Notes: Golden return highlights dismal day

1. Jamal Golden’s 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did.

The return was supposed to go to the right, but Golden saw that Brigham Young’s defenders were closing that down pretty quickly so he cut left, rolled around the corner and only needed to outrace kicker Justin Sorensen.

“Once I got around them I was like ‘outrun the kicker,’ he said.

He got around Sorensen, but was held up long enough to give two defenders a chance to dive at his ankles.

After catching the ball at the 3-yard line, “I kind of glanced at the left side of the return and they were closing in really hard, so I just stuck my foot in the ground and ran around em,” he said.

Golden cut back inside around the 25-yard line and then cut back left a few yards later to score Tech’s first kick return for a touchdown in 178 games. Dez White was the last Yellow Jacket to do it and it happened against Maryland on Halloween (Oct. 31) in 1998.

The score closed the margin to 21-14 with 4:31 to go in the first half. Overall, however, Tech’s special teams had a rough day. Justin Moore missed a 35-yard field-goal attempt, the sixth the team has missed this year, all in the last three games.

BYU’s Kyle Van Noy blocked a Tech punt and recovered the ball on the 13-yard line. The Cougars scored a touchdown two plays later to take a 21-7 lead.

Further, because of what coach Paul Johnson described as line-drive kickoffs, which get to the returner quicker and give the defense less time to get down the field, the Cougars averaged 37 yards per kickoff return. Their average drive started on their 43-yard line.

Johnson described the kicking game as “a killer.”

2. Unlike most coaches, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall eagerly anticipated the chance to prepare his defense to play Tech’s option-based spread offense. Mendenhall, who also serves as the Cougars’ defensive coordinator, was evidently up to the task. Tech gained 117 rushing yards and 157 yards total. Tech, the No. 3 rushing offense in the country, had come into the game averaging 339.6 rushing yards per game and 37.7 points, 24th in the country.

“We continue to look for new ideas and better ways to do it,” Mendenhall said. “We presented it very clearly to our players, but they took their assignments and just ran with it.”

Johnson said that BYU played a straight 3-4 defense with few stunts.

“They limited us from big plays, and we weren’t good enough to get reads right,” Johnson said.

BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah was a problem, leading the Cougars with eight tackles and sacking Tevin Washington once.

3. Freshman wide receiver Anthony Autry left the game with an injury and did not return. After the game, Autry’s brother Myles, a star running back at Norcross High, sent out a message from his Twitter account asking for prayers since his brother has “a torn ACL.”

Autry, a true freshman, has become one of Tech’s most consistent wide receivers.

Kicker David Scully and offensive tackle Will Jackson did not play with hip and shoulder injuries, respectively. They were replaced by kicker Justin Moore and tackle Morgan Bailey, who became the 13th player to make his first career start this season.

4. A-back Orwin Smith took his turn wearing No. 40 as the team has honored former team captain and linebacker Julian Burnett, who wore No. 40 before suffering a career-ending neck injury in last season’s Sun Bowl. … Attendance was announced at 50,103, just shy of the attendance for the Miami game, which was the largest of the season. The crowd included thousands of BYU fans. …. Tech will play BYU next year Oct. 12. … BYU broke a seven-game losing streak in games played in the Eastern time zone.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

12 comments Add your comment


October 27th, 2012
10:10 pm

We’re irrelevant…1st


October 27th, 2012
10:12 pm

Golden’s touchdown was the highlight of the game. Very dismal performance today. No where to go but up. Vad was put in a position that I thought CPJ had gone to great lenghts to keep him out of. CPJ was clearly overmatched today.

GT Joe

October 27th, 2012
10:13 pm

Time for Vad yet?


October 27th, 2012
10:19 pm

We shouldn’t see Washington again. CPJ needs some help with the play calling. The offense is too predictable. Vad’s pass to Snoddy that fell short would have scored. D players looked out of place.

Tech insider

October 27th, 2012
10:53 pm

Plain and simple, this is what we have at tech under CPJ. Top high schooltalen who has any aspiration of playing in the NFL, will never play for this offense. Talent has continued to deplete. If we are satisfied with a .500 record we should stay with CPJ, and his gimmick offense.

Defense will never get an accurate look at opposing team offense in practice because our scout team does not have talent to imitate “normal” offense. Why? We do not recruit QB’s who can run a passing offense.

1 4 GT

October 27th, 2012
11:10 pm

GT Joe….please see my post on Updated: Tech Drilled blog page 5 @ 11:02 PM 27 October

PE Major from Western Carolina is ready to fry some fish

October 28th, 2012
7:39 am

Wow…..50,000 was a good crowd for this GT team….don’t worry, just wait until CPJ gets his players in his system…..give him another 5 years.

Freddie Blassie

October 28th, 2012
8:28 am

Gee, Johnson did not miss tackles or throw interceptions; the players gave this one away by failing to show up. These players, including the number two qb, need to get it though their heads that they are the ones who are losing games, not the coaches.


October 28th, 2012
9:08 am

what a miserable showing. CPJ seems to have lost his players. No cohesiveness,no consistency on either side of the ball. I am tired of the mediocrity!

Skull Murphy

October 28th, 2012
1:58 pm

Freddie, good to hear from ya.

...Take The Wheel

October 29th, 2012
11:04 pm

I wouldn’t say they didn’t show up. They played a bigger stronger faster better conditioned team who is very experienced at playing the TO from years of playing Navy and Army!

On top of the fact that playing for their fans is a snoozfest! I can honestly say I prefer away games!!!

...Take The Wheel

October 29th, 2012
11:10 pm

I hear you talking but Vad didn’t do ANY better!! He went three and out, and still didn’t get it in after 45 yards of penalties. It may be time for a change but maybe days or thomas should get a shot next year if we’re looking to the future.