UPDATED: Tech drilled by BYU, 41-17




The defense was picked apart and battered. The offense had no magic. The special teams, save one historic kickoff return, was largely a hindrance.

Saturday, Georgia Tech lost to BYU 41-17 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in a game that contained little mystery.

“We pretty much got our tails whipped,” coach Paul Johnson said. “It was disappointing. I think we got whipped in all three phases of the game.”

With a chance to even their record and build on a convincing win over Boston College a week ago, the Yellow Jackets (3-5) continued their flailing season. Tech gave up 40 or more points for the fourth time in the past five games, had a punt blocked and failed to produce an offensive touchdown for the first time since the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to LSU. In hopes of reviving the offense, Johnson sent in backup quarterback Vad Lee late in the third quarter. To rousing cheers, he drove the Jackets for a field goal on his first drive, but produced 16 yards of offense in his final two possessions.

Just to qualify for its 16th consecutive bowl, Tech will have to win three of its final four games. The Jackets finish with Maryland, North Carolina, Duke and Georgia. For a team that lost by 24 points at home, none of those register as expected wins.

Saturday, the defining difference between BYU and Tech was their performance on third down. The Cougars picked up first downs on 9 of 16 third downs, while the Jackets struck out on 10 third-down conversion attempts.

Defensively, Tech reverted to the form that led to the firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh. After holding Boston College to a 1-of-9 effort on third downs last Saturday, the Jackets permitted quarterback Riley Nelson to extend drives left and right with completions.

Interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly mixed up coverages and blitzes that occasionally produced results. He sent seven defenders at Nelson on a 3rd-and-8 on the game’s opening possession, but Nelson answered it with a 15-yard completion.

One of Tech’s highlights, a 22-yard interception return for a first-quarter touchdown by safety Isaiah Johnson, came on a third down in which Tech rushed three and dropped eight into coverage. But the Jackets couldn’t disrupt Nelson with any frequency and also missed a slew of tackles, a problem that plagued the defense under Groh but had abated in the Boston College game.

Tech also had trouble with BYU running back Jamaal Williams, a 17-year-old freshman who dinged the Jackets for 107 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

The BYU defense, ranked No. 8 in the country against the run, needed no help, but the Jackets abetted the Cougars with penalties, missed blocks and faulty reads on the option. Not counting a kneeldown at the end of the first half, Tech had nine possessions and couldn’t hold the ball for more than six plays on seven of them. The Jackets ran just 47 plays, a little more than half the 91 they ran against Boston College and the fewest of any game in Johnson’s tenure. BYU’s 38:59 time of possession was also an opponent high in the Johnson era.

“It’s obvious that we’ve got to do a lot better,” Lee said. “We’ve got to clean up a lot of things.”

The big plays that this offense needs to expand its margin for error never materialized. Tech had been averaging six plays per game of 20 yards or more. Saturday, the Cougars held them to one, a 22-yard run by A-back Robbie Godhigh.

“They make you earn it, and we weren’t good enough to earn it,” Johnson said. “We’d self-inflict wounds.”

Asked if this was the worst offensive game of his five-year tenure, Johnson replied, “I’m sure it is.”

Only Isaiah Johnson’s interception return and Jamal Golden’s 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown – the Jackets’ first such score since 1998 – kept Tech in the game, which was 24-14 in BYU’s favor at halftime. The game tilted in the third quarter when quarterback Tevin Washington, pressured by BYU end Ezekiel Ansah, threw an interception deep in Tech territory that was returned to the Tech 2-yard line. A one-yard touchdown run by Williams pushed BYU to a 31-14 lead with 3:43 left in the third quarter and released any remaining suspense.

The Jackets will return to work Monday, trying to find answers that have eluded them for the larger part of eight games.

“I don’t know,” said Johnson, asked to explain how his team could be playing beneath expectations. I don’t have an explanation for you.”

