Georgia Tech just as bad now as it was at Kansas

Anthony Allen and Georgia Tech looked outnumbered all day, particularly on the scoreboard. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Anthony Allen and the rest of the Jackets looked outnumbered all day. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

This isn’t to suggest that Georgia Tech suddenly is a football program without any hope for the future. But the team that was just dismembered by Miami — it looked no better than the one that was humiliated by Kansas two months ago.

That’s a problem.

Tackling isn’t any better. Blocking isn’t any better. Even the most basic of common-sense football moments — like, dude, the ball is on the ground, so fall on it — seem to leave players looking perplexed, like preschoolers trying to comprehend chemical engineering.

The Jackets lost to Miami at home 35-10 Saturday. Not only are the defending ACC champions not going back to the title game, they may not even go to a bowl game. They haven’t won a game since Middle Tennessee State on Oct. 16 (and we’ll let you decide how much that counts).

This performance was so bad, even the Independence Bowl scout left after the third quarter. How bad do you have to be for the guy from Shreveport to think, “You know, I really don’t need to meet the Georgia Tech coach after the game. I believe I’ll go watch Georgia and Auburn on TV.”

Just as well. Paul Johnson probably would’ve preferred to be somewhere else.

This makes three straight defeats for the Jackets, their longest skid since the end of 2006. Johnson hasn’t lost three straight games since he was in his first season at Navy in 2002. That’s when he lost 10 straight. The good news is: There’s only two games left on the schedule, so that infamous run won’t be matched.

“Nobody likes to lose,” Johnson said. “Trust me, I’m not used to it, either.

“There’s no magic wand. Hell, if I had a magic wand, I’d have used it at halftime. I wouldn’t save it for next week.”

Yeah, about next week: The Jackets (5-5) are still one victory short of being bowl eligible. Don’t presume the Duke game next week is a gimme. Duke scored 89 points in wins over Navy and Virginia in consecutive weeks. Tech’s defense? It just allowed five touchdowns, 507 yards and 24 first downs to a Miami offense that was using its backup quarterback.

So much for progress in the Al Groh defense.

It’s one thing to alibi for an offense that was missing its primary weapon, quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, at kickoff for the first time this season. But that doesn’t explain allowing the Hurricanes to drive 88 yards for touchdowns on each of their first two possessions.

It doesn’t explain Miami’s second possession, when a silly pass-interference penalty on third down kept a drive going and an offside penalty on a field-goal attempt gave the Hurricanes a first down at the Tech. Miami scored its second touchdown two plays later.

It doesn’t explain running back Orwin Smith fumbling a pitch in the third quarter, then standing there and looking at the ball, as if waiting for it to magically become airborne and float back down into his arms. (Miami recovered and drove to its fourth touchdown on the next possession to make it 28-10.)

When Tech tried to make a run, driving to a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half to close to 14-10, Miami answered in one play: a 79-yard touchdown pass to Leonard Hankerson (a busted coverage on a short toss over the middle).

Yes, the Jackets had built-in excuses for taking a step back this season. They lost four players to the NFL draft. But to lose to Kansas, to get dominated by an average Miami team — which lost to Virginia two weeks ago — and to suddenly have to scramble to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since 1996 wasn’t expected.

“This really hurts, especially being a senior,” said cornerback Mario Butler, who drew the pass-interference call. “Time’s really winding down. … We had higher expectations.”

Johnson struggled to play the role of optimist: “We’ve still got a chance to salvage a winning season.”

But when a team is making the same mistakes in November that it was in September, it becomes clear that the light bulb just isn’t going on.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

263 comments Add your comment

[...] Georgia Tech just as bad now as it was at KansasAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)They lost four players to the NFL draft. But to lose to Kansas, to get dominated by an average Miami team ? which lost to Virginia two weeks ago ? and to … [...]

bluecole

November 13th, 2010
6:02 pm

Tron5000

November 13th, 2010
6:03 pm

Goldbringer

November 13th, 2010
6:08 pm

It really just looks like we’ve given up. The players don’t care – why should we?

Ozzy

November 13th, 2010
6:08 pm

Ugly.

All phases, but especially defense. It was all down hill after the Air Force fly over.

Hopefully a better season next year.

bluecole

November 13th, 2010
6:14 pm

Well, Jeff, you’re not Barking Madly, but. . . .I can’t disagree. This season has been a hard pill to swallow. While it’s easy to second guess our coaches after game, I’m seeing the schemes that have players in position. It seems to be mental errors that have been affecting us this year. It also hurts us having inconsistent receivers. . . it doesn’t keep the D honest.

