Tech line trying to meet Sewak’s standard

In only six games, Georgia Tech’s season has made space for two overtime losses, the dismissal of the defensive coordinator and, among other things, two fans falling (without serious injury) off of Bobby Dodd Stadium railings. At least one integral component of Georgia Tech’s football team remains unchanged.

The Yellow Jackets continue to flog opponents with their running game. Tech is averaging 331.0 yards per game, third in the country. After six games, they’re a few feet ahead of the school-record average, 329.7 yards per game in 1975.

“I think they’re doing great,” quarterback Tevin Washington said of Tech’s offensive linemen. “I can’t complain.”

Others are a little more discriminating. The coach of the Tech offensive line, which brought back four full-time starters from last year’s team, finds room for improvement.

Said Mike Sewak, “It’s not up to my expectations.”

In the bye week preceding Saturday’s game against Boston College, the line devoted time to defensive line stunts and linebacker blitzes. The line has had some trouble consistently handling both maneuvers, Sewak said.

Tech has given up nine sacks on 90 pass attempts, four of them in the disastrous loss to Middle Tennessee State. In the ACC, only Maryland has a lower rate of passes per sack. Sewak said the line has devoted particular attention to pass protection in obvious passing situations.

“We worked hard on it,” Sewak said. “I thought we’d be better at it. We have not.”

Tech’s third-down efficiency is down from 53.9 percent a year ago, which was second in the country, to 45.5 percent. For a second consecutive year, the B-back production has been below standard. There have been also a handful of notable failures in 4th-and-short situations, most recently in the first quarter of the loss to Clemson on Tech’s 37-yard line.

“I don’t care what the scenario is, as any line guy would tell you, 4th and inches is 4th and inches,” Sewak said. “If you’ve got to go for it, you’ve got to get it.”

Injuries have hindered cohesion. Tech had hoped that offensive tackle Morgan Bailey could stay healthy and start at right tackle, but he has only recently begun playing regularly. Will Jackson, who moved to tackle from guard because of Bailey’s absence, center Jay Finch and guards Shaquille Mason and Omoregie Uzzi have missed parts of games with injuries.

That said, Tech’s scoring average. 37.8 points per game, is higher than every Jackets team but once since 1921. According to, Tech is tied for first in the country with most plays of 30 yards or more with 24. If Washington had enough passes to qualify, he would be ranked 13th in the country in passing efficiency.

“There’s always room for improvement, but if you watch the tape, we really didn’t have any glaring mistakes,” Jackson said. “But there were plays that, if a guy had gotten his block or gotten his block a little better, then it would have been a long touchdown.”

At the end of the first half of the loss to Clemson, Jackson just missed on a downfield block of a safety who ended up being the last man between A-back Orwin Smith and the goal line. Had Jackson been able to put Jonathan Meeks on the ground, a 33-yard run would have been a touchdown. Instead of giving up the ball after a missed field goal, Tech could have taken a 28-27 lead.

With a 2-4 record, the Jackets need to stack up wins in order to gain a bowl berth and earn back respect. The offensive line, still arguably the best unit on the team, may have to bear a heavy portion of that load. With the Tech defense, now under the direction of interim coordinator Charles Kelly, an unknown quantity, ball control and scoring may be an even more valuable assets than they have been for Johnson’s teams and could require the line’s best.

The Jackets start with Boston College, ranked No. 117 in run defense out of 120 FBS teams, but the Eagles are followed by BYU (No. 3 in run defense), Maryland (tied for No. 9) and North Carolina (No. 14).

If a group that typically avoids attention would like a piece of it, it has its opportunity.

“I think (fans) are going to see a lot more energy out of us, better play out of us,” Beno said.

In case you missed it…

Bohannon sees ‘arrows up’ for Lee

Notes: Tech seeking second-half rally

Johnson on defense: ‘We don’t need 80 calls’

Could Tech win the Coastal?

