Georgia Tech coulda/shoulda won this, but somehow it lost

After much ado, this is how the long night ended. (AP photo)

After much ado, this is how the long night ended: With the other Tech celebrating. (AP photo)

Blacksburg, Va. – Yes, crowning a division champion on Labor Day is more than a bit presumptuous, there being three months of football remaining. But we say it again: The winner of Tech-Tech has taken the ACC Coastal title every year there has been a Coastal Division, and as of this moment you’d have to say …

The Tech based on North Avenue is not the team to catch.

Georgia Tech came very close to a famous upset but fizzled in the final 44 seconds of regulation, watching Virginia Tech drive 51 yards to the tying field goal as regulation expired. Then, in the first overtime, quarterback Tevin Washington tried to make something happen and wound up helping his team lose. Washington forced a pass under duress, and the interception doomed the Jackets.

“I was trying to throw the ball away,” Washington said. Instead his weak throw was taken by the Hokies’ Kyle Fuller, meaning the home side only had to kick a field goal to win. Which it did.

After two lesser seasons, Georgia Tech needed a winning start, the kind of start that could well feed into an appearance in the ACC championship game come December. The Jackets almost had it, but then it was gone. And now they head home knowing that, for them to win the Coastal, Virginia Tech must lose not once but twice.

“We had a great opportunity to win the game, no question,” said Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech’s coach.

Even before the frantic ending, it had been a strange evening. I flash flood watch was issued early, but the game went off without a drop of precipitation. This was great news for everyone who recalled Aug. 27, 2000, when the two Techs sought to open the college season in Lane Stadium but were undone by lightning, a slash of which destroyed the rental car of the famous ESPN prognosticator Lee Corso.

Then there were the uniforms. The Jackets unveiled their new mostly-white look. The only gold to be found was on the helmet decal and the sleeves, and the most memorable feature of the headgear was its honeycomb effect. (What, no antennae?) Not to be outdressed, the Hokies broke out their quadruple-scoop ice cream cone ensemble — black socks, white pants, orange jerseys, purple helmets.

Speaking of duds: For 30 minutes, both offenses qualified. These two Coastal powers, neither of which is based anywhere near a coast, staged an opening half that might have had the neutrals watching on the Worldwide Leader hoping for lightning to liven things up … or, failing that, flipping the channel. Virginia Tech managed 137 first-half yards, Georgia Tech 107.

The third quarter was different for one Tech. The Jackets’ seasoned offensive line began to push the Hokies backward, and the visitors outgained Virginia Tech 85 yards to minus-7 in the quarter. The final period began with David Scully making a 34-yard field goal to put Georgia Tech ahead, and it stayed there after Virginia Tech blew a shortish field goal of its own. (Hey, aren’t Frank Beamer’s guys supposed to aces on special teams?)

The Jackets couldn’t move after Virginia Tech’s miss, and the halting affair entered the final 10 minutes. The massive Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas hadn’t done much, but he found Marcus Davis for 35 yards on a slant. Then Demitri Knowles, a third-string wideout, ran past cornerback Rod Sweeting to snatch Thomas’ pass in the end zone.

Now the visitors were in arrears on the road, and the orange-draped crowd was at full roar. Worse still, the best Jacket ballcarrier — A-back Orwin Smith — was gone with a shoulder injury. But that’s life in the big time: If you’re going to win a game of consequence, you can’t do it with a faint heart.

Quarterback Tevin Washington, who nearly engineered a famous victory here in 2010 while spelling the injured Joshua Nesbitt, broke a long run to give the Jackets field position. Then he muscled for a first down at the Virginia Tech 41. Then Paul Johnson, who earlier had gone for it (and failed) on fourth down at his 49, appeared to order a punt from the Hokies’ 37 with 3:03 remaining.

Then, remembering that he’s Paul Johnson, he called time and rethought. Whatever play Johnson called broke down, but Washington dodged away from pressure and found B.J. Bostic in front of three defenders for the vital first down. Then, inside the final minute, Washington stood in against a rush and found A-back Deon Hill on a crossing route, Hill diving in for the take-the-lead touchdown with 44 seconds remaining.

Then Georgia Tech’s defense, stout most of the night, wobbled. Virginia Tech drove to the tying field goal as regulation expired. Thomas found Corey Fuller twice, the second time on fourth-and-4 with 13 seconds remaining.

