Tech’s resource at Georgia Southern

For Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, the video of Georgia’s 45-14 win over Georgia Southern wasn’t of great use.

The Bulldogs defended the Eagles’ spread-option scheme similarly to how they did Tech’s offense the past two years under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

“They played their base defense, which is what they’ve done against us the last two years,” Johnson said. “They didn’t do a whole lot differently.”

What was likely of greater benefit was a phone call between Johnson and Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken, who worked for Johnson for 15 years and brought the offense with him to Statesboro when he became the Eagles’ head coach before the 2010 season.

“I think the one thing you can get is who played these certain kinds of blocks the best, in the secondary, who was their best cover guy, who in their defensive line did you think was easier to knock off the ball than another guy,” Monken said. “Who was real stout and you had real trouble getting movement on. Just those things that you can’t see on film. I think those things are valuable.”

As the Yellow Jackets prepare for Saturday’s game against Georgia – a game that Johnson said will require their best game of the year just to have a chance – Johnson is scouring for every advantage. That includes tapping the resources of his former assistants.

Said Monken, “I’m obviously pulling for Coach Johnson.”

To Johnson’s chagrin, perhaps, Monken’s scouting reports may not be of the value they normally might be. Of the 12 players listed at the top of Georgia’s depth chart – Amarlo Herrera and Michael Gilliard share one first-string spot at inside linebacker – Tech faced all but two of them in last year’s 31-17 defeat at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

What’s more, those 10 aren’t bad. Johnson declared Tuesday that six or seven members of the unit are headed for the NFL. He gave his due to outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, whom draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. touted last week as a potential first overall selection, but also raved about inside linebacker Alec Ogletree.

“Alec Ogletree just jumps off the film at you,” Johnson said. “The things that can do, the way he runs and makes plays, he’s a special player, as well.”

Georgia is ranked No. 20 in FBS in total defense and No. 18 in scoring defense. Johnson hesitated to compare the Bulldogs against other stout defenses he has seen in his time at Tech, but said that “I don’t think you’re going to play anybody with more talent than them.”

Johnson agreed with sentiments of Georgia coaches and players that practicing and playing against a similar style of offense two consecutive weeks will be an advantage.

“If anything, it probably helps them with the speed of it,” Johnson said.

For Tech, facing Georgia at least provides a benefit of familiarity. Against North Carolina, Maryland, BYU and Clemson, the Jackets faced defensive coordinators who were in their first year with the team or coordinators with whom Johnson wasn’t otherwise familiar.

Figuring out how those teams would defend Tech’s offense required guesswork and research, using game video from when those coordinators played option offenses at previous stops, not always recently. When Tech played Iowa in the Orange Bowl in the 2009 season, coaches had to trace back to the 1989 Aloha Bowl between Michigan State and Hawaii. In that game, Johnson, then the Hawaii offensive coordinator, faced a Michigan State team whose outside linebackers coach was Norm Parker, later to become Iowa’s defensive coordinator. Monken and Tech assistants Mike Sewak and Buzz Preston were also on staff.

“That’s as long as I can remember (going back),” Monken said. “It was the same defense.”

Johnson doesn’t expect any shenanigans Saturday from Grantham.

“It’ll come down to execution and try to maybe have the right thing on at the right time,” he said. “They’ve got their plan and they’re going to run with it.”

Tech, quite literally, will do likewise.

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

69 comments Add your comment

Something to ponder - Page 2

November 20th, 2012
10:15 pm

[...] PM #13 HelluvaMGTmjr Senior Member Join DateAug 2011 Posts4,649 Tech’s resource at Georgia Southern | Georgia Tech Reply With Quote     + Reply to [...]

1

November 20th, 2012
10:15 pm

Flapjacket

November 20th, 2012
10:16 pm

1

November 20th, 2012
10:16 pm

Papa

November 20th, 2012
10:29 pm

I figure Tech has a better chance of beating UGA than the Dwags have of beating Bama….

GTGirl

November 20th, 2012
11:01 pm

I agree Papa!

Tech Sucks

November 20th, 2012
11:09 pm

Obviously neither of you have watched Bama or UGA recently.

Delbert D.

