UPDATE: Tech handles Maryland, 33-13

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In search of a full, four-quarter effort, Georgia Tech left Byrd Stadium Saturday still looking for it. But the Yellow Jackets did regain their offensive footing and located the right opponent for confidence-building purposes.

In what may go down in the annals as “The game when Tech played against the quarterback who was a linebacker,” the Yellow Jackets pushed aside Maryland 33-13 in their attempt to reclaim the season and finish on an upward trajectory.

“I know they’re on, like, their fifth quarterback,” said A-back Orwin Smith, his tone void of sympathy. “It has to be tough. We’re moving on to North Carolina.”

A week after BYU body-slammed the Jackets in all phases of the game, Tech offered a performance that was rugged and energetic, though not free of flaws. The Tech defense didn’t permit a first down until midway through the second quarter and shut out the Terrapins through the first 44 minutes of the game. Quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee directed Tech to 370 rushing yards against the No. 4 rushing defense in the country, more than three times what Tech gained against BYU last Saturday and 202 yards more than the Terrapins’ previous season high.

However, Tech lost two fumbles and again encountered turbulence on kickoff coverage and extra points, as kicker David Scully bounced one try off an upright and then failed to clear the line of scrimmage on another. The defense, given an opportunity to close down a Maryland offense that was eminently capable of cooperating, gave up 161 yards and two touchdowns on the Terrapins’ final three possessions.

That said, in a season in which Tech has lost three games in which it led in the fourth quarter and this week compelled coach Paul Johnson to stick up for the state of the program, a victory was more than enough. On a chilly and overcast afternoon, Tech improved to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the ACC. Maryland fell to 4-5 and 2-3.

“As I told our guys, we keep alive what we’re playing for this season,” Johnson said. “We still have a chance mathematically (to win) the league, still have a chance to have a winning season and go to a bowl game. That’s what we’re playing for right now. It makes next week’s game against North Carolina  the biggest game of the year for us.”

Maryland quarterback Shawn Petty, a true freshman recruited to College Park as a linebacker but forced to switch positions after the Terrapins’ first four quarterbacks suffered season-ending injuries, was largely ineffective. As Tech coaches expected, Maryland mostly kept the game on the ground, trying zone-option plays and also using a Wildcat package with running back Wes Brown.

Crowding the tackle box with as many as seven players, Tech held Maryland to 144 rushing yards and a 3.3 yards-per-carry average. On Maryland’s final three possessions of the game, Petty led the Terrapins to a pair of touchdowns, both on passes. The second was on the final play of the game.

“The speed of the game was something that it took him a little bit of time to get used to,” Maryland coach Randy Edsall said of Petty. “You can’t go out there and line up at this level after only seven practices and think that everything is going to happen the way you hope it will.”

Interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly “was, like, Stay inside the box and let him prove that he can pass and then we’ll widen things out,” said inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy.

Nealy led Tech with a career-high 12 tackles, including a jarring point-of-attack stop on a 3rd-and-1 play in the second quarter when he knocked tailback Albert Reid back for a 1-yard loss. After the punt, Lee drove the Jackets 49 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 lead with 8:47 to play in the second quarter. It went a great length to doom Maryland, which has scored more than 21 points just twice this season.

Johnson rotated Washington and Lee, giving Washington two series to begin the game and then Lee the final three of the half. In the second half, Washington had the first two possessions and Lee had the final two. Washington led Tech to two touchdowns in his four series. Lee was 3-for-5.

It was the A-backs’ day, as Johnson called a number of tosses and option plays that often ended with the ball in their hands. They gained 220 of Tech’s 370 rushing yards. Smith ran with speed and force and led Tech with 89 yards on 10 carries. He scored the second touchdown of the game, a second-quarter 5-yard run to the corner freed up by a block by B-back David Sims.

“Coach found a couple of plays that were very successful,” Lee said. “We just took advantage of it and kept running it and it was working. We just kept grinding.”

375 comments Add your comment

If do right, no can defense

November 3rd, 2012
3:29 pm

Am i first? probably not.

If do right, no can defense

November 3rd, 2012
3:29 pm

Hey, whaddaya know! I am first and managed to read the article as well… I am REAL first.

Biff Pocoroba

November 3rd, 2012
3:39 pm

Scully will cost us the game next week. Can’t beat good teams with an awful kicker.

Burdell

November 3rd, 2012
3:40 pm

Good game. One week at a time.

If do right, no can defense

November 3rd, 2012
3:43 pm

Alright, here’s what we did well and need to continue doing:

1. Offensive Line play: Against the loaded inside linemen of Maryland’s D, our OL held it’s own. It helped that we designed plays to the outside… lots of counter option, tosses & sweeps.
2. Perimeter & interior blocking: Godhigh, Days, Orwin, and Sims all did a real good job blocking. Solid running by Orwin and Days a bonus.
3. Executing the triple option: With the windy conditions and limited pass playbook, Washington and Lee were totally dialed into the option. Very few missed reads or bad decisions today.
4. An acceptable defense… in the first half. Shutting out a team for a half using a 5th string QB isn’t saying much, but it’s probably the defense we’ve played since the Presby game.

