Can Georgia Tech avoid a Dog hangover against Clemson?

Paul Johnson's next challenge is having his players get past the loss to Georgia. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Paul Johnson's next challenge is helping Josh Nesbitt and others get past the loss to Georgia. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Paul Johnson told everybody who would listen last week that the Georgia game would not define Georgia Tech’s season. Now all he has to do is convince his players.

The Jackets won eight straight games and had a chance to finish the season with a top-5 ranking. But they blew that by losing at home to Georgia Saturday, 30-24, creating the ACC’s worst nightmare: a championship game between two teams, Tech and Clemson, coming off losses to pedestrian SEC teams. The ACC title game now matches No. 12 (Tech, which fell from seventh) vs. No. 25 (Clemson, which fell from 15th).

But the bigger issue for Johnson is making sure his players get past what just happened. This easily is the biggest defeat the Jackets must bounce back from since he took over. It’s bigger than last year’s loss at North Carolina, and the even the early season defeat at Miami.

Three years ago under Chan Gailey, the Jackets were 9-2, then collapsed and lost consecutive games to Georgia, Wake Forest (ACC title) and West Virginia (Gator Bowl) to close the season.

Asked about a potential hangover, Johnson said Sunday:  “It’s always a concern. When you have a big game like that one and you come out on the wrong end, and certainly it was a game we all wanted to win and we took seriously, you have to turn the page. We talked about that for eight straight weeks [during a winning streak]. We talked about it in the locker room [Saturday] night. We have to move on. The regular season is over. We finished 10-2, and that’s better than a lot of people probably thought we could do. Now we have a chance to play for the conference championship. We’ve earned it. Now let’s go play.”

Those were the right words. We’ll find out about the actions soon enough. I’m inclined to think Tech will bounce back. Question: Are you confident the Jackets can avoid a collapse similar to the one we saw in 2006?

565 comments Add your comment

captaindave

November 29th, 2009
7:35 pm

saint simons

November 29th, 2009
7:37 pm

((((((((((((30-24 HAHAHAHAHA!!!))))))))

gojckts1

November 29th, 2009
7:43 pm

gojckts1

November 29th, 2009
7:44 pm

third actually…tech’s problem to fix (although it wont be a quick one) is D. Clemson seemed to have MANY more yesterday….we’ll see who gets it done sat.

helluvaengineer

November 29th, 2009
7:44 pm

CPJ has said in the past, good teams don’t lose 2 in a row. I think this is a good team.

bob horner stayed hurt

November 29th, 2009
7:45 pm

Georgia is a pedestrian team..???…Jeff..your words hurt….at least we aren’t trembling chiuauas….(this week anyway…) you can’t call us that for 9 months…go dawgs

mmgtfan

November 29th, 2009
7:47 pm

I am confident but I think that Womack needs to go. What I saw last night was just terrible and it hasnt been much better througout the season. That saying Jeff do you agree with this statement: Tech had a better team but UGA just had the better game

Dirk Digler

November 29th, 2009
7:48 pm

Johnson has never lost back to back games at Tech. They’ll be ready.

captaindave

November 29th, 2009
7:50 pm

My first was my first.

Dirk Digler

November 29th, 2009
7:51 pm

As for Womack, I agree. I am tired of having to wait till the second half for adjustments to be made. There is no doubt the team plays better D in the 2nd half. Why can’t he have them ready from the get go? My explanation is that our defensive game plan is bad, and there is only one person responsible for that.

Alabama Jack

November 29th, 2009
7:51 pm

It may be even better that Tech didn’t pull this one out. There will be fire in the eyes next week at Tampa. Remember we lost, Clemson got beat.

AIN'T Simon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 29th, 2009
7:52 pm

30-24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

where is the option?

November 29th, 2009
7:52 pm

Johnson first needs to locate his memory of what won all those games….and it was not heaving the ball way down field three times in a row.

AIN'T Simon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 29th, 2009
7:53 pm

WRONG Alabama Jack!!!!! TECH GOT BEAT TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 30-24!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 339 yard rushing!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barry from Eastenders

November 29th, 2009
7:55 pm

Paul “ManBoobs” Johnson can do it, he is the greatest coach to ever stalk a sideline. Right Jeff? Meanwhile, we will just stick our head in the sand regarding his getting his pants pulled down by Willie Martinez. It is an inconvenient topic as it gets in the way of the season long narrative of Paul Johnson as Clint Eastwood in Tech drag.

Oh well Jeff, you and Paul will always have 2008.

Keno

November 29th, 2009
7:59 pm

Georgia has the better team when they’re hitting on all cylinders (first time this season was last night). I’ve never felt comfortable with Tech’s defense. For the most part, they’ve won with great offense and a poor defense. So be it! At any rate, Tech to their credit still had a good chance up until the unfortunate drop on the last drive. I expect Tech to get better defensively in the future, so perhaps next year will be different. Johnson is still a great coach, so the Tech future is in good hands.

we r georgia

November 29th, 2009
7:59 pm

this dawg fan hope tech destroys clemson!