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech  blog

473 comments Add your comment

NJ Jacket

October 27th, 2012
6:14 pm

Who is PJ going to blame this time?

Tech4Life

October 27th, 2012
6:15 pm

I’ve supported TW the whole way, but it’s over now. Start Vad.

TexGT

October 27th, 2012
6:18 pm

Doesn’t matter who starts. This team is done. CPJ is done. He needs to be fired at the end of the season, the gig is up. Pathetic. BYU has one of the worst offenses in the country. And the offense today did nothing.

Bill from Dacusville

October 27th, 2012
6:19 pm

Fire Pitiful Paul–He has ran out of people to blame—Hire that motorcycle rider from Arkansas, and let his bimbo run the offense–

Will Hart

October 27th, 2012
6:22 pm

Another pitiful performance by the ACC. And Pitt and Syracuse are supposed to help?

NJ Jacket

October 27th, 2012
6:22 pm

I agree the ship is sinking.

Savannah buzz

October 27th, 2012
6:27 pm

Can’t ever remember a defense getting pushed around like this one has all year. Mtsu was clearly no fluke. Are there issues with our strength and conditioning program?

TechLB

October 27th, 2012
6:31 pm

Sorry to say it, but BYU is the kind of team Tech fans would like to have as our own. Smart, disciplined play, fundamentally sound and taking advantage of the other teams mistakes and weaknesses.

After 4 years this is discouraging that a non-ranked team can expose us as really a poor fundamental team in many areas, Offense, Defense and Special teams. Does BYU have better athletes? I don’t know but they made it look that way today.

As a positive, at least we played with some emotion and Vlad showed he could perfrom…sad that’s the sole positives I could see.

Boston Kid

October 27th, 2012
6:32 pm

BYU ranks No. 8 nationally against the run, allowing only 93.13 yards per game. This includes against Boise State, Notre Dame, and Oregon State. Tech had 117 yards, so far less than average, but better. BYU’s QB is so streaky that their offense is crapshoot.

But if the ship is sinking, where’s the Big 10, Big East, and Big 12 ships? Not much better.

TexGT

October 27th, 2012
6:34 pm

Boston Kid,

You are kidding right? Big East – yeah terrible. But Big 12? You ever heard of Kansas State or Oklahoma. Texas Tech having a good year. Each of those teams would handily beat any ACC team. ACC – All Crap Conference.

Boston Kid

October 27th, 2012
6:36 pm

Also, BYU was ranked earlier in the season, and they lost 3 of their four games by a total of 7 points. And the fourth game was tied going into the fourth quarter. They were ahead of Notre Dame until they botched a couple plays in the fourth quarter, at South Bend. So there’s some over reacting here. It’s kinda what we’re good at.

Bright Spot

October 27th, 2012
6:38 pm

I’m a Tech fan but the bright spot & I hope, is Tech will not go to a bowl. PJ you suck!!Bulldogs will kill us!

Jacket Dad

October 27th, 2012
6:38 pm

Our offense was terrible. Our defense was exhausted. Our special teams had nothing special about them. This ship is sinking and Johnson is at the helm. It pains me to no end, but this is painful to watch.

Johnson, thanks TW for his service, hand the ball over the Vad and get ready for next year. And by the way, recruiting does matter. As does inspiration and leadership.

Scott

October 27th, 2012
6:39 pm

I don’t see any reason to look forward to the future with this team. Defense, Special Teams,and now the Offense looks horrible. BYU’s 17 year old running back is better than anyone Tech has. #47 on BYU was a better defensive player than anyone Tech has. No hope for the talent on the Jackets and the offensive play calling is pathetic. Kickoff coverage, pass rush, pass protection ????

TexGT

October 27th, 2012
6:40 pm

Boston,

Where is the overreacting? Why is it okay to get beat this bad?

Wondering

October 27th, 2012
6:40 pm

Is there an excuse for this??? The defense continues to look unhinged (can no one tackle?) and CPJ’s once proud offense looks nearly immobile. Not sure exactly why, but this team seems demoralized, unmotivated and poorly coached.

