Notes: Tech defense gouged for 601 yards

1. The Georgia Tech defense showed better effort Saturday after a sluggish performance against Middle Tennessee State. Still, Clemson finished the game with 601 yards of offense, the Tigers’ season high.

For Tech, it wasn’t a high, just part of the trend. In the past three games, the Yellow Jackets have allowed 609, 510 and 601 yards in losses to Miami, Middle Tennessee State and Clemson. They’re three of the five highest totals in coach Paul Johnson’s five-year tenure at Tech.

“They’re pretty good offensively,” Johnson said of the Tigers. “They’re the best crowd we’ve played offensively, but it’s been a struggle.”

Tech had three sacks and two interceptions. With outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and cornerback Louis Young back in the lineup after injuries, the unit played with more energy. However, missed tackles repeatedly hurt the Jackets again, the same bugaboo that brought them to ruin in losses to the Hurricanes and Blue Raiders. Clemson players slipped tackles in the backfield multiple times, plays that could have helped end drives but instead extended them.

As per team policy, defensive coordinator Al Groh was not made available for post-game interviews.

2. Groh returned to the sideline to call the game. Last week, Groh went to the coaches box at Johnson’s suggestion to get plays called into the sideline more quickly. This week, Groh described the surroundings as “very sterile” and chose to call plays from the sideline.

Inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, out for the game, secondary coach Charles Kelly and Groh called in plays side-by-side from the sideline with hand signals. Behind them, reserve linebacker Tremayne McNair held up one of a collection of boards with pictures and numbers on it, ranging from ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, a camel, a golfer, a helicopter and a golf ball . Oregon’s offense uses a similar system for signaling in plays from the sideline.

Nose tackle Shawn Green was vague on the operation.

“We were just signaling in,” he said.

3. A-back Orwin Smith continued his run of productive play with 117 rushing yards and a touchdown on only seven carries, a 16.7 yards-per-carry average. He also caught one pass for 32 yards.

“It just happened to go my way a couple times,” Smith said.

Smith was on the receiving end of one of the decisive plays of the game, a safety in which he was tackled in the end zone by linebacker Spencer Shuey after taking a pitch from quarterback Tevin Washington. A missed block opened up the play for Clemson.

“There was a slew of (Clemson) people out there,” Johnson said. “There weren’t many people blocked.”

Smith said he and Washington saw a crease when Washington made the pitch, but that Shuey, hidden behind the Clemson line, shot through to make the stop.

4. Nealy dressed, but sat out the game with an undisclosed injury. It was the first game the redshirt sophomore missed in his career. Jabari Hunt-Days and Daniel Drummond played the two inside linebacker spots.

Center Jay Finch was injured in the first half of the game and did not return. He was replaced by Catlin Alford, who was in the game when a botched snap killed a Tech drive in the third quarter.

“There’s no reason for that,” Johnson said. “We practice that every day.”

Guard Omoregie Uzzi and Smith were also sidelined with injuries but came back into the game.

5. Clemson beat Tech for just the second time in the past seven tries. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is now 2-4 against the Jackets.

The Jackets were ransacked by the Clemson offense. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a career-high 397 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions. He completed 26 of 41 passes.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught seven passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, one of them a 58-yarder.

“It was a complete game and we won every quarter, especially the fourth quarter,” Swinney said. “The second half was a thing of beauty.”

6. A-backs Tony Zenon, Broderick Snoddy, Synjyn Days, Robbie Godhigh and Smith and cornerback Louis Young were among those wearing pink socks or wraps on their arms. October is breast cancer awareness month. Many NFL players are participating by wearing pink on game days. … Linebacker Chris Crenshaw wore jersey No. 40 for the game in honor of former linebacker Julian Burnett, who suffered a career-ending neck injury in last season’s Sun Bowl. … Tech has its bye week coming up and won’t play again until Oct. 20, a home game against Boston College.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