Andre "Pulpwood" Smith

November 29th, 2009
8:03 pm

No worries. Tech has the Genius is Cleats on the sideline, the Great Adjuster, the Greatest Coach in the History of Western Civilization, a man who will never, ever lose to Georgia, the man whose play calling abilities make grown men weep. No Paul Johnson team will ever be ill prepared or lose to an inferior team. This is the Golden Age of Tech football.

Enjoy the World’s Smallest Cocktail Party next week, Jeff. And say hello to Coach Johnson for me tonight.

Rod

November 29th, 2009
8:03 pm

mmgtfan, 8 out of the last 10 years UGA has kicked your a$$. Yeah UGA has the better team and they pound it down your throats last night in the trenches.

David Basham

November 29th, 2009
8:04 pm

Obligatory Saint Simons post:

(( 30-24 )) hahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Andre "Pulpwood" Smith

November 29th, 2009
8:04 pm

Enter your comments here

GT76

November 29th, 2009
8:04 pm

The two teams we lost to this year we beat last year. GT has not lost to the same program twice yet.

Beating Clemson will make it a GREAT year in spite of the loss to UGA. Going to the ORANGE bowl will be very special. But if we should lose then it does really put a huge damper on the season. I believe we will be ready and up to the challenge.

UGA played a great game and are to be commended for it. I’m trying to ignore all the idiots (on both sides) who post moronic stuff all the time (like m, SS, and LDawg to name a few).

The fact of the matter is we still have a chance to have a very special season and all UGA will have is bragging rights for one game while they are on their way to a sub-special bowl game.

ornery

November 29th, 2009
8:04 pm

I disagree with Coach Johnson. Regardless of the season, it is expected that Tech plays well, pulls out all the stops to win. I kinda felt like Tech was holding something back last night. But there needs to be focus for the next two games, but again, someone needs to make it abundantly clear, that we expect the best to come out on that last game of the season, and expect the players, the coaches and staff to live up to that responsibility, as well as be competitive with the ACC. End of season, I fire Wommack and get a defense that can help shoulder the burden as necessary.

Rod

November 29th, 2009
8:04 pm

we r georgia, your a idiot. You are probabley a Tech basketball fan first and a UGA football fan first.

meansonny

November 29th, 2009
8:05 pm

Johnson only has had 2 seasons at Tech. At some point in his career, he’ll face back to back losses. Especially if opponents can win the time of possession with their running attack.

Snoop Dawg

November 29th, 2009
8:06 pm

Brotha Jackets,
I’m reading that y’all have been suffering from a big hangover since the Dawgs bludgeoned your football team last night. Might I recommend a little Hair of the Dawg? This what the Bulldog Nation has been drinking on Sunday mornings the past few years. See, the Preacha Man Markt Wreck and his Medicine Show of Willie and Bozo distribute a fine tasting concoction of Koolaid that suspends disbelief. It’s addictive, and Preacha Man knows that he will continue to get his $3M per year as long as the Bulldawg Nations remains–as he calls it–”transalyzed.” So I recommend that you try this Koolaid too as your headache will go away and you will want to extend Paul Johnson’s salary and contract big time so he won’t bolt to Notre Dame! ROFL!!!

GT is a 4th rate high school team

November 29th, 2009
8:07 pm

GT HAS NOT LOST TO THE SAME PROGRAM TWICE. GT LOST TO GA 7 IN A ROW. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA FOREVER AND EVER.

Jon

November 29th, 2009
8:08 pm

Still in the Top 10, baby!

What's funny to me is...

November 29th, 2009
8:08 pm

Barry from Eastenders has it right on. Mark Bradley has only a few more weeks until spoontime with Paul— AKA, the greatest coach of all time.

Keno

November 29th, 2009
8:09 pm

I should say that Georgia has the better linemen. Secondary looked good too. All those mistakes during the other games this season does not make Georgia a good team overall by any stretch. That comment about Johnson needing to remember what got him there is stupid. What was left in the game? Something like one and a half minutes. There’s a point where you have to put it up, and the Tech passes weren’t bad. I can’t believe someone on this blog thinks they could have made the play calls better than Johnson. What do you say “Where is the option?”

Smyrntown

November 29th, 2009
8:09 pm

First of all, congrats to Georgia. They had a gameplan, executed it better than they thought they could and won the game. I think both sides would have to agree that last night was Georgia’s best game of the year and it was GT’s worst game of the year. Given everything that happened, we still had the ball in their territory with 2 minutes left and a chance to win. The leghumpers can pound their collective chests for another year and brag about how awesome the SEC is, but last night was more of a fluke than anything else.

