On Paul Johnson’s poor early choice and Tech’s lack of fans

This was not the happiest of days for the men of Tech. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

OK, so this was not the happiest of days for the men of Georgia Tech. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

This post is an adjunct to the Georgia Tech column off today’s game, which can be found here.

1. Paul Johnson’s first tactical error came before the game began. Georgia Tech won the coin toss and chose to defer its choice until the second half. This is, we must note, standard coaching procedure. But this was not a standard game. The Yellow Jackets’ only hope rested on their offense and its capacity to steal an early lead and then play keep-away. Instead Johnson chose to put his special teams and his defense on the field first. Malcolm Mitchell returned the kickoff past midfield. Georgia led 7-0 after 63 seconds. When finally Tech exercised its option at the start of the third quarter, it trailed 28-3. Asked about his decision to defer, Johnson said: “Pick your half. They’re going to get it sometime.”

2. Time of possession can be the world’s most misleading statistic. The Jackets held the ball for 21 minutes and 22 seconds of the first half but were outscored by 25 points. The Jackets’ offense did not punt in the first half; neither did it score a touchdown. It mustered 238 first-half yards, which is pretty darn good, but only three points, which was deficient to requirements on a day when Georgia was scoring four touchdowns in five first-half tries. A fumble — actually Bacarri Rambo’s snatch of the ball from Robert Godhigh — defused Tech’s first drive, and an intercepted Vad Lee pass snuffed the third. The half ended, fittingly, with a missed field goal.

3. There were surely fewer visiting fans on hand Saturday than for any Tech-Georgia game since … maybe ever. It was a source of great Bulldog glee that the Jackets returned nearly one-quarter of their allotment of 8,000 tickets, and apparently more than a few of those seats sold by Tech fell into enemy hands. Not counting the Tech band, there couldn’t have been 2,000 folks wearing gold in Sanford Stadium at the opening kickoff. It’s possible some Tech backers came incognito. If so, they made a wise decision.

By Mark Bradley

261 comments Add your comment

[...] Further reading: On  Paul Johnson’s poor early choice and Tech’s lack of fans. [...]

Coach

November 24th, 2012
9:08 pm

First?

Also, what does the UGA game announcer mean when he says, “Time out to measure the gain?”

Coach

November 24th, 2012
9:12 pm

As for attendance, are there worst visitor seats anywhere than Sanford? I have not missed one since 1968. The poor seats (Section 601) and the rude treatment of visitors makes it a trip that we all dread. You should not have to battle your way into a stadium.

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:12 pm

Mark, how bout them Dogs!!

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:14 pm

As soon as Georgia put 14 on the board it was over. Tech’s offense couldn’t catch a cold.

Kane337

November 24th, 2012
9:15 pm

Mark Bradley

November 24th, 2012
9:16 pm

My assignment was to focus on Tech, obviously. But I did notice that Georgia seemed to acquit itself nicely.

Biff Pocoroba

November 24th, 2012
9:16 pm

There will even be less fans there for the game in Charlotte and then Tech will have eat about 5000 tickets for the bowl game in Texas. The big five star recruit in basketball looks as lost as Tevin and takes as many bad jump shots as Josh Smith. DRad left us in terrible shape and it will be a few years before we recover. The only bright spot is at least I don’t have to leave in Clemson.

Fish Fried

November 24th, 2012
9:17 pm

How could anyone send their kid to play for PJ? Every time his players came off the field he looked liked he had bad gas and just yelled and fussed at the jackets.

Looks like his smart ass is wearing thin on Bradley too

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:17 pm

Tech’s team, coaches and cheerleaders outnumbered the fans in the stands. Heh, heh

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:18 pm

Check the sour grapes from Coach

GT Letterwinner

November 24th, 2012
9:18 pm

Mark, that is an interesting angle on the crowd and census of those in attendance. Another angle would be: is UGA really just a couple of games from the National Title and their fans still show up late if they show up at all? Lots of empty seats.

We run this state in areas that matter: economics, job creation, attracting funding and capital for research, national exposure, and the list goes on…

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:19 pm

SEC sure dominated ACC today.

old dog

November 24th, 2012
9:20 pm

Just another day at the office. I wish the Dawgs played Tech twice a year. That would be twice as good.

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:20 pm

More sour grapes from Tech.

Ghost

November 24th, 2012
9:20 pm

Just wait till PJ gets his players in his system, what a joke.