CT_Jacket

October 27th, 2012
6:40 pm

BYU has a great defense, so I thought that the points might be hard to come by, but I didn’t think the defense would play that poorly. The D-line is a mess and the LBs aren’t talented enough to overcome their deficiencies. The DBs have their moments and letdowns, but without pressure, their job is much harder.

ole yeller

October 27th, 2012
6:40 pm

I agree the ACC is a weak conference, but to say putting T.T Oklahoma or K.S against say Florida State and these teams beating them handily is a stretch.

Boston Kid

October 27th, 2012
6:41 pm

Yeah, I’ll admit the Big 12 was the best of those three, I almost didn’t put them in, but my point is every conference has a couple good teams at best and most the others struggle. At least the ACC has Florida State and Clemson, and usually VT. Kansas State is up (but historically no), Oklahoma almost always good. OSU and Texas a little down, it balances out. No argument on the Big 10 there huh? Outside Ohio State (which was miserable recently until Urban Meyer came) and an always overrated MIchigan, they have nothing either.

Wondering

October 27th, 2012
6:42 pm

Folks, BYU is not a world beater. And if GT fans find excuses for this disgraceful loss, then they deserve the way this team is playing. We ought to be better.

Full Metal Jacket

October 27th, 2012
6:44 pm

It’s tough to realize that you really just aren’t a very good football team. And today it was obvious, this team is not even average. Since CPJ will never abandon the option, it is time to find some pretty dramatic new wrinkles or approaches to the option because it isn’t fooling anyone and we don’t have the talent to beat teams straight up. BYU was clearly the better team, but they should not be that much better.

If do right, no can defense

October 27th, 2012
6:47 pm

Well, folks I’m back as promised. Here’s why we lost:
1. Poor execution on offense, defense, special teams.
2. Poor 3rd down conversion rate: 0-10
3. Poor 3rd down defense: 9-16
4. Poor tackling & missed tackles. Williams & Nelson looked like All-Americans… nobody tackled anybody square and center, wrapping them up. All I saw was glances and shoves.
5. 4th quarter burnout. Like every game this season.
6. No consistent drives on offense. Hence, no TOP. Therefore, see #5.
7. No pass rush.
8. No kicking game. Not a single kickoff into the end zone, and missed a chip shot field goal.
9. Absolutely horrendous kick return coverage.
10. No passing game. Didn’t I say we needed to come out passing at the start. And Tevin needs to throw to his left side, not the right side where we have weaker receivers & A-backs.
11. Vad Lee disappointed with his execution of the triple option. Bad reads all around.
12. Of course, he only got in because Tevin made a bunch of missed reads.
13. Zero blocking by A-backs and wide receivers.
14. No big plays on offense.
15. Poor conditioning of defense. Players aren’t prepared to play 4 quarters.
16. No excitement/support from the sideline.
17. Lack of size and speed (read: competitive athletes) on both sides of the ball. No talent, no playmakers, no anything.
18. Poor coaching on special teams.
19. Poor coaching on defense.
20. In fact, poor coaching overall.
21. Mismanagement of the athletic department.
22. Lack of fan interest.

TexGT

October 27th, 2012
6:47 pm

Big 10 is WAY better than the ACC. Not even close.

Boston Kid

October 27th, 2012
6:48 pm

Of course it’s not ok to get handled like this, we all know this, I shouldn’t have to spell that out. It was a beat down. But BYU is better than their record/ranking. People are acting like we got killed by a horrible team, but I’m saying BYU is at least ok.

But this is all irrelevant. Either way, to be relevant, this team needs an overhaul.

