Johnson: ‘Lack of competing’ in loss to UGA

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he could have handled losing 42-10 to Georgia if he thought the effort was worthy. That was not the case.

Johnson said the Yellow Jackets were guilty of a “lack of competing” in their loss to the Bulldogs in Athens, Tech’s 11th in the past 12 years to its archrival. This season, Johnson has been critical of the team for missed assignments, poor tackling and lack of focus. However, his public challenge that the team lacked competitiveness – against an archrival, no less – compared only to his statement that the Jackets “no showed” in the 21-point loss to Middle Tennessee State. While hardly palatable to Johnson, the MTSU effort could be more understandable, given that Tech was facing a team it had blown out in each of the past two years and was seven days removed from an emotionally crushing overtime loss to Miami.

“You’ve got to play hard,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to sell out.”

From watching the game video, Johnson said coaches handed out “a lot” of efforts – demerits for not giving full effort on a play. Johnson said the offense, defense and special teams were all at fault. He did say B-back David Sims played perhaps as hard as Johnson had ever seen him play. But overall, he was confounded by what he saw from players in one of the biggest games of the year, if not the biggest.

“You get beat in life, you get beat in sports,” Johnson said. “Sometimes that happens. But what you want to do is give it your best effort and you want to compete from start to finish.”

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

339 comments Add your comment

Biff Pocoroba

November 26th, 2012
11:00 pm

They showed up for 10 out of 12 games. That is pretty good I guess. PJ knows how to rally the troops.

Trek tech

November 26th, 2012
11:05 pm

Tech has to get better athletes, period. Drop the option and use the pro style. Ken Wesinhunt anyone?


November 26th, 2012
11:08 pm

tech quit from the start–those players wanted nothing to do with the big, fast angry dawgs!

drag dawg

November 26th, 2012
11:24 pm

the dawgs never quit on my big richt. woof

Long Beach Jacket

November 26th, 2012
11:25 pm

Haven’t posted here for quite a while. The entire season has been quite confounding — needless to say disappointing. I think Paul Johnson is a very good coach and has been successful for a long, long time. That said, if the team is not “up” for the “big game” then it suggests a disconnect between the players and the coaches at some level. Hard to know for sure.

Hard to understand how players can invest all that time and effort to prepare for the game and not “max out” the effort in the game — especially this game. …. and that the coach, in this case, the Head Coach, would comment on it so openly — as it does not reflect well on him, or his staff either.

Hope the team can find a better “will to compete” this weekend.

As always, GO Jackets!!!


November 26th, 2012
11:26 pm

The problem with this acknowledgement by Coach Johnson is the unfortunate question of the team quitting for what reason? That was the issue with Coach Lewis also. These are his recruits. If he has lost his team, that is an insurmountable problem for him to overcome. Ken, are you able to add some more color to this statement by Coach Johnson?

Rick James

November 26th, 2012
11:36 pm

It was a lack of talent coach..It took Georgia 63 seconds to score it’s first touchdown.After 5 minutes they were up by two touchdowns.At halftime Georgia was up by 25 points and the game was all but over.Your team realized that it was outmanned and just rolled over.You have to bear the blame for this because you think that you can recruit marginal talent that only needs to fit your system and Tech will win..And seeing that you’re the smartest guy in the room I dont see you changing anytime soon.Nor do I see Tech ever beating Georgia as long as you are head coach.

Dog kicker

November 26th, 2012
11:37 pm

I am sick of this crap! There is no reason why Tech can’t be better than what we have become!

1 4 GT

November 27th, 2012
12:04 am

I had typed out my comments, but deleted it after seeing one of the dwags is already making his snide comments. I’ll just be damned if I give them any ammo. The dwags can go take a flying leaping conversation (intercourse) off that super tall building in Dubai or wherever it is for all I care.

1 4 GT

November 27th, 2012
12:05 am

1/3 of the posts are damn butt sniffers.