The last game of the long weekend would go longer. And it would end poorly for the team in white. Credit the effort, yes, but not the outcome.

For further reading, if not edification: Here are three observations (made by yours truly) regarding the excruciating game, and if you missed our well-visited live chat during the game itself … well, here you go.

By Mark Bradley

256 comments Add your comment

clayfield

September 4th, 2012
12:09 am

first! But it still stinks that we blew it.

Roddy Jones's trapper keeper

September 4th, 2012
12:09 am

it is time for CPJ to go

clayfield

September 4th, 2012
12:10 am

This was the best defense we will see until UGA. Look for tech to run the table until then.

headley lamar

September 4th, 2012
12:10 am

This moves CPJ to 2 – 11 vs Va Tech, UGA, and the Bowl Game

Including 0 for the last 7

Most programs that would get you fired.

headley lamar

September 4th, 2012
12:11 am

” No one has ever stopped my offense ”

- Paul Johnson

BehindEnemyLines

September 4th, 2012
12:13 am

A lack of blocking, a lack of talent, a lack of coaching. The only bright spot all night was the effort of the undermanned d-line & perhaps the almost equally mediocre look of the Hokies.

techmx

September 4th, 2012
12:14 am

a total choke by the GT defense in the last minute and the offense in the OT. Another loss.

kennyh

September 4th, 2012
12:15 am

tevin washington ; reggie ball.. he made the wrong reads all night.. ….like reggie, gutsy but bound to kill us!!

too legit to quit

September 4th, 2012
12:15 am

Great game by CPJ and CAG but GT let it get away from them. 4 seconds and 45 yards to go, you should win but . . . first OT inside the 25, now this is CPJ game but . . . that one hurt. Teven Washington looked great and was almost the hero but… oh well the key is going to be if the Jackets and Washington can rebound or does this loss set a tone. I would still like to see Days and Vad a lil bit more.

William Casey

September 4th, 2012
12:15 am

GT played well in a hostile environment. Tevin’s got a lot of heart but this is about as good as it gets with him at QB.

Preston Lyon

September 4th, 2012
12:17 am

These are Paul Johnson’s recuits….he has no excuses this year…..we cannot say “just wait until CPJ gets his players in this system”…..either he cannot recruit or his system sucks.

dpj98

September 4th, 2012
12:17 am

Ready for the Vad Lee era to begin, win, lose or draw. Tired of seeing Washington turn the ball over on the last possession with the game on the line.

Paul's Johnson

September 4th, 2012
12:17 am

Well, my highly vaunted, unstoppable offense once again didn’t get the job done. That’s alright. We’ll have bigger fish to fry next week.

Pitbull

September 4th, 2012
12:18 am

Are you guys sure you didn’t hire Paula Johnson as your head football coach.

Paula is Paul’s ugly identical twin sister and doesn’t know squat about football.

That would explain a lot.

Loved the game though. It was like a car wreck.

You know you shouldn’t slow down and watch, but you just can’t help but to look and see how bad it really is.

GT Geoff

September 4th, 2012
12:19 am

Mark it down Tevin Washington will be in the Heisman hunt at the end.

AMS Jacke

September 4th, 2012
12:21 am

…what a bunch of trolls…

Tech played well, on the road, and VT made a couple of their own breaks. This was a game that could easily have gone the other way…Tech is fine. One less call for VT (on the scoring drive – what was that for?) and we’d have had it. Coulda/shoulda is right but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great year.

Joe dirt

September 4th, 2012
12:22 am

I just can’t take it anymore. I give back my Degree and Alumni membership. I’m going to rout for the Dawgs now. I’m finished with Tech, goodbye.

AMS Jacket

September 4th, 2012
12:23 am

Maybe we should have played Buffalo? That wouldn’t have been anywhere near close at the level we played tonight…

Donnie Davis, Arena Football League Legend

September 4th, 2012
12:23 am

Face it Tech fans….it is over…you thought CPJ was going to turn things around and be the second coming of Bobby Dodd….it is not going to happen…he is a good coach but his lack of humility has hurt him….his dedication to the TO has left him with a team full of recruits who cannot run any other offense….288 yards of total offense with his players falls on his shoulders…he cannot blame Al Groh…..the defense played well enough to win……it’s on CPJ.

kennyh

September 4th, 2012
12:25 am

tevin washington ; reggie ball……

Mark Bradley

September 4th, 2012
12:26 am

Here’s the game column, if you’re inclined.

