Short takes on Tech’s 48-43 loss to UNC (updated)

Georgia Tech’s defense allowed too many plays like this one: a 36-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins in the fourth quarter. (AP photo)

Georgia Tech's defense allowed too many plays like this one: a 36-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins in the fourth quarter. (AP photo)

Georgia Tech’s defense allowed too many plays like this one: a 36-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins in the fourth quarter. (AP photo)

My full column on Georgia Tech’s 48-43 loss to North Carolina will be posted soon. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the game.

UPDATE: Click here for a link to the full column:

1. Tech’s defense gets an “F”: I know Georgia Tech has expressed confidence in defensive coordinator Ted Roof, but the Jackets struggled again, and you have to wonder if this is really just a case of a team being weak and undermanned up front. Before the third quarter was over, North Carolina already had five touchdowns, 424 yards in offense  (259 passing) and a 35-24 lead. Tech was strong defensively against Miami. But in hindsight, that 28-17 win might have been more the result of the Hurricanes’ offensive problems than Tech progress. North Carolina had so little respect for Tech’s defense that it went for it on fourth-and-six from the Tech 36 with a 35-31 lead in the fourth quarter and Marquise Williams threw a touchdown pass to Mack Hollins. In one stretch, the Tar Heels scored six touchdowns in seven possessions.

2. Team Sybil: The Jackets got their fans excited with consecutive wins over Virginia Tech and Miami. The win over the Hokies came in Blacksburg; the win over the Hurricanes led fans to storm onto the field, believing the team was on the way to a special season. But consecutive losses since to Duke (at home) and North Carolina puts Tech in a deep hole in the ACC Coastal Division race because it would lose a tiebreaker to Duke and it still must play Clemson and a pretty decent Virginia team, as well as Pittsburgh (road) and North Carolina State. This is looking like another 7-5 regular season. At 5-0, it appeared the Jackets were heading for something much better.

3. Well, the problem wasn’t the offense: OK, give the Jackets credit for coming back from deficits of 35-24 and 42-31 to take a 43-42 lead with three minutes left. The offense wasn’t the problem, even with a fumble on the first possessions and an early fourth-down touchdown pass that was nullified by a false start penalty (leading the Jackets to settle for a field goal). Justin Thomas, who played poorly against Duke, threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns and the Jackets had 611 yards in offense. The problems were on the other side of the ball.

Digital Jukebox
— AJC: LIVE: Georgia Tech hopes to rebound
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, Jameis enabled
— AJC: Georgia dealing with reality, FSU avoiding it
— MyAJC: Does NCAA care that public sentiment favors Gurley, athletes?
— MyAJC: Georgia’s response heard loud and clear
— MyAJC: NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead
— AJC:  LIVE: Georgia ready to give it a go minus Gurley
— AJC: Minus Gurley, Dogs must overcome flaws
— AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done?
— MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, that’s on him
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding
— AJC: Blank stands by Smith, Dimitroff. What say you?
— MyAJC: Arthur Blank won’t give Falcons’ mandates, speculate on future
— AJC: Falcons have turned this week into a must-win game
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech’s season may be turning into something special
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s win over Miami, starting with … defense?
— AJC: Tech has a chance to take charge in ACC Coastal
— AJC: Braves should have left Gonzalez decision to new GM
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Tech, UGA win, Falcons continue kindness
— AJC: Are Braves waiting for Dayton Moore?
— 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

110 comments
D-Sheets
D-Sheets

"North Carolina had so little respect for Tech’s defense that it went for it on fourth-and-six from the Tech 36 with a 35-31 lead"


Or maybe NC had even more lack of respect for it's own defense?

After all, the Heels went up 42-31, in the 4th qtr, with that play yet THEIR defense couldn't hold the lead.


If GT's D gets an F,  what does that say about the D's of #8 ND (43pts), #17 ECU (41pts), and #20 Clemson (35pts)? 

HabDawg
HabDawg

Who saw this coming 50 miles away! Tech is now showing who they really are...smoke and mirrors. From ranked to tanked in 2 weeks. "Experts" thought they were a "playoff sleeper" 3 weeks ago. You have got to be kidding me!!!!!! Paul Johnson is a jerk and watching him walk up and down the sideline with no muscle tone is old. I can only imagine watching Coach Richt GD all his players walking off the field and whining like a spoiled brat. It's all about him and always will be. 7-5 straight ahead. Almost time to head up 85 to Athens. GO DAWGS!!!!!! 

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@HabDawg 

No instead, Mark Richt allows guys who have broken rules multiple times to keep playing.  What a man! LOL!

