Four Tech-FSU thoughts

1. It was impressive, maybe even astounding, to see the defense go toe to toe with Florida State in the second half, keeping the Seminoles off the board for the final 30 minutes. The pass rush was effective, the tackling and hitting was solid and plays were made. Before Florida State’s final kneeldown, the Seminoles’ five possessions in the second half ended in punt, fumble, punt, fumble, interception.

After gaining 211 yards on 29 plays in the first half, FSU ran 29 plays in the second half, also, but only produced 117 yards. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher explained the second half offensive lapse with “self-inflicted wounds.” Whatever the reason, it was remarkable.

It speaks well for whatever interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and his staff did at halftime – the same thing happened against North Carolina and Duke – but also causes you to wonder what the defense could do if it played like that more consistently.

2. Regarding Tevin Washington/Vad Lee, I thought I heard sideline reporter Heather Cox saying that Johnson told her that both would play in the second half. Obviously, Washington played the entire half. I confess I didn’t ask about it, but will.

Had the 2-by-2 rotation continued, Lee would have been due to go into the game on Tech’s second possession of the second half, the one that the Jackets started on the FSU 49-yard line after Jabari Hunt-Days’ forced fumble (which was an excellent play) and lasted one play (interception by A-back Synjyn Days).

I would surmise that Paul Johnson saw something and wanted to ride Washington out, certainly after leading the drive after the interception that ended in a field goal. Perhaps at that point, the game became “his” to win or lose.

3. They get beaten up a lot, so the special teams units should get some acknowledgement. Tech’s starting points off of FSU’s four kickoffs were the 23, 25, 35 (out of bounds) and 34. Basically, 1-for-2, as two were out of Tech’s control, against a very good kickoff cover team. Jamal Golden had a 34-yard return on FSU’s final kickoff.

For FSU, it was the 25, 10 (FSU penalty, would have been the 19), 25, 30 and 26, also pretty good.

Kickers David Scully and Chris Tanner hit all three of the field-goal tries, the first time Tech made three in a game all season, though the Jackets attempted three or more only twice (although that was partly because Johnson lost confidence in the unit).

Tanner, a walk-on senior, is now 5-for-6. It’s too bad he’s only now getting a shot.

Sean Poole shanked his first punt, a 20-yarder that gave the Seminoles the ball on the Tech 43 and led to the opening touchdown, but his three punts after were some of the best of the season. Jamal Golden didn’t return any of FSU’s three punts.

4. Talking to players and Johnson after the game, they were obviously disappointed with the loss, but not down.

Particularly given the catastrophe in Athens, how the season has gone and how much better a team FSU is, it was perhaps to be expected. They made some critical mistakes, but still played off their feet and emptied their bucket.

“Never happy when you lose, but I told our guys that I was proud of their effort, so we’ll take that and try to move forward,” Johnson said.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

79 comments Add your comment

GTFANINPA

December 2nd, 2012
12:47 pm

If GT could only play like they did in the second half. Good effort but they need to finish.

1 4 GT

December 2nd, 2012
12:47 pm

1 January 1981……………………………….and counting! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Paul in NH

December 2nd, 2012
12:48 pm

At the half I, like, I am sure, most fans, thought we were going to see a 2nd half blow out. I am impressed by how hard GT played in the 2nd half.

GT-UT

December 2nd, 2012
12:55 pm

Thanks Ken… appreciate all the reporting on Sunday. Go jackets!
When the bowl game!

GT-UT

December 2nd, 2012
12:55 pm

Thanks Ken… appreciate all the reporting on Sunday. Go jackets!
Win the bowl game!

frustrated fan

December 2nd, 2012
1:16 pm

Thanks ken, i like this more positive article for the title game. Keep doing what you’re doing in terms of covering gt. You’re way better than the idiots at espn for covering gt.