Here’s what we need to improve:
1. Scully, Moore, and Chau… I don’t care who kicks, they need to kick high and far. Special teams have not been too bad if you exclude the kicking component (kickoffs, FG, XP), and kickoff return coverage. Everything else has been pretty good.
2. Don’t get gassed on the 4th quarter… I understand some backups were playing later on, but you cannot let go towards the end. Even against the terrible offense of Maryland, we only managed to keep pace with their scoring in the second half.
3. Don’t drop easy catches. Shades of 2010. I remember Nesbitt had like a 35% completion rate.

TechApp fan

November 3rd, 2012
3:50 pm

If Tech wins the UNC and the dook game, a good thing might happen!

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
3:50 pm

BIG DEAL!!!!!!!!! THEY WERE USING A LINEBACKER AT QB!!!! PLEASE, SOMEONE FIRE THAT !@#HOLE SOON!!!!! THIS WILL BE OUR LAST WIN OF THE YEAR WITH THIS god

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
3:51 pm

almos lot my faith….. just get rid of PJ…

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
3:59 pm

PJ is not going anywhere, nor should he.

GTGirl

November 3rd, 2012
4:00 pm

We WON today! Let’s be happy with the W. Go Jackets!

Take The Wheel

November 3rd, 2012
4:00 pm

Good game team. Good effort, great improvement! Team-work makes the Dream-work! Lets just ride this wave on into the bowl eligibility… and dare I hope into the ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!!! You can do it. Some of never stopped believing in you all ;)

GOOOOOO JACKETS!!

GTGirl

November 3rd, 2012
4:01 pm

Hey Super ! How are you?

GTGirl

November 3rd, 2012
4:02 pm

Good attitude Take the Wheel! I agree with you and Super.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:03 pm

Hey, GTGirl…….Doing GREAT here now after a very satisfying win.

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:06 pm

again…. the terps had a linebacker starting at QB…. I’m convinced that the Camden County High School Team would beat the jackets if they had to play tomorrow….

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:07 pm

@ David S……..the terps also had the number 4 ranked Defense IN THE NATION, and Tech manhandled them.

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:13 pm

Dude stay content with just having an avg team and this year, we’re not even average…. This school and its fans deserve sooo much more… I have finally gotten to a point that I dont care… They players I wish well and safety, but this Coach has struggled with all phases of the team during his duration here…. Just look at the special teams today…. I will go back and watch them in person with my two sons, when the change gets made… Winning consistently year in and year out in not a disease, 4 national titles at this great institution… and we’re suppose to settle for this dung…. not me… I won’t defend anypart of it anymore

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial adviso

November 3rd, 2012
4:13 pm

A nice way to get back on track, one game at a time now!

Chuck Allison

November 3rd, 2012
4:17 pm

“If do right, no can defense”, you are not only first, but you are also second. Why don’t you try to hang around and be last also? Then, you may become an immortal legend in the hall of fame of blog posters!

Go Jackets

November 3rd, 2012
4:18 pm

Good win! Let’s take it one at a time!
The defence is getting better every game.
7-5, beat uga, win bowl!
We can do it!
Keep bee – lieveing!

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:18 pm

@ David S…….obviously any head coach must take the blame for the failings of any aspect of his team’s performance, but CPJ’s offense works, and with a better O-line it will work even better. The D has sucked, and I don’t deny it, but a decent DC next year could easily make a big difference; we HAVE good enough athletes on D already, but they’ve been terribly coached by Groh. ST’s is anybody’s guess. But, even though CPJ is ultimately responsible for every aspect of the team’s play, he is nevertheless NOT the problem.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:19 pm

Hey there, Michael Veli……hope you enjoyed the game

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:23 pm

CPJ doesnt recruit good or even average… Thats the one thing I’m most dissapointedin with him…. He only won with Chain Gailey players… It’s been a constant/consistent downward spiral…. It at times, looks like CPJ has lost his team…. Why delay it?

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:26 pm

@ David S……..look at the recruiting rankings over the past 10 years, and you will see that on the average CPJ’s recruiting is just as good as Gailey’s was. Gailey had ONE good year, and Johnson did more with that talent than Gailey was able to do.

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:29 pm

GOOOOO REBELS!! GO FALCONS!! and get out of here PAUL JOHNSON!!!!!!!

Go Jackets

November 3rd, 2012
4:29 pm

CPJ has a young team that will get better each game now!
Great momentum going into next season.
Takes time to rebuild a badly coached defense.
Kelly doing good job!
Need help kicking!