Full Metal Jacket

October 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

BYU is a good, solid football team but there is no way that Tech should lose by that much in that fashion. I’ve been hesitant to call for Lee to start at QB because he’s an unknown quantity, but Tevin Washington making repeated mistakes and then laughing and smiling about them, which he has done all season long, is just not acceptable.CPJ may be right about not starting Lee until he earns it in practice, but at what point do you demote your starter when he can’t get it done in games? It is time to forget about “salvaging” this season and open up all positions to begin preparing for next year. And if, by some miracle, Tech ended up bowl-eligible, they would be wise to decline it.

Full Metal Jacket

October 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

Conditioning is a real issue on this team as well. Our physical and mental disintegration in the fourth quarter (and 2 OTs this year) is inexcusable. That said, in several games we were not even in the game by the fourth quarter.

PLAYMAKER

October 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

You may not remember but D Rad wanted to hire a young Will Muschamp but some of the too perfect GT crowd wouldn’t allow it because Muschamp attended UGA. I don’t think Florida cared. Another chance was Charley Strong of Louisville, he would have set this city on fire. But we got CPJ, I’m ok with that but CPJ has to surrond himself with a strong Staff and upgrade recruiting. Will his ego allow him to do it? I don’t know.

Mama Says

October 27th, 2012
6:53 pm

softest Tech team I have ever seen. No clue how to tackle and no desire to play.

Biff Pocoroba

October 27th, 2012
6:53 pm

DRad has got to go. He butchered the basketball coaching hire and had to settle for someone that was being run off at Dayton. He fired the volleyball coach and brought in an old friend from LSU. The old coach went to Marquette and is doing great and the coach he brought here has done poorly and had the first losing season in years last season. He keeps giving Danny Hall new contracts even though we know he is going to lose to the #3 or 4 seed in the regionals every year with a top ten team. He keeps building and spending but keeps running off fans with his bad hires. Yes, PJ needs to go but we aren’t going to do any better if DRad is allowed to hire the next coach.

If do right, no can defense

October 27th, 2012
6:53 pm

To be fair, there were two faint rays of redemption in today’s debacle, and those were Jamal Golden and Ryan Rodwell. Well done, boys… and hopefully you can inspire the other 83 scholarship players to do better.

One of few GT fans left

October 27th, 2012
6:55 pm

Firing the coach did not work, it never has at GT but I think CPJ needs to go due to his pathetic recruiting and screwball offense, as well as Rad. Also Peterson needs to go: a man who has turned GT into an International institute using Georgia taxpayer money. Only 50% Georgia students, an insult to the Georgia Taxpayer.

Add More Majors or combine Georgia State and GT and save this State a lot of money. We can’t have two major Universities one mile apart and separate.This is a campaign issue in the Governor’s race i.e how inefficient our University System is.

GT football is good for Atlanta and is worth saving.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

October 27th, 2012
6:57 pm

So, how are the Paul Johnson apologists going to spin this disaster? Does he still “apparently seem” to be a great coach? His supposedly vaunted offense (which we’ve heard “wasn’t the problem”) had 157 yards, 10 first downs, and converted on ZERO third-downs today. Oh, it also scored ZERO points unless you count the field goal that Vad Lee (who Johnson didn’t play until the game was essentially out-of-hand) led the team to.

How much longer are Tech’s fans, alumni, and administration going to tolerate this trainwreck?

GT Rich

October 27th, 2012
6:58 pm

It is foolish to suggest declining a bowl game — you’d lose an extra month of practice, which clearly this team needs. This GT team plays with zero passion. Miserable game to watch…

If do right, no can defense

October 27th, 2012
6:58 pm

@Biff: agree completely. DRad has screwed up with his staff big time. And not just at the high-level. He hired John Sisk, the current strength/conditioning coach this summer, and the results are in front of you. Letting Paul Hewitt go was a 50-50 decision, but given that our finances were not in good shape, we should not have given him the payout.

Seriously we are handcuffed in terms of finances for at least the next 3-4 years.