Tech notes: Washington firm at quarterback

Tech needing Attaochu’s spark

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura

70 comments Add your comment

[...] Tech offensive line trying to meet Sewak’s standard [...]

bob in nc

October 17th, 2012
10:06 pm

what we need is an offense that consistently moves the ball and can make the 3rd or 4th and short, something we have been missing this year


October 17th, 2012
10:10 pm

I just want to see body blocks instead of missed cut blocks. A missed cut is twice as bad as a missed body block because with a missed cut you end up on the ground and the play has passed you by.

Go Jackets!

Ga Tech Old Timer

October 17th, 2012
10:33 pm

Bob –

Also, what we need is a new play to run when the fourth down fake is on – trying to pull the other team off sides. That play is sooooooo worn out. That play is the ONLY fake play we have. Guess what coach??? Every team we’ve played with the exception of one has NOT jumped off sides because they ALL KNOW exactly what’s going to happen. Imagine the surprise of the defense if Johnson would actually RUN a play out of that formation – pass or run.

And could we please consider a different play other than the QB keeper or running back up the middle when we actually do decide to go for it on fourth down??? Something like a quick pass would be nice for a change.

Same goes with the QB keeper or run up the middle on the goal line. Ever think about a quick pass out into the flat or a toss sweep around the end???

I know I’m not getting paid the big bucks to call the plays – but come on – Is this what our UGA detractors mean when they say we have a high school offense? You would think the Offensive coach could come up with a better plan for these critical downs. If I’m not mistaken, Johnson’s remarks after games when these plays come into question generally go something like this – “I called the play – it’s up to them to make it work. Somebody didn’t do something right and that’s why it failed” It was the right play for that time”.

GT Fan

October 17th, 2012
10:45 pm

Dear George Stein,
I thought you were one of those geniuses who claimed “everyone has figured-out PJ’s offense” …..

Just kidding Stein! I’m with you, as has been evident from my posts following the Miami debacle ….
“it ain’t the O, Groh’s gotta go!”

GT Fan

October 17th, 2012
10:49 pm

BJ Bostic on O
Chris Milton on D

I want to see these 2 get more PT!

GT Joe

October 18th, 2012
12:00 am

Old Timer: Actually, on 4th down at the goal line in OT vs Miami, CPJ DID call a toss sweep around the end to Orwin Smith. Only problem: TW misread the defense, called an audible, kept the ball, and ran into the worst possible hole. Result: No gain. Failed conversion. Game over.



October 18th, 2012
12:25 am

FYI Joe, the play in ot vs Miami wasn’t Tevins fault. Fast forward to about 4:23 and you will see that Miamis defenders were in Techs backfield. Tevin did the right thing now give it up you dumbass.

GT Fan

October 18th, 2012
12:29 am

Macon …

If TW had pitched the ball, Orwin scores ….. untouched.

I’ve seen it a bunch already this season on short yardage plays….Tevin calls his own #. Look back at most these plays and see how “open” the Aback would’ve been had TW pitched.


October 18th, 2012
12:33 am

LooK at that play GT Fan, 3 defenders were n the backfield. There was no pitching that ball. He saw it and did the right thing. Rather him at least try and come up short, than try to pitch and fumble.

GT Fan

October 18th, 2012
12:41 am

Tech’s third-down efficiency is down from 53.9 percent a year ago, which was second in the country, to 45.5 percent. For a second consecutive year, the B-back production has been below standard. There have been also a handful of notable failures in 4th-and-short situations, most recently in the first quarter of the loss to Clemson on Tech’s 37-yard line.

“I don’t care what the scenario is, as any line guy would tell you, 4th and inches is 4th and inches,” Sewak said. “If you’ve got to go for it, you’ve got to get it.”
GT’s offense, even without 2008-2010 Bback production, has been good enough to win 9-11 in both 2011 and this season. Get that production back, and 75% production is a definite possibility. Which would mean GT could hold the ball for 35+ minutes on a regular basis.

