Archive for October, 2012

Johnson faces Lee-Washington decision

More and more is becoming clear about Georgia Tech. Less and less of it offers hope.

The next (and perhaps last) attempt at salvaging the season could be the elevation of backup quarterback Vad Lee to the starting spot. Coach Paul Johnson has been insistent in his defense of Tevin Washington, saying that he isn’t the problem, but removed him from Saturday’s 41-17 loss to BYU late in the third quarter after a costly interception.

“I intended to let (Lee) play some and I kept thinking that we would try to get some rhythm or whatever, and it just became apparent that it wasn’t working the other way, so we needed to put him in and let him play,” Johnson said.

It ran against Johnson’s past philosophy regarding Lee. In other losses when Tech has been behind or caught in a shootout, Johnson has stayed with Washington, feeling that he gave the Yellow Jackets the best chance to win. He has deflected calls for Lee to play more by noting that the most popular player on the team is often …

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Johnson: ‘We’ll see’ on starting QB for Maryland

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was non-committal whether Tevin Washington would remain as starting quarterback after Tech’s offense approached or reached new lows for ineffectiveness in a 41-17 loss to BYU on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Tech’s offense was limited to 157 yards and scored its only points on a drive after Washington was pulled amid a cascade of boos. The Yellow Jackets were 0-of-10 on third downs and outrushed by almost 70 yards. Washington finished 1-of-5 passing with an interception and rushed for 10 yards on five carries.

“We’ll see; we’ll look into it and see where we are at,” Johnson said of changing quarterbacks. Washington’s backup is Vad Lee, who led the Jackets to a field goal, the only points scored by the offense. Even that drive was aided by penalties against the Cougars.

The Jackets, who had averaged 37.7 points and almost 500 yards per game, could do little right. The Cougars’ defensive line dominated the Jackets’ offensive line, which …

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Georgia Tech quoteboard

“Well, we pretty much got our tails whipped. It was disappointing. We got whipped in all three phases of the game.”

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson

“I don’t think so, but I’ve never had our guys think that, unless they hide it very well. I don’t think our guys have a lack of belief in their talents.”

Johnson on if the players are lacking confidence

“It was a funny game; we never got any rhythm going at all. In the first half, we missed a block on the first series on third down. On the second one, we got a chop block on pass protection and ended up giving that one away. On the third one we missed a field goal. We never got any rhythm.”

Johnson on the offense’s struggles

“When they are 9-of-16 and we are 0-of-10, you aren’t going to win too many football games.”

Johnson on the difference in third-down efficiencies of the two teams

“I’m sure it is in yardage and all that stuff. I think it was a combination of not getting anything going, and when you don’t convert on …

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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 …

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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 …

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Georgia Tech-BYU live blog

A few notes for Georgia Tech-BYU

1. David Scully won’t play. Justin Moore will take field goals and extra points. Looks like maybe Chris Tanner will handle the kickoffs.
2. Tech is wearing white helmets, white jerseys, white pants. It’s the same combination worn for the Virginia Tech game.
3. At least by one metric, should Tech beat BYU, it’ll be its best win of the season. BYU is No. 30 in the Sagarin ratings. Boston College is No. 104, is No. 105 and Presbyterian is No. 241.
Clemson is No. 23, Virginia Tech is No. 51, Miami is No. 61, MTSU is No. 116.

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Georgia Tech-BYU preview

Three storylines

Can Georgia Tech move the ball?

BYU is ranked No. 4 in total defense and No. 8 in rushing and scoring defense. The Cougars have a formidable front seven, starring end Ezekiel Ansah and anchored by nose tackle Romney Fuga. That said, BYU was last seen getting smoked for 270 rushing  yards by Notre Dame. Tech, No. 3 in the country in rushing offense, is coming off a powerful effort in which it had battered Boston College for 241 rushing yards by halftime.

Will Tech’s defense take another step?

Against Boston College, the Yellow Jackets tackled better and were eons better on third downs than they had been previously. The question is, how much did that have to do with Boston College? BYU’s offense isn’t a powerhouse, either, but the Cougars ought to be able to run the ball better than the Eagles did. They also use a no-huddle offense, which has given Tech problems. The Cougars can be pressured, though, so Saturday might be the time for the Tech pass rush to raise …

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Tech trying to keep focus, edge

At halftime last week, an opportunity for history tugged at Jay Finch.

Georgia Tech had kicked Boston College around for two quarters, hoarding 407 yards of offense in taking a 28-3 halftime lead. If the Yellow Jackets could continue the pace, the Tech center realized, they could break the single-game total-offense record of 768 set in last year’s 66-24 rout of Kansas.

Instead, Tech managed just nine more points and 156 yards, leaving bushels of scoring opportunities on the field. For the fourth consecutive game, the Jackets were outscored in the fourth quarter. In a game where Tech had an extra week’s rest and carried the motivation of stopping a three-game losing streak, coach Paul Johnson and players said the team backed off and lost focus.

Tech still beat Boston College, “but it’s something that I’ve noticed,” Finch said. “But I’m not sure everyone notices, but that’s something that we do need to work on.”

BYU, Tech’s homecoming opponent Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium, …

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Penn State, Georgia State possible Tech opponents

When Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich contracted with BYU for a four-game series (later shortened to two), his intent was to provide season-ticket buyers with a name-brand opponent for the weaker even-year home schedule.

The school’s continuing efforts to schedule attractive opponents could bring Penn State to Bobby Dodd Stadium. Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Purdue are other teams that could be in the mix down the road.

“We’ve had conversations with all of them about trying to do something,” said Ryan Bamford, Tech’s associate athletic director for internal operations.

Nothing is substantive at this point and games would likely be for the end of the decade. Bamford’s greater priority is finding a fourth non-conference game, ideally a home-and-home with an FBS opponent, for 2013 and 2014. As is the case across the ACC, Tech is in the position of hunting for non-conference games because the league reverted to an eight-game league schedule Oct. 3 after adopting a …

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Tech notes: Jackets prepping for BYU hurry-up

1. Among the more certain aspects of Saturday’s game between Georgia Tech and BYU is that, at some point, the Cougars will use their no-huddle offense.

Among the less-certain aspects of the game is how the Yellow Jackets will respond. While Tech played with better organization and speed against Boston College in interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly’s first game, the Jackets gave up both of their touchdowns when the Eagles operated without a huddle.

“The communication was OK,” Kelly said. “I think just getting set and getting your eyes ready to go, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

The Jackets had trouble against fast-tempo offenses when Al Groh was the coordinator. On Saturday, players wore wristbands with plays printed on them to expedite play calls from the sideline in the event Boston College quickened the pace. Tech has been working up-tempo in practice to adjust.

“We go pretty rapid-fire (in practice), so we got used to hurry-up type things,” cornerback Louis …

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