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:29 pm

@ David S…….I might remind you too that CPJ’s best year at Tech was when “Gailey’s players” were all seniors (the GOOD ones, that is). Johnson has 5 seniors starting this year, Next year when we are loaded with seniors, all of whom Johnson recruited, then and only then will you have a valid argument.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:32 pm

@ David S……I can assure you with no doubt whatsoever that CPJ WILL be HC at Tech next year. If you are a Tech fan, then you will support the Jackets no matter what. If you choose not to support them, then you are no fan at all.

Go Jackets

November 3rd, 2012
4:32 pm

Paul Johnson is good for Tech
He won with Gailey’s players, Gailey couldn’t!
He’s correcting his mistakes

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:33 pm

Ole Miss up 10 – 0. GO REBELS !!!!!

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial adviso

November 3rd, 2012
4:35 pm

Super Size! I am doing fine my friend, especially after a win!

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:36 pm

@ Michael…….and getting better here now, at least for the time being, with Ole Miss on top of the mutts. :)

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:38 pm

I can support them how ever I want to…. I’ve been with them from the time I was born, 38 years…. Ignorance is not knowing, Stupidity is knowing and to continue to repeat…. For an Institution that prides itself on Intelligence, makes a supporter like myself all these years to wonder… I supprt the team, not this coach… he doesnt coach up. Look at the players that are in the NFL that played uder Gailey… Now, wait and see if you see too many more playing on Sundays in the next cpl of years that were recruited by CPJ… Most likely he will be here because of his contract, but you never know for sure…. Play like this the rest of the way, & TECH will not win…. Great to be Optimistic, but one must be realistic as well…. WELL, its time for this school to get real with its football

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:40 pm

He’s correcting Gailey’s mistaked, Five years later…. Sounds like a current incumbent politician I see every day on TV….. COME ON MAN….

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:41 pm

@ David S…….I got you beat; I’ve been supporting Tech for 50 years, and if I could survive Carson, Pepper, Lewis, and Gailey, then you can survive Johnson. The difference is that neither Carson, Pepper, Lewis, nor Gailey could get it done, and I DO believe that Johnson not only can but will. If you choose not to support them, then, like I said before, you are no fan. And NONE of them recruited any better than CPJ has done.

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:41 pm

you all keep your pep rally going… nothing wrong with that

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial adviso

November 3rd, 2012
4:43 pm

Go Rebels! Mark Richt sleeps in a spray tan booth….

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:43 pm

@ Michael……that last shot they showed of Richt on the sideline looked like he was asleep then

Nick

November 3rd, 2012
4:45 pm

David, thank you for your interest in GT football!!!!

Mama Says

November 3rd, 2012
4:45 pm

David S,

CPJ did, with Chans players, what Chan could not do.

Respond to that FACT

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:47 pm

Yea Supersize.. the Bill Lewis time was bad…. He single handly destroyed the program in one year… I wonder how much UGA payed him to do what he did.. Its not that bad now….

White&Gold

November 3rd, 2012
4:47 pm

Davis S is a lowly troll. Ignore him.

David S.

November 3rd, 2012
4:49 pm

Have I once said that Gailey won…. NOPE…. He doesnt win too much with the BILLS…

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:50 pm

@ David S……at least you concede that point. There are some CPJ-haters who claim he is even worse than Lewis. NOBODY is that bad. I don’t claim that CPJ is perfect, and he frustrates me at times too, but I still think he can and will get it done. I have not given up on him yet. Remember something else, Tech has NEVER been able to recruit like UGA and other schools in this area do. Even if academics are not the real reason for Tech’s recruiting problems, it IS academics which other schools, especially UGA, use as a recruiting tool AGAINST Tech.

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial adviso

November 3rd, 2012
4:50 pm

Bill Lewis, wow! I was in middle school and i still remember that, maybe that explains why i had to go to therapy…1-10 was beyond awful.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:51 pm

@ Michael Vel……not sure this is appropriate, but LOL

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:55 pm

If anybody is watching the UGA game, that should have been a personal foul on UGA after the fumble for hitting the Ole Miss guy out of bounds. And damn, now UGA recovers a fumble too. SHEESH

Randy from Macon

November 3rd, 2012
4:55 pm

Great win Jackets! Much better effort and execution on both sides of the ball. Get ready for North Carolina and get back to even for the season. I know we can do it. Super, I agree with you and GT Girl 100%! I can’t believe the negativity on this blog. And great reporting Ken – keep up the good work!

Michael Veli a.k.a Jim Donnan's financial adviso

November 3rd, 2012
4:55 pm

I didn’t ACTUALLY go to therapy but i do remember how that season felt. I like our coach and offense(although i think we should pass more) and we absolutely have to improve on defense, we must but i think our future is brighter than many think.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 3rd, 2012
4:56 pm

WOW, another fumble and Ole Miss has the ball again. Incredible