About Tech: The good, the bad and the Wofford

Justin Thomas had a nice starting debut — as a passer. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

 

Justin Thomas had a nice starting debut -- as a passer. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

Justin Thomas had a nice starting debut — as a passer. (Hyosub Shin/AJC)

These short takes are presented as an adjunct to the Georgia Tech-Wofford game column, which can be found on myajc.com. (Tech won 38-19 but had to score the final two touchdowns to do it.)

1. Tech threw the ball better than Tech usually throws the ball, but that’s not entirely a positive. Making his first start at quarterback, Justin Thomas completed 11 of 15 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. That’s a good thing. The bad thing is the Jackets needed to throw the ball to win. They couldn’t make Paul Johnson’s option work the way he wants it to work, this despite an offseason devoted to remastering Johnson’s creation. Tech was outrushed by Wofford, which deploys the old-school wishbone, 271 yards to 226. Thomas made the Terriers pay for their attention to Tech’s running game, but how many games are the Jackets apt to win if their quarterback has to throw for nearly 300 yards?

2. The Jackets’ defense couldn’t quite halt a one-dimensional FCS opponent. True, 92 of the Terriers’ 326 yards came on one play — Ray Smith’s laughable touchdown ramble on third-and-8 from the Wofford 8 inside the first half’s final minute. But Tech forced no turnovers, made no sacks and allowed the visitors to play at their measured pace. “They made some plays at times,” Johnson said of his defenders, “and gave up up some plays at other times.” That didn’t sound like a rave, nor was one warranted. The Jackets don’t often have a demonstrable manpower advantage over any opponent, but they did against Wofford. And their lead was only five points with nine minutes remaining.

3. Being Paul Johnson, Tech’s coach went for it on fourth down twice with his team leading by a point. On the opening drive of the second half, Johnson, eschewed a punt on fourth-and-1 at Tech’s 37 and again on fourth-and-5 at the Wofford 41. Despite bobbling the snap, Thomas gained two yards to convert the first; he found Tony Zenon for 22 yards to convert the second. Johnson’s rationale: “I was trying to jump-start our guys. It was like we were sleepwalking through it. I was just trying to wake us up a little bit.”

Reader Comments 0

187 comments
GT-UT
GT-UT

@5150

That's great. Puts things into perspective on how much heart is in GT.

Saw a lot of kids out there too!

Go Current and Future Jackets!

Jack5150
Jack5150

Took 1-4 GT took to the game and tailgate. He had a great time seeing the game and friends. Thank You All that took time to express your well wishes for 1-4 GT. He made it to the 3rd qtr but it was too hot and he was ready to go. 

mgt87
mgt87

Ga southern will fill the stands and be fired up to be on the "big stage".  I wonder what Erk Russell would think of our defense.

BigDawg1268
BigDawg1268

All points on this blog are valid - CPJ won in his first couple years with the last coaches recruits.  He has not won since - teams in the ACC have caught up to his HS offense - at navy he was able to change his schedule every year.  GT is a top 5 academic school - CPJ does not recruit 4/5 star recruits with solid academics because it takes hard work to sign them and he hates that (also hates recruiting - his two biggest chorines GG/JL will tell you that).  More so, those recruits don't want to play in an offense that does not develop them for the next level.  He is a negative, and miserable human he has not resigned because he loves the check - if he was a true FOOTBALL MAN he would resign for the good of the program but he is too selfish to do so.

Wrecker
Wrecker

@BigDawg1268 CMR won in his first few years with the last coaches recruits and has had less success in the past few years, particularly once teams in the SEC learned how to beat his one dimensional defense.  UGA is not a top 5 academic school and can recruit 4/5 star athletes with no ability to pass classes.  However, CMR does not want to do the hard work to bring in only recruits of good character (as anyone on the Tech blog will tell you).  Moreover, recruits do not want to stay in state to play with UGA when they could go to Alabama, Auburn, or another SEC school and play for a NC.  He is a self-righteous man and has not resigned because he loves the prestige of an SEC school and because he could not find work at a better school or for more money.  If he were a true FOOTBALL MAN he would resign for the good of the program, but his ego will not allow him to do so.

