Against Clemson, slowing pace crucial for Tech

If you’re looking for a reason to believe Tech has a chance Saturday, I’ve got a couple. At the risk of being Lucy with the football…

I think Tech will give a far better effort against Clemson than it has the past two weeks, particularly defensively. I think having Jeremiah Attaochu and Louis Young will help, and not only from a talent consideration.

“They come out there with a lot of energy every day,” linebacker Brandon Watts said. “They get everybody going during the game. They’re two of our playmakers. You can never have enough playmakers on the field.”

As best I can gather, I think the Middle Tennessee State loss, rather than fragment the team, got players’ attention and served as something of a slap in the face. Also, Tech will be the more desperate team Saturday, and I think that means something. It certainly did last Saturday. This team seems to handle itself well when it gets counted out.

“We will get their ‘A’ game,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We’ll get the best they’ve got, and our guys know that.”

Attempts at mind-reading aside, consider this. Clemson averages 3.0 points per possession. Tech averages 2.97. (Even if the Presbyterian game is removed, the number is still 2.8.) Clemson’s defense has given up 1.96 points per possession. Tech’s number is 1.94. (The number does jump to 2.47 without the Presbyterian game. That said, Clemson’s numbers might be a little skewed having played Ball State and Furman.)

Clemson has produced 28 plays of 20 yards or more but given up 32. Tech has 27 for and 22 against. Boston College put up almost as many points on Clemson (31) as it did against Maine (32). Clemson’s defense is talented but young.

That said, as Paul Johnson put it Tuesday, “You can take numbers and make them look any way you want, twist them around any way you wanted to twist them. You guys understand that, I think.” (The second comment was classic Johnson.)

Of course, it wouldn’t take me long to build a convincing statistical case that Tech will get its doors blown off Saturday. I’d probably start with 91 points and 1,119 yards of offense allowed in the past two games. I might also mention that the 31-17 win last year at Bobby Dodd Stadium was built on the backs of four Clemson turnovers, the most costly being a fourth-quarter interception in the Tech end zone on what looked like a miscommunication between quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins. A touchdown would have made the score 31-24 in Tech’s favor.

All that to say, I think the number of possessions and the speed of the game will go a long way towards determining the outcome. Tech’s best chance is for something akin to last season’s game.

Clemson had 12 possessions (the last when the game was out of reach), ran 65 plays and held the ball for 21:00. The Tigers have averaged 13.4 possessions this season, maxing out at 15 last week. They’ve averaged 80 plays per game. Clemson thrives on big plays, obviously, but also volume.

“You got to try to get some turnovers, force them to continue to execute,” coach Paul Johnson said. “If you don’t give it to them all in one or two plays, make them have to grind it out. They can do that. Clearly, if you watch, they can. But that’s a far better chance of trying to stop them than the other when you give it up in one or two plays.”

105 comments Add your comment

ENGRGT

October 4th, 2012
11:39 am

Go Jackets… I believe!!!

No problem, this game is a lock...

October 4th, 2012
11:45 am

…for GT…

George Stein

October 4th, 2012
11:54 am

I feel like Michael Corleone now. Every time I try to get out, they pull me right back in.

Thanks for nothing, Ken!

FL Jacket

October 4th, 2012
12:02 pm

GS…Michael Corleone also strictly told Kay “don’t ever ask me about my business”…and did she listen?

George Stein

October 4th, 2012
12:09 pm

Indeed, FLJ.

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 4th, 2012
12:19 pm

Looking for an inspired GT team. Play 100% on every down. No slackers. ” GO JACKETS “

ignition

October 4th, 2012
12:20 pm

Why can’t CPJ modify his offense and let em loose ?? The defense is not up to snuff, and may go through another coaching transition. SO let the the offense go and become more multiple, pass more, utilize and the speed of Snoddy, Thomas, and Synjyn why are they on the bench ??
Why are you not throwing more to these 6′3 or better recievers you have all recruited.. ??
Be more explosive and just attempt to outscore your opponents !!!!

Crazy Robert

October 4th, 2012
12:26 pm

TECH has to be ready for the noise in Death Valley. The Clemson fans want a blow out against the JACKETs in hopes of easing their pain from last year’s bowl blowout they received from West Virginia.

