ball in the direction that the yellow jackets are trying to move, (towards the defensive team’s goal line). If a receiver on the passing team catches the ball it is a complete pass and the receiver may attempt to advance the ball!

Ps. Indy found this on his way to the Temple of Doom. Or was it the holy grail? I forget.

Too Easy

October 3rd, 2012
9:20 am

WnE,

After careful consideration, I’ve made a decision. I’ve been calling you a chickenshi& for days now.
This morning, I’ve decided that calling you a chickenshi& is a horrible insult to chickens everywhere.

From now on, I’ll refer to you as ratshi&, as that seems much more appropriate.

Stalk any teen age boys on the internet last night?

Thanks.

Sorry Tech fans, I couldn’t resist.

5150 UOAD

October 3rd, 2012
9:32 am

Don’t RESPOND to WnE…………..If he is too scared to come out from behind his computer and meet Fans then his is not worth the time spent typing a response to him.

5150 UOAD

October 3rd, 2012
9:38 am

Did anybody see ESPN’s 30 for 30 last night entitled BROKE?
It is amazing how much money many Athletes have blown.
I wish TECH would do a Commercial like the “I am going PRO in something other than Sports.
TECH should have players and people like Sean Bedford & John Dewberry do a commercial selling WHY you go to TECH and get a VALUABLE degree before you try to go to the NFL, NBA, or MLB. So many Players THINK they will be Pro players for a long time and that is not the truth so what do these guys do when that is over before they are 30?
Sell that TECH is a Difficult school but a Degree in a VALUABLE field of study will help your the rest of your life.

Alabama Jack

October 3rd, 2012
9:48 am

Yo, a shout out to Ken. Maybe we don’t like the news but Ken is doing the best job of giving it to us than anyone in recent memory. All of us need to give the AJC positive feedback on Ken so we don’t lose him and get another Leghumper hack writer.

5150 UOAD

October 3rd, 2012
9:51 am

Bama jack……nice call.

Too Easy

October 3rd, 2012
9:57 am

I saw it 5150.

The other amazing part was when they asked them how many kids they had, and the icing on the cake – by how many different women?

Unbelievable and sad, those kids have no shot.

juvenal

October 3rd, 2012
10:02 am

did Gotsis play any last week? if he did not, could our QB pressure be any lower? if you got mad at WnE cuz you thought he was wrong, civil debate would require actual refutation of his points, not just name calling. i am grudgingly conceding that things may, indeed, have been as bad as he said…i apologize if i made too much fun of you, winnie, but you are still too verbose-do you not ever have a terse point….also, to never in my experience ever to say anything nice about old Ma Tech makes your view seem skewed (pretty campus, right?-if you like bricks…) Gotsis play any, WnE?

DOC 51

October 3rd, 2012
10:08 am

TW will play 90% of QB snaps for remainder of season.GT won’t have a QB ready to open next season.V.LEE,S.DAYS,BOSTIC,AND SNODDY will continue to be non-factors.CPJ record over last 3 yrs. is pitiful.Most of his wins are cupcake wins.

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2012
10:17 am

If Vad doesn’t play half the game Saturday, I’m on the “Fire CPJ” bandwagon.

Personnel decisions are just as important as play calls, offensive schemes, etc.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 3rd, 2012
10:17 am

Is WnE really still posting on these blogs? I would have thought by now that he would have been hired by ESPN as an expert commentator on college football so that he could share his infinite wisdom and football expertise with all the rest of the sports world. Should a brilliant man like him with all his knowledge and talents be limited to posting only on the Ga Tech blogs for the AJC? Such a waste of talent. Surely the rest of the world can benefit from his commentary. Were they not impressed with the picture he has of a Tech class ring? Maybe he needed to make a photocopy of a Tech diploma too. What can it be? The people at ESPN are really missing the boat here. I just don’t understand it. They must really be stupid. Did they not know that WnE has been kissed by the gods? Don’t they realize hat he has more knowledge about college football in his little finger, then all the rest of them combined have in their collective brains? Hmmm. Maybe the other commentators all threatened to resign because they knew they paled in comparison to him. But that shouldn’t matter, because WnE is all powerful and omniscient, and he could cover for all of them; after all, if he is all powerful and omniscient, then he must be omnipresent too. In fact, WnE is a god, and ESPN should bow in worship to him, just like all the rest of us do. I guess it’s just another example of the declining state of religion in this country. Such a pity !!!

N O T !!!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 3rd, 2012
10:18 am

@ juvenal…..Gotsis started last week

GT Joe

October 3rd, 2012
10:19 am

Will CPJ ever have the nuts to bench a team captain (e.g., Tevin)?

I love Jan Kemp

October 3rd, 2012
10:19 am

I like that idea 5150

Supersize that order, mutt

October 3rd, 2012
10:20 am

Hey, Jan Kemp…..good to see you on here again. Hope that you will become a regular. Like to get you into the group of regular bloggers, some of whom now meet before the games.