Buzz Belle

December 2nd, 2012
1:19 pm

Thanks for your reporting Ken. I am still waiting for one picture on the front page of this paper showing GT and not uga. ONE picture. I have been watching since yesterday and 6:30 a.m. And nothing, nada, zero. What do we have to do to get coverage? I understand the bigger game was uga/ala but there are two colleges going for a conference championship and you are the only one talking about it. Shameful!

Buzz Belle

December 2nd, 2012
1:20 pm

But, I’d rather read you than mark or Jeff. :) . Maybe I shouldn’t complain since we get the batter sports writer.

yeller bug

December 2nd, 2012
1:23 pm

Ken,

Thanks for your diligent, “blue collar” effort this year in your reports, insight and often successful attempts at humor. You have done a great job for the Yellow Jacket faithful!

This has been a ugly year, but aside from the MTSU game, the players have played hard and there are many bright spots for the future. A bowl win would break an ugly streak in that category and get us on a positive note for next year. So there’s work left to do. Go Jackets and end the season and start the next on a winning streak!

Jacket Dad

December 2nd, 2012
1:36 pm

Glad to see the Jackets not give up. The defense kicked it up a notch in the second half and did us proud. It’s a shame our offense could not do the same, but some of that should be attributed to FSUs defense – and Johnson’s play calling. Would have loved to see what Vad could have done, especially that last drive, but woulda, shoulda, coulda……. For whatever reason, CPJ is too hard-headed to adjust and doesn’t appear to want to play his best players. You can claim “he’s the one who sees them in practice, blah, blah, blah” but we see them in the games.

It was great seeing the Tech fans have something to cheer about toward the end of a game. I appreciate our players and just wonder what’s going on. I think they have given up on Johnson and his scheme. He doesn’t seem to inspire his players or fans. Hope to get a DC who is young and on fire and to actually win a bowl game.

GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GT Fan

December 2nd, 2012
1:59 pm

EXCEPTIONAL defensive effort in the 2nd half!

I’m disappointed in PJ for not giving a Vad a 2nd half chance. But this is, unfortunately, becoming the norm for PJ, saying one thing then doing another.

GT Fan

December 2nd, 2012
2:07 pm

I hope the determination of permanent DC isn’t overly weighted by what the D did in the 2nd half. If coach Kelly can get these kids to play like that for 30 minutes, why not 60 minutes?

If GT’s D can play like last night’s 2nd half for the entire bowl game, especially if the opponent is USC, then coach Kelly deserves a serious look. Otherwise, I’ve gotta look elsewhere for a DC who can produce much better results than games like BYU, UNC, UGA, and FSU’s 1st half, all under coach Kelly’s watch.

Ken Sugiura

December 2nd, 2012
2:18 pm

thanks. you guys, as always, are too kind. being called “blue collar” and often successful at humor – that’s about the best i could ask for, yeller bug. by the way, i don’t recommend the burger king caesar salad, which i am just finishing eating somewhere near anderson, s.c. the “cheese” is like cardboard. hopefully, it’s merely like cardboard.

ToeMeetsLeather

December 2nd, 2012
2:28 pm

Nice effort by the Jackets, but bottom line, we are 6-7 and can’t compete with the nadlickers at he present time. Big season for CPJ next year. He has to hire a sound DC quickly and open up the playbook for Lee & Company, or we’ll be right back where we were with Gailey, if we aren’t already. What works against Duke and UVA doesn’t work against FSU and UGA. The plays are in the playbook, they just aren’t used enough or at the correct times, and at the end of each loss I have scratchted a new hole in my head wondering what Johnson was thinking at key possessions of the game.

Most everyone is back on both sides of the ball next year and it will be year six of the CPJ era. 2013 will define how successful Johnson can or will be at Tech.

Note: This would also be a good time for CPJ to work on his crusty personality.

TechApp fan

December 2nd, 2012
2:33 pm

Hard game to “figure out”. Johnson starts the game and ends the game passing with his best passer not in the game. Also, running the sweep with a small/fast A back to the short side of the field into a D that evidently was not expecting any passing and they were camping close to the line….seems….unexplainable.
Still wondering what Lee did to warrent no playing time.

