Tech wins, but pugnacious Paul plainly isn’t pleased

Well, it started nicely. Note Paul Johnson in Jonathan Dwyer's wake. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

It started nicely. Note Paul Johnson in Jonathan Dwyer's wake. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

PJ was not pleased. PJ was, to borrow a term he used himself, another sort of “p” word. PJ could barely find anything good to say about a 20-point victory over an outmanned team, which isn’t to say he was at a loss for verbiage.

“I want to see some intensity and some fire and some fight,” Paul Johnson said Saturday. “We’re just not nasty enough. We’re too nice.”

That Georgia Tech was never in distress against Jacksonville State didn’t mollify the Jackets’ coach. If anything, it made him ever madder. Jonathan Dwyer scored on the game’s first snap and that, in PJ’s mind, “probably wasn’t the best thing that could have happened.” Because it didn’t give Tech cause to buckle down and execute. It didn’t give it cause to do anything except flail for the final three quarters.

Tech led 17-0 after 15 minutes but outscored the Gamecocks by only three points over the next 45. It managed three touchdowns over that span, one of them a punt return. It lost three fumbles, all three by quarterbacks. Said PJ: “Maybe we should have knocked the crap out of them in fall camp and they’d have hung on to the ball.”

Asked about his team’s passing game: Johnson said: “It was OK — about like everything else.”

His offensive line? “About like everything else.”

About his second-team defense, which yielded a touchdown on the game’s final drive: “If something like that had happened to me, I’m going to be ["p"-word here]. I’m not going to be smiling.”

Did he catch some second-teamers smiling after JSU’s touchdown? “No,” he said, without smiling.” If I did, I would have went and got ‘em. But I didn’t see anybody looking crushed, either.”

Johnson believes these Jackets have the capacity to be really good, perhaps better than good. “I’m trying to raise the level of expectations,” he said. “We could come in here and say, ‘We gained 500 yards [actually 497],’ but we didn’t play the way we needed to play to reach the level I want us to reach.”

On why Tech ran only 11 third-quarter plays: “Because we weren’t worth a crap. We missed every read on the option.”

On his displeasure over a missed PAT: “I don’t think you should be high-fiving each other when you miss a extra point that a junior high school team could make. I don’t think you should have a group discussion and sing, ‘Kumbaya.’ ”

We pause to reflect: Tech wasn’t awful. It was great in the first quarter, mediocre thereafter. Dwyer gained 74 yards on his first carry and only 21 more.

Characterize Tech's opener.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

And here we must also note: As teaching tools go, this game falls squarely into PJ’s wheelhouse. He has five days to prepare his men for an old enemy in orange, and those men had already gotten the message. Said Dwyer: “If we came out like this against Clemson [due in Thursday night], we’d get beat.”

The Jackets have had nine months to revel in beating Georgia, nine months to hear how much better they’ll be in Year 2 under PJ. Some teams can handle that. Others require some instruction.

Of his teams at Georgia Southern and Navy, Johnson said: “They liked to win. They fought hard. They played scared. We’re talented, but we don’t have that down-and-dirty part.”

PJ’s men might find some of that these next few days. There will be no “Kumbaya” moments before Clemson comes to town, no group harmonizing. There will be only the sound of one man yelling.

How might practice be Sunday? Said Dwyer, the diplomat: “I don’t think it’ll be any different.”

Said defensive end Derrick Morgan, the realist: “I think it’ll be different.”

186 comments Add your comment

Joe Schmoe

September 5th, 2009
6:01 pm

Im not impressed with the starting DT, the DE are good though. I see more playing time for TJ Barnes coming. The secondary play was excellent. As far as the offense, it just needs to be more consistent. We definetly have a passing attack that is effective, as long as the revceivers catch the ball. Nesbitt really has improved his passing skills. I also still have no faith in Blair. Should be looking other places for a kicker.

Mark Bradley

September 5th, 2009
6:02 pm

PJ went out of his way to praise Julian Burnett, the linebacker. About the only player he praised.