HobNailBoot14
HobNailBoot14

@BleedingGold, HabDawg's post is ridiculous and is total bait. I know it's hard to resist trying to correct a fool, but when you try to do that you just end up playing on his home field of foolishness. Sorry that guy finds some pleasure out of trolling you, which I really don't understand (even though I like taking jabs at rivals as much as anyone else.)


The Mark Richt comment is a little much. Insult the young men who made the bad choices, not the coach who corrects them. (But I don't fault you much when I read HabDawg's post... What a moron.)

slydawg
slydawg

I'm going to be hated for this but it's the truth: The defense is bad because of the option style of the offense. It is too one dimensional. The offense is very deadly when executed right. But the defense has to adjust to the many multiple offenses ran in today's college football. If the offense could be tweaked to incorporate spread elements, it may help.

rallo
rallo

I told a friend last night that we need new defensive and secondary coaches...that high schools are preparing players better more than ever, except for grades of course.  my friend asked me why get new d-coaches?  CPJ won't recruit on the defensive side aggressively.  he's one dimensional and we all know if he didn't have to pass he wouldn't.  don't ya think after 8 seasons of the same we should start over again?  it takes two sides of the ball to win, not one dimensional.

58Supersports
58Supersports

"D" has been a problem for years... another game that should have been won. 3 minutes in game , NC had 80 yards to go and "D" couldn't hold them... plus "D" gave them 30 yards with two 15 yard personal fouls.

birdrow
birdrow

This Tech ball unit is two poorly officiated games away from being undefeated.  This scrappy little bunch has the entire nation captivated with it's story of football greatness.  If you haven't caught on to the quality of football being played on the historic Flats, you are missing a glance at greatness.

GTLee
GTLee

No, he eats dog turds.....

POAD2014
POAD2014

I want to slap Errin JOE so bad he will not be able to taste his food for a week.

Jmonty
Jmonty

At this point... I think you start with the DC.  It's painfully obvious that what he is doing is failing.  Is this what we should expect?  A defense that gets pushed around and give up tons of yards?  No thanks..  Tenuta was better. 

POAD2014
POAD2014

@Jmonty Tenuta Blitzed too much and got the players too tired to win games too. 

rallo
rallo

@Jmonty  but CPJ won't recruit aggressively on the d-side.  roof is excellent but has nothing to work with.

Guyon
Guyon

 Tech schedules three easy games at the beginning of the season, and then wins half of the ACC gamas to become bowl eligible. That is the plan, and we are on track this year. Tech blew the chance to have better teams when Gailey was fired. His won nine games in his next to last year, and a dropped punt and missed field goal prevented nine wins in his last year. He was bringing in NFL talent in his last years.

When Johnson's contract expires, I would like for Tech to hire Willie Fritz as head football coach. He has been able to move Georgia Southern from the triple option and win games in his first year. His team made Tech look silly in the second half.

UrbanMeyerisapansie
UrbanMeyerisapansie

what happened Techies??? All that undefeated talk... WTH?


two in a row??? no one is shocked in CFB world except the small Georgia Tech nation.


we all knew it was coming, let the water fall begin.  bring on 5-7

DrTruth
DrTruth

If your high-powered OFFENSE fails to exceed the scoring average given up by the 124th out of 125 DEFENSES in FBS, then your OFFENSE is to blame for the loss.


EAST CAROLINA's OFFENSE scored 70 pts and beat UNC 70-41.

CLEMSON'S OFFENSE scored 50 pts and beat UNC 50-35.

NOTRE DAME'S OFFENSE scored 50 pts and beat UNC 50-43.


GT'S OFFENSE scored 43 pts and LOST to UNC 48-43.


The GT defense played pretty much as expected against a UNC offense that averages 38.7 PPG.  Why anyone would expect the same GT defense that gave up 38 pts to GSU to somehow "produce" a win against a UNC offense that hung 43 on ND's defense last week, and then "blame" the GT defense for the loss is simply delusional.


Those are facts. I'm done arguing with people here who don't understand facts. Going to enjoy the rest of my weekend while you argue among yourselves...Enjoy your denial.



GTBob
GTBob

@DrTruth I can't even figure out what you are trying to argue. 

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

If we don't score more points than the opposing team, no matter how many points the offense scored, the offense is to blame for the loss.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

It annoys me when journalists know so little about what they cover that they make statements like this: "North Carolina had so little respect for Tech’s defense that it went for it on fourth-and-six from the Tech 36 with a 35-31 lead in the fourth quarter..."


Wrong Schultz.  You go for it on the Tech 36 because you ALWAYS go for it on 4th down from the 36.  Punting from inside the 40 should be a fireable offense, not a justifiable strategy.


By the way, the UNC kicker has a season long of 23 yards so maybe a fieldgoal wouldn't be justified there. 