What's funny to me is...

November 29th, 2009
8:10 pm

Jon speaks like a typical Tech fan….

Still beating your A$$ Jon.

GT is a 4th rate high school team

November 29th, 2009
8:10 pm

GT LOST TO A PEDESTRIAN PROGRAM GOING TO A SUB-SPECIAL BOWL?????? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH, AND MORE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA FOREVER AND EVER.

Georgia Tech Football

November 29th, 2009
8:11 pm

Okay the lose hurts but maybe it helps in many other ways…
One Dwyer,thomas (droped pass),burrnet, morgan will all come back to get revenge and show whats up..
and too its good they no there not invisible to everyone they can go to tampa bay and woop clemson got TECH

Uno-Ocho

November 29th, 2009
8:11 pm

30-24
Tech = Gay

Louis Skolnick

November 29th, 2009
8:11 pm

Clemson is overrated, just like doggpound is.
The paws didn’t get it done at bobby dodd, but somehow the pups made a marvelous escape.
And this is the acc, I mean come on. They’re not worthy……….
If pups were hoping to crack the top 50 after this, it doesn’t mean doggsqueeze to the bcs.

GT is a 4th rate high school team

November 29th, 2009
8:12 pm

GT CALL LOST TO UGA AS A FLUKE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AND HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AND MORE HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA, FOREVER AND EVER.

calvin

November 29th, 2009
8:13 pm

Dabo vs. Jaybo. What are these, teams of hobbits?

GT is a 4th rate high school team

November 29th, 2009
8:13 pm

GT LOST TO AN UNRANKED TEAM. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AND MORE HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH. FOREVER AND EVER

GSU Eagle 91

November 29th, 2009
8:13 pm

Rivalry weekend is not what is used to be…Or is supposed to be. The pressure involved with these conference title games is enormous. I’m sure school Presidents and staff are putting a greater emphasis on winning the conference than a “rivalry” game due to all the millions of $$$ waiting the winner..Too bad…
I just don’t see Bama or Texas beating UF….Tebow and co get a 3rd ring.

John

November 29th, 2009
8:15 pm

I love how a loss isn’t enough to humble the nerds. I keep reading things like “UGA escaped with a win” and “GT lost it, UGA didn’t win it”. I thought you were supposed to be smart, can you read a scoreboard and tell me what 30-24 means?

GT is a 4th rate high school team

November 29th, 2009
8:16 pm

GT FANS SAYS LOST IS A MORAL VICTORY THAT WILL HELP MOTIVATE TO BEAT CLEMSON. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHFOREVER AND EVER.

Ramble On

November 29th, 2009
8:16 pm

30-24 HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

GT is a 4th rate high school team

November 29th, 2009
8:19 pm

UGA ESCAPED WITH A WIN, GT LOST IT, UGA DIDN’T WIN IT., GT STILL LOST. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHASHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH AND ANOTHER HAHAHA FOREVER AND EVER

Mike Hunt

November 29th, 2009
8:19 pm

I guess the senior ring design should display 24-30.

45ACP

November 29th, 2009
8:20 pm

Georgia legitimately beat up the Rambling Wreck to complete one of the more satisfying wins in the Mark Richt era. The word “fluke” can’t be applied to a contest in which one team runs for 338 yards; after all, that’s what Georgia Tech is supposed to do to its opponents, not the other way around.
30 – 24.

Jerome

November 29th, 2009
8:20 pm

Smyrntown, so the game was a fluke? How about last year? News falsh – the score at the end of the game tells the story. Were there missed chances for GT? Yeah. Last year, were ther missed chances for UGA? Yeah. UGA had the best team both this year and last. It’s called a rivalry for a reason and I am really glad that the rivalry is back – it was geting pretty boring beating GT year after year after year after year after year after year after year.

pedestrian dawgs are STRUGGLING for attention

November 29th, 2009
8:20 pm

Georgia Tech wll bounce back and crush Clemson worse than the evil genious did.

Ramblin Man

November 29th, 2009
8:22 pm

I thought the Dogs thoroughly whipped our tails last night on the line. They fired off the ball and just blocked our tails off. We had sorry tackling, which is to be expected as it has been like that all year. I thought with 3 minutes left in the game, I was a little mystified that Tech would throw 3 long passes in a row, when the option was working on the corners. We had the clock, we just didn’t execute. Still a great season, and a lot to play for. As much as I despise the Dogs and want to beat them anytime we play them, and see them get beat anytime anyone else plays them, I agree with CPJ. The first objective should be to win conference championship, and a shot at the National Title.

cattle dawg

November 29th, 2009
8:22 pm

Dawgs had a nice win yesterday, just like tech had a nice win last year. I dont think that Georgia will win the next 27 in a row like I was hearing from techies all year. Whats up with the gt foam machine???? Still cant believe ol willie out coached pj.