TechApp fan

December 2nd, 2012
2:36 pm

warrant…for spell nazi

WnE

December 2nd, 2012
2:47 pm

re:
“Never happy when you lose, but I told our guys that I was proud of their effort, so we’ll take that and try to move forward,” Johnson said.
________________

Moral victories like this might play well at Service Academies where guys are being trained to become Military Leaders, but in the BCS where we pay HCs $2.6MM per year excuses like that don’t cut it.

At this level of CFB, WINNING is the only thing, as long as you stay within the rules of the NCAA.

So far this season Coach Moral Victory has us at 13-0 if you count moral victories and rushing yards and other insignificant criteria.

BTW, FSU played like crap in the 2nd half and kept GT around, our Defense wasn’t really better, so look for us to give up 40+ in any Bowl game we might play in especially if we have to play USCw in the Sun Bowl.

It is a huge stretch to go from us playing better Defense to FSU playing terrible on Off. in the 2nd half, I choose to see the facts , which is it was FSU playing like crap in the 2nd half.

To all the folks that liked to quote the phrase “20 wins in 2 years” when they were licking CPJ’s Boots in years 1 & 2, you now have a new phrase to quote; “19 losses in 3 years”, soon to be 20 BTW.

ibidGT

December 2nd, 2012
2:48 pm

Vad had his drives, didn’t do much with them. Tevin led the only TD drive. You all act 100% confident that Vad would’ve gotten a TD if he was in on the last game. Sides one 42 yard pass with blown coverage by FSU he didn’t do anything. One has to go all the way back to the UNC game to bring up any highlights of him.

I believe Vad is the better athlete and will surpass Tevin by miles down the road, but I have no idea what everyone was drinking to believe with such confidence that Vad would have led that last drive for a TD.

ibidGT

December 2nd, 2012
2:58 pm

It is a huge stretch to go from us playing better Defense to FSU playing terrible on Off. in the 2nd half, I choose to see the facts , which is it was FSU playing like crap in the 2nd half.

_____________

WRONG…a player doesn’t just fumble without getting smacked. A QB doesn’t get sacked because he runs into a linebacker. A RB doesn’t just stop running on the same play that in the 1st half earned him 10-15 yards. A 5 10″ DB doesn’t just get lucky and beat a taller and bigger receiver on a 1v1 situation for an interception.

GT defense played amazingly therefore the FSU offense seemed like crap. Not the other way around.

The Dream

December 2nd, 2012
2:59 pm

We were supposed to lose and the fact that we didn’t lie down when were so far down speaks volumes to me about what could have been. Hard to figure out the “whys” of this year, but that being said, I felt better today than I did last Sunday. Any chance that we have insight on the new defensive co-ordinator ? I hope it is someone with “real” name recognition and that recruiting for that side of the ball amps up. Good luck with whatever bowl we go to, whether we deserve it or not, I’ll see you there.

TechApp fan

December 2nd, 2012
3:09 pm

@ibid…we will never know what Lee could have done but he seems to be a better passing QB and that is what Johnson was calling…but TW does have a history of not much in games near the end when the pass just has to be completed.
Guess you were OK with TW being the man at the end.

ibidGT

December 2nd, 2012
3:17 pm

I honestly don’t think it mattered who was in there in the end, doubt either pulls it out. Think the inability to run an effective hurry up tempo, ineffective pass protection, lack of any home run threats, and throwing less than 5 times a game before that doesn’t help anyone when they have less than 2 minutes to put it in the endzone.

Nativebird

December 2nd, 2012
3:23 pm

This team or program will never move forward with this idiot as head coach. He has got to go.

Miamibound

December 2nd, 2012
3:28 pm

All this effort shows, as did the UF, FSU game did, is that FSU is one of the most overrated teams in America. And that the ACC is bush league!

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
3:32 pm

Ibid: if you can’t tell who the superior qb is, then no one can help you.

