5 reasons Georgia Tech is even worse off than you’d think

A happy Paul Johnson after the N.C. State game. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

A happy Paul Johnson after the N.C. State game. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

1. Apparently B-backs aren’t interchangeable. Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 1,395 yards in both 2008 and 2009. Over the winter Paul Johnson said he’d be willing to bet his new B-back would gain 1,000 yards. Anthony Allen has rushed for 267 yards in four games, which would translate to 801 over a full regular season.

2. Apparently Bay-Bay was indispensable. Joshua Nesbitt passed for 1,701 yards last season, most of them to Demaryius Thomas. Nesbitt has thrown for 316 yards over four games, which projects to 948 over a full regular season. His completion percentage, which was 46.3 a year ago, is 32.6 now.

3. Apparently it wasn’t all about the defensive coordinator. Dave Wommack’s defense ranked 54th nationally last season, yielding an average of 360 yards per game. Al Groh’s defense ranks 71st, yielding 367 yards. In pass defense Tech was 45th last season; it’s 69th now.

4. Apparently “depth” isn’t synonymous with “talent.” Before the season, Johnson called this his deepest Tech team. After losing to N.C. State, Groh lamented that his defense had made but three significant plays in 81 snaps and that there was no “supermarket” where the Jackets could go buy better players.

5. Even with the ACC in retreat, four difficult games remain. Tech must play at Clemson, at Virginia Tech and at Georgia, and it will face Miami at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Given that the Jackets have already lost twice when favored and that their only victory of consequence came against depleted North Carolina, this team could wind up 7-5 — or worse.

Equal time (sort of): 5 reasons the Georgia Bulldogs are better than you’d think.

356 comments Add your comment

Jesse Stone

September 30th, 2010
12:29 pm

That patrolman with CPJ in that picture is my old high school friend Stacy Forrest. I know it has nothing to do with the article, but I had to get a shout out.

Rich

September 30th, 2010
12:30 pm

You pretty much hit the nail on the head on all 5 counts

Jesse Stone

September 30th, 2010
12:30 pm

Mark, as a Tech fan I can’t disagree with your points. We look dreadful on defense and if something should happen to Nesbitt, we’re in BIG trouble.

MattyB

September 30th, 2010
12:35 pm

Thanks Mark, you’ve just provided CPJ and the rest of the Jackets an additional dose of motivation. Trust me, they won’t waste it.

misterwax

September 30th, 2010
12:36 pm

so winning the ACC with Gailey’s recruits is am accurate description of 2009…what shall we alumni say about 2010?

Innocent Bystander

September 30th, 2010
12:37 pm

I agree.

And Jesse Stone- Your patrol buddy looks even more pissed than CPJ. Can’t say I blame him.

SEA ISLAND

September 30th, 2010
12:41 pm

best article i have ever seen on the ajc

Mark in Woodstock

September 30th, 2010
12:42 pm

A lot of talent walked out that door after last year…talent that is very hard to replace. If you can only complete 32% of your passes you’re completely ineffective on offense…you’ve got to at least have a threat of a passing game…that’s was D Thomas provided last year. Without him and Jonathan this offense just isn’t very good.

Ted Striker

September 30th, 2010
12:47 pm

Is there a reason that UGA and Tech coaches get escorts from the Ga State Patrol? If so, how much do the schools pay the GSP or it’s officers — or does GSP simply provide complimentary escorts to those two schools? And if UGA and Tech coaches get GSP escorts, why not coaches at other in-state schools?

I’d might want to hire a GSP escort for myself to a game or two and want to know how this works.

Dooley Family

September 30th, 2010
12:47 pm

Overall agree with this assessment. Defense likely the worst in my 40+ years keeping an eye on the enemy.

Bryan G.

September 30th, 2010
12:48 pm

I think the players they lost were huge. That said, this UGA fan thinks CPJ has a better chance of fixing his house than CMR does. Isn’t that sad?

Helmand Dawg

September 30th, 2010
12:51 pm

Al Groh was not brought in just to coach D. Remember, he is one of the better recruiters in the country and can especially recruit VA, and Western Pennsylvania. I think he will get athletes in there who will be able to stay in school. Tech will be fine in the long run.

jackets

September 30th, 2010
12:52 pm

The season is not lost and this team at 1-1 in the ACC is def still in the race. They have a way better chance than UGA to compete for their respective conference title than UGA who is 0-3 in conference. MB just trying to stir everyone up…we need to pass block better and try to complete short passes. The defense doesnt have the horses up front but they can play well in spurts and if our offense wins TOP we wont need them to stay on the field for long periods.

saban

September 30th, 2010
12:56 pm

Tech is fine.