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:21 pm

GT, only football mattered today. Best, Todd

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:22 pm

USC is so far hanging tough against the Irish.

old dog

November 24th, 2012
9:23 pm

All you Bama fans that’s why they play the game. If Bama wins no big deal But if the Dawgs happen to win the power in the SEC has shifted back to the EAST. No pressure on the Dawgs they get no respect any way.

tvradioguy

November 24th, 2012
9:27 pm

That was a Rambo snatch on the first drive I think…

Mike Slive

November 24th, 2012
9:27 pm

GT Letterwinner, interesting that Techies are so successful yet your program can’t sell their luxury seats at Grant Field.

And by the way, your graduates don’t have to be financially successful to attend the ACC Championship Game – more than 8,000 tickets are available on StubHub starting at $5.00. The ACC is barely Division I.

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:27 pm

Understand that in 2014 Georgia will send Tech it’s 8,000 tickets with a $10 lotto scratch off attached to each one. Better odds on lotto than beating Georgia

Todd grantham

November 24th, 2012
9:33 pm

Mark, prediction on USC Notre Dame?

Murraytheman

November 24th, 2012
9:39 pm

It was obvious today that Tech’s defense is in total disarray. I was hoping they would bring more fans. I like a good-natured back and forth between the fans. When UGA plays at Tech GA fans outnumber Tech fans. It seems athletically Mark it was no contest.

3d

November 24th, 2012
9:45 pm

Seriously, money is an issue at Tech.

CPJ should at least consider changing to a pro style offense because he ain’t going no where with the money situation the way it is.

Deadpool

November 24th, 2012
9:48 pm

Mark, it was Baccari Rambo that caused the fumble on Tech’s first possession, not Alec Ogletree.

Hairy Douglas

November 24th, 2012
9:49 pm

tvradioguy
November 24th, 2012
9:27 pm

That was a Rambo snatch on the first drive I think…

————————————–

Correct!

UGA = Yawn

November 24th, 2012
9:50 pm

I thought the same thing when I saw the stands. Very few GT fans. Probably was the fewest. At the ACC Championship game? Even fewer. At GT home games next year? Even fewer. Johnson; 1-4 vs VT, 1-4 vs UGA, 0-5 in bowl games. He must move on and give someone else a chance.

UGA = Yawn

November 24th, 2012
9:51 pm

I agree. Why defer?! That was soooo dumb but so understandable for Johnson who is stubborn and thinks he knows it all!

Big D

November 24th, 2012
9:52 pm

Playing Tech today just added to Georgia’s “weak” schedule. Tech fans make fun of Vandy who totally dominated Wake Forest today beating them worse than Notre Dame did. Florida beats FSU and South Carolina beating Clemson at the moment. I thought the SEC was down this year Oh Wait we have the #2 #3 and #4 team in the country. The Tech fans are so arrogant and cocky and I don’t know why. They suck!

1276jacket

November 24th, 2012
9:53 pm

To get a ticket you had to have Tech season tickets. I didn’t buy season tickets this year. It was apparent last year there was something wrong with this team. I won’t waste my money on anymore of this. Perhaps there are others thinking the same thing?

UGA = Yawn

November 24th, 2012
9:53 pm

Todd – a bit cocky aren’t you? I would hold off on that until late next Saturday night. Then you can be as cocky as you want after you beat Bama.

sbolen

November 24th, 2012
9:54 pm

Tech’s offense is powerful but their players looked out classed. How many times did UGA players throw Tech guys around like rag dolls?

Jacket Man

November 24th, 2012
9:56 pm

Give UGA their props, wish them well next weekend, and move on. Get ready for next weekend against FSU as it’s now the most important game of the year for the Jackets.

1276jacket

November 24th, 2012
9:57 pm

And yeah I had only kept up with Tech since 1968 and graduated in 1976.

MB

November 24th, 2012
9:58 pm

Most tech student dont grow up playing or watching football. Most uga fans are football fans and not necessarily a grad of uga. Why would you expect them to go to a game when u can watch it on tv, computer,laptop, phone. A lot of sport fan are not attending games since in can be seen elsewhere.

flagboy?

November 24th, 2012
9:58 pm

GT Letterwinner

November 24th, 2012
9:18 pm
Mark, that is an interesting angle on the crowd and census of those in attendance. Another angle would be: is UGA really just a couple of games from the National Title and their fans still show up late if they show up at all? Lots of empty seats.