If you think that Tevin gave us an equal shot at winning on the last drive, then no one can help you.

If you think that vad is no better a passer than Tevin (which is whatwe needed on the last drive), if you thought Tevin was actually lead us to a final drive victory (which he has never done) instead of a final drive INT (WHICH he has done three times), then no one can help you.

Did you honestly think anything different would happen?

wreckbone

December 2nd, 2012
3:41 pm

I hope the Johnson haters Di bitty get their wish. He is not the problem. Those of you who expect a 50 /50 rivalry aren’t going to get it these days. uga sells too many tickets and has too many high recruits. We weren’t getting them before Johnson do its not his fault the recruiting is the same. Why you want to fire a coach that has a system others hate. Only need a feature a and b back for the next the yearsto be effective. E essentially moved the ball against top ten defenses and teams. Er just bed a couple Guys who can get 3rd and 3 or less. That is what 09 had. While I would jabber looked to see Vad in at the end I agree with Johnson..fsu secondary is not where your freshman beds to cut his teeth. Was hoping he would play especially in passing situations. Anyone who thinks Johnson didn’t field the players to give him the best opportunity to win doesn’t know this coach. You guys need to zip it and play in that old Brett Farve commercial….proud of the jackets in this game.

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
3:49 pm

Wreckbone, keep drinking the cpj koolaid. After watching vad versus unc, if still agree with cpj that tevin is the man, you have issues.

ibidGT

December 2nd, 2012
3:49 pm

I already stated Vad is a better athlete. If it makes you feel better I ALSO MEANT A BETTER PASSER.

And no I honestly don’t think anything different happens whether Vad or Tevin are in. Both probably end without a TD. The only difference is Vad probably overthrows a receiver by 20 yards leading to an int as opposed to the int Tevin threw.

We needed much more than a good passer on the last drive to get a TD. Think the system had much more to do with the outcome than the man behind the center thus I don’t see it appropriate to lay it all on Tevin when there are bigger factors in play.

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
3:56 pm

Ibid: did you not watch vad turn in the best qb performance of the cpj era AT UNC, a top 20 defense at the time? Did you not see him lead us to a td after the pick 6, where a mere mortal freshman would have choked? That kid showed more leadership in one game than tevin in his whole career.

That last throw by tevin was an embarrassment to tech football. And so predictable. We’ve seen it his whole career. Heck, his first game ended with a pick to end the game. First game This year ended the same way. And now the acc title game too?

WORSE. THAN. REGGIE. BALL.

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
4:03 pm

ALSO, for those who say vad didn’t look great: cpj is setting him up for failure with this stupid Platooning. I called it on the blogs before the uga game: if we play tevin 2 drives, then put in vad, vad will come in with a 14-0 or 21-0 deficit (turned out to be 21-3). Same thing vs. Fsu, and vad came in with a 14-3 deficit.

Burn the first 2 drives on tevin, and we lose against a good team. Guaranteed.

Paul in NH

December 2nd, 2012
4:10 pm

Good to see WnE telling everyone that the only thing that counts is WINNING. I wonder if he is posting the same thing under whatever his Dawg handle is over on the UGA blogs.

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
4:12 pm

In football, what else matters than winning?

AJGT2K

December 2nd, 2012
4:22 pm

Yet another loss where the last GT offensive snap is a Tevin interception. Good riddance

Delbert D.

December 2nd, 2012
4:27 pm

In the NFL, ties matter. Check the NFC West.

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
4:30 pm

Ajgt2k: well we’re not rid of him yet. Cpj will.waste the bowl game on tevin too.

Delbert D.

December 2nd, 2012
4:42 pm

What’s with Doug Roberson? I’m reading the AJC print Sunday paper, and he has an article titled, “Coach says Crime Tide players earned a break.”