131 comments Add your comment

Go Jackets

October 7th, 2012
11:44 am

This defense is SPENT after 3 quarters becuase of Tevins 2nd half inability to get first downs/and-or CPJ’s play calling. With the buyout, get used to mediocrity for at least one more yr after this one. Then when the cupboard is bare, and no one with any football skill wants to come here, CPJ will be shown the door. I dont hear the Vad Lee praises coming out anymore….apparantly he cant grasp this BRILLIANT(lol)offense of Sir Turkey-Neck!

ramblingbuzz

October 7th, 2012
11:46 am

Anyone heard from Supersizer since the game? He is usually on telling everyone what a great coach CPJ is and just be patient and give him time to work his magic. Here’s the trend: 2010, 6-7; 2011, 8-5 (2-5 last 7 games); so far this year 2-4. This is a program in a death spiral. And there are people out there who really believe Johnson is the answer? Yeah I know he’s not going anywhere, but Johnson’s great 3 O experiment has failed at GT. Might have been different if CPJ had cared about his D in the beginning and gotten the right D coord. But it’s too late now.

Jacket Deflation Nation

October 7th, 2012
11:49 am

Bet we could get him as D/C at Tech.

ramblingbuzz

October 7th, 2012
11:55 am

Anything would be an improvment over Groh. But I’m worried over how long it will take to undo the damage Groh has done, even if we get a decent D Coord.

ramblingbuzz

October 7th, 2012
11:59 am

4-9 in the last 13 games is not even mediocre. We’re looking at another azz whuppin from Duke, BYU, NC and UGA. Maybe a 4-8 season if we are lucky.

gt4ever

October 7th, 2012
12:00 pm

Good Grief George,

Our Offense is terrible! It only scores on teams with terrible defense. It is beyond me how you can correlate Clemson as being a team of Alabama caliber… You go ahead and laugh when people speak the truth, and we (as GT supporters) will all struggle through what has become GT football. Embarrassing and PATHETIC at best!

BS Patrol

October 7th, 2012
12:00 pm

WnE got it right. Tech can field a much better team than this without changing the identity of the school. Tech should beat ga 2 of 5. One in 10 is unacceptable. The problem since Dodd has been the inept hiring of ADs and their subsequent hiring of coaches. How many competent coaches has Tech had in 50 years? Three? In my life I have seen maybe 5 good Tech teams. I don’t expect to be around to see another.

ramblingbuzz

October 7th, 2012
12:09 pm

CU only had a 68% 3rd down conversion rate. Just seemed like it was in the 90% range I guess. Ours was 45% with 0 of 2 4th down conversions.

GT Grad

October 7th, 2012
12:29 pm

Was one of the, maybe 300, fans at Death Valley yesterday. Been going there for years now. Bottom line is the better team won yesterday. And ultimately, gt34backer is right, “Defense wins ballgames and until Tech can recruit Bigger, Stronger, Faster players we’ll have problems against other teams.”

On another note, for those of you who weren’t there yesterday – the Clemson football game atmosphere is like a misguided teenager searching for an identity. It’s this WEIRD mix of Barnum and Bailey on steroids, coupled with a big dose of Kum Ba Yah. They don’t just start out with the national anthem and their alma mater… there’s also My Country ‘Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer… we may even have sung This Little Light of Mine. I lost track. Now, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It just gets weird when all of that show is followed by ALL the Clemson faithful (everyone… 5 year old kids to 70 year old women) foaming orange at the mouth as they yell “You suck!” every time the Tech band plays our 2nd down song. So much for “Go Tech.” You can tell that they feel very clever and delighted with themselves as they yell this throughout the game.

Now, here’s the good part. One of these above-mentioned female Clemson women actually turned around and scolded three Tech students beside us who dared yell out, “Kick their a@$!” as our band was playing in the third quarter. This woman said, ” I have a child here with me. (He looked to be about 12.) You should be ashamed of yourselves for yelling profanity in his ears.” Then I kid you not, the next 2nd down, every member of that family, including the kid, were yelling “You suck” so loudly that they were practically spitting on the people in front of them.