Joe Schmoe

September 5th, 2009
6:04 pm

J.Burnett was all over the place, what do you think about the DT for GT MB?

Mark Bradley

September 5th, 2009
6:05 pm

Didn’t really notice the tackles much, Joe. I was watching Morgan mostly. I love watching him work.

Melinda

September 5th, 2009
6:07 pm

He’s right. On everything. He expects perfection, and if anything else becomes acceptable, we would be looking at mediocre all over again. I bet nobody dares crack a smile for the rest of the week.

Joe Schmoe

September 5th, 2009
6:07 pm

I notice it when there are some gashing hole in the middle.

Mark Bradley

September 5th, 2009
6:18 pm

Jax St. only had 98 yards rushing.

CW

September 5th, 2009
6:21 pm

Didn’t see the game but listened to the first three quarters on XM radio. Never heard the DT’s names called for making a tackle. Seems like I heard too many in the secondary stopping the run. The 3rd quarter was ridiculous. Sounded like Tech wanted to head indoors to watch GA vs. OK State, but it sure didn’t sound like they were fired up to put this game away.

Granted, Jax St is not your average cup cake, but after watching Tech’s fame film, Clemson will be chomping at the bit. The D better step it up.

Joe Schmoe

September 5th, 2009
6:24 pm

How does that 98 yards vs JSU translate versus some of our other opponets?

Joe Schmoe

September 5th, 2009
6:26 pm

CW, the secondary and LBs were pretty darn good today, as stated the DT were out of sight.

AustinJacket

September 5th, 2009
6:33 pm

Couldn’t get ESPN360, so only heard the game, and only the first half. But from the recap I noticed all the fumbles and Blair missed a FG and PAT, and it was pretty clear we were playing sloppy and not dominating this team. We should have scored a TD on every possession.
Not surprised by PJ’s comments.

ooops!! — cox just fumbled in the 4th — put a fork in the dawgs, they’re done.

Hope this is just first game jitters. I can’t stand losing to Clemson.

Tech82

September 5th, 2009
6:37 pm

We shouldn’t have a problem with mutts on the blog tonight. They are down 24-10 mi way through the fourth quarter.

THE CATHOLIC HAMMER

September 5th, 2009
6:57 pm

At least we won’t have to hear about “another UGA National Championship” until after the BCS Championship Game in January.

After that, it’ll be non-stop “We’re gonna win it next year!!!! GO DAWGS!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!!!”

Idiots.

Not Disappointed!

September 5th, 2009
6:58 pm

Mark you may be right about the best team in State of Georgia. It’s sad for the pups.

We have to improve our game before Clemson next week.

Go Jackets!

Jacket Fan

September 5th, 2009
7:06 pm

Sorry, Anderson and Peters will not cut it against the big boys. Can Jason Hill help (did not see him until the end of the game)? J. Burnett looked like our best LB. DBs looked disinterested, mainly. I hope we were sandbagging Clemson on offense, otherwise we are in big trouble. How quick can Jaybo return? I prefer to be an optimist, but did not see too much today, other than Dwyer.

Tokyo jacket

September 5th, 2009
7:07 pm

Dwyer scores more in one quarter than UGA can score against one of the worst defenses in the country (last year) in an entire game. I really wish we had gotten a 5-star running back.

Mark it down now, it’s not hot yet, but somebody just put a box of matches under CMR’s seat.

Chris

September 5th, 2009
7:11 pm

Quick note. After Blair missed the PAT, Coach PJ started yelling… at the placeholder. He’s the one that flubbed it. Unfortunately that won’t go down in the stat book.

Tokyo jacket

September 5th, 2009
7:14 pm

Sorry, wrong blog…I think we’ll be okay. I think CPJ is doing a good job at getting his team mentally ready for a tough sked. He’s right though, a 20 point win against an FCS team is unsat for a team expecting to win a major conference.

Dwyer running for 74 yards on the first play of the game is a good start.

But, let’s not forget as of Monday, we’ll probably be number 13 in the country and we’re already the number one team in the state!