We have several things to work on, but I’ll wear my colors tomorrow, next week, and especially the week after.

THWG!

Thanks,

B.

Reality

November 13th, 2010
6:18 pm

Reality here — if we play like this against georgie, we’re gonna get LIT UP. Like, it may not even be fun for georgie fans because it’s such a blowout. We need to figure something out, and quick. 6 wins and we WILL, without a single question, go to a bowl. But is that really gonna happen at this point? Who knows….

Biff Pocoroba

November 13th, 2010
6:32 pm

Unfortunately, DRad didn’t learn from the Hewitt fiasco that you don’t give away long term contracts for one good season. He didn’t want Johnson to leave for Auburn. That is funny to think about now. The way that Georgia’s offense is playing tonight, we may give up 100 points to them with Groh’s horrible coaching. With Nesbitt out, there isn’t anyone left on the team playing with any heart now. It looks just like the Bill Lewis days.

Hewitt must go

November 13th, 2010
6:37 pm

Who had the toughest job this year? DRad trying to sell basketball season tickets and bowl tickets for a 6-6 team or Roy Barnes’ campaign manager. “Seriously people, this time it will be much better. We’ll get it right”

Ross

November 13th, 2010
6:39 pm

In 2006, I thought GT played in the ACC Championship Game…I don’t think they’ve missed a bowl since the late 1990’s.

JWoww

November 13th, 2010
6:40 pm

I rarely leave a game early, but this year I have done it twice. We didn’t show up today or against NC State, so I left early in the fourth quarter. If the coaches can’t get the players to show up, why should the fans bother?

Ross

November 13th, 2010
6:40 pm

Nevermind, Jeff, you fixed it.

Rodney Dangerfield

November 13th, 2010
6:50 pm

If Tech beats Duke then they will lose to UGA, but if Tech loses to Duke, they may beat UGA. I have a sad feeling that if Tech gets that sixth victory against Duke then they are gonna just put it on cruise control for the rest of the season. I never thought I would see a CPJ coached team play so miserably. You would think a TO O would be fundamentally sound with blocking and recovering fumbles.

TML

November 13th, 2010
6:54 pm

Jack_in_Homestead, FL

November 13th, 2010
6:55 pm

“…..but to lose to Kansas, to get dominated by an average Miami team…”

Ummmmm…..okaaaaaay ! Miami spent the better of the season on the road taking everyone’s best shot and woke up late against a bottom dweller …fine. However it’s a damned better team that half-arsed garbage Johnson runs out week after week.

You brought a knife to gunfight and got smoked. If anything we should have laid 50 on that sorry collection. On Miami’s bad days they are still a helluva far better team than the Bumble-Bees.

It’s midnight and Cinderfella’s coach has turned back into a pumpkin, his/her footmen are shown up to be nothing but rats/mice and that glass-slipper (single-wing) offense has been shown to be nothing more than the plastic flip-flops it always was.

HAHAHAHA

November 13th, 2010
6:57 pm

This performance was so bad, even the Independence Bowl scout left after the third quarter. How bad do you have to be for the guy from Shreveport to think, “You know, I really don’t need to meet the Georgia Tech coach after the game. I believe I’ll go watch Georgia and Auburn on TV.”

WOW, thats pretty damn funny!!!!!

RAMBLINWRECK

November 13th, 2010
6:59 pm

This was a joke of a showing and some top recruits were watching this crap. I saw several of them leave by the end of the 3rd quarter as well. Al Groh is a terrible DC and this team has no leadership AT ALL! NONE…ZERO!!! Kansas is by far the worst program in the big 12 and we couldn’t beat them. UNC is the only decent team we have beaten. They will be the only team that goes to a bowl game that we have beaten. We almost lost to WF and that about explains all we need to know.

This team is so poorly coached it’s ridiculous! CPJ is accountable to me as he should be. Why can’t the players respond to what he teaches? Do the players not give a crap? As many starters as we have back this season and here we are with the possibility of not making a bowl game? 15 starters back and may not make a bowl game? The ACC has been terrible as well so it’s not like the conference is any good either. This is a complete failure by the coaching staff and the players who don’t seem to give a crap. I’m not wasting my money anymore on this brand of football displayed on the field. I went to kansas and sat in the stands in disbelief. I saw NCST from the 40 yard line hang almost 50 on us at home. I drove to clemson and watched that horrible effort as well, then today with the national championship team watching, recruits watching and this is what we turn in? I remember the gailey years as boring but this 2010 season has been filled with stupidity galore! I agree that if these players don’t give a sh*t then why should the fans who show up to support? It’s hard to spend money and support your team in a bad economy already to only witness the same garbage that has been going on since september and the same lame excuse from coaches and players. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND ACT LIKE YOU HAVE SOME PRIDE IN WHAT YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OldTimer

November 13th, 2010
7:02 pm

Don’t worry about it. The corrections will be made.