TechApp fan

October 27th, 2012
6:59 pm

Surely this is not a surprise, but Johnson not only has D problems but he does not have a single QB that can run his O.

ps…everyone probably noticed how Johnson was such a happy camper the way he “talked” to at least one player after seemingly every play after they came off the field.

psps…but we should have been close….been averaging about 37…LOL

ole yeller

October 27th, 2012
7:01 pm

I don’t know about all the other long time Tech fans, but I am embarrassed. P.J. before the season started stated that he thought he had one of his better teams and was very optimistic. He hired a new special teams coach and this was the breakout year for the 3 4 defense taught by the master Al Groh. This was also Tevins Sr. year.

This is one of the worse Tech teams I have ever seen fielded. This team has no heart, and will give up at any point in a game. Recruiting the wrong players or coaching shortcomings either or both are the blame. No one coaching special teams lets their players run out of their lanes. Guess what ours special teams always seem to wad up the middle and any crease is exploited. Techniques on tackling is deplorable, no one seems to want to lock up any more. I at an old age can probably still throw a football better than T.W. Give anyone 8 to 10 sec to throw the ball and a receiver will be found. Blitz the q.b. once and get burned on a shovel pass? P.J. has a pretty good defensive recruiting class this year, but unless defense is stressed as an important element of the game every year, his fate is doomed.

He will be given another year to prove he is the coach for G. T. but if he does not produce next year, he will be gone. Stubborn is good only as long as it wins games.

Silly Mutts

October 27th, 2012
7:02 pm

Gt deservescthe next 20 years of being duke in football and in sports generally LOSERS deserve LoSERS!!!!!

Patrick Boggs

October 27th, 2012
7:08 pm

As a TECH Fan, I remain a TECH fan.
This is a sad season, and fans as true as
me don’t really know the reason.

Some in comment sections like this
say poor recruiting or poor coaching
or a coach who recruits poorly.
I, as contrarian, suggest that the players
were good when recruited and the coach
was good when hired. Something changed.

Historically, I went through losing seasons;
Bill Curry and Pepper Rogers. I liked them
both. Bobby Ross comes along, and there
is your National Championship. And, there
IS the point. In the modern era, a coach,
a player, a college football power team
can come out of nowhere.

Win or lose, I want the non-conference games
on the schedule to be with old schools,
mostly big schools: Navy, Air Force,
Auburn (not because they are SEC but
because they are just down the road),
Tulane, Notre Dame (such a traditional
power, and yet they still have down years
and bounce back), even a lower tier
BIG 10 Indiana and/or NorthWestern.

Ya don’t have to WIN ever time,
Ya have show a winning effort almost
every time. Seems this season it is high
level then low level opponents and high level
then low level effort

If do right, no can defense

October 27th, 2012
7:13 pm

@ole yeller: Nice contrast on how optimistic we were in August and how things have really turned out. CPJ will be here until at least 2016 (his contract runs thru that season) because we can’t afford his payout. Of course, there is always the possibility of him resigning/leaving.

BT75

October 27th, 2012
7:15 pm

I know PJ does not believe in recruiting rankings, but curiously enough all the teams that have been recruiting top 15 classes year after year are very successful.
We also need to hire a really good defensive coordinator that is also a great recruiter.
PJ needs to add some more of his passing plays to take advantage of Vad Lee’s skill set. It was not Vad’s fault that PJ was calling for the B back handoff repeatedly on first down. BYU picked up on that pretty quick!p

ole yeller

October 27th, 2012
7:16 pm

P.J. will never resign. I personally want to see what he does next year. He has some pretty good talent in the wings. He or Drad needs to hire a defensive coach who can produce, however.

Silly Mutts

October 27th, 2012
7:20 pm

Pj sucks and anyone who doesn’t see that sucks too! Gtvwill not win another game this season and will not win more than 2 next year! Fire Johnson or burn in hell crack smokers!