GT Fan

October 18th, 2012
12:43 am

I’ve look at the play 50 times Macon … if TW’s got the confidence to pitch the ball it’s a TD … check mate, you lose.

dry dirt road

October 18th, 2012
6:45 am

Now that Groh is gone maybe Tech can win the rest of the games. Hiring Groh after he had lost to Tech under Gailey was probably not a good idea, and he never got accepetd by the players. Also maybe he wanted to get back at Tech since he lost that game in Atl, so he made the defense too complicated and allowed third down completions.

dry dirt road

October 18th, 2012
6:56 am

I think Clemson should have been called for too much movement in the backfield on offenseive plays with all that running to the sides prior to the snaps, at times by two players on the same play. I also think that those quick arm movements downward by the qb when in shotgun formations is no different than a balk in baseball by a pitcher and should not be allowed. Those arm movements might cause the defense to jump offsides, which is what they probably are designed to do. But still that’s like a pitcher winding up to pitch, going forward with his arm and then not pitching it, faking it instead, which is a balk. I think a balk might be an immediate walk to first base for the batter, as if he was hit by a pitch.

dry dirt road

October 18th, 2012
7:09 am

For Tech to win the rest of the games, they are going to have to quit tryng the middle with dive plays unless they can control the l o s like they did against Presbyterian and those runs off center and guard by Laskey. Paul keeps trying the middle such as after big gains, and it just doesn’t open up. Most teams try passes after big gains to get downfield quicker. Tech should pass it to Autry, he had a stellar run after his catch against Clemson. A big, quick defensive line and good LBs will shut down Tech’s runs, guaranteed, so they’re going to need qb draws and passes from a passive, safe area that a pistol affords the qb. They might need a wildcatblocking arrangment of two backs, double six shooters, for the qb, not just a pistol. Tech hasn’t lined up in an entire student body run downfield for pass receptions shotgun yet, which is what the original shotgun is designed to do- to have 4 to 5 receivers to pass it to, 2 wrs, 2 backs and perhaps 1 tight end.

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
7:17 am

Had CPJ made a hire for D coordinator as good as Edsel did at Maryland, we would be a top ten program.
I do not understand why Groh was allowed to observe Tech practice in 2009.
It is difficult enough for us fans to get an invite.
Did Groh shake Wommack’s hand hoping he would fail if they met.
What a guy.
I particularly dislike Groh for bringing Tevin’s play into question.
Top running offense of all time at Tech and 2nd in scoring.
Tied for 1st nationally in plays of over 30 yards.
To listen to some of you, I’d think we were back in the Curry days of one win seasons.
Boy was Bill Curry lucky the fans had no internet to voice their frustrations.
Tevin was the hero of the bowl game, the VT game and the Miami game.
U let a team back in the game, you’ll lose most times.
Groh has failed Tech big time and was one of our worse coordinator hires ever.
Had we hired someone like Stewart at Maryland who turned a demoralized D around immediately, we would be top ten and maybe even undefeated.
Tevin has exceeded expectations.
Just as the Falcons coaches were to blame for the 1980 playoff collaspe to Dallas, the coaches are to blame for this mediocre season.
BTW, Bartkowski could not get the Falcons O going after the choking coaches revived Dallas.
Groh wrecked two programs, first his alma mater and then us.


October 18th, 2012
7:18 am

Ditto to everything Ga Tech Old Timer wrote. There are so many opportunities for big plays out of our offensive sets if we did something different than what everyone in the stadium knows is coming. Just imagine a quick hitter to a wideout when we try the “line up and see if we can get them to jump offsides” formation on the opponents 40 yard line. The defense is already back on their heals instructed not to be aggressive. Even if it didn’t work, the next time you lined up in the same formation the defense would really question what you were about to do. Oh well, I guess that’s why I’m in sales and not wearing a headset on Saturdays.

dry dirt road

October 18th, 2012
7:20 am

I’d like to see Tech win the rest of the games, but there are many reasons why it is difficult to do that, such as, for instance, no alumni apparel offered to Tech grads like me. If a grad wanted to go to a game and it was cold, he or she could not purchase an alum sweatshirt to wear to the game. He or she would already have had to have purchased the sweatshirt in the past. The same goes for alum t-shirts. Also, whenever they are offered, you have to identify with all alums, and cannot wear something that has your class year you graduated on it, which for me was a pre-Buzz era year, 1973, which I would prefer over the 1982 and beyond Buzz era. Some alum stuff is offered, such as license plates, but Tech grads would have to go to a cold game and freeze.