So, yeah, we’re having a downer of a year, but I left Clemson feeling really glad that I don’t wear orange. When the self-righteous fall, they will fall hard.

NATIVE SON

October 7th, 2012
12:35 pm

@wne

The problem is not the major, the problem is academic eligibilty

Pistolpete

October 7th, 2012
12:52 pm

I’m not a Tech fan or supporter but you peple have to recognize it is not Groh, Tenetu, or Wisconsin’s or Central Fla’s or whoever. They don’t have enough good players particularly on defense. For whatever reason, academics too tough, kids would rather not play in the ACC. Although I would hate to go into games with guys who can’t pass any better than Washington and Nesbitt. get better players and alot of them and you’ll be surprised how much of a better team youll have no matter who is OC or DC.

collegeballfan

October 7th, 2012
12:55 pm

Gentlemen,

Discussion of getting rid of Johnson does not account for the Georgia Tech record. Johnson is no better or worse than any other coach Tech has had since 1960.

GT record 1960 to 10/7/2012:

Wins…….328
Losses….268
Ties……….10

That is 25 games over .500 in a 52 year period.

Bottom line: Georgia Tech is a .500 program.

George Stein

October 7th, 2012
1:04 pm

I’m pretty sure you missed the point, gt4ever.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
1:07 pm

@ GT Grad…….I was there yesterday too, and my experience with the Clemson fans was far better than your apparently was. In fact, that was my second trip there in recent years, and both times the Clemson fans treated me (in the MIDDLE of their section, I might add) far better than I have ever been treated in Athens. One Clemson fan near me yesterday even apologized directly to me for the boorish behavior of another fan there who refused to shift his feet so I could get out and go to the john. I almost fell in his lap at one point, which I now wish had happened. I don’t go to many away Tech games, but I have found (much to my surprise) that the Clemson and Notre Dame fans (AT their places) are the nicest around; that’s not so true of their traveling fans though. Even outside the stadium before and after the game in the tail-gate area, there was a lot of good-natured kidding around. One of their fans in the stadium was very complimentary of Tevin, saying that he was glad this was the last time they would have to see him. He was apparently more impressed with Tevin than most of us are. About the game in my next post…….

GT Fan

October 7th, 2012
1:10 pm

carolinajacket
October 7th, 2012
8:33 am
A good game for three quarters, but I agree completely with those who mentioned our complete inability to stop a third and long (if we had, things would have ended very differently) and our complete disregard for field position
——————————————–
13 for 19 for Clemson on 3rd down!! GT’s D is a laughing stock at this point! UNBELIEVABLE how they can play so good on 1st & 2nd down, then, no matter what the down & distance, on 3rd down repeatedly give-up 1st downs! UN-frigin-BELIEVABLE!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
1:15 pm

Well, dammit, the filters blocked my post about the game. I have got to get some lunch now. I will try again when I get back.

yeller bug

October 7th, 2012
1:22 pm

CPJ please play Vad more if nothing more than preparing for next year. Consider the extreme—we’d rather lose the rest of our games and be well prepared for next year, then limp along like we are now. Also, please open up the offense—try throwing 25 times in a game—just humor the fan base and try.

As for D, I’ve always thought the 3-4 was more versatile–it can be a 5-2 against the run or gives you 8 in coverage against the pass. Many claim we don’t have the personnel to run it—no dominant NT or whatever. That may contribute to our dilemma, but our problems are far deeper than that. I think CAG is trying to be too complex–too much inner communication among players—trying to be a pro team. Pro teams don’t shuttle players on and off the field—too much substitution in the college game to maintain effective complex communication. Against spread formations our guys look lost. I rarely see any adjustment to motion—maybe we’re hiding our coverage or maybe we’re clueless about our coverage and I think most often it is the latter and not the former. I stated at the beginning of the season that one stat that we needed to improve upon to do well this year was 3rd down stops. We’ve gotten worse. We give up first downs on 3rd and 10 as easy as we give up first downs on 3rd and 2.

