Tech notes: Pocket containment key vs. BYU

1. For Georgia Tech, the answer to its pass-rush problems isn’t chasing after the quarterback with blind fury. At least not this week.

Coaches have been preaching “rush-lane integrity” – defensive linemen staying in their assigned gaps rather than roaming wide to get to the quarterback – in order to contain BYU quarterback Riley Nelson, an agile passer capable of making plays with his feet.

“We’ve got to stay in our gap, don’t peek, don’t try to go make somebody else’s job,” said David Walkosky, Tech’s defensive line coach and special-teams coordinator. “Do your job.”

Against Boston College, Tech had two sacks of Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig, who had 31 pass attempts. One sack was on Boston College’s final drive with the game in hand. Rettig was occasionally pressured, but often was comfortable in the pocket.

Coach Paul Johnson said that the pass-rush pressure is better than it may sometimes seem during games, but acknowledged that it is an issue. Blitz pressure might be the answer, but is hardly the only one.

“I think anybody will tell you that, no matter when you pressure, you’ve still got to beat blocks,” interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly said. “There’s no way to outnumber people every time. When you start doing that, you start leaving yourself vulnerable to other things, which can create big plays.”

With a comfortable lead against Boston College and the team in only its first game with Kelly calling the shots, the Yellow Jackets didn’t unveil the full array of pressure schemes.

“We were just doing a lot of basic stuff,” inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy said. “We weren’t running too many blitzes, trying to corrupt the pass like that.”

2. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall is unusual for this much. He is looking forward to playing against Tech’s option-based spread offense.

Typically, coaches bemoan facing Tech because players have difficulty adjusting to the demands of defending the Jackets’ option game. Mendenhall, who doubles as the Cougars’ defensive coordinator, did no bemoaning.

“I am passionate about” scheming for it, he said. “I like it a lot. I have good days and bad days defending the option. More good than bad, but when you’re playing it well, it’s very gratifying. When you’re not, you’re helpless. So there is an extra sense of urgency, but I like the challenge.”

BYU last faced an offense similar to Tech’s in 2010, when Air Force lit up the Cougars for 409 rushing yards in a 35-14 win. The defense was under the direction of Jaime Hill, whom Mendenhall fired later that season. Mendenhall told the Salt Lake Tribune that this will be the 15th or 16th time he has faced an option offense.

In situations like this when the Tech staff is unfamiliar with a team or coordinator, the coaching staff tries to find past games when the opponent’s coaches faced similar offenses. Failing that, coach Paul Johnson said this week, “you look at it and you gauge, as a coach, if you had their people and their scheme, how would you line up? That’s kind of the way I’ve always done it.”

3. Part of Tech’s solution with the field-goal unit may be the return of holder Sean Poole, who had been out since the Miami game after suffering an upper-body injury making a tackle after a punt. Since then, Justin Moore had been the holder until Moore himself became the kicker when David Scully was replaced at halftime of the Boston College game. David Sims held for Moore.

Scully had missed four of his past five field-goal tries, and then Moore made one of two and missed a point-after try. Walkosky tried to avoid discrediting the other holders, but noted that Poole held for both Moore and Scully last season, and then over the summer and into this season.

“Shoot, he’s the quarterback of your operations,” Walkosky said of the holder. “I think the kickers feel good about having him in there.

In case you missed it…

Surgery probable for Tech’s Holton

Finch motivated by Tech streaks

Notes: Tech faces age-gap challenge vs. BYU

Notes: Johnson’s concerns about BYU

Notes: Field-goal unit needing repair

Tech-Maryland at 12:30 p.m.

Tech vs. highly ranked run defenses

With BYU next, no-huddle issues loom for Tech

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

66 comments Add your comment

GTGirl

October 24th, 2012
9:54 pm

Ken, thanks for all the articles tonight!

Ken Sugiura

October 24th, 2012
10:03 pm

you bet. thanks for reading. more tomorrow.

George Stein

October 24th, 2012
10:10 pm

Any feel for how many tickets have been sold, Ken? Figured BYU would bring a tad more folks than BC.

Ken Sugiura

October 24th, 2012
10:11 pm

from a standpoint of tickets sold, i think it’s close to 50K, actually. i’m planning to write about it tomorrow.

George Stein

October 24th, 2012
10:12 pm

Thanks, Ken.

