LIVE: It’s desperation time for Georgia Tech (and defense)

Paul Johnson's team needs to go 4-2 just to get bowl eligible.

Paul Johnson's team needs to scramble in second half of season just to become bowl eligible.

Of all the directions anybody could have expected Georgia Tech would go under coach Paul Johnson, this wasn’t one of them: He is getting involved in the defense.

Johnson fired his second defensive coordinator in 4½ seasons when he canned Al Groh after a 47-31 loss at Clemson two weeks ago. Athletic director Dan Radakovich gave Johnson a vote of confidence following the Groh firing, but Johnson obviously feels some pressure (internally and externally) to turn around the Jackets. They’ve lost three straight since a 56-20 win over Virginia (allowing 138 points in those three games) and have fallen to 1-3 in the ACC.

There is still a chance to salvage something out of this season. The remaining conference games (Boston College today, Maryland, North Carolina, Duke) certainly all are winnable, and BYU next week isn’t overpowering. Georgia is the most difficult game left on the schedule. The Jackets (2-4) have to go at least 4-2 to become bowl eligible.

The ACC title game promo probably isn't applicable any more.

The ACC title game promo really isn't applicable any more.

We know it’s a desperate time because Johnson, who promoted secondary coach Charles Kelly to interim defensive coordinator, admitted of his team’s defensive preparation this week: “I’m more involved in the planning, more involved in the practice schedules and more involved in everything. For the past two and a half years, I’ve pretty much turned everything over and let a guy do it. Charles Kelly is in charge and it will be his call, but I’m involved with the scheme of what we’re doing. I’m spending more time getting a solid defensive scheme in place that is simple where guys can play fast and they’ll know what to do. We don’t need 80 calls. We don’t need a buzz word on everything. We need guys to learn how to play and play hard.”

If simplifying things doesn’t work against Boston College, it’s hard to imagine it working against any opponent. This is not the same B.C. team that came to Atlanta in 2007 and won 24-10 (behind 435 yards passing by Matt Ryan). The Eagles are 1-5 and their only win came over an FCS team (Maine). They were blown out by Florida State 51-7 last week. They even lost to Army (which stands as Army’s only win this season).

The term “must-win” tends to get overused in sports. But this is about as close to must-win and Johnson and the Jackets can get, because if they lose to Boston College the problems are bigger than just defense.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Opening the cyber-venting lines now if you have any questions.

By Jeff Schultz

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225 comments Add your comment

Ekim56

October 20th, 2012
1:24 pm

Ekim56

October 20th, 2012
1:24 pm

First on a Georgia Tech blog ain’t what it used to be. (I can say that; I’m a fan.)

Chris

October 20th, 2012
1:27 pm

Eklm56, typical Tech nerd. Only a child would be excited about being “first” on a blog. Over/under on attendance today is 25,000. They really should just do away with the football program and focus on basketball.

tdjackets

October 20th, 2012
1:27 pm

if CPJ knows even 1/2 on defense what he knows about offense,it’ll be a HUGE improvement this week.

Ekim56

October 20th, 2012
1:29 pm

I only did it to annoy you, Chris.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
2:36 pm

Just take of your business today Jackets and let’s get rolling through the remainder of the season!

Go Jackets!!!

Alex

October 20th, 2012
2:38 pm

Chris, you were the SECOND person to post on a Georgia Tech blog, AND all you came to do was insult the person that was first!! Now THAT sounds like a Nerd!!! Get out much?

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:04 pm

Pretty sad look crowd here so far (about 10 mins before kickoff). Stadium looks half empty.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:09 pm

@ J.S. that’s not too surprising, not a lot of buzz around the program right now and rightfully so. Let’s see how they play today and as the season plays out. If things pick up then I suspect you might see the apathy change a bit.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:09 pm

Boston College will kick off, Tech gets ball first.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:11 pm

Kickoff return.
Block in back.
Nice start.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:13 pm

Nice adjustment by Bostic

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:13 pm

Tough catch by Bostic. 39 yard gain.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:16 pm

Ol’JacketFan — understood. But gorgeous day to sit and watch your team play. Or do something else, I guess.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:18 pm

My season tickets are being used and, hopefully, enjoyed :-)

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

Lousy job of blocking and pi** poor special teams.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:20 pm

Wow. From 2nd-and-goal at 2 to a blocked FG attempt.

