Tech offense seeking more vs. Duke

Sunday morning, Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and guard Shaquille Mason went to the Tech training room for treatment, then, as they always do, went to the football offices to review the previous day’s game video. The environment is not so much cold-blooded analysis as it is two buddies kicking back.

“He’ll say, ‘Oh, look at me get this block,’” Lee said. Then, “I give him props on the blocks.”

Amidst the exchange of props, though, Lee made a quick observation from his performance, in which he led the Yellow Jackets to 55 points in 3 ½ quarters against North Carolina.

“First takeaway is I could have done a lot better,” Lee said.

Lee’s assessment was shared by his coaches, who also felt similarly about his teammates. Lee didn’t carry out his fakes as well as he could have, didn’t check out of plays before the snap that he should have and missed reads in the run and pass that could have opened up more big plays. Lee, who came in the game on the third possession in a rotation with starter Tevin Washington and ended up playing the rest of the game, made a crucial error on an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

“I definitely feel like I can get a lot better,” Lee said.

As Tech prepares for its final home game Saturday against Duke, an offense that ran white hot against the Tar Heels isn’t so impressed with itself.

“I think that they played better two weeks ago (against Maryland) than they did last week,” offensive line coach Mike Sewak said of the linemen. “I think last week they played hard, but they weren’t as fundamentally sound as they were (against Maryland) and their grades were indicative of it.”

Coach Paul Johnson practically scoffed at the notion of the offense being overly satisfied after its play against North Carolina. There were missed opportunities and mistakes, he said, that prevented even better play.

“Even though we scored on a possession, we should have scored maybe two or three players before,” Johnson said.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe wasn’t quite so critical.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a team that’s been hitting on all cylinders like they are right now,” he said. “A threat to score in so many different ways.”

Tech’s small sample size of mega-scoring games doesn’t suggest the Jackets will keep riding the wave. The 68-50 win over North Carolina was the fourth game in Johnson’s five years against an FBS opponent in which the Jackets scored 50 or more. In the first three, they averaged 33.7 points in the next game, 2.7 points better than Tech’s game average in Johnson’s five years.

If Lee plays with similar effectiveness against Duke, or better, that could well be a difference maker. While his arm is his most obvious asset – “Vad throws the ball 50 yards in the air on a line,” Duke defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said – the knack that he showed to keep drives alive may be a quality that is less striking but equally valuable.

“He does seem to kind of make things happen more inside in a scramble situation,” Knowles said.

Tech’s yards-per-play average (7.4) was actually lower than its rates against Presbyterian (9.9), Virginia (9.6) and Clemson (8.1), suggesting the offense was more explosive in those games. Besides twice receiving excellent field position and benefiting from Jamal Golden’s kickoff return for a touchdown, what Tech did against North Carolina did was convert third downs – going 9-for-15 – to maintain possession, as well as give up only one turnover.

As a result, Tech scored on 10 out of 14 possessions, including a one-play drive to end the first half. It was the highest-scoring game of Johnson’s tenure. But there’s always more.

“If you do everything right, you ought to have big plays most every play,” he said. “I mean, that’s the standard you want. Is that attainable? I don’t know. But that’s what you shoot for.”

In case you missed it…

The possibilities of a Coastal tie at 4-4

Tech avoids letdown vs. Presbyterian

Notes: NCAA experts say Miami should self-impose

Johnson on Lee, offense, redshirt freshmen

Notes: Washington looking like starter

No chance, after all, for Tech in three-way Coastal tie

Notes: Johnson to again wait on naming starting QB

Bradley: Tech as Coastal champion? Yep, it could happen

Tech season takes another turn

Tech-Georgia gets noon kickoff

Golden, Nealy ACC players of the week

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

29 comments Add your comment

[...] Tech offense seeking more vs. Duke [...]

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

November 16th, 2012
11:16 am

I still believe that FSU and Clemson are probably the only two programs in the conference that actually DESERVE to be in the ACCCCG … but if the Jackets can make their way into the game, I certainly won’t complain. Let’s just beat Duke and see how the chips fall.

Delbert D.

November 16th, 2012
11:30 am

“Vad throws the ball 50 yards in the air on a line,”

I used to be able to throw the ball 50 yards, but it was more of a ballistic missile trajectory. Sort of like Daryle Lamonica without the accuracy.


November 16th, 2012
11:35 am

I review each game at least twice. Let’s not let our expectations run wild. Lee had an outstanding game greatly aided by unbelievable catches by Godhigh and Jackson, unbelievable number of knock down blocks especially on the perimeter, and we made field goals and extra points. We need ALL players to continue to perform at a high level for the TEAM to have success. Let’s not put all the praise on one player. THWG.

1 4 GT

November 16th, 2012
12:06 pm

Amen btgt69! While the QB may be the drive shaft that turns the gears, the gears still have mesh to make the engine run smoothly. And they surely looked like the engine was revved pretty high. GOOOOO JACKETS THWGeorgie


November 16th, 2012
12:19 pm

I don’t understand why everyone keeps saying it GT makes it to the Champ game they don’t deserve 2008 VT made it to the Champ game with a 5-3 conf record..they won the game and then won the Org Bowl..that was the last time an ACC team won the Org Bowl..if we would have beaten MTSU and BYU we would be 7-3 right now going to play Duke with a win to get us to 5-3 in conf…I don’t care how we get to the champ game I just want to get there..look at the Cards 2 years ago..they backed into playoffs with Braves screw up and took advanage of it and won WS..why can’t we win Sat and geta break from Miami..maybe we go give FSU a game somehow pull it out..quit saying we dont deserve something..