November 20th, 2012
11:09 pm

I watched only the first half of the Georgia Southern game Saturday, and their guys blocked pretty effectively for the most part. Georgia Tech’s defense has to perform unlike what we have seen so far this season.

Delbert D.

November 20th, 2012
11:20 pm

I’ve watch all of Georgia’s games this year (except as noted in previous post by me) and Alabama in their only 2 interesting games, LSU and Texas A&M (I bailed on Alabama – Michigan pretty quick.) Georgia has Gurshall (or Marley) and Alabama has LaDon. Alabama has a Steady-Eddie boring QB, and Georgia has a sometimes brilliant, sometimes catastrophic, mostly good QB. D-line, Alabama. LBs, Georgia. Safeties, Georgia. CBs, Alabama. Looks like a tossup great game, to me.

SansWorld

November 20th, 2012
11:20 pm

Dawg talk sounds a lot like it did in 2010, and 2008 for that matter. I suspect there will be a close game, which has been the norm in most recet years.

TVFan

November 21st, 2012
5:24 am

Georgia has a very good defense and an outstanding offense. Tech has a pretty good offense and a defense that has played some very bad games this year. Tech just doesn’t have the horses to keep up with Georgia’s 4 & 5 star offensive players. If I’m Georgia, I’m bringing my track shoes and just run. I’ll be pulling for the Yellow Jackets and hope for many Georgia turnovers, but frankly I’ll be surprised if we can keep the score close.

Wrecker

November 21st, 2012
6:23 am

One of our only hopes against the dawgs is if Bobo decides to revert to classic Bobo form. If he gives up on the run, they will not move the ball as consistently. If he were smart or even a good coordinator, he would just line up and run the ball down our throats.

you can't fix stupid or Democrats or bulldogs

November 21st, 2012
6:30 am

Georgia is thinking about Bama…Tech is only thinking about beating UGA

00Burdell

November 21st, 2012
6:41 am

After watching this game for going on 30 years, this is one of the tougher calls. If Uga can seriously disrupt our offense, we are looking at a long afternoon but if we can score in the 35-45 range, the game won’t be decided until the last few possessions.

The 1999 Tech UGa game was on ESPNC yesterday – this one might end up looking like that one.

GT1990

November 21st, 2012
6:41 am

Hey CPJ, if you get beat on saturday then you should be fired! Losing to UGA 4 years in a row is pathetic!

Island Jacket

November 21st, 2012
6:44 am

GO JACKETS!!!

THWG….

Paul's Johnson

November 21st, 2012
7:17 am

HEY 1990 – I’ve got something that you can beat on Saturday

If you haven’t read we are playing in the ACCCG for a shot at a BCS Bowl after starting 2-4. Get over yourself.

TripleOptionSpread

November 21st, 2012
7:20 am

The only team UGA has beat with a winning record in the mighty SEC is Vanderbuilt other that Fla. who had six turnovers and they barely won that one.

THWG Go…..Jackets! Kick some dawg butt!

Ignition

November 21st, 2012
8:00 am

Tech has no chance, if they can stay within 14 points I’ll be impressed..

Buzz-Off

November 21st, 2012
8:09 am

Hey triple option,
If UGa runs the table they will likely have played 2 teams ranked # 1 this season (Bama and ND), 1 team ranked #2 (FL until UGa knocked them off), and # 3 SC which kicked UGa early in the season. How many other teams can say they played 4 teams ranked in the top 3……and every game was “on the road”. Doesn’t sound like an easy road to a NC to me!!! P.S. And, they will have to play a team this weekend that is playing in the ACC championship game…….so get off this easy schedule kick.

10per

November 21st, 2012
8:18 am

If UGA does not line up in a jumbo set and run the ball down our throats like they did in 2010 they are off their meds. Our only chance is to control the clock with long drives after they score quick with short passes. We will probably keep lining up with a big cushion on the corners and safeties like we always do, letting a smart accurate QB shred us.

Coach Z

November 21st, 2012
8:21 am

Is it Noon Saturday yet? All this talk about this and that is killing me, let’s play the game.