Atlanta mom

October 20th, 2012
3:21 pm

Let’s see if Tech can make a tackle

Caps

October 20th, 2012
3:24 pm

Here in Northern Virginia, the game is blacked out on ESPN3. It is not on any TV here so I can’t see the advantage for ESPN to blackout. I tried radio but NONE of the GT radio network are streaming the game. Neither are any of the BC radio network stations. Sucks.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:31 pm

Washington fortunate last pass not intercepted. Just threw into double coverage.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:31 pm

A screen pass??????????

BS Patrol

October 20th, 2012
3:33 pm

But who is giving Radakovich a vote of confidence?

Riddle me this

October 20th, 2012
3:33 pm

I feel like Washington faking the pitch is going to spring him for a huge gain. The BC linebackers are not committing to the QB on the triple option at all

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:34 pm

Nice read and run by Tevin Washington. Jackets up 6-0 (with PAT pending). 12 yard run.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:35 pm

Riddle me this

October 20th, 2012
3:37 pm

Caps, I’m in maryland. It’s showing here on TCN

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:39 pm

Jackets have 179 yards in two possessions, Boston College 24 (in one).

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:41 pm

Nice 3 and out D

RGB

October 20th, 2012
3:41 pm

So was the stadium half empty–or half full?

Riddle me this

October 20th, 2012
3:43 pm

Jeff, they are showing clips of the last time these two teams matched up. In your opinion, is there a running back on this team that can dominate a game like Dwyer did?

Alex

October 20th, 2012
3:44 pm

I’ll answer that, Riddle: No.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:44 pm

Riddle Me This: No.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:47 pm

End of the first quarter. Unofficially Tech has outgained Boston College 221-27 and about to go in for another score.

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:48 pm

Dwyer was a very special back, speed, size & power a rare combination

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:52 pm

Bostic has a good pair of hands!

Not Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:52 pm

On such a beautiful day out here in the ‘burbs, boy am I glad I wasn’t assigned to be at Grant Field today in a half-empty midget stadium. You poor stiff.

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
3:53 pm

TW a 27-yard pass to Bostic on third-and-26. That may send Frank Spaziani to asylum.

Riddle me this

October 20th, 2012
3:53 pm

Every time we get in the redzone, I feel like Tevin refuses to pitch the ball. He likes running it in himself I guess

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
3:55 pm

A TD is a TD is a TD no matter who carries the ball sheesh! If TW is making the right reads who cares? Unless you’ve an axe to grind about TW

Atlanta mom

October 20th, 2012
3:58 pm

That was an ugly kick.

Riddle me this

October 20th, 2012
3:59 pm

Not at all, but if I’m an opposing defense/defensive coordinator, I would be telling my defense to focus on the quarterback a lot more in the redzone than the pitch man. Tevin already has like 15 rushing touchdowns, or something along those lines. Does anyone else have five? Seems like something worth noting…

Bill

October 20th, 2012
4:01 pm

UF 7 USC 3 in 1st…

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
4:02 pm

The D’s focus is already on the QB as the trigger of the O. I promise you if the pitch man is uncovered the pitch will be made. As long as TW makes the right read I’m good with his play. Bottom line is scoring no matter who carries the ball ;-)

We had a great time...

October 20th, 2012
4:03 pm

Attended the Miami Hurricane game September 22nd at Bobby Dodd, and was pleasantly surprised. The parking was decent, the concessions were good and fairly priced, and the restrooms were very clean. However there was a drunk obnoxious Tech fan that kinda looked like Tom Cruise. He disappeared into thin air when Miami sealed the deal in overtime. :)

rj

October 20th, 2012
4:04 pm

fire Paul Johnson. He has already been involved in the offensive scheme this year and shall we discuss how that has turned out? Again, if Rad can’t make the decision to fire him he needs to go as well. Here’s a no confidence vote for them both

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
4:04 pm

Still can’t get any pressure by the D line

Ol'JacketFan

October 20th, 2012
4:06 pm

Got a break there

Riddle me this

October 20th, 2012
4:07 pm

I don’t know about that, Ol’JF. I think a lot of teams are more worried about giving up the big play, and I think we can all agree Orwin Smith or BJ Bostic are more likely to provide the big play than TW. Like you said, as long as we are scoring, I have no problems with it, but we are only 8th in the ACC in red zone scoring percentage, so there is a lot of room for improvement

Jeff Schultz

October 20th, 2012
4:09 pm

Post Al Groh Progress Report: Boston College with one field goal in 3 possessions.
I know.
It’s Boston College.

Barry's Uncle

October 20th, 2012
4:10 pm