[...] Tech Offense Seeking More Versus Duke (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) [...]

Tech Troll 13

November 16th, 2012
12:41 pm

I feel good about the game, but it usually comes down to turnovers. Turn the ball over a couple of times and anything could happen.


November 16th, 2012
1:00 pm

November 16th, 2012
12:19 pm

I agree. I’ve said the same thing. When VT did it no one was saying they didn’t deserve it.


November 16th, 2012
1:06 pm

Now it’s time for the defense to take their level of play up a couple of notches. If I see that tomorrow, we just may have a game on our hands on the 24th. Ditto to THWGs.

GT Joe

November 16th, 2012
1:16 pm

Funny, Vad is already getting the attention (and praise) of opposing coaches. Hasn’t even started a game yet.

GT Joe

November 16th, 2012
1:20 pm

Also funny, apparently Vad doesn’t execute the plays perfectly. Yet, does anyone think we win that game with TW?

CPJ is slowly learning that execution (while critical at talent-less Navy), isn’t nearly as critical when you have stud athletes. Case in point, Vad in the UNC game.


November 16th, 2012
1:43 pm

You can always find room for improvement, especially in college football. Big key for Vad is his passing so far is fabulous. UNC interception did not look good, but many of his passes were crisp and caught. This opens up the entire offense and is key to opening up the run game. Better blocking will open up more than better passing, but when you want to improve you can improve everywhere. If we only pass 4 times in a game it should be for 4 first downs and 2 TDs.

Can you imagine how good this team will be when the defense gets it together?

Not to pick nits or disparage the Dook coach's embellishment of Vad's abilities...

November 16th, 2012
1:44 pm

…but can ANY quarterback throw a ball 50 yards on a flat line? (you Tech grads should be able to determine whether this is possible or not)…

Delbert D.

November 16th, 2012
1:51 pm

I think gravity wins out over aerodynamic lift on that one. “On a line” is relative to the Lamonica example.


November 16th, 2012
1:56 pm

Duke has played us tough in recent years. This game is not a gimme. Tech needs to play hard, get the win and keep the bowl streak alive…only then will it matter whether Miami will remove itself from consideration for the ACC Championship or not. I would like to think that Vad is so explosive at QB that he gives us a decent chance to upset Georgia, but I just don’t.


November 16th, 2012
1:56 pm

First we have to defeat Duke. After that we can discuss championship games and orange Bowl possibilities. The task at hand is simple, beat Duke this saturday and hope that Duke prevails the next saturday and Ga Tech will play in the championship game.
Good luck jackets and play like a machine.


November 16th, 2012
2:12 pm

Do you have an email address we can contact you at?

Wes Mantooth

November 16th, 2012
2:44 pm

I agree with GT Joe. Vad doesn’t have to play perfect to be really effective. TW is good at running the option, but is one dimensional and easier to defend. Vad’s athleticism, strong-accurate arm, speed and ability to avoid the rush make him difficult to defend. Even before the Carolina game, the offense looked different with him in there. He is special.

10 of 11 Supersize and 14GT

November 16th, 2012
2:57 pm

To GT Tenn, Supersize, and 1 4 GT: Good luck Saturday and I hope you play well and beat Duke like you should. I then hope that vaults you into the ACC championship game.

It would be pretty cool to have both UGA and GT playing for their conference championships on the 1st as big underdogs which we will both be. It adds one more weekend of football for both programs, and one more tailgate or game watching affair depending on how you roll on gamedays. That would be cool and despite all the back and forth on the blogs this UGA fan wishes that to happen. Again, Good Luck!

I hope everyone has a happy holiday and great week next week with family other than White&Gold. You sir I hope actually attend the game this weekend and have a 6″8 dude sit in front of you so you can’t see and we all know you are not a fan that would actually stand up and cheer. Just kidding.

Go Dawgs


November 16th, 2012
4:00 pm

@ 10 of 11..that would be nice to have both schools in the conf champ games..if you add georgia southern in playoffs..all 3 teams play meaniful games in nov..don’t think any other state can say that

@gt joe…it still amazes me you give no one else on the team shows we shouldn’t listen to anything you say..the other day I gave you 4 examples of where Vad got a ton of help and you still think it is all Vad..he is going to be great but I still know CPJ knows more about Vad than you do..TW starts Saturday

A most pivotal game for Tech | Georgia Tech

November 16th, 2012
4:03 pm

[...] Tech offense seeking more vs. Duke [...]

[...] read. Sounds like VL still has some pretty big leaps to make mentally, but I love his attitude. Tech offense seeking more vs. Duke | Georgia Tech Reply With Quote     + Reply to [...]


November 16th, 2012
5:22 pm

Thanks, 10 of 11. Good luck to you guys in the SECCG. I think both teams will need it, assuming Tech gets in.

Reformed Toady

November 16th, 2012
5:29 pm

Please ditch the white honeycomb helmets! Just stick with the gold. Take care of business tomorrow and forget all the speculation. Go Jackets!

Stinger 1

November 16th, 2012
6:54 pm

It seems to me that GT Joe really likes Vad Lee. Did Tevin refuse to sign your program GT Joe?

GT Joe has no program...

November 16th, 2012
7:34 pm

…he freely admits he has never been to a game…

5150 UOAD

November 16th, 2012
9:34 pm

I’mz so think I drunkz I’am a UGA Grad-du-etz.


November 16th, 2012
11:20 pm

hope these guys take this game seriously. too much on the line. vad needs to keep trying hard. seems like his reads are lacking. maybe with some more experience, that will come. got my fingers crossed for tomorrow. you guys are lucky, i watch the game on espn3….