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:06 pm

Do you think Coach Johnson will care about this year’s UGA game?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 13th, 2010
7:08 pm

War Eagle, fly down the field
Ever to conquer, never to yield
War Eagle, fearless and true,
Fight on you orange and blue
Go! Go! Go!
On to vict’ry, strike up the band
Give ‘em hell, give ‘em hell,
Stand up and yell, Hey!
War Eagle, win for Auburn,
Power of Dixie Land!

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AU 2010 SEC WEST CHAMPS 11-0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oconee John

November 13th, 2010
7:10 pm

Only consolation is that UGA is now getting b_tch-flogged by Auburn.

HAHAHAHA

November 13th, 2010
7:13 pm

actually, the only consolation is as bad as our season has gone, yours JUST SUCKS like your loser broke arm QB. See yall losers next sat!

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:13 pm

Oconee John
November 13th, 2010
7:10 pm

Just like the Gailey days. Tech performs so badly during the season that they find comfort in UGA losses. Wow, you reverted in just the third season.

HAHAHAHA

November 13th, 2010
7:14 pm

hahaha, your a funny one, Mr. Grinch.

Tech Tony

November 13th, 2010
7:15 pm

Jeff, my passion for Georgia Tech wants me to argue with you but the bottom line is that I can’t.

Biff Pocoroba

November 13th, 2010
7:15 pm

The Polin Weedeater bowl scout just left the UGA game

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:18 pm

Biff Pocoroba
November 13th, 2010
7:15 pm

But he didn’t even bother to attend Tech’s game.

it is what it is

November 13th, 2010
7:19 pm

we have lost our 4 and 5 stars, we beat Miami with Reggie Ball but we had Taschard Choice and Calvin Johnson. Some of these kids are doing the best they can and Tevin has done the best he can, reading the defense and knowing when to pitch and when not to comes with live games, Nesbitt started out slow as well, it took several games for Joshua to get comfortable. GT needs a handful of 4/5 stars again and it is that simple. Until they get them, they will continue to take a back seat to the Miamis, VT and Clemsons.

20 year season ticket holder

November 13th, 2010
7:19 pm

While I certainly hate to say it, the smoke and mirrors of this offense has now been figured out by the defenses of most of the teams we have faced this year. If this is the defense we now have as a result of the new defensive coordinator, the learnig curve has not translated into the effective read and react we should be seeing in game 10. The player “stars” have been Chan’s (ugh) players and not CPJ’s. All of this does not bode well for the future of GT football.

Biff Pocoroba

November 13th, 2010
7:21 pm

Hopefully Ugag will keep up this dirty play and have some guys suspended for the Tech game

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:21 pm

Bluecole — Thanks. Definitely worse than I expected this year.

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:22 pm

20 year season ticket holder
November 13th, 2010
7:19 pm

Well said.

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:22 pm

Reality — Agreed. It says here Tech defense can’t stop Georgia.

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:23 pm

Jeff Schultz
November 13th, 2010
7:22 pm

They might if Murray can’t play.

GT Dad

November 13th, 2010
7:24 pm

I’m still going to support the Jackets, but this season has made it hard. They just don’t have any spark. And sadly to say, they haven’t improved much over the season. There’s plenty of blame to go around – from the players to the coaches.

Sadly, we had VT on the ropes until Nesbit went down. It’s just been one of those seasons. Duke is going to much tougher than anyone thinks and UGA is going to maul us if we don’t get our heads in the game from start to finish.

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:28 pm

Tech Tony — It’s OK to be passionate and support your team and still concede that they’re not very good.

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:29 pm

The Grinch — No kidding. I was just watching the end of the game. I’m not taking sides in the rivalry, trust me, but I hope Murray’s OK just for his sake. He’s a great kid and he’s been terrific all season, even when Georgia was losing.

Dustin

November 13th, 2010
7:30 pm

FIRE JOHNSON NOW!!!!! WE CAN DO BETTER!!!!!!

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:30 pm

Jeff Schultz
November 13th, 2010
7:28 pm

We UGA fans have had to do that this year.