Give them time to work things out. By fall the entire Georgia team will be in jail anyway.

wxwax

September 30th, 2010
12:59 pm

Clearly Tech lacks the talent, both on defense and on the offensive line.

The passing game is horrendous. Even I, a rube, can see that Nesbitt’s footwork is horrible. He rarely, maybe never, throws when balanced and transferring his weight to his front leg.

I assume Tech works so much on their run offense that they can’t coach him properly in the throwing game. I assume they actually have someone who can teach Nesbitt technique, but perhaps I’m being too generous?

What’s remarkable is how far Johnson’s gotten with such an obvious deficiency.

The other thing is that Johnson is clearly going to have to improve his recruiting. This is his third year, more and more of the players are his recruits.

Old Gold

September 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

Said 5 an 7 at the beginning of the year and y’all laughed! All the big talk of better players than Gailey’s just hasn’t worked out and won’t! Where is the “Genius” coach at now? Blaming it all on the players!!

Dawg 1

September 30th, 2010
1:02 pm

Helmand Dog got it right. Tech should be fine in the long run, but I do believe that this defense will be down for a couple of more years. You could see through recruiting that CPJ was getting ‘pieces’ for the offense. But you didn’t see a lot of blue chippers or even close going to the defense. That was a flag from the beginning.

Not trashing you guys – we have our own problems. Rarely agree with Bradley. I think he got UGA right. Not sure about Tech. I think it comes down to your QB. If he stays healthy, your likely 7-4 going into the Georgia game. If he gets hurt…. It’s a long season.

Good luck – see you in Athens.

reebok

September 30th, 2010
1:05 pm

the players are smart. the coaches are smart. the schedule is soft. the ACC is soft. one saturday soon (maybe this saturday) the schemes are going to ‘click’ with the players and tech will go on streak of 4 or 5 wins in a row. everybody relax.

Buzz29

September 30th, 2010
1:06 pm

Every coach has a police escort,Ted. Some coaches even have regular escorts.

Thanks for the article Mark. You always give us reverse karma. (you pick is to win, we lose, etc)

Dawg-Hatin' Jacket

September 30th, 2010
1:06 pm

Thanks MB. Just sitting here thinking back to when the Braves were up 7 and what you wrote about them. With your track record, this is just the kind of boost we needed. We’ll run the table now, thanks to your timely and insightful analysis.

collegeballfan

September 30th, 2010
1:14 pm

I repeat what I have been reminding everyone for weeks, Al Groh said that it usually takes him 2 years to install his 3 – 4 defense. So expect to see results in the 2012 season.

The last 2 years Tech just outscored the opposition for its 20 wins. This year they are not outscoring anyone. Long season ahead.

I can’t wait until 2012.

UGA man here and giggling

September 30th, 2010
1:15 pm

I will beat y’all to it. My ala mater UGA is lousy this year but …….but we do ahve the nucleus of a solid teram for the future with our frosh QB and the talnted receivers that will be here post AJ. UGA has tons of quality tight ends and when we dump Bob, wie will be fine.

Now ……….GT? Trouble baby> Big T at The Flats. Why? Your Qb that was um, ah, um, Heisman material is a joke. He has no receivers and ……….and the GT D is far worse. UGA will still run the ball on you ( we just can’t in the big boy SEC ) and we will have AJ this year and it iwll be ugly for y’all.

Now, in the ACC is if your record is say 7-5 you might not even get a bowl bid. UGA as an SEC squad at 6-6 would BUMP YOU for some fifth rate bowl bid. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA

When we are awful …………..we are still better than GT. AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA Just like last year.

Go Dogs.

Vixzilla

September 30th, 2010
1:16 pm

Bradley – you are brilliant today. Solid Logic

Alabama Jack

September 30th, 2010
1:22 pm

Saw Georgia Southern vs Elon replay last night. Eagles, QB’ed by Jaybo shaw looked like Jackets in Blue & White. Got Tech and go Southern.

5150 P.O.A.D

September 30th, 2010
1:23 pm

Sea Island I would think the best article you ever saw in the AJC was that your little Island was just purchased for pennies on the dollar and the majority of UGA fans still can’t get past the Security gate.