Peachs
Peachs

In 2012 Wofford did the same thing to a nationally 9th ranked team, South Carolina , went into the fourth quarter 10-7 South Carolina, that had blown out a Georgia far worse earlier in the season and in 2010 only lost to USC (23-13) another team that beat Georgia. Clemson held on for a 35-27 victory over Wofford in 2011, Baylor lit them up last year at Baylor but beyond that this team has been more competitive than advertised. This is not good or bad for Tech, but I imagine like Spurrier, Johnson doesn’t like to give the video room a lot of looks in a game like this and just does what is needed.

39Concepts
39Concepts

struggling with lowly wofford?  it will be a long year for tech.  they may not get 6 wins to get a bowl game.

GTLee
GTLee

You are a special kind of stupid, Sly......troll on, little boy.

Mosby
Mosby

GT plays Tulane on a day when they open their new stadium...then Ga Southern.

Tech should be better. I hate that I am worried about Tulane and Ga Southern. Go Jackets!

gatechclassof95
gatechclassof95

All those 2 star recruits and recruiting classes that didn't even crack the top 50 have come home to roost. This is the weakest roster tech football has had since Bill Lewis.

GT-TN
GT-TN

Did you watch Tulane play Thursday night? People keep suggesting that we better watch out for Tulane and Southern. Tulane lost to a team coming off a 3-9 season. I watched the Tulane game and they didn't give me any reason to fear them. The experts think the same thing as we are a 10 point favorite on the road with them opening a new stadium. GA Southern lost to a NC State team that has lost 8 games in a row. I know this is a new year but people that keep saying GT better watch out for Tulane and that Southern is going to win needs something besides their opinion to be taken seriously.

CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith
CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith

HA!

Too right!

The Techsters better work on the triple option and its required timing.  MBs right - if they HAVE to throw the ball, it's a long, long season.

Hope Two-Lane wasn't watching.

GTPhenom
GTPhenom

@CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith I don't know that this has anything to do with it. Because funny enough, the knock on CPJ teams in the past . . . has always been that we don't pass it enough (or efficiently enough, depending on who you ask). I do feel that the Jackets need to be better at executing the option offense, and work on their timing, but the passing doesn't have a lot to do with this if you ask me.

GTPhenom
GTPhenom

I've always felt as though I'm a devoted, and dedicated fan. And none of this is to ever suggest that GT will ever have anything other than my unwavering support, but the past few years have been . . . challenging, to say the least. I went into this season staying as optimistic as possible. And while one game doesn't tell us a lot . . . it told me enough to know that a lot of my fears are quite possibly confirmed.


I didn't see a great deal of playmakers on the field. I think Smelter is going to be a great receiver, and maybe the next in line to make a potential NFL jump, and I think Thomas has all of the talent in the world, but outside of that, and the typical hard working Laskey, I wasn't too impressed. Thomas is obviously a great talent, but he was making very poor reads on the option. He was extremely hesitant to pitch the ball, and I can remember multiple scenarios where he left the B-Back out to dry. He slung the rock around much better than expected . . . but it's not like we haven't seen a good passing performance against an FCS team before (Vad was 7/11, for 189 and 2 TDs last year against Elon . . .).


Defensively . . . yikes. Yes, a great deal of their yardage came off of that 92 yard run (which, in and of itself was unacceptable), but there just wasn't a lot there. There were almost no notable "splash" type of plays, the defense was getting pushed around by an FCS offensive line (zero backfield pressure all game), and as a team, the Jackets were out-possessed. 


Maybe I'm looking too much into. Maybe the past four seasons have just made it so that I'm expecting the worst from this season. But if that is how this team is going to play against an FCS opponent, what will they do against Virginia Tech? Or Clemson? Or Georgia, who, based on both teams first games, looks like they'll break rushing records against us. 


The team will always have my support, but this is it for Johnson. He needs 8+ wins this year (with at least one or two of them being notable), or he needs to be gone. It's high time that, as fans, we stop accepting mediocrity for this football program.

odellgtpt
odellgtpt

I completely agree with your thinking. I have been saying for years that we have no PLAYMAKERS . Someone who can step up and make a play , against a top opponent , at a critical point in the game. We have good, hardworking, solid guys. They give great effort, they work hard in the offseason and in school and for those reasons I will always support my Jackets. But we just don't have the horses to win more than 7 games this year , in my opinion. But there's always hope !