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
7:26 am

I am hoping coach Kelly can turn the defense around like Stewart did at Maryland.
Stewart’s enthusism and willingness to blitz made the difference.
It is going to be more difficult to pull off the same thing here at midseason with less time to practice but that is what I am hoping for.
I think Maryland was 3-9 in 2011.
Playing great defense now with just about the same players.

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
7:30 am

I think more of us would have gone into coaching had we known coaches were going to become so overpaid.
And if I had known I could makeup something like 3 years of lettering at New Hampshire, then I might had applied myself.

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
7:33 am

@dry dirt road.
I have all kinds of Tech cold weather clothes.
Why is there a problem now?

jacket fan in wisconsin

October 18th, 2012
8:03 am

I’m thinking 3-3 over the last 6 games. Wins against BC, BYU ( may be very tough because they also play Air Force TO ), and Duke. Losses on the road at Md, UNC and UGA. Sorry, no bowl this year. Prospects should be VERY bright for next year, however.


October 18th, 2012
8:06 am

What about the counter plays and mis-direction runs we saw in the past by CPJ?

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
8:08 am

We’ll see.
I can’t venture a prediction not knowing how much our defense will be improved from Groh’s no blitzing, let the other QB feel right at home, style.
I am hoping we can change like Maryland did.

jacket fan in wisconsin

October 18th, 2012
8:14 am

Detective, I’m hoping for more, but you’re right. BYU will be huge IMO. Apparently they are not a great road team. But if we struggle against BC, look out . Just don’t know where the D is right now emotionally, recharged or struggling.

I see that GT Fan, er, GT Joe, er whatever his handle is now...

October 18th, 2012
8:20 am

…is still whining over the UM play at the goal line that did not win the game…he/she really has some problems that cannot be solved on this blog, just like Tech’s problems cannot be solved by having a non-commited, RS freshman who does not want to compete, play at QB…

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
8:40 am

@I see…
Agreed and well said.


October 18th, 2012
8:41 am

Went to the GA Southern vs Wofford game and the 1st thing I noticed was that the OTs in both their versions of the wing T option don’t always get in a stances. Techs do not mostly when throwing. So maybe change it up a bit PJ so that they don’t always know when Tech will pass. I belive this will also help with the scoop block or non playside block. Most definitely help getting to the second level of blocking.
The other thing I saw was that counters are more effect and called more than the Tech reverse out option. Counters run out of the basic flow to me always seem to work better than the Tech QB reverse out that takes longer to develop.
But really to win more games the paper thin defensive players have got to step and stop worrying on who can’t play but who can. Looking forward to seeing the new scheme.

Smyrna Gold

October 18th, 2012
9:18 am

Run the table?? I’m not so sure BC is a gimme, much less UNC, DUKE, and MARYLAND. Don’t see Tech winning more than 2 of the last 6 games. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see that much of a turn around after firing Groh. The talent and coaching level has not improved overnight.

5150 UOAD

October 18th, 2012
9:21 am

Tech has some great STATS but not when we NEED them and that is why we are 2-4. I haven’t been on the Offense’s back but they still have to do so much better on 3rd & 4th downs. Making those plays also takes pressure off the Defense.

Jacket Man

October 18th, 2012
9:23 am

MaconGTFan; Tevin’s play in OT against Miami WAS his fault. HE changed the play provided to him by Paul Johnson, then went the wrong way on the play HE called. Now if that’s not TEVIN’S issue, I’m not sure what else would be.