Stephen CC

October 24th, 2012
10:12 pm

As always, thanks for the good reporting, Ken. Hopefully we are adequately prepared for this team and ready to play physical, smart football on Saturday. GO JACKETS!!!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 24th, 2012
10:40 pm

@ Ken……good article as usual. And thanks for whatever you (or whoever) has done this week to get rid of the name thiefs……at least for the time being. I haven’t seen any since Sunday, nor have I seen “Barry’s Uncle”. Wonder if he was the name thief…..hmmm

Supersize that order, mutt

October 24th, 2012
10:41 pm

I guess I should have added, “Knock on wood.” LOL

1 4 GT

October 24th, 2012
11:04 pm

1 4 GT

October 24th, 2012
11:06 pm

Supersize……UHHH….I sent you & Ken & P E A C O C K E the same email earlier tonite. The NAME THIEF has been here every day this week so far.

GT Fan

October 24th, 2012
11:09 pm

Use Jemea and/or Chris Milton to “spy” Nelson, and hit him EVERY (legal) chance they get. RN has a penchant for making mistakes. Don’t let this be the game he looks like a Heisman candidate!

Supersize that order, mutt

October 24th, 2012
11:16 pm

@ 1 4 GT…..check your email

1 4 GT

October 24th, 2012
11:22 pm

email received read & replied to Super

Old Dog

October 25th, 2012
6:34 am

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

5150 UOAD

October 25th, 2012
7:35 am

Should be a nice weekend for the game. Hope to see the TAILGATERS and it sounds like we will have a BYU fan and his wife join us.

KEN if you are coming to the Game maybe you can stop by and say Hi to the Blog Guys.

I plan on being there and GT Lee is coming with me.

GT Dude

October 25th, 2012
8:28 am

Tailgating will be epic this weekend.
Over 40 alumni, friends, and students will at ours
GO JACKETS!!!

BYU Fan in FL

October 25th, 2012
10:24 am

Yep I plan on being there!!!!! went and followed the directions I was given while looking at google maps….should be easy enough….will be there as soon as i can….cant wait for saturday!!!!!

[...] &#1110n th&#1077&#1110r assigned gaps r&#1072th&#1077r th&#1072n roaming … Read more &#959n Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) You can leave a response, or trackback from your own [...]

Augusta Jacket

October 25th, 2012
11:17 am

Gonna hate missing this one.

jacket

October 25th, 2012
11:22 am

Am I right in seeing that Tech is a 2.5 point favorite in this game?? That surprised me after seeing how strong BYU played ND last week.

It must have to do with the fact that BYU does not have an extra week to prepare. If they did, I expect they would be favored by 7.

Supersize that order, mutt

October 25th, 2012
11:23 am

@ Augusta Jacket……sorry to have missed you last Saturday. Sorry you won’t be here this week too

BYU Fan in FL

October 25th, 2012
11:40 am

My guess is because BYU hasnt won on the road….and there average margin of loss….you guessed it by about 2.5 :) That is my theory…..QB and turnovers in the ultimate factor he hangs on to the ball we win…he doesnt you guys do..pretty simple this week I think

Jacket Detective

October 25th, 2012
11:40 am

@jacket.
Look at the schedules.
BYU not so impressive.
Miss State is 7-0.
Are they going to stay with 2 TDs of Bama this weekend?
Computer simulation average scores has BYU 26.2 GT25.2.
BYU wins 50.5% of the time.
Toss up in other words.
No fumbles lost by either side.
I believe that (not)

Jacket Detective

October 25th, 2012
11:52 am

@BYU Fan in FL.
Sounds like the Philadelphia Eagles and a lot of teams.
Vick has 13 turnovers and Eagles 3-3 and facing must win game vs Falcons.
Instead of the Dream Team some had imagined.
Eagles’ O 7th in offense but next to last in points scored.
This is why steady QBs sometimes win the job over more spectacular players.
Vick is supposedly on the hot seat and could be benched midgame.
We argue about our QBs every week as I’ve heard you folks do too except your spectacular guy did win the job just to get injured.

Augusta Jacket

October 25th, 2012
11:58 am

@Supersize. Taking the boys camping with the Cub Scouts. Hate missing the game but some things have to come first.

5150 UOAD

October 25th, 2012
12:02 pm

Anybody notice that the GaState fans have disappeared from the BLOGS?

Jacket Detective

October 25th, 2012
12:03 pm

@Augusta Jacket.
Agreed.

Augusta Jacket

October 25th, 2012
12:03 pm

@5150: I tried not to notice them when they were here…

Jacket Detective

October 25th, 2012
12:04 pm

@5151.
Funny.
GaState Ben
Where u been?