GT Jeff

December 2nd, 2012
4:52 pm

After watching just about all of GT’s football games under CPJ’s watch for the past five seasons, I have developed several opinions. Most importantly, I do NOT believe CPJ can recruit well enough to return to the level of success he enjoyed in 2008 and 2009 with CCG’s players. Second, since CPJ has not been able to improve GT’s defensive play for five seasons, I do NOT believe he will EVER be able to do it. Finally, while CPJ’s TO offense has been very effective at running the ball against weak opponents and winning those games, this offense will NEVER be able to CONSISTENTLY run the ball enough to WIN against good football teams. To summarize, with CPJ, what you see is what you got, and there is no reason to expect anything different as long as CPJ is the HC at GT.

Born2Buzz

December 2nd, 2012
4:57 pm

Lets move on to basket ball.

flexbone 45

December 2nd, 2012
4:59 pm

@ibidgt Having the correct qb in could not be more important.

Born2Buzz

December 2nd, 2012
4:59 pm

GTJeff, agree 100%. But we will go through this again next year.
Unless the new AD wants his own guy. The problem is we could end up like Maryland.

greg

December 2nd, 2012
5:05 pm

pj is an idiot. puts in the worst passer and of course he throws an int. if you’re forced to throw the ball, you better put in the better passer. not this moron coach

chas_jacket

December 2nd, 2012
5:21 pm

A strong effort by the jackets – the D looked inspired in the 2nd half. Wonder if the bowl game will be Kelly’s final test for consideration as DC?

Everyone can forget about CPJ being replaced with his buyout $. We’ll see how things turn out with Vad and Justin next year. I think the Offense should definitely be better with a more consistent passing threat – who knows about the defense although Kallon should help. Still think he should have played this year.

Funny the moral victory comments from the dog trolls – how about a little appreciation for both Georgia teams who played with a lot of heart and just came up short

Tech man in Athens

December 2nd, 2012
5:27 pm

GT Jeff, also agree. I’ve followed Tech, lived and died with them sine the 50s. CPJ sticking with TW is like Gailey and Reggie Ball. Ball was good enough to play extremely well, but for every touchdown he scored, he gave one back. TW is a tough, gutsy player who I admire. But he can only give you what he’s got talent wise. Vad Lee is the only true talent CPJ has recruited and he has almost wasted him this year because CPJ just wants clean hand offs and no fumbles. What that gives you is beating, like you said, the teams we can outman. Vad Lee gives us a chance to win one we are not supposed to win, like FSU last night. I thought CPJ was a gambler, but he has shown me he doesn’t have the guts to gamble on the future, Vad Lee, in case TW can pull one out. He never does. CPJ has taken the easy road and diehard Tech fans like me have to watch us lose games over and over because of he stubborn stance on TW. We will never see another Damarius Thomas or Jonathan Dwyer quality player again. We no longer have or will have the break away B Back because we have a bevy of average speed, average size B Backs who tough out single digit runs at best. We are so inferior with talent (especially against UGA players) it’s a joke. I hate to say this, but after decades of losing to UGA I realize (stupid me) that we will NEVER beat UGA or dominate any team again except some lousier ACC opponent. Fact is, FSU just didn’t bring their game last night. They came not to lose and thankfully our players came to play. It still would have been a miracle if we had won, and I hate to say it, but it would have been a shame if we had. I actually looked forward to the Bama/UGA game much more than watching Tech play. All this from a man who has loved Tech football all his life and followed every season for 50 plus years. I hope to God that the GT Athletic Board reads this and understands the CPJ is letting our football tradition go to dust.

sheepdawg

December 2nd, 2012
5:28 pm

get a new coach and hope the big 10 invite is on the way

Proud to Have Been in Charlotte

December 2nd, 2012
5:28 pm

I, too, have suffered with Tech’s inconsistency this season. I also do not disagree with the frustrations shared by many regarding a stubborn coach who is not making use of all of his talent. Perhaps Vad Lee will be the second coming of Joe Hamilton or Shawn Jones; perhaps he will not. Perhaps, if Tech could recruit even 1 or 2 NFL caliber defensive players (and a good DC), then there is a chance that the losses do not fall like they did this year. Even with that talent in the past, losses still have occurred.