Tech Fan Since 1950

September 30th, 2010
1:23 pm

This Tech team has a chemistry/communication problem involving both players and coaches. I first noticed it when I attended the Kansas game in Lawrence. During the long tv timeouts the Kansas coaches huddled with their players while the Tech defensive team took a knee lined up in formation while their coaches were on the sidelines. The Tech coaches should have been coaching their guys, especially since Kansas was running a hurry-up offense not allowing Tech to fully substitute. The situation may have gotten better for the last two games, but it seems there is an extra learning curve for the Tech players. Losing four eligible players to the NFL certainly hurts, but that is history. We do not have the depth of big defensive lineman nor strong enough pass blockers. We just have to tough it out this year, game by game. I’ll have to admit, I am not too impressed with the coaching that is going on so far this year.

Not Disappointed!

September 30th, 2010
1:26 pm

sad, but maybe some truth!

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

September 30th, 2010
1:28 pm

When you’re evaluating a program or a coach, I think you have to consider past performance. In the case of both CPJ and CMR, that performance is outstanding. I think a lot of the offense’s problems against the Wolfpack were due to injuries on the offensive line … particularly at center. Not laying blame on the 3rd-string guy, but he simply hadn’t had the reps in practice nor the game experience to step in and perform adequately during a “real game”. That’s why the NC State linebacker had a career day against us.

I do worry somewhat more about the defense, as this has never been an area of emphasis on a CPJ-coached team. I like what I see from Cross, Johnson, and a couple of others, but the overall level of performance needs to improve dramatically. Still … I think that will come as the season progresses.

This team could finish up anywhere from 6-6 to 9-3, but I think the most likely record at the end of the regular season is 8-4. If that’s the case, then the odds are against our winning the Coastal Division and returning to ACC Championship game. Fortunately, that’s why they play the games … it’s much more entertaining that random speculation by ANY fan … or sportswriter.

SatchelBuzz

September 30th, 2010
1:29 pm

I trust in CPJ,…as well should the rest of the Tech faithful. We put up with Gailey’s crap for 7 years,…time for some of you to man up and quit complaining. The season hasn’t started like we wanted,..but the sky ain’t falling. There is plenty of football left in which we will define our season. Look, the nadlickers are 1-3,….Bradley is just trying to stir things up.

THWG and Bradley too!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, ajc sports editor and Ryan Lahm, Kristopher Scott. Kristopher Scott said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: And now: 5 reasons #gatech is even worse off than you might think. http://bit.ly/bE24eV (Will all Techies please read!) [...]

Ramblin Man

September 30th, 2010
1:34 pm

giggly UGA man,
What nucleus is that and why have those great recievers not stepped up? You have no idea what kind of QB Washington will be and the future QB will probably be Vad Lee after a red shirt year. The great o-line every UGA fan was talking about has not played that well and that is not Bobo’s fault. UGAs problems on defense may not be as bad as GTs but they are hurting you all the same. GT is also playing a inexperienced o-line minus Bedford and should get better as the season goes and should only be better next season. If UGA wins in November then you can claim to be better but right now both teams are playing horrible and neither has any room to brag. Oh and if you really did graduate from UGA I’m guessing you were not an english major.

Jacket Backer

September 30th, 2010
1:45 pm

thanks Bradley…..I hope you pick us to lose every game from now through eternity!….the lower you pick us, the better we play!

Go Jackets!

bookguy

September 30th, 2010
1:45 pm

Not as much talent on the flats this year as last, obviously. Not enough players for new defensive scheme, and without better supporting offensive cast, Nesbitt has to do it all, and it’s clear he can’t. 7-5 probably about right, but fans expected more and coach suggested he’d produce more. CPJ not on the hot seat, but he’ll need to produce next season, or there will be some heat. UGA? Lots of talent, poor coaching, 6-6 or 7-5 likely depending on how they play GT. Lots of disappointment in ATL and Athens this year.

If you guys...`

September 30th, 2010
1:47 pm

…are counting on Groh to lead the recruiting march and the D to be better in 2012 after he takes his self proclaimed 2-3 years to install his D, then you are as delusional as most UGA fans – the guy is now almost 67 freakin’ years old – do you really think he will be coaching at Tech (or anywhere) 3 years from now?

