LIVE: Jackets hope to bounce back vs. UNC

Justin Thomas needs to play better against North Carolina than he did in Duke game. (AP photo)

Justin Thomas needs to play better tonight than he did in Duke game. (AP photo)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — One week ago, Georgia Tech was coming off impressive victories over Virginia Tech and Miami and appeared in control in the ACC Coastal Division. Then the Yellow Jackets lost at home to Duke, and the noise and public doubt returned.

What Jackets will show up tonight? Tech plays a team it should beat, North Carolina, even if winning on the road sometimes is problematic. The Tar Heels lost four straight and their only two wins this season have come over Liberty and San Diego State.

Paul Johnson is an offensive coach. North Carolina is a defensive wreck.

The Tar Heels rank last in the ACC and 124th nationally (out of 125) in scoring defense (43.3 points per game) and last in the conference and 117th nationally in total defense (507.5 yards per game). In this four-game losing streak, North Carolina has allowed 70 points to East Carolina, 50 to Clemson, 34 to Virginia Tech — that was the “good” game — and 50 to Notre Dame.

Johnson  is looking for a bounce-back game for his offense, after Tech turned the ball over three times in the 31-25 loss to Duke. It was a season-low scoring output for the Jackets, who managed just one touchdown in the first three quarters. If they can’t do better against the Heels, something is wrong.

Quarterback Justin Thomas might have been plagued by an ankle injury last week and he missed two days of practice early in the week. He’ll start tonight but it wouldn’t be surprising to see backup Tim Byerly get increased snaps.

Mostly what Tech needs tonight is to play better. Guard Trey Braun told the AJC’s Ken Sugiura that focus “kind of obviously was” a problem against Duke. Tech’s margin for error isn’t as great as maybe some of the problems believed after the wins over Virginia Tech and Miami. The North Carolina game is as much a test about their mental state as it will be their offense.

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— AJC: Falcons have turned this week into a must-win game
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech’s season may be turning into something special
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— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Tech, UGA win, Falcons continue kindness
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— MyAJC: Hawks are still playing wrong game off the court
— MyAJC: Falcons’ losses like this are on Mike Smith
— AJC: Falcons: No defense, no line, no chance
— MyAJC: John Hart says Braves ‘lethargic,’ need changes
 
 

Reader Comments 0

594 comments
Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

Good teams will always find a way to win. FSU is a prime example.

FBYJ
FBYJ

If the 'Noles go down to the Irish, I don't think there's any way the ACC will have a representative in this year's playoff.  Even if they win out the rest of their games, the strength of schedule will be perceived as too weak to qualify them over a 1-loss SEC or Big 12 team.  The Coastal Division champion is likely to have at least 3 losses, so even winning the ACCCG will not be perceived as a tremendous accomplishment for FSU.  Jimbo Fisher better hope his defense holds on.

Jmonty
Jmonty

Well...  I'm heading to bed..  I'll let this set in...  We were the better team for a second week.  But, big plays, stupid plays and horrible defensive calls killed us again...  Pretty much sums it up...  Add missed tackles and such.  But again... 10 yard cushion... why???

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

Does Laskey's injury mean CJ Leggett's redshirt is about to get flushed down the drain?  

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

Johnson will always have a winning record with his offense but he will NEVER and I repeat NEVER become a legitimate contender for championships with his recruits. 

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

Where are all the people that thought Bryn Renner was better than Marquise Williams, had UNC benched Renner last year earlier UNC might have gotten 1 or 2 more wins?

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

Well on the bright side we don't have to play FSU and watch them put 60 points on our defense. Instead we can watch them put 60 points on Duke's defense.

qra2277
qra2277

Surely the CPJ supporters see why its time to make a change. Yes the Defense lost this game but hasn't CPJ had enough time to land a capable DC?

Jmonty
Jmonty

You know it's sad when an ESPN reporter questions what Roof was thinking.. 

turftoe
turftoe

When you score 30 points in a game you should never lose!

Jmonty
Jmonty

579 yards given up...  390 yards in passing.  Most short passes and screens.  That's what happens when you play 10 yards off.  Sadly... I didn't see the point.  Because they still got burnt.  I have 0 confidence in Ted Roof.  None... Zero...Nada... Zilch... 