GO TECH!!!!

Todd

October 4th, 2012
12:41 pm

Groh will keep playing the “5-2″ with a soft zone behind it and get run out of the stadium.

www

October 4th, 2012
12:53 pm

tech is averaging 39.2 points a game this season.

36.33 in conference.

not too shabby.

Paul in NH

October 4th, 2012
12:56 pm

If Clemson has watched the tape – and we can bet they have – they will do hurry up. In the last 2 games Groh seemed to require an extra 20 secs to decide on the defensive assignments.

Fix my computer, Geek Squad

October 4th, 2012
12:58 pm

Does Grohl run the 5-2 for real? Thats a D only good for video games.

Fix my computer, Geek Squad

October 4th, 2012
1:00 pm

@Ken…you a hellava writer dude. Seriously, Chip T is a tool that just stirs the pot.

Fix my computer, Geek Squad

October 4th, 2012
1:01 pm

www

October 4th, 2012
1:01 pm

only 4 votes for orwin smith for paul hornung award (including mine).

get on it, fans.

http://www.votepaulhornung.com/vote-paul-hornung-award

ignition

October 4th, 2012
1:08 pm

Tech could I feel easily increase it’s scoring by becoming more dynamic and by opening up the passing game. The top scoring teams are Winning despite bad defenses..

Sortable Team Stats: Total Offense
Offense Defense Special Teams
Total Passing Rushing Receiving Filter:
Team G Pts/G Yds/G PassYds RushYds 1stD/G 3rdM 3rdD% 4thM 4thD% Pen PenYds TOP
Oklahoma St. 4 55.8 659.0 1436 1200 31.5 33 58.9 2 50.0 31 317 07:28
Baylor 4 54.3 601.5 1666 740 29.8 23 46.0 7 87.5 33 285 10:47
West Virginia 4 53.0 598.5 1766 628 27.8 28 60.9 0 0.0 20 201 08:27
Oregon 5 52.4 550.6 1238 1515 28.0 40 49.4 8 66.7 42 368 10:38
Louisiana Tech 4 52.0 498.8 1131 864 26.5 20 40.0 2 50.0 42 392 15:30
Florida St. 5 51.0 544.4 1416 1306 24.4 28 50.0 0 0.0 27 234 14:05
Texas A&M 4 48.3 525.8 1261 842 26.0 28 46.7 2 50.0 23 213 04:14
Georgia 5 48.2 536.0 1436 1244 22.6 29 46.8 1 100.0 38 237 11:06
Texas 4 47.3 495.8 1071 912 24.0 35 58.3 7 87.5 19 140 10:54
Nebraska 5 44.8 521.4 1078 1529 25.8 33 52.4 0 N/A 28 298 02:44
Texas Tech 4 43.8 547.0 1435 753 31.8 32 57.1 2 50.0 32 305 05:14
North Carolina 5 43.2 477.4 1524 863 22.8 35 47.9 7 58.3 31 276 10:14
Purdue 4 42.5 463.5 1048 806 24.0 38 58.5 5 83.3 23 171 13:41
Nevada 5 42.0 557.6 1244 1544 31.0 37 51.4 6 66.7 44 444 12:15
Tulsa 5 42.0 481.4 1183 1224 23.4 35 40.7 5 55.6 20 198 06:54
Fresno St. 5 41.8 512.8 1676 888 23.8 24 33.8 5 55.6 34 325 14:45
LA Monroe 4 41.8 518.3 1286 787 29.0 35 49.3 10 71.4 18 118 15:21
Marshall 5 41.0 555.6 1973 805 30.6 47 54.0 7 70.0 41 377 07:07
Kansas St. 4 40.5 431.5 758 968 22.0 25 55.6 1 100.0 8 66 10:26
Clemson 5 40.2 510.8 1551 1003 25.2 41 50.6 5 83.3 27 212 13:12
Alabama 5 40.2 401.0 1064 941 20.2 31 49.2 3 75.0 20 168 03:22
Tennessee 5 39.4 506.6 1646 887 25.6 33 42.9 3 42.9 32 216 10:11
Georgia Tech 5 39.2 487.6 791 1647 21.0 30 45.5 7 53.8 29 215 07:07

www

October 4th, 2012
1:11 pm

ummm, georgia tech is already on that list.

lack of scoring is NOT the problem.