Fenaleyess

November 21st, 2012
8:25 am

I think georgia’s strategy will be to get a quick score through the air and then keep the ball on the ground (including bird hairs favorite, the SCREEN!). Bird Hair should aim to reduce the time the Jackets have the ball and with one or 2 defensive stops this game is over… On the other hand georgia has been showing up late to games (GA Southern could have had the lead at the half if it weren’t for a really bad chop block call) and if Tech can force a couple turnovers in the first half and go up big, they can keep the game close… Oh yeah, and that play with Vad passing up the middle to Godhigh could really get the offense going.THWG

Coach Z

November 21st, 2012
8:36 am

Isn’t it true? WIthout a doubt, when we have a reciever open down field, If the pass is perfect and complete, it should result in a TD. Here’s to perfect passing, by TECH of course!

The Necromancer

November 21st, 2012
9:07 am

Hey Buzz-Off – your “on the road” is a little misleading. Sure UGA played USCe “on the road”, but UF, Bama, and if by some miracle ND would all be at neutral sites.

So stop playing it up like it is a big deal. Playing at a neutral site is not the same as playing “on the road” which most normal people mean at the opponents house.

Billy Clyde Puckett

November 21st, 2012
9:17 am

I’m certainly impressed with the strenth of Georgia’s schedule. My, what an array of tough opponents. Buffalo, Missouri, Florida Atlantic, Kentucky, and the list goes on. And Auburn is exceptionally talented this year.

GT GRAD

November 21st, 2012
9:18 am

Response to Buzz-off: UGA lost 35-7 to SC (#3) and squeaked out a win against a vastly over-rated UF team primarily because UGA had less mistakes than Florida…….it was like neither team showed up to play.

UGA has not played the other tough games you listed above. The remainder of the UGA schedule (excluding GT of course) is VERY weak…….face the facts!

I will concede that UGA will earn the National Championship if they beat GT, Alabama and then ND. That would be very impressive.

I still think it would be funny if GT beats UGA, FSU beats UF and then UGA beats Alabama! Perfect storm for the SEC fans……….we would then have ND and Oregon in the NC game!!!!!!!!!!

JM

November 21st, 2012
9:20 am

No doubt this will be a tough game for the Jackets, especially with some players having the flu. Georgia has the talent, will they be focussed?

As a side comment on the rest of the season, I think Texas A&M put the focus back into Alabama.

Tech is a joke

November 21st, 2012
9:25 am

Tech fans mocking UGA’s schedule?? Let me put it to you this way…….if Tech played the same schedule, right now Tech would be 4-7 at best. I mean c’mon you lost to MTSU!!!

Oh one more thing does 10 out of the last 11 ring a bell???? THWGT!!

Bad Dawg, Bad Dawg

November 21st, 2012
9:27 am

Definition of Elite? National Championships 1917, 1928, 1952 and 1990. For such an “Elite” program how is it the Dawgs have only 1 in 1980. It’s called hype.

RFP

November 21st, 2012
9:31 am

UGA does have a weak schedule this year. I mean Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida….do these even count as FBS opponents???

4th and Long Gone

November 21st, 2012
9:53 am

@Buzz-Off,
Those are “ifs” UGA beats Bama and ND. The schedule note was of who they “have” beaten. The combined record of the teams they have beaten is 51 -59, and that includes Ga Southerns 8-3. So, to date, UGA’s schedule has been very easy. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good, it just means that we don’t really know at this point.
Tech can do the same and say “if” they beat UGA and FSU and the Orange Bowl opponent…

gt4ever

November 21st, 2012
10:52 am

@paul’s johnson

Just get some HELP!

Bad Dawg, Bad Dawg

November 21st, 2012
11:30 am

Delbert D…you forgot the most important comparison. Bama has Nick Saban (3 national championshps) and Dawgs have Mark Richt (0 national championships)!

Hey, TripleOptionSpread, and RFP, and 4th and Long Gone....

November 21st, 2012
12:02 pm

…everything you guys wrote is absolutely true – still, UGA did NOT lose to a D1AA directional school, nor play a team from a school that only has 1700 students, nor play a team that had a true freshman LINEBACKER as its starting QB …

And the team that UGA beat that had 6 turnovers was ranked #2 in the country at the time, and that same team is still ranked #4 in the country today…

So, please go back in to your collective moms’ basements and smell the turkey basting upstairs, and enjoy the game on Sat – if Tech wins, congrats – if UGA wins, they should have won anyway, right?