MacroS

September 4th, 2012
12:26 am

how does al groh keep his job??

Bamajacket

September 4th, 2012
12:26 am

Washington’s throw was just stupid. What else can you call it? He did the only thing you cannot do in that situation….turn the ball over. Just dumb. That was a freshman mistake. And Sweeting… he needs to get his head in the game and save the showboating. Every time it seemed VT needed a big play, that’s where they went, to young Rod. If Tevin is the best they have, it’s gonna be a long year.

buzzwax

September 4th, 2012
12:27 am

Tevin didn’t lose the game, he didn’t win it either. Larger blaim goes to two of the ‘veteran’ DB’s who both missed tackles to allow VT to get in position for the tying FG in regulation.

The media has been saying this is the best VT defenes in the Beamer era, GT held the ball for 35 minutes so they didn’t play bad. Tevin showed a ton of guts to get the go ahead score with 44 seconds on two PASS plays. Hell CPJ even ran the pistol!!

Missing Holton and his tackling was tough. Hope Orwin is OK. Tevin took some massive hits and played well for all but one play…..

Better get their minds right quick, as the remaining games in September will tell the remainder of this season in the ACC, but it looks like the Coastal is a stretch goal now.

St. Simons

September 4th, 2012
12:27 am

<<>> hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

<<>> hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

<<>> hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

AMS Jacket

September 4th, 2012
12:27 am

Joe;

That’s “I’ll give”, degree and alumni aren’t proper nouns and “root” is the proper spelling. If you want to pretend to be an alumni of any university at least try a spell and grammar check.

St. Simons

September 4th, 2012
12:28 am

20-17

31-17

10 out of 11

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Kenny Anderson's Test Taker

September 4th, 2012
12:29 am

At least CPJ knows how to insult people with disabilities.

buzzwax

September 4th, 2012
12:31 am

ANYONE who blaims this loss on CPJ is an idiot. Hell GT is up 3 with 44 seconds against ‘the best defense of the Beamer era’ after showcasing the Pistol and two passes to get the TD!!

This is a tough loss, but blaiming CPJ for it is rediculous emotion or ’see I told you so’ idiots who don’t like the man.

GT Realist

September 4th, 2012
12:31 am

When we start looking at the real problem!! It is CPJ! Offenses that are not even run oriented rush for more yards than we do! Our starting receivers caught no balls. The B-back just runs up the middle with no option to bounce it out or run any where else! I saw alot of talented backs in college football this weekend! We have not recruited well at all. Look how we have lost our last four games. Can you say Cursed!!!!!

LIberal Arts Major

September 4th, 2012
12:32 am

Hey AMS – if you are going to take the high road on grammar then you should check yourself…..you should have used the word “alumnus” rather than “alumni”,

Outside Observer

September 4th, 2012
12:33 am

This one hurt. Defense played outstanding all game long. A couple of missed tackles really hurt, as well as a questionable personal foul, but all in all, the defense played their hearts out. There is no excuse for that throw in overtime. Tevin made a lot of poor reads throughout the game. Tech will never get over the hump with a game manager like Tevin Washington at quarterback. With a loss in a key game like this, it is time to get some snaps for Days and/or Lee and get the best athletes on the field for Tech.

GTLM

September 4th, 2012
12:33 am

Tired of the playcalling. Tired of the accepted mediocrity. A loss is a loss no matter which way you chalk it up to be. These almosts and coulda woulda shouldas against VT are getting old. We coulda shoulda won the last 3 against these dupes. Gutwrenching loss. Results like these make me question why I still have season tix. It’s the very definition of insanity, doing the same thing yet expecting different results. Being a GT fan is more heartbreaker than it’s worth sometimes.

Athens DWAAAAG

September 4th, 2012
12:34 am

Please don’t get rid of CPJ, the Bulldogs love him! Why?
1) he does not discriminate between 1 star and 5 star recruits.
2)he does not make outlandish statements, although he may be dullest man in college football.
3)CPJ may have the most exciting offense since Woody Hayes
Please, Please, keep him!! Please, we love him at UGA!