The Grinch

November 13th, 2010
7:31 pm

Jeff Schultz
November 13th, 2010
7:29 pm

The hit was kind of a cheap shot, but wonder why we have our starters in the game when we’re down by 18 with less than 2 minutes left. Just sayin….

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:31 pm

GT Dad — We agree. Seriously, it’s natural to make jokes about Duke football but David Cutcliffe can coach an offense and Tech obviously has defensive issues. Duke scored 48 on Wake Forest (in a loss), 34 against Navy and 55 against Virginia. Also scored 41 against Elon, if you want to count that.

RAMBLINWRECK

November 13th, 2010
7:32 pm

Wow, this was a joke of a showing and some top recruits were watching this crap. I saw several of them leave by the end of the 3rd quarter as well. Al Groh is a terrible DC and this team has no leadership AT ALL! NONE…ZERO!!! Kansas is by far the worst program in the big 12 and we couldn’t beat them. UNC is the only decent team we have beaten. They will be the only team that goes to a bowl game that we have beaten. We almost lost to WF and that about explains all we need to know.

This team is so poorly coached it’s ridiculous! CPJ is accountable to me as he should be. Why can’t the players respond to what he teaches? Do the players not give a crap? As many starters as we have back this season and here we are with the possibility of not making a bowl game? 15 starters back and may not make a bowl game? The ACC has been terrible as well so it’s not like the conference is any good either. This is a complete failure by the coaching staff and the players who don’t seem to give a crap. I’m not wasting my money anymore on this brand of football displayed on the field. I went to kansas and sat in the stands in disbelief. I saw NCST from the 40 yard line hang almost 50 on us at home. I drove to clemson and watched that horrible effort as well, then today with the national championship team watching, recruits watching and this is what we turn in? I remember the gailey years as boring but this 2010 season has been filled with stupidity galore! I agree that if these players don’t give a sh*t then why should the fans who show up to support? It’s hard to spend money and support your team in a bad economy already to only witness the same garbage that has been going on since september and the same lame excuse from coaches and players. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND ACT LIKE YOU HAVE SOME PRIDE IN WHAT YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RAMBLINWRECK

November 13th, 2010
7:33 pm

.This was a joke of a showing and some top recruits were watching this crap. I saw several of them leave by the end of the 3rd quarter as well. Al Groh is a terrible DC and this team has no leadership AT ALL! NONE…ZERO!!! Kansas is by far the worst program in the big 12 and we couldn’t beat them. UNC is the only decent team we have beaten. They will be the only team that goes to a bowl game that we have beaten. We almost lost to WF and that about explains all we need to know.

This team is so poorly coached it’s ridiculous! CPJ is accountable to me as he should be. Why can’t the players respond to what he teaches? Do the players not give a crap? As many starters as we have back this season and here we are with the possibility of not making a bowl game? 15 starters back and may not make a bowl game? The ACC has been terrible as well so it’s not like the conference is any good either. This is a complete failure by the coaching staff and the players who don’t seem to give a crap. I’m not wasting my money anymore on this brand of football displayed on the field. I went to kansas and sat in the stands in disbelief. I saw NCST from the 40 yard line hang almost 50 on us at home. I drove to clemson and watched that horrible effort as well, then today with the national championship team watching, recruits watching and this is what we turn in? I remember the gailey years as boring but this 2010 season has been filled with stupidity galore! I agree that if these players don’t give a sh*t then why should the fans who show up to support? It’s hard to spend money and support your team in a bad economy already to only witness the same garbage that has been going on since september and the same lame excuse from coaches and players. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND ACT LIKE YOU HAVE SOME PRIDE IN WHAT YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:34 pm

Dustin. … Dustin, Dustin, Dustin.

Jeff Schultz

November 13th, 2010
7:35 pm

The Grinch — The Murray hit? I thought the guy was blocked into him.

sugarpikegang

November 13th, 2010
7:36 pm

….oh dear. Duke will be a dog fight. The next week, UGA will likely overwhelm us. They have a week to think on that Auburn loss, btw.

Alabama Jack

November 13th, 2010
7:38 pm

Bandwagon fans suck worse than dawgs.

Three years

November 13th, 2010
7:46 pm

Until gt competes again

Burgess

November 13th, 2010
7:47 pm

I hear the LaGrange HS job will open this week. Maybe Johnson can take his high school offense there and win. I doubt if LaGrange will let him take Groh with him.

Burgess

November 13th, 2010
7:48 pm

Johnson won with Gailey’s players. He’ll never win again at this level with his own players.