Tech Fan For Life

October 27th, 2012
7:23 pm

Well you saw the offense today – 2012 under Paul Johnson

Take a look at this old offense 22 years ago under some guy named Bobby Ross.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3beLeZTnmKI

Please Paul for the love of every decent and good – leave go to 1AA or High School.
You have your financial security. You are a good and decent man, but you are
a 1AA or High School coach – go down win some more championships enjoy your
golden years. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Let us and these kids out of the
experiment that was the triple option in big time football.
Please Paul with a cherry on top.

Tampa Wreck

October 27th, 2012
7:27 pm

Tevin Washington should have never seen the football the second half. The fact that CPJ stuck with him for two more disastrous series was absolutely dumb. The defense was bad, but got no help from the offense or special teams.. Who could blame them for running out of gas.

This season is done. CPJ will get one more year to right the ship, but at this point, I can’t se how he can do it. If he couldn’t recruit better talent after somewhat successful years in 2008 and 2009, do we really expect he wil improve after this debacle of a season? I don’t think so!

Time to start thinking of young up and comers that wil be willing to take on a major rebuilding challenge the end of next season. No established coach would even consider the job at this point.

northeast alumn

October 27th, 2012
7:27 pm

We need to fix the program, yes but we also need to fix the institution. One reason, silly one but most important is that we are not a party school. I have a great pride in that our institution take academics very seriously but it is turning away the recruits. We may work hard but we don’t party hard enough. We all know what our guy/girl ratio is and I think this attributes us being a boring school. So, my suggestion is to add a Fashion design school a la Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. We have Textile engineering so it should complement it as Architecture compliments Civil engineering and Industrial design does the others.

Tech4Life

October 27th, 2012
7:33 pm

This was probably the worst offensive performance I’ve seen under CPJ.

Tech Fan For Life

October 27th, 2012
7:35 pm

If above did not reset your memory check out this re=post from last night when I predicted a terrible
Tech loss.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-txX4d-51wk

Oh what could be if we hired an innovative coach and not a dinosaur.

lxUn1c0

October 27th, 2012
7:36 pm

“One of few GT fans left” I’ve seen you make the same argument before, and it’s garbage. GT was an international university before Bud came. There’s no reason for GT to cater more exclusively to in-state students. Immigrants and out-of-state students help the state’s economy, and they pay more in tuition. They don’t rely on the government to pay for their HOPE scholarships, and they pay taxes.

Don’t dumb down the school, and don’t submit to xenophobia. Some things are more important than a GD football team. Besides, we can improve the program without tarnishing the institute.

collegeballfan

October 27th, 2012
7:39 pm

Who the QB is does not matter. The problem with the GT offense today was that the GT offensive line blocked no one. BYU # 47 was not been blocked all afternoon.

Until the members of this OL graduate and a completely new line gets put on the field solid defensive teams will not be blocked.

And yeah, the defense is not very good. But except for a year here and a year there the GT defense never been very good.

Tech people, please realize that since 1960 GT has a record of 329 – 269 – 10. That is 25 games over .500 for the period.

GT is at best is an average football program. This season below average.

Tech Fan For Life

October 27th, 2012
7:40 pm

My Post from last night night – look it up – now look at the response I got.

I wish I did speak for all Tech fans then we could cut off the money and get back to helping these kids.
I’m not going to lie – it hurts me after 40 years of pulling for Tech – even with Reggie and Chan I stood with them, but I realize my mistake. It is about these kids – the players – the yellow endzone crew.
We need to give them a chance – they did not allow this to happen- it happened on our watch. As a season ticket holder since 1987 (no longer) I bear the brunt of that responsibility. Now I’m sticking to my guns – no games, no Tech merchandise – no money to Tech until Paul leaves- I really do hate that this is my only option (no pun intended). Guys I LOVE TECH. I just know that we have to do something – hire a innovative coach – we have to try!!
Supersize – I understand your loyalty – but think about the kids- think about the future – don’t you think P.J. is set – he could go to HS and be great.
If he did at least we could TRY to be great. I am sorry but I will NEVER accept losing to Georgia 5 out of every 6 years – if you will then I really don’t what to say.