GT Alum

November 27th, 2012
12:12 am

The problem is this has become a chronic problem for this program. The team 2 years ago phoned it in for several games. And there’s been a number of games where this team has lost focus for significant parts of the game.

In the end, the coaches have to be held accountable, as well as the players. Now I’m not sure why a college player would want to put in all the hard work they do to

GT Alum

November 27th, 2012
12:22 am


prepare for the season and each game, then go out and not play hard for 40 minutes. To me, that, and the fact that you only have a limited number of these games, and, for this game, the fact that it’s a rivalry game, should be plenty of motivation. The fact that it isn’t doesn’t reflect well on our players. But when it’s a chronic issue, the coaches are the ones who recruited the players and the ones who are responsible for getting them ready to play to the best of their abilities, and there’s more to that than just Xs and Os.

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t bet against this team finishing 6-8, and that’s a shame because it was capable of more. In Johnson’s first 2 years here, he seemed to be getting everything he could out of the players he had. In the first year, the results weren’t there because everyone was learning a new system, but the results came in the second year. However, the last 3 years, the team seems to have been underperforming its ability. Winning at least 1 of these last 2 games would be good, but next year could be a critical year in determining the direction of this program, especially with regard to Coach Johnson remaining its steward.


November 27th, 2012
12:24 am

No one has commented on how top recruits and pro style or pass happy offenses didn’t seem to help FSU or Clemson in their games against SEC rivals.

This team seems to lack toughness and leadership. UGA had the same problem earlier this year until a a senior stepped up and called out his teammates.


November 27th, 2012
12:28 am

Tek should just quit football and return to playing dungeons and dragons.

Vad lee +10 magic missile !
Our elvin invisibility will protect the B back!


ice eater 1969

November 27th, 2012
12:52 am

an the coaches blitzed about 3 times – tow inthe 4th quarter – read react keep them in front of you know your angles wrap up – YOU are to passive – what a cop out – you have coached a passive defense all year – duh they are passive – sure must be easy to recruit to a passive defense. If we blits we at least get to hit the qb -

you can't fix stupid or bulldogs

November 27th, 2012
3:04 am

Roll TIde and “to Hell with Georgie”. Take away their free ride in school and send them on their way. thats what you do fire the players who don’t put out the effort to win. Same thing goes for the coaches

Stinger 1

November 27th, 2012
4:56 am

Coach Johnson has pointed out the problem: The team did not play hard or give a worthy effort. I say to all this, if you don`t have a solution you are part of the problem.
Coach, we eagerly await to hear or see your solution.


November 27th, 2012
5:25 am

Easy solution…..clean house in spring practice. Seperate the players from the “primo’s”. Tech lacks accountability in the ranks (players and coaches). It starts at the TOP.

Holey Smoak

November 27th, 2012
5:46 am

The bottom line is Uga is full of thugs, their fans worship thugs, and the dwagnation is a bunch of bible thumping thug worshipers!


November 27th, 2012
6:00 am

IRT Rick James..Lack of talent my a… The score would have been 100-0 if that was the case. Lack of focus/pride/heart!! Tech moved the ball…they just didn’t finish. One thing I can say about Georgia they make “kicking” Tech’s a.. a priority.
I’ve seen plenty of post that say CJ shouldn’t yell at the guys…The game is called football do your job and CJ won’t call you out on National T.V.
If you replay the Georgia game you will notice when Georgia put in their “subs” some Tech defensive players started being more “physical”…That has been the problem all year…Quite a few of our starters don’t like to get hit in the mouth! I hope CJ uses the Ogletree “slam” on Godhigh as motivation for next year…if the “guys” don’t get fired up on that…you get the picture.