GTPhenom
GTPhenom

@odellgtpt I'll always have hope. Always. But I'm in agreement. I don't see more than seven wins this year. And winning seven means the Jackets only lose one out of UVA, NC State, Duke, UNC, and Pitt. Because I have little hope for the games against VT, Miami, Clemson, and UGA. That opinion might change going forward, but based on what I've seen, I don't see us beating them.

TheNecromancer
TheNecromancer

Tech pretty much had this game in hand.  The offense was a little shaky at first.  If not for a huge mistake allowing the 92 yard TD run, this game would not have been close.  It was close for a minute but Tech made the plays to win.  I don't get all the vitriol and hate against the team.  There is a vocal minority that hate the coach and will post hateful things about the team.  Hopefully they will meet their maker in some cruel and unusual way so I can come here and not have to read their negative ramblings. 


Go Jackets!


I was watching the Ohio St vs Navy game.  Navy played well in the first half.  I guess that means Urban Meyer sucks as a coach and should be fired and Ohio St will only win 5 games this year too.

GTPhenom
GTPhenom

@TheNecromancer This is coming from someone who has been a very, very hardcore Johnson fan since day one . . . but, how can you blame them? The team has fallen into the exact same type of rut it was in when Gailey was here. I don't remember too many being angry over the complaints about him seven years ago. The reality is, we've been here, done that before with this football team. Gailey's teams became almost famous for being able to win 6-8 games every year for certain, but never being able to take care of the big rivals, and never being able to exceed expectations. Show me something that suggests that Tech isn't in the EXACT same kind of rut now. I'm not seeing it, and trust me, I've tried for a long time to find it.

Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

I can see the announcement now: "Georgia Tech has decided to move in a new direction, as it de-emphasizes its 113-year-old football program."

GTLee
GTLee

Well Drexel gal, how did your powerhouse football team do this weekend? Oh, that's right, you de-emphasized your football program 113 years ago........troll a little harder.

TheNecromancer
TheNecromancer

@Drexel-Gal Maybe you should make a new announcement now: "Drexel-Gal has decided to move in a new direction, as it de-emphasizes its attempts at making hilarious comments on a GT article that are only hilarious in its own mind."


Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

@GTLee Given the recent history (see "2015 season"), perhaps you should rethink your knee-jerk comment ... assuming you know how to think.  (You certainly know how to ... jerk.)

Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

@TheNecromancer @Drexel-Gal Notwithstanding your disturbing "Nom de AJC", refer to my response to the other loser, above, as in "see '2015 season'").  GT is my alma mater.  It will de-emphasize football in the coming years, as it cannot compete with the behemoth that is the SEC, and it will not (thank God) lower its academic standards.  Now, there is one possibility ... the recent attention given to concussions may kill college football altogether.

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

I'm pretty sure you don't know what you're talking about Bradley.

Pistol66
Pistol66

Pleased with the team today.  Good solid performance against a good Wofford squad.  One mistake on defense, the 92 yard run just before halftime when we were blitzing to make something happen!  Loved the response with the drive and field goal on the last play of the half!  Never a doubt the entire afternoon as to who would win the game and two very good drives to put the game away in the fourth.  Game could have been worse, but Coach is old school and does not try to run the score up when he has won the game!  Everyone needs to remember too that we were very basic in the offense today as that was all we needed to win the game.  Tulane will be tough as they lost to Tulsa in two overtimes and we are opening their new stadium next week, but we should prevail if we do not turn the ball over. Also, you can tell MB was irritated that he was  assigned to our game instead of the uga game and his cynical views and dislike of GT football never changes. 

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeS777 Wofford is better than I thought. They are a well coached team. We should have beaten them a little worse than we did but it happens, and we are not the only team they have done that to in the last few years. Overall, im kinda glad Wofford put up a fight. It gave us a sense of reality and gave our new starters plenty of playing time and a sense of urgency.

Gt79
Gt79

Keep drinking the cool aid, we were an embarrassment, even for the ACC!

GTLee
GTLee

Keep drinking the HaterAde. You are an embarrassment to any fan base.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@Pistol66 Sorry, but Wofford is not a good team, at least they weren't last year.  They upset Ga Southern last year, but ended up 5-6.  Got beat by Baylor 69-3.  They beat Elon 31-27 last year...the same Elon that Tech beat 70-0 last year.