Jacket Detective

October 25th, 2012
12:07 pm

The Ga State morons did not bother to realize we would usually have pulled for them because of Bill Curry. Instead I’m delighted they went down the toilet.

5150 UOAD

October 25th, 2012
12:14 pm

Yes, GaState Ben is GONE. He even stopped saying GSU is the Real GSU, now that he realizes GaState couldn’t beat Ga Southerns second team.

2 things, Augusta Jacket...

October 25th, 2012
12:18 pm

…you do not do during the fall (football season) –

1 – schedule weddings, and

2 – schedule Scouting outdoor activities…

They should know better so it is now up to you to teach them that there are things more important than scouting trips during the fall (though supporting your kid is acknowledged as being more important – this is aimed at the DA adults who scheduled this)…

1 4 GT

October 25th, 2012
12:19 pm

Aw, GSUBen probably knew that all along. Just a puffed up toad anyway.

2 things, Augusta Jacket...

October 25th, 2012
12:20 pm

..and if you tell me that it was a woman Cub Scout leader that scheduled this, then you must turn in your man card…

yeller bug

October 25th, 2012
12:20 pm

Should be a good game—-the BYU coach should be careful what he asks for. It’d be nice for CPJ to show him a few new wrinkles that he hadn’t thought of.

Tech wins 21-17 though I hope we score more and they score less

We know that Tech is going to score at least 37 points..

October 25th, 2012
12:23 pm

…the unknown is whether BYU will score more than that, and based on their bad offense this year, it is highly unlikely that they even come close to that – so this should be an easy Tech win…

1 4 GT

October 25th, 2012
12:23 pm

Y’all leave Aug…J alone! He is doing the right & proper thing. Camping in the fall is cool. See the colorful trees & maybe some of the critters, like squirrels gathering nuts for the winter. I have fond memories of my own scouting days. Wonderful experiences!! (I know y’all are just messing with Aug…..Jacket!)

1 4 GT

October 25th, 2012
12:26 pm

LOL @ 2nd @ things………………..I don’t know so much about an easy win We Know……………

BYU Fan in FL

October 25th, 2012
12:27 pm

Yeah our guy can be either really good or really bad and there isnt much in between. The ND game was his most”even” game where he was just average. I have no clue where we would go from him our freshman future of the program had a season ending injury and the backup has thrown about 12 passes and is a senior.

Jmonty

October 25th, 2012
12:28 pm

Should be a decent game. I think BYU is not going to be able to stop the option. Tech wins 38-24. My prediction anyways.

Jmonty

October 25th, 2012
12:32 pm

By the way, I almost jumped up and down with happiness… A coach that knows what gap assisgnment is. YES!!!!! Because Groh sure didn’t..

5150 UOAD

October 25th, 2012
12:36 pm

BYU………..but wasn’t ND missing their starting QB for your game against them?

Augusta Jacket

October 25th, 2012
12:37 pm

@ 2 things…Sadly, this campout is a yearly occurance the weekend before Halloween. It just stinks when it coincides with a home game….

@1 4 GT Thanks for the back-up. Hopefully I’ll have enough signal to watch it on my iPhone while the boys are learning controlled pyromania (campfire building)

BYU Fan in FL

October 25th, 2012
12:43 pm

They were but both ND QB’s have played every game except navy (Rhees Suspended) They would basically have a starter and a reliever. The Goldson kid is the athlete where Rhees is the passer. Seeing as how they only threw 3 passes in the second half I could have played QB for notre dame last saturday with pretty close to the same result :)

Flat Tire on I95 in Jacksonville

October 25th, 2012
12:50 pm

8 dollar ticket includes a hotdog and Coke! Tech will not win another game this season!!!

5150 UOAD

October 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

FLAT……and UGa shouldn’t have LOST a game all year until they made it to the DOME.

Jmonty

October 25th, 2012
12:53 pm

Well honestly ND was probably looking past the BYU game and preparing for this week’s game vs Oklahoma.

5150 UOAD

October 25th, 2012
12:54 pm

FLAT……all UGa fans not going to the game are being given UGa Diploma paper and Eggs to decorate the UGa players homes and cars after the game.

1 4 GT

October 25th, 2012
12:56 pm

flat tire…………………….is flat himself. Go away stone licker!

BYU Fan in FL

October 25th, 2012
12:57 pm

Probably but thats how you lose games you shouldnt….see FSU vs NCST