Joe Schmoe

September 5th, 2009
7:16 pm

Jacket Fan, what relavance does Jaybo Shaw returning quickly have with this offense? I dont want that guy touching the ball with a 10 ft pole. Tevin will retain the second string position. It looks like a few adjustments will fix several of the miscues (along with a few up downs and wind sprints!!!)

old Tech fan in N.C.

September 5th, 2009
7:17 pm

Fun game that started really great.

Some of the fumbles were not during the option hand off…just not protecting the ball while running.
Should some expect personal instruction next week? Probably.
ESPN360 was available in N.C. for both Tech and uGa. (jerky though).

Many tiger neighbors here…hope I get to strut next week!

Joe

September 5th, 2009
7:19 pm

Georgia Tech wins and Georgia loses today was a great day.

Mark Bradley

September 5th, 2009
7:22 pm

I would be stunned if Tech doesn’t play well against Clemson. Stunned, I’m saying.

Joe

September 5th, 2009
7:24 pm

Mark I think Tech is going to beat Clemson it’s not gonna be easy but the jackets will win.

Akhil

September 5th, 2009
7:25 pm

I thought that we played very sloppily today. Our players seemed to show no interest after that first TD. Hope our players have learnt from the whooping we received from LSU last yr. If we play against Clemson like we played today, we will get embarrassed in our own stadium. I loved to watch Tarrant, Julian Burnett play today…and Bay Bay sure looked stronger and quicker. I would love to see Nesbitt throw it more to Stephen Hill…that guy sure has a lot of potential.

UGA lost today! GO JACKETS! Beat the Tigers! I’ll be at the game on Thursday…cant wait!

Akhil

September 5th, 2009
7:28 pm

Great to have Sed Griffin back…

gtbabe

September 5th, 2009
7:34 pm

We have a tough row to hoe in September, Clemson hasn’t beat us in 3 yrs and Miami in 4 yrs, those teams will be gunning for us with everything they have and I’m sure we would all like to see payback against UNC.. Winning in Miami is extremely difficult, I was there 2 and 4 yrs ago so I know…so please let’s get through this month before anyone starts dreaming of an ACC title or the BCS…like CPJ said, we need more intensity and fire…go get’em Jackets!

Tokyo jacket

September 5th, 2009
7:34 pm

I see Tech starting off even keel against Clemson and pulling away leading into halftime and continuing to pull away in the second half. Look for CPJ to instill some heart through up and downs and sprints tomorrow and Monday.

When I was in HS we had a game that we won by 30 points and the next practice is the most I’ve ever run. I walked into practice and the coach threw the ball away and said “we won’t be needing this today, you don’t need a ball to learn discipline.” I could tell that day was going to suck.

Hillbilly Deluxe

September 5th, 2009
7:43 pm

Mark, didn’t you go 2-0 on your prediction for major Georgia schools this week?

Mark Bradley

September 5th, 2009
7:47 pm

I did, Hillbilly, and thanks for noticing. But I kind of waffled the other day — didn’t fully recant, but waffled big-time — on the UGA-Okie State game, so I probably shouldn’t claim that one.

And Tech over JSU? Shouldn’t claim that one, either.

GameTime

September 5th, 2009
7:51 pm

I believe we can take Clemson IF we can stop their running game. We’ve got to keep them from controlling the ball, eating time, and minimizing our offensive touches. Based on our performance today against the run and recognizing that Clemson’s run game will be much stronger I worry about that.

EEJacket

September 5th, 2009
7:54 pm

I hope PJ whips those boys into shape this weekend…can’t have a day like that on Thurs. Clempson is out for blood and we can’t go all lackadaisical on them. I really hope VT pulls it out tonight, otherwise we’re going to have to listen to SEC HELL YEAH BROTHER all week even tho UGAG stil choked today.

GTOldSchool21

September 5th, 2009
8:02 pm

Dwyer showed up and is ready to play….Nesbit played well (other than fumbles), we had a TD on a punt return for the first time in 6 years, Burnett had a pick. No. 40 was impressive. We had some new talent step up. If Tech had scored 60 then they probably would be feeling a little too good about themselves prior to Clemson. Maybe now they will work harder and focus this week….

grady

September 5th, 2009
8:03 pm

When is Nesbitt going to learn to hit the A-back down the seem?