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El-Toro GATA

September 4th, 2012
12:34 am

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! just quit football and focus your efforts on opening a helmet engineering school!!!

78dawg

September 4th, 2012
12:35 am

Same ol Tech…..Bash UGA and can’t do a thing..Put up or shut up…Boo..Hooo….BTW Looks like tech got Penn State’s old uniforms….LOL

BBGT

September 4th, 2012
12:37 am

St. SImons;
I see that you are still posting the same thing that you did Saturday after watching your mighty #6 Dawgs. You really have got to proud!!!

MarvelGoose

September 4th, 2012
12:38 am

The new Tech Uniforms are a metaphor fail.

That is not a honeycomb design. Yellow Jackets do not create honey. They do. however, build their paper nests using the same hexagonal structure. Inside each hexagon goes an egg that quickly grows into a maggot.

So, each uniform is is hornets nest and inside each uniform is a… .

Let us just say I’m calling them the Yellow Maggots until they change uniforms

JV44

September 4th, 2012
12:39 am

AL GROH HAS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t know when CPJ will realize he is worthless..

buzzwax

September 4th, 2012
12:40 am

The throw in OT was bad, but he was also 5-6 for 34 yards and a TD on the final drive, plus 4 rushes for 31 additional yards (on a 72 yard drive). If we keep them out of FG range after a touchback with 44 seconds left, Tevin is a hero.

Posted from a copy of a post from gojackets.com

Glory between the hedges

September 4th, 2012
12:40 am

Did tech have a game tonight? Oh yeah I don’t watch old man football haha

Serious Dawg in Demorest

September 4th, 2012
12:41 am

You guys are NUTS if you get rid of Coach Johnson. He didn’t lose a couple of 60-7 games like Gailey and he HAS beaten us here in Athens. Believe it or not, none of us like to play against your offense but every one of us respect it. You won’t beat us out for the state’s elite athletes (heck, we can’t even win them currently against other programs) but you are just dangerous enough to win that high school conference of your’s every other year and consistently make a BCS Bowl. If I were a bee, I’d be ok with that.

Joe dirt

September 4th, 2012
12:41 am

AMS,

Grammer never was my strongest subject. We only got two quarters of English class back in my day. Love to do some differential equations with you some day, but I’m having Reggie Ball deja vu tonight.

MarkGT

September 4th, 2012
12:42 am

Disappointed we could not find a way to close down the stretch in the 4th. OT was a train wreck

macrotech

September 4th, 2012
12:43 am

Preston Lyon, yeah…you’re right! EVERY team that ever loses a game should blame it on recruiting AND the system! Dumbest thing I’ve read to this point!

El-Toro GATA, we’ll quit football when your pups can match our National Championship Trophy collection…deal? Nice win against Buffalo, though!

GTBob

September 4th, 2012
12:43 am

Meh, I think every Tech fan is used to this feeling at this point. Its part of being a Tech fan.

macrotech

September 4th, 2012
12:44 am

Serious Dawg in Demorest, you’re a DGD…I agree with you and wish you the best for your thoughts

buzzwax

September 4th, 2012
12:45 am

Anyone saying that either Groh or PJ need to go probably had too much to drink. Defense held VT to under 100 yards rushing. ONE long play TD against Sweeting, Young, Drummond and Holton out. I’d say the defense exceeded expectations. The offense? 35 minutes of possession and showcased the Pistol. Hope CPJ sticks with it and uses it more. Will help with recruiting.

How many of Tevins runs would have been LONG gainers with Justin Thomas at QB?

Dirtybirdsin'12

September 4th, 2012
12:48 am

Paul Johnson is the best coach on the flats since Bobby Dodd. Every intelligent person that has watched this team for the past 4 years knows that his offense is elite. The problem is that Washington is incapable of making the proper reads. Paul Johnson abandoned his bread and butter in the 2nd half bc he was aware of this fact and it almost led to a victory. It’s time for the Vad Lee era to begin. Props to both defenses for a well played ball game tonight. Jackets looked great on D with the exception of 2 plays. Washington will cause a lot of headaches, but there are plenty of wins to be had on this schedule. Georgia fans: No one cares to hear your opinion. Keep on thinking you have a top 10 team and we play high school football if it helps you sleep at night. Our day will come.

JB

September 4th, 2012
12:49 am

Tech….bhhhahahahaaaaa