Here’s the other main problem with Tevin; he’s not a team leader, regardless of what anyone tries to say otherwise. He doesn’t command confidence from his teammates, nor does he try to get it from them. Whereas Joshua Nesbitt willed the team to wins by never personally giving up, or ever acting like he was ever satisfied, on the field of play, or even on the sideline, Tevin runs out of bounds, and sits alone on the bench forcing teammates to try to get of the guys’ morale back up or focus back on the game, etc.

This is why when games were close, Joshua Nesbitt’s teams won a large majority of them, and Tech played more than 10 “tight” games when Joshua was the starting QB, and the Jackets have only one out of nearly ten with Tevin as the starting QB. Numbers don’t lie.


October 18th, 2012
9:26 am

After losing by 21 points to MTSU at home, it’s clear that this is a poor team with ZERO guaranteed wins left. We have no chance against UGA unless their whole starting unit gets thrown out of school. Of the games we have a chance in, we will have to go 4-1 to become bowl eligible. Tall order for a team with no playmakers.

DOC 51

October 18th, 2012
9:29 am

CPJ has trouble getting his players to play hard each SATURDAY.He must be one of the worst motivators ever.Also some GT fans are starting to call CPJ out on his call-in show over his lack of leadership on defense.I love that because he has totally dropped the ball on defense.DEFENSE wins championships.


October 18th, 2012
9:31 am

just beat uga


October 18th, 2012
9:32 am

Roll the tape—– wow if id only hit my man—- wow if you just knocked your man off line—- wow if we could just play with out injury— wow ifs and butts—- this is the “Sewak” standard!!!


October 18th, 2012
9:32 am

GT Fan is right on the Miami game. TW had changed the play and the O line went to block for the toss sweep. That is why 3 Miami guys were unblocked and crushed TW. The toss was there because that is where the O line was told to go. Sorry Macon but GT Fan is correct this time.


October 18th, 2012
9:33 am

ppg? seriuosly-with PC the outlier?


October 18th, 2012
9:37 am

I’m begining to really hate this offense..
In an era featuring dynamic offenses the Triple Option should only be a facet of an offense not the base.
Tech doesn’t throw nearly enough and teams adjust in the second half particular in the fourth quarter and throttled it. CPJ hasn’t & won’t adjust his offense not only to make it more dynamic but to the players that he has available on the field..

4 recievers 6′3 or better, yet Tech rarely passes the ball. No quick slants, no fade patterns “Jump Balls” in the redzone, no post routes. The best thing you can say about Tech receivers is they block down field.

Most teams make use of their fastest players and find ways to get them on the field. Yet No Bostic sighting for two games. Synjyn Day’s has been all wasted on the sidelines..Snoddy has touched the field.

Tempo and time management has been terrible. Play calling questionalbe.. Execution at times poor. Against every quality opponent and Middle Tennessee flat out spanked em.

Smyrna Gold

October 18th, 2012
9:50 am

I think all Tech fans naturally want to see Tech win and be competitive even when we lose. But, let’s face it; Tech is 2 – 4 over the last 6 games with a somewhat easy schedule and 4 and 9 over the last 13 games. The football team has consistently gone downhill under CPJ’s leadership with no improvement in sight. It’s not like we have a super recruiting class coming in or great young talent returning next year. If a team is going to significantly improve after a new coach comes on board, it should be very evident in the 5th year. Something is not right and it all points to the AD and head coach.

Sorry, Honestly & JacketMan...

October 18th, 2012
9:51 am

…but YOU are wrong, not MaconGTFan –

Tevin, as CPJ pointed out, did change the play at the line, due to Miami’s original defensive alignment, from CPJ’s call for a toss sweep or speed option (don’t know which). When Miami changed its alignment prior to the snap, per CPJs’ rule that the QB can only audible once, TW was stuck with runningt the play to which he had changed – unfortunately, it appears that nobody understood that the play call had been changed and they were still blocking for the outside play to Orwin, which, unfortunately, left the three Miami defenders completely unblocked and which blew up the play.