Fact is, Tech lost what play makers they had off a team that went 7-6 last year.  Too many new faces starting on both sides of the ball, and the fact this game was even in doubt in the 4th quarter at all shows that.  JT clearly has a lot more work to do to be as productive as Lee.  No one stepped up to fill Godhigh's play making ability.  The defense looked really bad.  The new offensive line had trouble blocking.

Bradley is right, this is not an encouraging start to 2014.  Tulane will definitely be a tougher game, and so will Ga Southern.  Southern took NC St. down to the final minute on the road.

Pistol66
Pistol66

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie  Actually, very pleasantly surprised by the bigger crowd than I expected.  Extremely hot and humid and my seats are in the shade.  Saw one lady pass out.  August at 12:30 is terrible but we are all slaves to TV, but I hope the athletic department attempts to change this in the future!

GTBob
GTBob

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie Here is the story. We are a program that historically has problems with attendance and we were playing a nobody on a holiday weekend in blazing temperatures with storms in the area.

Gt79
Gt79

What we need is a new Coaching Staff!. Our program is DOA.

GTBob
GTBob

@Gt79 We won. By a comfortable margin. At least wait until we lose to go ballistic.

GTBob
GTBob

@Gt79 We will probably be favored by at least 2 TD in that game. Go to Vegas and put your life's savings on it.

GTLee
GTLee

Someone needs a diaper change.

Gt79
Gt79

Betting on This Staff is a fools errand. I am willing to bet we have a new staff next season.

Gt79
Gt79

66... You obviously have a vested interest in Johnson, the staff or a player, since your posts are pure garbage. That performance, after Johnson had months to prepare and was playing against his own system was absolute pitiful. I am flying my GT flag at half mast, until we get a new staff.

Gt79
Gt79

That may happen when we play Ga. Southern, they looked pretty good and well Coached. We may be in real trouble by then.

GTLee
GTLee

Will they they take a 10 dollar bet, Bob?

mgt87
mgt87

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie  Ga southern will fill the seats.  They will be fired up to be on the "big stage".  Will there be a movie?

GT-UT
GT-UT

Keep in mind 95% of the club ticket holders were in the club in the for the AC an a beer. Without that, my family would have left. Little kids can't handle the sun like that

GTBob
GTBob

@Gt79 Why not just do us all a favor and quit being a fan completely. We need fans who aren't going to cry like babies after 19 point victories. You obviously can't provide that.

GTJoe
GTJoe

Justin Thomas looked good at times but missed some wide open guys.  No big deal, it's his first start.  But one thing is VERY concerning:  running between the tackles was an exercise in futility.  And this is expected with an undersized QB.  We can't keep defenses honest if the QB can't run between the tackles.  One less thing for the defense to worry about.


Nesbitt could do it.  Tevin could do it.  I think JT is too small to do it without stellar blocking (which we don't have).  A big QB can make up for sub-par blocking.  That would be Byerly.

GTPhenom
GTPhenom

@GTJoe Tevin could *kinda* do it. He was a far cry from what Nesbitt did in this offense. Maybe as fans, we were just spoiled those first two years . . .

eddiethomas
eddiethomas

Sometimes you can't look JUST at the numbers. Being outrushed 271-226 is very misleading.   Wofford had 92 on one play.   GT really had 65 more yards, but on the long play by Snoddy, it was ruled a PASS since it barely went forward, but was really a RUNNING play that only succeeded because of the way the TO stretched out the defense.    So really GT had 291 yards and Wofford had 179 if those plays are handled like they should be.    NOT that GT looked all that great with the run (blocking must improve - but remember they aren't going to work on Cut blocks much against their own defenders in practice).   More worried about our FG kicker than offense.

Gt79
Gt79

Team looked worse then last year. This is not how a stellar season starts! More butt hurt sure to come, oh well. At least last year we had defense, now even that is in question. Just another pitiful display at the Flats.

DON1938
DON1938

@Gt79 Yes it was. GTBob implied we might have "overlooked Wofford".  Can you imagine a CPJ team overlooking anybody??  If that happened the coaching staff did a bad job of preparation.