Booger

September 5th, 2009
8:04 pm

so what is new and different about Clemson this year? better coach?? better qb? better def. coord.? what is this dread of playing Clemson, at BD on a Thursday night on ESPN? I don’t quite get it. Is the ghost of Woody coming in?

Mark Bradley

September 5th, 2009
8:09 pm

It does seem — pun intended — like Josh Nesbitt misses the A-back down the seam by two yards every time, Grady.

Booger

September 5th, 2009
8:11 pm

so an unimpressive game today – so why would we make good game film for Clemson to study??

Saint Simons

September 5th, 2009
8:13 pm

Great assessment coach. We are always too soft. But it was a great win. When can we order our rings?

Saint Simons

September 5th, 2009
8:14 pm

I am just really glad we got Gardner-Webb off of our schedule.

GTOldSchool21

September 5th, 2009
8:18 pm

Nesbitt should work on throwing off his front foot rather than back foot. It would help him knock down that A Back seam route next time.

Habersham Dawg

September 5th, 2009
8:37 pm

Pansies,

A twenty point win against who? Play a real team.

Bat Masterson

September 5th, 2009
8:41 pm

I guess all the Tech guys spent their time on Shultz’s Ga game blog.

TechGirl

September 5th, 2009
8:43 pm

HabershamDawg- Why are you even on a GT blog. Try to actually play with talent…that could MAYBE pull a win for UGAy……..UGA fans ALWAYS have something to blame their loss on…TO HELL WITH GEORGIA 42-45!!!!!!!!!!!

ROCKMEN1

September 5th, 2009
8:44 pm

Is Clemson’s O-line any better this yr. The D.T’s just need to occupy blockers

brewdawg

September 5th, 2009
8:45 pm

Here I am, another UGA fan on a Tech blog. But I come in peace and to offer congrats. Not every UGA fan is ridiculously arrogant, only most. I hope you guys play well all year, so that we have a chance to ruin your season at the end. BC I’m afraid that UGA is going to have a very JT 3ish year, and that may be the best we have to look forward to. Although there isn’t really shame losing to a top-10 team on the road, we did not look promising on offense. But now I’m venting in the wrong blog. Again, congrats on winning the opener.

Hayseed Dixie

September 5th, 2009
8:45 pm

We should’ve won that game by 60+ points.

That defense is going to have a hell of a time containing Spiller next week.

Count me disappointed.

Paddy

September 5th, 2009
8:48 pm

jacket fan… post again, I didn’t understand your logic. When is Jabo coming back? What does that have to do with this team today?

Paddy

September 5th, 2009
8:50 pm

habersham dawg… we played a real team in Stillwater today. Whats your point?

dandydawg

September 5th, 2009
8:57 pm

You Tech guys really have some nerve. All the sudden ya’ll are the best team in the state of GA? Please, make me laugh harder next time. Yes, UGA lost today..but it was against a top 5 team. Also our quarterback was getting over the flu. What I saw in the first half of that game was very impressive.

We should handle the rest of our schedule fairly easily. Florida will be a push..with how it goes. But YOU Tech nerds…please, we win by 20. (we’d win by more..but I give you it’s in Atlanta this year).

And you Mark Bradley….need to quit this Georgia Tech is the best team in the state crap…looks like someone is paying you off….CPJ maybe buying lunches?

brewdawg

September 5th, 2009
9:01 pm

Sorry dandydawg… what schedule are you looking at. BC after today’s performance, I see zero easy wins.

bluecole

September 5th, 2009
9:01 pm

decent game, but it got sloppy in the middle/end of the game. we left two TDs on the table with fumbles, and out LBs & DBs need to practice catching the ball. Had at least one pick six if we hadn’t dropped it. PJ nailed it, though, and he’ll have the guys ready for Thursday night.