We run this state in areas that matter: economics, job creation, attracting funding and capital for research, national exposure, and the list goes on…
________________
and yet, here you are, on an AJC sports blog. . .

dawgfan

November 24th, 2012
10:02 pm

Tech fans, any word on the NCAA waiver for bowl eligibility?

LMAO

Mark Bradley

November 24th, 2012
10:02 pm

It was Rambo. Sorry.

Had it right in the game column, amazingly.

The SEC wins The 2012 ACC Championship

November 24th, 2012
10:03 pm

UGA=Yawn

Read my name a 100 times; its just the facts ;)

Connor Norman

November 24th, 2012
10:04 pm

Nah…..Paul Johnson outcoached Mark Richt again because Richt wasted his challenge and Johnson kept his…..he is a coaching genius….just wait until he gets his players in his system…..give him another 5 years…..what a joke…..GT fans should be embarrassed….Vad Lee is not a passer…..he is a thrower…..the sad part for a GT fan was knowing that when you were down 35-3 with about ten minutes in the third quarter that you had no chance to come back because you cannot pass the ball……GT will never be able to pass the ball in this system….it must suck to be a Tech fan.

SAT

November 24th, 2012
10:05 pm

We can’t compete with UGA…we have academic requirements that don’t allow degrees in Physical Education. Tough to bring in UGA caliber Thespians and Mathematicians when reading is a prerequisite. I’ll take my degree in Electrical Engineering over a football program every day.

4th and Whatever

November 24th, 2012
10:08 pm

Paul Johnson is an idiot. It doesn’t matter where or when, if it’s 4th down then he goes for it. Someone should inform him that 99.99% of the broadcasters, sportswriters, fans, players & coaches who witness his patented “4th and Whatever” decisions consider him to be a coaching buffoon.

You DON’T have to go for it on every 4th down…Especially when you’re not moving the ball effectively in the fist place. This is not a insignificant detail. It represents a much larger coaching flaw that resides within Paul Johnson.

It’s so eerily similar to that of Chan Gailey. He is old & stubborn. He doesn’t learn from mistakes. He only does things “his way” and so must everyone else. When asked about game situations and decisions, he quips little one liners that GT fans & alumni have to live with for years. He got the big contract and his personal performance nosedived. He’d rather be fishing than coaching football.

Chan Gailey The Hated set Tech Football back a decade. Al Groh The Useless put our defense behind by 3 years. Paul Hewitt The Moocher put our BB program behind by a decade. Now Paul Johnson The Fustercluck has completely ruined GT Football from recruiting on up to the fan & alumni bases.

No wonder Radakovich headed for the backwoods of SC…..Much of this was done on his watch.

flagboy?

November 24th, 2012
10:09 pm

SAT

November 24th, 2012
10:05 pm
We can’t compete with UGA…we have academic requirements that don’t allow degrees in Physical Education. Tough to bring in UGA caliber Thespians and Mathematicians when reading is a prerequisite. I’ll take my degree in Electrical Engineering over a football program every day.
________________________

You accidentally posted on the wrong blog. This is the AJC sports blog.

I'm going to try to get the last word

November 24th, 2012
10:11 pm

GT Letterwinner — seriously? You sound like the little kid who responds with, “Oh yeah, well my Dad makes more money than yours.”

Question for Mark..

November 24th, 2012
10:13 pm

If your “assignment” was to focus on Tech… why havent you … or anyone from the AJC written anything about 25 players being affected by the flu? Apparently they had to fumigate the lockers on Thursday (per Augusta Chronicle) … Tech got stomped by Georgia today… but it seems that the Chronicle may be stomping the AJC on reporting information! I have to believe that this affected the game in some way??

flagboy?

November 24th, 2012
10:16 pm

SAT, your first post was the typical drivel from your ilk.

You make comments like reading being a prerequisit, yet i’m the one making a typical fan response.

oh the irony.

ramblingbuzz

November 24th, 2012
10:16 pm

Johnson has made quite a few coaching gaffes this year, but obviously won’t acknowledge any of them as mistakes. He’s never wrong and everyone else is an idiot. Meanwhile his teams lack coaching, execution, desire, and a winning attitude. He has no answers on how to improve his team but will never admit it.

SAT is on the wrong blog

November 24th, 2012
10:16 pm

@SAT — you are not only on the wrong blog, but you also lose to other universities on both the football and academic front, e.g., Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern. You need to hang out with GT Letterwinner.

WWE

November 24th, 2012
10:22 pm

Lookin to sign Rambo and Ogletree when they fail in the NFL…..love the cheap-shot body slams.