However, despite all of the frustrations I have read on this board for weeks, I still chose to go to Charlotte and support the team. I was sitting in Charlotte in the Tech end zone one row behind the students. At 21-3, they were still standing cheering wildly as the tide appeared ready to turn. I stood with the students the entire game while many other Tech fans sat down and watched from their seats (something I have also seen in Bobby Dodd). Whatever you may say about the coaches and play calling this season, the players on the team played their hearts out. Even when they were down 21-3, they were jumping up all over the side lines. They were fired up and wanted to win and play their hearts out for their fans…and in my opinion they did. I will not argue that Vad is not a better passer or should have at least been playing in the second half. However, I do not agree with people who want to bash the players. Whether it is Tevin Washington or hated rival Aaron Murray, people often forget that these students give their all in these games. It is much easier to play sofa quarterback than to be on a field running like crazy from some seriously big men while trying to throw a pass quick and efficient to another guy running really fast. I really wish that the ending had been different. I felt my heart sink at the end when the pass was intercepted and I knew that FSU won the game. However, as others walked out of the game, I stood one last time and applauded the team for working as hard as they could to try to come back from what I felt was going to be a huge blowout and at least give a chance at winning the game at the end.

We can all sit here and complain about the play calling, the use/misuse of talent, and whether or not CPJ should stay or go, but at the very least, remember that those guys played hard that second half and never quit. Complain all you want about the coach, but support the team! Now, let’s get a bowl win, all get behind Vad, and get ready for 2013! Go Jackets!

GT Joe

December 2nd, 2012
5:34 pm

Proud: No one on here is bashing players. We are bashing CPJ. If you really cared about the players, you would be just as mad as we are at CPJ for destroying/wasting years of their football careers with stubbornness, arrogance, and sometimes, flat out ignorance.

GT TN

December 2nd, 2012
5:59 pm

@GT Joe..you are so full of it..all you do is bash Tech players..you never say a single thing positive about anyone except Vad..you must not watch the game..you are keep using Vad performance at UNC..UNC defense that let a LB playing QB score over 30 points..Vad got his chance and blew it last night..on the 1st series he had Bostic open for a 1st down and instead he gets scared and leaves the pocket and gets sacked..if he would have just made the short throw he would have gotten a first down but he didnt do that..on 3rd down he is suppose to run the option to the short side of field where we had the numbers in our favor..the DB was on the ground and instead of pitching he turned the back inside..anyone that knows anything about the option knows that the backside DE is unblocked…you cant turn the option back inside..if he ran the play he might not have gotten the 1st down but he might have gotten close to a first so we could have gone for it on 4th down..your boy days has a chance to make a play and threw into double coverage..

EVERYONE who says fire CPJ..please give me a name of who to hire..there are at least 5 better jobs out there than GT..so do you want to hire the 6 or 7th best option ou there..please have more a brain than GT Joe and give me a better name than Chizik or Dooley

Miamibound

December 2nd, 2012
6:03 pm

It makes me feel powerful and witty to come onto Tech/ACC articles and talk trash. I giggle like a little school girl after I make my comments.

GIVE ME A BREAK

December 2nd, 2012
6:07 pm

GT Jeff, you saved me a lot of typing. Thanks. ” GO JACKETS “

chas_jacket

December 2nd, 2012
6:12 pm

GT Joe – you have “bashed” Tevin many times – it’s not his fault he is playing. He put forth a lot of effort to win the starting job this year and while his passing has been horrendous at times, he probably got the nod over Vad based on execution and turnovers – not because of sucking up to CPJ or something similar. I also think CPJ is a bit arrogant – but he wants to win and will put the players on the field that he thinks will give us the best chance. CPJ is stubborn but will change – as evidenced by hiring a ST coordinator.

If we don’t see at least 8 wins next year, I will join the we need a new coach crowd – although I don’t really contribute enough to the GTAA to have much of a say. I assume everyone clamoring for a new coach is contributing much more than I am.