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

Going forward we have no ZL, and 2 losses thus far, it only gets tougher.

gt-40
gt-40

This is what happens when you give your football heart to a college football team, maybe just maybe jawja will not make to the final four, but I am beginning to believe that they will.

bajbuzz
bajbuzz

How many times did we hear "makes the first man miss"...those screens killed us because the receivers took the corners out every time and the outside linebacker either didn't get there in time or whiffed at the legs. Poor, nonexistent fundamentals. And nothing good can happen when your defensive line is absolutely manhandled. The blueprint is out...keep your offense simple, don't kill yourself with penalties, and you can pretty much move the ball at will against us.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@D-Sheets

Imagine if we burn the RS, and still go on to a crappy season, that would be the worst of both worlds, if we are gonna burn a RS it should be for a "special season".

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@qra2277 You want to can a guy that just had his offense average 8.9 yards per play?  

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8


@AugustaJacket @Dirtyb8 I guarantee you they are not good enough to play at the level of powerful winning programs like stanford, oregon, baylor etc. 

qra2277
qra2277

@AugustaJacket @qra2277  Yes. when those 8.9 yards per play only win us 6-8 games every year. Are you ok being stuck in mediocrity? Do you not think tech can do better? 

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@qra2277 @AugustaJacket Then you are faced with a dilemma here. Would you rather be an average team with a really good offense or do you want to be a contender with a really good defense. We all know defense is key to winning games. Under Johnson, you can always expect to see big plays from offense but mental breakdown on defense because no good defensive recruits want to scrimmage every day against triple option offense.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@qra2277 @AugustaJacket

Einstein, if GT avg 8.9 yds per play throughout an entire season, it's guaranteed they would win more than 8 games.  

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@AugustaJacket @Dirtyb8 Also if I may add, WVU is an underrated team. Their only two loses were against top 5 teams. So the Baylor loss doesn't look nearly as bad as our UNC and Duke loss.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@AugustaJacket @Dirtyb8 Duly noted. But when was the last time we were ranked #4 in the nation? I don't mind losing a game or two here and there. But consistently performing at a mediocre level is unacceptable.

Jmonty
Jmonty

@AugustaJacket @RuePaulJohnson @qra2277 I understand... changing a defense is a big thing.  I really do.  However; I rather get beat... Not feel like the game was given away by not being aggressive.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Dirtyb8 @AugustaJacket I don't know what you expect , then.  GT has never recruited well, no matter who coached here.  Heck, we've had bad recruiting classes after MNC's were won.  Recruiting will always be spotty at GT.  Winning 8-9 games a year with occasional runs every 4-5 years would be acceptable to me.  

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8


@Jmonty @AugustaJacket @RuePaulJohnson @qra2277 Good coordinators will always find a way to dial up blitzes and stop offenses that does the same thing over and over again. Roof did ABSOLUTELY nothing different all night. He called the same plays that didn't work all night, likewise UNC called the same plays that worked all night. I guarantee you Roof wouldnt succeed even with 5 star recruits.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@AugustaJacket @Dirtyb8 Please don't bring up the UNC ranking. Everyone in the country knows thats as worthless as a piece of blank paper. They always get ranked in pre season but lose their ranking in the first 2 weeks into the season. True Duke won 10 games, but how many of those were against decent teams? The only ranked teams they played against were complete blowouts.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@AugustaJacket @Dirtyb8

UNC has 3 straight games of 50+, 70, and 50+ and yet you choose to use the "pre-season top-25" as the best way to characterize them.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Dirtyb8 The issue is DL depth.  No matter what we dial up, we need more depth to spell the starters.  We don't have it this year.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@Dirtyb8 @AugustaJacket

Dude, you just did it with WVU.....Oklahoma was preseason top 5, and ranked #11 before losing today.  So they've only lost to one top 5 team. 

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@RuePaulJohnson @AugustaJacket @Dirtyb8 Oklahoma is a two loss team.  What other current top 5 team did Baylor lose to?  See how this works?


Edit*  Forgot Baylor played Bama in the opener...

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

I really don't see why you guys keep supporting this coaching staff even though they showed us year after year that they can't help us compete at championship level. Why do you stand up for mediocrity when we have the potential to be competing at a higher level. Do you really enjoy watching us getting stomped on by UGA after year? I know I don't.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Dirtyb8 to my knowledge, uga has only trashed us once.  The rest were competitive games.  That's what I hope for.  A chance to win.  CPJ generally gives us a chance to win most games we play.