I hope we don’t spend a lot of time practicing our punt return team as it rarely gets on the field. I’d say don’t practice it at all—leave your D out on the field at least you’ll have 11 players out there and won’t waste a time out and give your opponent an opportunity to change their mind and get a first down that leads to a score. That was boneheaded—it would have been better to have let the play go with 10 players than call a time out. That was a gift that Clemson decided to punt in that situation and we gift-wrapped it back to them.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
1:54 pm

OK, I will try again on my thoughts about the game, for whatever they are worth. Because of the unpredictability of the filters, I will make several short posts, instead of one long one.

I thought the D played much better against Clemson, just not good enough. If they had played like that against Miami, and had played at all against MTSU, then maybe those games would have helped them to mature and play a complete game against Clemson. People say we don’t have the talent, and that may be true for the 3-4 scheme, but we do have good talent out there on D. Could it be better? Of course, I doubt that there are many schools who have all the talent they really need or want. But I think we have enough talent to stop the likes of VT, Miami, DEFINITELY MTSU, and Clemson. The players we have are either uncoachable, which is highly unlikely, or just uncoached. GROH MUST GO !!!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
1:58 pm

Offensively we played good enough to win, and until the botched KO reception with no return, and the safety on the ensuing series, it had been a back-and-forth game all afternoon. Believe me when I say the Clemson fans around me were worried, and I was surrounded by them—only 3 Tech fans, including myself to be seen. One of them even told me he was glad this was the last time they would ever have to face Tevin. He thought a lot more of him than most of us do. When we gave up the safety so late, I knew it was over. MAYBE Vad could have salvaged it by passing almost every down, but it didn’t happen.

yellow britches

October 7th, 2012
2:00 pm

One odd aspect of being a Georgia Tech fan is you never see the punter/kicker from the other side. It’s sort of like going to a home interleague game with the Braves. You know the other team has a designated hitter. He is there on the bench for all to see, but he never gets into the game. Enter your comments here

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
2:01 pm

ramblinbuzz, and several others, I am sure, know that I am a big CPJ supporter, but even I realize that unless he beats UGA and wins a couple of others left this year, he is PROBABLY gone next year. It won’t be because DRad WANTS to get rid of him, or, for that matter, because he NEEDS to be gone, but because he is losing (if he has not already lost) too much fan support. He can’t survive without fan support. I don’t necessarily think getting rid of him is the RIGHT thing to do, but, under the circumstances, it may be the BEST thing to do. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it well may.

Biff Pocoroba

October 7th, 2012
2:19 pm

Right now there is too much infighting with the defensive staff. A couple of guys are Groh’s 3-4 disciples and a couple are Johnson’s guys. If they are fighting during the game, this team won’t win again. Look for Groh to be fired tomorrow to try and bring the team back together.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
2:20 pm

@ Biff……I don’t know that I trust anybody else any more than I trust Groh, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

GT Fan

October 7th, 2012
2:25 pm

BAD call by PJ to go for it on GT’s first drive … After his D forced Clemson’s first-and-only punt of the game, he decides to demoralize his D by stubbonly attempting a 4th & 1 FROM HIS OWN 37yd line.

I’m rapidly losing faith in PJ’s coaching/play calling. Where in the hel- did the quick passes to WRs (to stop the DBs that kept knifing in) go in the 2nd half? IMO, one of those plays would’ve been a huge gain on the safety play (perfect time to take advantage of an over-aggressive Clemson D). Instead, PJ played right into the Tigers’ hands and handed them 2 pts … and a free kick!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
2:34 pm

@ GT Fan……attempting a pass out of the end-zone would have made more sense than what they did.

GT Fan

October 7th, 2012
2:43 pm

Another horrible call by PJ was going for it on 4th & 1 on Clemson’s 7 yd line following the Shawn Green INT.