Georgia Cracker

November 27th, 2012
6:26 am

CPJ is a lousy recruiter. IT IS TALENT STUPID. I talked to a mother of a junior prospect at Thanksgiving and she said her Son liked Tech, but SHE did not want him to go to GT because of CPJ. She said she can’t stand him. I am saying CPJ’s personality turns Mothers off and that hurts recruiting.
CPJ’s gimmick offense can score a few points (not in the clutch when we are behind though) but his defense needs big fast talent. He has failed at recruiting.

Georgia Cracker

November 27th, 2012
6:30 am

The difference in talent between UGA and Tech is laughable. Yes, I was with a whole bunch of UGA fans for the game and they were actually laughing at the GT pathetic performance. It hurt to admit that CPj and his team is really pathetic.


November 27th, 2012
6:49 am

OK, the SA’s gave poor effort, they did not sell out on every play, and they executed poorly in each phase of the game—begs the question; how can this happen when GT has such a great coach?

Johnson expects these SA’s to run through walls for him; appears the SA’s have figured out johnson will not run through walls for them; johnson throws SA’s under the bus!!! SA’s are less than human in the johnson option machine, they are mere robots with poor programming.

Hey johnson look in the mirror, your responsible for this mess, don’t deflect your failure as HC on to a bunch of kids, except responsiblity and move on, the problem is not in the locker room, its in the HC’s office!


November 27th, 2012
6:50 am

Hey coach fish fry. Sounds like to me the players are tired of your attitude and the way you conduct yourself. After the next two games please just step down from the helm. All i want for christmas is a new head coach! The players have laid down on you. I REPEAT THE PLAYERS HAVE LAID DOWN ON YOU ! Can not wait to hear is post game conference after FSU kills GT.

I called my teram QUITTERS--Now thats special

November 27th, 2012
6:52 am

I am your leader and Coach and I called my team QUITTERS– Because it is NEVER my FAULT always someone or something else

old timer

November 27th, 2012
7:19 am

Lack of talent is the problem at Tech and it will stay that way as long as college football is a farm system for the NFL. Why would 4 or 5 star players want to study that hard when their only intent is to go to the pros for millions even if they don’t realize they might not make it? When people went to school to get an education Tech was an excellent program

[...] not that Paul Johnson suddenly forgot how to coach.  That leaves only one suspect… er, suspects. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he could have handled losing 42-10 to Georgia if he thought [...]


November 27th, 2012
7:38 am

I rarely post on Tech Blogs but it doesn’t do the Dawgs any good if you guys are not ranked and competing. We need the rivalry valid and why don’t you hire a Kevin Sumlin type coach and get going on the hurry up offense. If you are not going to play good D then you better play offense really really good. I thought that CPJ would do well with better athletes but I think his demeanor with this type of athlete is not working…. Good luck against FSU! Go Dawgs!

Jacket Attack

November 27th, 2012
7:41 am

Ive got to ask you guys was you not on hand for senior day? Orwin, Tevin, Omoregie,Barnes, and Sweeting are the only seniors that get some sanps. Tech is a young team whose going to get better as time goes on. Only one of those guys have a real chance of playing on Sunday in my opnion that being uzzi. As bad as myself and you all hate to admit Ugag is full of first round and second round picks this year. No where in the world would anyone ever think we could have beat them. We got a redshirt quaterback and a true freshman wr thats going to be special. We got some fine oline coming in that are redshirted. We got some d lineman thats going to be beast yes beast! Now how can anyone look at the state of this program and say were not headed in the right direction? Lets all go to Charlotte cheer them on quit bashing the coaches and players and get on the same page and were going to see great things are coming our way.

Bad Dawg, Bad Dawg

November 27th, 2012
7:51 am

I agree with Rick James and CPJ. Some truth in both statements. Johnson needs to step up in recruiting and emotion. O’leary built a team of average to good and made it good to great by building and demanding toughness. Johnson has not recruited well by any measure. He needs to lift up his emotion also.


November 27th, 2012
7:55 am

Jacket Attack, your last name must be Johnson or your really into the koolaid drinking. Wake up, anyone can see that the program is going backwards. Sr’s or not plenty of teams win with Jr’s & Soph’s.