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
1:17 pm

www: yeah, lack of scoring is NOT the problem. Except for 4th quarter and OT. I.e., when games are won and lost.

Hayseed Dixie

October 4th, 2012
1:21 pm

@George Stein

They can pry my Georgia Tech fandom from my cold, dead fingers.

Hayseed Dixie

October 4th, 2012
1:23 pm

@George Stein

I meant to add: I found your Corleone comment funny and appropriate.

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
1:25 pm

Let’s all pray that the game doesn’t come down to Tevin Washington having to make a play.

In 23 games, Tevin Washington has led ZERO 4th quarter or OT comeback wins. ZERO.

And, GT Joe...

October 4th, 2012
1:43 pm

…how many times has your boy Vad been stellar enough in practice to warrant real time performances on Saturdays?

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
1:45 pm

And: he’s been stellar EVERY practice. I watch them all.

TeknocratNOTdemokrat

October 4th, 2012
1:51 pm

@FixMy…tell the truth dwag…you don’t OWN a computer…you’re in the library w/your typing coach.

WnE

October 4th, 2012
2:01 pm

re:
GT Joe
October 4th, 2012
1:45 pm

And: he’s been stellar EVERY practice. I watch them all.
_____________

I thought CPJ had all his practices closed?

Are you an insider?

Does CPJ want to you on an AJC blog making comments if you are an insider?

Have you really watched all the practices or are you stretching the truth?

1 4 GT

October 4th, 2012
2:05 pm

Could GT Joe be Joe??????????

juvenal

October 4th, 2012
2:08 pm

glad to see you are taking my advice about being more to the point seriously-folks may not just skip over them in the interest of saving time…..maybe he works in maintenance-glad he spotted Tevin’s perfect record….groh can be my valentine….

HighTech

October 4th, 2012
2:16 pm

George Stein

October 4th, 2012
11:54 am
I feel like Michael Corleone now. Every time I try to get out, they pull me right back in.

Thanks for nothing, Ken!
—————————————-
Is it time to settle all family business?

juvenal

October 4th, 2012
2:21 pm

tell CPJ to keep politics out of it, Ken-the numbers aren’t twisting-it’s Tech’s season, in the wind…..

DS CE'91

October 4th, 2012
2:37 pm

Can’t give up yet. Hope we see some energy and enthusiasm from the team, and get a few good breaks. It will be interesting to see if CPJ makes some changes on the offensive side of the ball, and gets CAG to do the same on the defensive side. Like many, I have my doubts about what changes could be made on the defensive side – we just don’t have the talent on that side of the ball. As far as offense goes, if Vad gets in I hope he proves to be the playmaker many on this board tell me he is. The same for Days. Let’s get our most physically talented folks out there, and set the scheme to maximize their abilities. Might be a recipe for disaster, but who knows…..

DS CE'91

October 4th, 2012
2:38 pm

Oh, forgot one thing…..

GO JACKETS!!!

Forget one other thing – Ken, I think you are doing a bang-up job on the blog.

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
2:45 pm

WnE: A sarcastic post gets a sarcastic response…

Who cares about practice anyways, Vad has been STELLAR in games and scrimmages.

FL Jacket

October 4th, 2012
2:47 pm

GT Joe versus WnE…

TROLL VERSUS TROLL! I love it! Keep fighting boys(sic)!!

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
2:53 pm

Troll? whatever.

Delbert D.

October 4th, 2012
3:01 pm

It seems to me that Johnson ought to be able to put in a package of plays for Lee and the Pistol. You don’t have to pretend that you are not going to pass every time you are going to run a pass play.

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
3:01 pm

Well folks, this is Tevin’s last stand. If he flops, CPJ will use the bye week to prep Vad for the rest of the season.

Of course, Tevin could do what Tevin does, which is have an unexpected good game to buy a few more starts (which will be lousy) and end up finishing the season as starter. In which case we go 4-8.