Momentum had change after the INT. GT was UP 28-27. Getting even 3 pts (off the TO) and a 31-27 lead could’ve helped. Instead, the fumbled snapped shifted “mo” right back to Clemson, who calmly converted 3 consecutive 3rd downs (3rd & 7, 37yds….3rd & 10, 23yds….3rd & 13, 15yds) in driving to GT’s 3 to take the leas back with a FG of their own.

GT Fan

October 7th, 2012
2:46 pm

I just watched the highlight of the safety play, SS …… you should go watch, and see just how wide open a WR slant would’ve been on that play.

A 2 step-off-the-ball then slant by the WR might have gone for a TD right up the middle of the field (assuming the WR had enough speed).

yeller bug

October 7th, 2012
2:51 pm

@SS: What’s your insider guy’s take on the game?

I know we gave up 600 yds, but I thought the D played better—we at least had a couple sacks and a couple of INTs. Still cannot come up with a stop on 3rd down.

If you want to blame any group–I’d say the coaches:

1. Going for it early with 4th and 1—wasting a time out and then calling a QB keeper? Come on! That cost us 7 Points.
2. Calling Time Out when Clemson came out to punt—when you’re opponent makes a dumb call, don’t call Time Out so they can reconsider—period—play with 10 players before calling time out. That cost us 7 points.
3. Poor Clock management at end of half. [I know we attempted a FG (missed), but better clock management and not a paniced pistol passing attack there at the end probably would have resulted in points] Still we’ll leave it a 0 points.
4. Calling the TO and pitch when on our own 2 yard line. Cost us 2 points and the ball.

Thus the coaching cost us 16 points and technically more when you consider that we got no points in final two minute offense in the 1st half and a safety is really about a 5 point loss as it typically gives your opponent good field position.

So I wonder what your friend has to say about this game.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
2:56 pm

@ yeller bug……he only goes to home games, so any thoughts he has will have been gained from watching on the tube. Another friend who watched the game on TV said that Johnson chewed Tevin out after that 1st quarter going-for-it on 4th down play. Apparently, Tevin didn’t run the play Johnson called

GT Fan

October 7th, 2012
2:59 pm

How about this stellar, DEFENSIVE STAT ……

Holding a 4th qtr lead in the past 3 games, GT has been outscored, 17-3, 14-7, and 14-0 in those games. Outscored 45-10 in those 45 minutes, and a nice 0-3 record to show for it.

Al Groh is awesome! I know GT is lacking depth, in a big way, but AG should be able find a way to skeem at D to have won at least one of the past 3 games ….

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
3:01 pm

@ GT Fan…….couldn’t agree more

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:02 pm

No other coach in the country, including those with better offenses, goes for it on 4th and one at their own 37 yard line.
The list of failed attempts from our side of the field is starting to add up.
Both the VT and Miami games had such failed attempts.
Then to top it off, CPJ failed to go for it and save the season vs Miami late in the game near midfiled when one more 1st down would have won it.
Choked?
I agree with the comment made about incompetent ADs hiring crummy coaches.
Not to mention incompetent ADs using flawed contract wording.
Maybe Jesus should get an automatic renewal contract but no one else.
And I agree that CPJ should not have had his pay raised from 1.6 to over two million so soon.
.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:05 pm

Head football coaches should not be allowed to tear up contracts to go somewhere else.
Not if the AD can’t tear it up too when they are fired.
Too many colleges have invented a new form of “welfare”; paying multi-millionaire fired football head coaches to do nothing.

Big Dog 89

October 7th, 2012
3:08 pm

It over for the Yellow Jackets.
You can’t beat anybody.

Big Dog 89

October 7th, 2012
3:09 pm

Tech needs a college coach…not a high school coach and offense plan.

Big Dog 89

October 7th, 2012
3:10 pm

Tech will be lucky if they win one additional game this season.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:11 pm

Funny how Clemson fans have a much greater respect for Tevin than most on these boards.
The sequence where we passed the ball and went right down the field in record time (for the TO), I’m curious why that was not tried again.
I also did not see anything special about running the TO on third down toward the short side of the field.
The short field seemed to make it easier to defend.
As a sidewalk fan, I’ll be debating the next two weeks whether to attend.

yeller bug

October 7th, 2012
3:12 pm

Somehow my comment got filtered but it stated similar to what you wrote Jacket Detective—the first people Tech should fire is our lawyers for not only lack of defense of Tech in NCAA supposed violations, but in writing poor contracts for coaches.