November 27th, 2012
7:58 am

By nature, the triple option is a complicated offense to run, takes an inordinate amount of practice time to perfect and Johnson puts his best athletes on the offensive side of the ball.

With that in mind, is it no wonder Tech’s defense is deplorable?

Johnson’s philosophy is that if he scores enough points and controls time of possession, the rest will take care of itself.

As we have seen, this is flawed thinking from supposedly one of the smartest coaches on the earth.

Until Johnson puts more emphasis on defense and recruiting better players to play defense, then Tech is doomed when playing big-time opponents (and some not-so-big ones).

Of course this vaunted offense didn’t fare so well either.

It is time to go in another direction unfortunately, because you cannot change a tiger’s stripes.

I have also made the decision not to ever watch another Tech-Georgia game until I feel that Tech is competitive, which they are most certainly not. I reckon I may never see another one.


November 27th, 2012
8:04 am

All I have seen all year is Johnson berrating kids on the sidelines. Screaming at a kid while you pull him around by his face mask does nothing at all for morale. You never see CPJ celebrating with his team when they do something good. CPJ just can’t relate to these young men at all. I would say that the kids resent CPJ and they tip toe around him to stay out of the dog house. Makes for a miserable experience and probably one that they dread having to do day in and day out. It is time for a new regime!

steaming pile

November 27th, 2012
8:09 am

i was so worried for those guys getting picked up and slammed on their heads–that is just not right–how can our players not get fired up after that –i dont understand–that was mean


November 27th, 2012
8:15 am

426 yards of total offense and 10 points. That’ paul johnson’s offense in a nutshell. Get the yards, forget points!

TechApp fan

November 27th, 2012
8:19 am

coaching problems also fans…Johnson surely knows his kicker has limited range. So what does he do? Something a good coach would not do….then that game changing steal. Game over.

When asked about that call, he would not admit a coaching “poor read”.


November 27th, 2012
8:20 am

GTBEE, thats classic Paul Johnson. If you look he was like that at Navy and at GA Southern. For those all saying the blame should be on him and not the kids, what exactly is it he should be taking the fall for? He calls the plays, the kids don’t perform. Sure things are not working out well for him and I am starting to loose faith in the triple option at this level, just look at the game, the kids were not playing pretty bad. The key here is proper players, if you look back a few seasons this is the coach that turned things upside down in 2009, had huge upsets against Clemson, VT and FSU.
If Tech can’t get the proper players for PJs option to run correctly, then maybe PJ isn’t the best fit. But when we do have the right players its shown to work


November 27th, 2012
8:24 am

This is the second year in a row that we didn’t show up for the biggest game of the year. I don’t get it.

We looked like boys playing men out there, we were getting manhandled. Sims was the only one that looked like he was there to play on the offensive side of the ball. The defense might have done better staying home. GaSouthern looked better than Tech did.


November 27th, 2012
8:24 am

Paul Johnson is the Karl Rove of football.


November 27th, 2012
8:25 am

Smyrna Gold

November 27th, 2012
8:26 am

Even the AD quit before the season was over. How bad is that?? Maybe CPJ will quit after the FSU game since there’s nobody left to fire him.

GT football is so sad.


November 27th, 2012
8:26 am


I think any improvement to the overall quality of the Tech program MUST happen here first. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. Defensive schemes get ingrained into our defenders minds through Spring practice, through Fall training camp, and then game-to-game in season. The last thing you expect is for the blueprint itself to be the problem, and firing a coordinator midway ino the season rarely, if ever, produces good results. Asking a unit, that looked totally lost into midseason, to start playing at a high level with little confidence, out-of-position coaches, and simpler schemes was just not going to happen.