The Necromancer

November 21st, 2012
12:12 pm

If UGA has six turnovers against GA Tech, then I think Tech has a pretty good chance to pull off the upset.

COASTAL CHAMPS

November 21st, 2012
12:28 pm

The Dawgs are worried.

Jacket Killa

November 21st, 2012
12:44 pm

Yes the Dawgs are worried that they will catch the Flu from your team. Give me a break, the Dawgs are not looking past the Jackets.

Jacket Killa

November 21st, 2012
12:47 pm

Btw I am sure that Richt called his friend at Middle Tennessee to see which players on Tech are knocked off the ball easiest. What a joke

Mark

November 21st, 2012
12:53 pm

Tech has as much chance of beating the Dawgs as UGA did to beat Florida a few weeks back…. oh, tha’s right, they did win, never mind. So much for chances – Go Jackets!

Jacket Killa

November 21st, 2012
12:53 pm

All kidding aside. This should be a fun game to watch. We all know Tech will be ready to play and we know they would love to knock off the #3 team in the BCS. Good Luck to you guys and I hope that both teams stay healthy for their Conference Championship Games

spider

November 21st, 2012
1:03 pm

UGA vs TECH week….its called COMEDY WEEK.

Dennis

November 21st, 2012
1:15 pm

Back from the dead, Tech thy name is Lazarus. Lay it all out. You were once dead and now you live again. House money.

Tech Troll 13

November 21st, 2012
1:29 pm

For the uninformed, there is no Div1AA. It has been the FCS for several years. MTSU is not a FCS school. They are a FBS school and they are better than half of the teams on the UGA schedule.

Jackets55

November 21st, 2012
1:56 pm

To quote a song by paul thorn: “Everybody looks good at the starting line…….Going the distance is the hard part son.”

ToeMeetsLeather

November 21st, 2012
2:02 pm

Once these future NFL stars get a taste of about a quarter of D1 cut blocks I predict their ball pursuit eases up as they protect the NFL goods. We may set a rushing record tween the bushes Saturday.

RFP

November 21st, 2012
2:19 pm

@toemeetsleather, you might be right about the rushing record. I think Gurshall can beat King and Ealey’s 339 yard rushing output against Tech in 2009.

www

November 21st, 2012
2:29 pm

for anyone who cares – phil steele thinks it will be a close game but gives the edge to uga:

#3 GEORGIA VS GEORGIA TECH
Georgia is 10-1 in this series. Last year the situation favored GT as UGA had the SEC Title game on deck but they still won 31-17 on the road. UGA had a 380-355 yard edge but GT gained 108 of their yards on the final 2 drives. UGA does have the large edge of facing the triple option last week vs Ga Southern in a 45-14 win (was just 7-7 mid-2Q). UGA QB Murray now leads the NCAA in pass eff with a 28-7 ratio. While the BCS may have UGA ranked #3 right now, I can’t shake the 35-7 beatdown they received by SC and also when they barely escaped at UK 29-24 while GT has been impressive in their 3 game win streak. They are now bowl eligible for a 16th consecutive season after last week’s 42-24 win at Duke (did lead just 28-24 entering 4Q) and have split reps between QB’s Lee/Washington in recent weeks. After Miami declared themselves ineligible for this year’s postseason, the Jackets now find themselves with a conference championship game on deck. However, with a National Title possibility in play and the SEC Title game on deck, UGA is playing with even more pressure and despite the advantage of seeing the option last week, I think this one will go into the 4Q undecided.
PHIL’S FORECAST: GEORGIA 34 GEORGIA TECH 28

http://blog.philsteele.com/2012/11/21/top-25-week-13/

macrotech

November 21st, 2012
2:50 pm

I’m inclined to believe all that Phil Steele wrote….looking forward to a great game with a reversal of Phil’s prophecy!!! GO TECH!!!

Rick

November 21st, 2012
5:12 pm

Said Monken, “I’m obviously pulling for Coach Johnson.”….So I will be pulling against GSU in the playoffs for the first time.