As to SS—well his opinion would be worthwhile since he knows what goes on along the sideline during home games. If Tevin keeps making mental mistakes—pass in OT vs VT, check play in OT vs Miami, check play vs Clemson on 4th down—how long is CPJ going to stick with him? Also, barring wrecking a motor cycle with a co-ed or driving drunk wearing red pan ties, CPJ will be with us until 2016—Tech cannot afford to fire him—ref the fire our lawyers comment above.

Dawghater

October 7th, 2012
3:14 pm

To get an idea of how bad we are. VT was beat by Pitt easily. Miami was hammered by K St and ND. VA is simply awful. They were hammered by La Tech & Duke. Please tell me who we beat who is left this yr?

We may win one or two more maybe? We end up with 3 or 4 wins total! That puts CPJ on the list of one of the worst records in years! D Rad has a problem and it now starts with HIM!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
3:17 pm

@ Big Dog 89……Don’t you think you have to worry about in Athens? Spurrier now has a record of something like 11 – 4 against the mutts, and the mutts are 2 – 8 against ranked opponents since 2012. Does the term “glass house” mean anything to you, bubba?

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
3:19 pm

that should have read……”Don’t you think you have ENOUGH to worry about in Athens?”

Supersize that order, mutt

October 7th, 2012
3:24 pm

@ yeller bug……. I know the lawyers set us up bad in this situation, and, to be honest, I still have hopes for Johnson, but there comes a point of diminishing returns, and IF he has turned off enough of the fan base to mean keeping him loses more fans and decreases ticket sales even more, then what choice do we really have? Let’s just hope he can still put it all together. I believe that he CAN, but he’s got a ways to go to do it.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:26 pm

Misery sure does love company.
I was going to say something mean on the dawg blog but all their fans beat me to it.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:35 pm

@Supersize.
Why have we gone for it on 4th from our side of the field at least three times this year?
If the answer is he doesn’t trust his D, then maybe he should fire someone by now.
Tevin was allowed to throw the pass play after play on one drive and we went down the field in record time for the TO.
One pass every ten plays puts pressure on both the QB and the WRs.
If the pass is bad, everyone screams at Tevin.
If the WR, getting one or two passes a game, drops it, then our fans turn on him too.
Consider the dislike by many of Stephen Hill.
I like both Hill and Washington.
I didn’t like Bear Bryant but he took the blame more convincingly than CPJ or CAG ever will.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:38 pm

@yeller bug.
Agreed.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:38 pm

@yeller bug.
Agreed.

Alabama Jack

October 7th, 2012
3:38 pm

I’ve never been one of those fire the coach kind of guys, but I would support the retirement of Al Groh sooner rather than later. Also, anybody looking at VT with Frank Beemer. Not their finest hour either.

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:42 pm

@Alabama Jack.
And if we do not beat VT on a down year, when will we?
Did we have to play that game on Sept 3rd?
A loss on an important first game can lead to disaster.
Add a second loss and the team goals are gone and have to be reset.
Curious if DRAD could have said no to ESPN.

1 4 GT

October 7th, 2012
3:44 pm

BD 89….strange you would come here to spread your filth after the pitiful showing your Dwags put on last night….couldn’t even score on USCe’s #1 D….and with about 3 minutes left in the game at that, or less….so git along lil doggie….and don’t leave no mess behind

Jacket Detective

October 7th, 2012
3:48 pm

BTW if anyone likes beating the dawgs more than us, it is Steve Spurrier.
He was so happy he agreed to a late interview on ESPN with the stadium empty.
Talk about a great hire, there is one of the best football hires ever.
He turned a program that had never won into a top program in the toughest conference.