I’m a fan of CCK, but I think the program might have to bring in someone with a proven track record, and an established credibility as a DC. Plus, I think we need a jolt of personality and attitude. In short, I think we’re going to need to spend some money. I think there’s too much talent out there to be sitting in the bottom third of such statistics as 3rd down conversion allowed, passing defense, and scoring defense. If we do make a new hire, likely what comes with it is wholesale changes on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe not. We’ll have to wait and see. Whoever the new DC is, they’ll have to put a stop to what I consider very soft pass coverage, no pass rush, and not enough attacking gaps on run defense. In the Georgia game, as well as countless times this season, our secondary has been schemed to keep everything in front of them, often with 8 yards or more cushion. That’s fine if you’re committing pass rushers, but it’s absolutely deadly in the absence of a pass rush.

Do we have the personnel to be a top-half defense? I certainly think so. But having the best schemes in the world isn’t going to help if, as a defender, I allow myself to be blocked out of the play…and don’t shed blocks and make tackles. Our current DLine is sub-standard, I don’t think anyone will disagree. But will we see an improvement with Green, Gotsis, Kallon, Gamble, and Chungong? Will a healthy Fred Holton make a significant impact in the secondary?


November 27th, 2012
8:26 am

No one is ever as good or as bad as people make them out to be.


November 27th, 2012
8:27 am


Tech is about to have the best 2 athletes to ever run the Spread Option in CPJ’s tenure at QB for the next 4 years, and they each bring something different to the table. We’ve seen what Vad Lee can do, and he has great elusiveness and burst for a man his size to go along with his terrific arm. Justin Thomas, currently redshirting, is a threat to run to the House on every snap. He has a first-step that might be the quickest I’ve seen for any athlete at Tech in recent memory, and just separates from defender in the open field. Plus his arm is underrated, he can make zip throws and touch passes alike. The future is bright at this position.

The future is also bright at OLine. Even with the departure of Omoregie Uzzi, Tech will likely return 4 starters and see a bevy of redshirted players (Trey Braun, Bryan Chamberlain, Errin Joe, etc.) vie for playing time (including Auburn transfer Thomas O’Reilly). 2013 might be the best incoming OLine class in CPJ’s tenure (we will discuss this more at a later date).

Where I am slightly concerned is our skilled positions. We’ll be deep at A-Backs, but no one with the athleticism of Orwin Smith. This Spring will be huge for Synjyn Days, and we will look for that optimal rotation of playmakers and blockers (with Robbie Godhigh presumably the other starter). B-Backs were surprisingly effective this year, and I am looking forward to seeing a beefed-up Zach Laskey next year. WR, on the other hand, is a worry. We leaned on a true freshman (Anthony Autry) who could actually make plays, and his injury was significant. Jeff Greene and Darren Waller proved incapable of stretching the field and making those 1-on-1 jump ball catches. Will the slack be picked up by current redshirt freshmen Travin Henry or Micheal Summers?

I know the first instinct is to panic after a bad loss, but I encourage everyone to remember that this is a process. Georgia is reaping benefits, IMHO, for sticking with a process. I hope we can see things from a larger perspective, and trust that CPJ hates losing as much (in fact, X1000 more – it’s his damn livelihood) as we do.


November 27th, 2012
8:28 am

The day before the game in an AJC Q&A one of the Tech players made the statement “those guys aren’t going to play around with us”. When I read that the thought went through my mind that the GT team was giving itself no chance before the first play was ever run.


November 27th, 2012
8:28 am

Mark Richt is the Susan Rice of football

Jay B

November 27th, 2012
8:32 am

Uga sure is benefitting from the easiest schedule in sec history. Gonna be fun to watch bama pound them and they go to the cap one bowl. LMAO


November 27th, 2012
8:33 am

Is there any truth to the reports that the NCAA is considering a ban on cut blocking altogether?


November 27th, 2012
8:35 am

Where are we going Jay B?


November 27th, 2012
8:38 am

And whose job is it to get the team ready to compete? Anyone…………Anyone? Uh…..Coach Johnson? Seems to have happened the past 2 years with you at the helm.