Hence, we are left here to re-hash who was right and who was wrong her three weeks later, but we still have the four losses, no matter who was right and who was wrong.


October 18th, 2012
9:55 am

Since YOU decided to engage the all caps tone. Who’s fault is it that the ENTIRE O line didn’t hear the audible. Hmmm maybe the quarterback?????


October 18th, 2012
10:09 am

I mostly agree with Johnson when he said Washington isn’t the problem. We score that much per game, the offense is doing its job. The defense on the other hand….

But the concept that the defense can’t prepare since the scout team isn’t as fast as other team’s offenses, and the starting offense plays differently than other team’s offenses has to be considered. I hadn’t thought about that factor till someone pointed it out to me, but it makes a lot of sense. The defense can’t practice against even a reasonable facsimile of what they will be facing on Saturdays, and there’s nothing Al Groh or anyone else can do to change that.

But even YOU, Honestly...

October 18th, 2012
10:29 am

…admitted that the play was changed – so, if the play was changed, and CPJ and TW admit that it was changed, and the O line did not get the call, then I believe that that is why we are having the is discussion on blog that deals with the O line coach and the lack of results this year from said O line – D’OH…

Tech Fan Since 1950

October 18th, 2012
10:42 am

Oh, if we just had a defense.

Buddy Landel

October 18th, 2012
10:49 am

I’m seeing a few screen names I’ve never seen before argue on the anti-TW side re: the play vs. Miami. If this is indeed the same clown, ban him or at least call him out. Pretty sad when you have to create a new name to agree with yourself. This is rampant on the Braves beat blog. I wish the ajc would do something about it.

1 4 GT

October 18th, 2012
11:09 am

I keep seeing Tech’s offense or defense can’t possibly practice against upcoming opponents schemes because the scout team is “incapable” of mimicking the opponent. And here I have been thinking Tech guys are smart. Here’s how it goes. Per NCAA rules teams must exchange game video of each other. This helps keep things sorta competitive. The coaches study these videos & look for trends & preferences. Then the “scout” team offense mimics that particular scheme “the best they can”. This is done for both offense & defense. Does anyone really believe that GT only practices against themselves? That is exactly the way I (and from other comments in the past, others do too) read your comments. That would be beyond idiotic. How well the team learns from these sessions might be another matter, but they do see the opponents offensive & defensive schemes & tendencies. Selah.


October 18th, 2012
11:22 am

“…the Eagles are followed by BYU (No. 3 in run defense), Maryland (tied for No. 9) and North Carolina (No. 14).”

That makes me really nervous about whether or not we’ll reach bowl eligibility this season. I really don’t want to see the streak come to an end. LET’S GO JACKETS! Get it done.

TechApp fan

October 18th, 2012
12:30 pm

2-4 and 3rd in rushing. Does that 3rd make me feel any better?

Jacket Detective

October 18th, 2012
12:32 pm

Does anyone have the stats for the Falcons 1980 4th qt meltdown? (kidding)
Bartkowski, who had torched the Dallas secondary for 3 quarters, could suddenly do nothing.
That game was like the Miami game.
The coaches choked and it cost Leeman Bennett his job eventually.
The coaches going into a shell with a quarter to play set the Falcons back ten years at least.
They still have that same rep, don’t they?
Bad coaches do that to u at any level.
What would Tevin’s rep be if, miracle of miracles, the D made a stop in the 4th quarter vs VT?
He would have been thought clutch for a game-winning drive.
Heck just a tackle would have won the game.

GT Fan

October 18th, 2012
12:34 pm

jacket fan in wisconsin…

BYU, while their D is stout, does not play Air Force in 2012. I attended the BYU-Oregon St game last Saturday, and OS had a few nice runs. I’m optimistic GT will be fine vs. the Cougars. Plus, the Cougs are @ ND this Saturday, then back to Provo, then back to ATL. Tough travel/preperation schedule, IMO, which should help GT.

Same travel/prep situation with BC this Saturday.