From 11-3 to 12-2, . . . . . .

September 30th, 2010
1:48 pm

The Georgia Bulldogs are 1-3 after four games,
which would translate into a 3-9 record over a full regular season.

Ramblin Man

September 30th, 2010
1:48 pm

For the UGA fans that do not know and Bradley seems to have forgotten to mention is that besides losing Thomas and Dwyer to the NFL GT also lost three starting o-lineman, one of which also went to the NFL. I don’t care what team it is losing three starting o-lineman is going to hurt offensive production. Throw in the fact that against NC State the starting and backup center are out with a true freshman now protecting and snapping to the QB and stats are going to suffer.

Bradley how about doing an article titled:
Mark Bradley 5 reasons Georgia is even worse off than you’d think

Bad Dawg, Bad Dawg

September 30th, 2010
1:52 pm

Giggling, I hope that you giggle at the fact that UGA is no where on the radar screen in the SEC. Tech beat the MSU that beat you twice recently. Losses to USC, Hogs, MSU with more to follow at the hands of Auburn, Gators and Tech. Your off the field issues are an embarrassment to the State. Florida, Alabama and LSU are the SEC and you can’t stand it. We’ll be fine because we have the better coach.

Hertzel Waltzer

September 30th, 2010
1:53 pm

Football in our state this year is terrible.

Pick either Bama or the Gators for a quality team ( with Auburn
as a 3rd choice).

neil marlowe

September 30th, 2010
1:56 pm

7-5? are you kidding? ! ? this bunch will be lucky to finish 6-6 – more likely 5-7. I don’t know what
happened to recruiting, but this team is one of the least talented in recent years. Nesbitt throwing to any
of his receivers is a joke.

Neil Marlowe
Class of 57

Hotel Shreveport

September 30th, 2010
1:58 pm

2-2 Georgia Tech is batting 500 to 1-3 UGA’s 250.

dawghater

September 30th, 2010
2:02 pm

Mark,
You make good points. I would argue a little with two. Anthony Allen could be a good back but he simply doesn’t get enough touches. The passing game is partly bad due to inexperienced recievers but Nesbitt can’t throw a catchable pass. He’s awful in the passing game. Take into account this is a young inexperienced team coupled with better opponents in the comming weeks it’s looking like it’s a 6 to 7 win season. We are still well behind UGA in arrests year to date, though!

Yellow Fuzz

September 30th, 2010
2:03 pm

NC State is undefeated. Miss St. ain’t

JoeFan

September 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

Neither GT or UGA has much chance of finishing this season better than 7-5 and wouldn’t be surprised if both end at 6-6. That being said, GT stands a better chance of going 8-4 or 9-3 just because of the lack of quality teams in the ACC. Either way, neither school has anything to be proud of the way each is playing.

joeygt

September 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

gt will be fine i expect them to be 9-3 at years end

Loran, whatdayagot?

September 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

Big Bad Georgia is 1-3

They must be on a Downward Spiral worst than Georgia Tech.

lilhomer

September 30th, 2010
2:06 pm

may not even make it to Shreveport?

Old Dawg Fan

September 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

I think GT fans are about to discover that Paul Johnson cannot recruit at the BCS level now that Chan Gailey’s recruits are thinning out.

PJ had a captive group of recruits at Navy as those guys wanted to be at the Naval Academy.

It is different with Tech. Players are free to attend any college they wish and will go elsewhere rather than take a load of crap off of PJ.

Look at the ones who have already left. Shall I list them for you or do you know them already.

Tech will have a lot less talent soon and you guys better start thinking about who your next coach is going to be.

Don’t believe me? Just sit back and watch when your QB leaves after this year.

Cecil34

September 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

Does CPJ consider it a crime to play someone else at QB that can pass?

At least on obvious passing downs?

Nesbitt is a hoss, can run, but man, this fella cannot pass effectively at all. No threat whatsoever. Anything accomplished in the past was because Thomas made it happen.

Poor technique and fundementals – Can’t something be done here?

DEEP HOLE

September 30th, 2010
2:08 pm

Georgia Tech is 1-1 in the ACC.

UGA is 0-3 in the SEC.

Which is a deeper hole to dig out of ?

Old Dawg Fan

September 30th, 2010
2:10 pm

PS: Don’t get me wrong. I want PJ to stay at Tech.

I will enjoy watching him drag your program down. Just being honest.