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
3:03 pm

At least Reggie Ball took us to bowl games. Tevin will end that streak (unless we get beat 56-0 and Tevin has 4 turnovers). In which case Tevin gets benched and the bowl streak lives.

Boy, I’ll be torn during the Clemson game…

Jack G

October 4th, 2012
3:05 pm

Looks like WnE caught G T Joe playing pocket pool

The Truth

October 4th, 2012
3:06 pm

GT Joe….Washington starts the remainder of the season. I know you don’t like and I don’t like it.

CPJ won’t let the fan base dictate his coaching.

Jack G

October 4th, 2012
3:12 pm

I will watch TECH CLEMSON with mixed emotions.

Mixed emotions is when you watch your Mother-In-Law drive your new Lincoln off a cliff

GT Joe

October 4th, 2012
3:14 pm

Truth: seems like he IS letting the fanbase dictate his coaching by keeping TW. As you can see on these blogs, I am in the minority on benching TW. Everyone is caught by the smokescreen of Al Groh. Everyone is making excuses for Tevin: “shouldn’t have gone to OT in the first place” “Greene didn’t make a play on the ball” “we are scoring tons of points, it’s not Tevin’s fault we lose” blah blah blah.

If CPJ had nuts, if he had the guts we THOUGHT he had, he would bench a popular QB, the team captain, the “leader” of the team… but he doesn’t have the nuts to think outside the box, shake things up, go for broke.

So yeah, TW prob starts the rest of the season, unless he has 4 TOs and we lose 56-0. Which could happen actually.

ignition

October 4th, 2012
3:15 pm

Scoring is a problem if when the game is over and the other team has scored a higher number.
GT has to out score there opponents plan and simple..

The Truth

October 4th, 2012
3:21 pm

My understand is the reason why Vad isn’t starting is that he cannot hold onto the ball in practice….you know that pi$$es CPJ off more than anything.

Vad is certainly more talented, but the only way he will start this year is for TW to get hurt or have more TO’s.

yeller bug

October 4th, 2012
4:02 pm

Like a short shot to a golf green with the pin tucked in the corner with traps all around–you want to fire at the pin, but you know you shouldn’t do it. CPJ will want to set up a grind it game plan—run time off the clock, run the TO and try to keep Clemson off the field. Don’t do it. Better to be unpredictable—throw on first down—have Vad run several plays from the pistol intermingled with TW—rotate QBs, change pace—get Clemson off balance. We need to open up the offense—-PLEASE!

Tennessee Jacket

October 4th, 2012
4:13 pm

I feel like in watching Tebow minus the winning when I are Tevin throw, my sister throws harder AND FARTHER than that chump. Lets quit wasting more of the season on that guy and let the people you recruited for us to win games play, it’s complete crap that Tevin is better than Vad. Tevin is a ball hog and runs his own plays when he wants to, he tosses that ball against Miami and we score in overtime. It’s time to tell the truth, Tevin only hold on to the ball because he glues it to his hands, in tired of screaming “bad read” at the TV for half of the game.

Tennessee Jacket

October 4th, 2012
4:13 pm

I feel like in watching Tebow minus the winning when I are Tevin throw, my sister throws harder AND FARTHER than that chump. Lets quit wasting more of the season on that guy and let the people you recruited for us to win games play, it’s complete crap that Tevin is better than Vad. Tevin is a ball hog and runs his own plays when he wants to, he tosses that ball against Miami and we score in overtime. It’s time to tell the truth, Tevin only hold on to the ball because he glues it to his hands, in tired of screaming “bad read” at the TV for half of the game.

Sammy Dawg

October 4th, 2012
4:40 pm

Only 16 minutes left to get your tek tix for Clemson. Do not miss this great opportunity to watch ACC football at face value prices. Plenty of tix left in the tek section. Phone lines are wide open!

Sammy Dawg

October 4th, 2012
4:46 pm

Slow the pace? ACC football is slow enough.

Tennessee jacket

October 4th, 2012
4:53 pm

Who do I call for tix?

Sammy Dawg

October 4th, 2012
4:57 pm

1-888-loseagain