Jmonty
Jmonty

This was a complete lack of coaching.  Why keep the DB's off the LOS by 10 yards... I understand if it's to play an umbrella cover 2.  Issue is... They got burned deep, short, mid... you name it.  Either we have no talent at all of the "D" side or CTR is a complete idiot.  We got pushed back...  Lack of size on the DL.  Obvious.  However; when you are getting raped with the same plays and you do nothing to stop it, where does the blame lie?  Why would any....repeat any...decent recruit want to play for CTR?  If my kid was a stud on the "D" side.  I would not want to send them to play under a effing idiot.  It is beyond me what Groh and Roof tell these AD"s and HCs to get their jobs..  But, both have proven they can't cut it.  Roof was a loser before he got here, we'll be a loser here and he'll be a loser when he leaves.  I know... it's his 2nd year... blah...blah...blah..  But, holy crap!  We are ranked 94 in defense.  Out of 124 teams...  2nd year or not... That isn't worth 550k a year.  He is absolutely horrible....  I rather lose by our defense in position to make a play versus giving them 10 yard cushions.  Again...  CTR hope that teams make mistakes..  VT did.. GA Southern did..  Miami was the ONLY game that we looked good this year.  All the rest... Just plain crappy.  How much longer should we endure this?

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

@Jmonty Do we blame the DC again or will it ever fall on the HEAD COACH to be responsible for the entire program?

rallo
rallo

@Born2Buzz @Jmonty  CPJ won't recruit heavy on d-side.  too many good high schoolers in Georgia and the south NOT to play good d.

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

GA. Tech hasn't had a great defense since the 50's. They have had some good defenses like 85 & 90 but I just can't figure out why Tech is unable to recruit better athletes for that side of the ball and or better coach's. Please bring in a defense minded head coach so we can stop having bad teams run up and down the field on us.

zengulliver
zengulliver

@CraigSelf the SEC is the only conference that plays defense and they don't play it as well anymore. Kids want to be on the offensive side of the ball so they can dance in the end zone. Look no further than Justin Thomas, who could have been a part of the best defense of the decade., who has put numerous DBs in the pros. You can blame Johnson's 3 coordinators all you want, but sooner or later, you have to realize the cupboard is and has been bare for quite a while.

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

Please, somebody at Tech have enough balls to make this go away. My gosh you can bring in any HC to beat the sister of the poor and not have to watch this crap.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Notre Dame's defense was also horrible against UNC playing at home in South Bend last week.

It was the highest scoring game in the 84 year history of Notre Dame Stadium.

bagwell
bagwell

Life long Tech fan, but this defense is horrible.  When you give up 5 td passes, you know you have no one that can cover anyone.  Golden, White, Griffin, Milton have no idea where the ball is on a pass play.  Rush is nil to none, tackling even worse.  Roof does not adjust based on what other teams are doing.  Tech never picked up on the little delay back on the swing and got burned every time.  After watching the Wofford game, I said Tech would win 5 maybe 6 games, and this is what they are on tract to do. Again, stupid penalties are killing this team.  2 on the last drive of NC, that instead of possibly having to kick a fg, they end up scoring because of roughing passer, and pass interference on Milton.  Offense doing the same thing.  Take the touch off the boards, again because of a penalty, take the 2 2 point conversation tries, and the first should not have been tried, still enough time in game, and you have a different game. 

If I were Roof, I would sit my starters in secondary, and play guys like the Austin teams and others and start building confidence.  Tech does not have the killer mentality to get physical, nor do I see any leadership on the defense of this team.

The only bright spot I see for the rest of the year is pure conjecture.  We beat VT whom we haven't beaten in a few years, we beat Miami whom we haven't beaten in a few years.  Duke and NC beat us which they haven't done in a few years.  Maybe, when we get to Clemson and the Dogs whom we haven;t beaten lately, perhaps we will get lucky and beat both of them.

I know, just wishful thinking. 


Jmonty
Jmonty

@bagwell  I think Rook had them so lost... It wasn't their fault.  I cannot say that half the plays those kids knew what they were doing.  You blitz (Finally) but don't bump and run, to press the WR's.  That just makes no sense..  It's like the left wasn't communicating with the right.  CTR plays a base nickel, prevent defense that just loads the yards.  The main thing of the "bend but don't break" defense isn't to break. 

MyMourningJacket
MyMourningJacket

@bagwell I like your hypothesis here.  Let's hope some unknown force is at work in the college football universe  and this will come true

zengulliver
zengulliver

@bagwell Once again, a person who understands nothing about defense, flapping his gums. The defensive backfield isn't the problem. If you give the worst QB all day to find a receiver, he will. Hell, we couldn't even rush the QB when we blitzed. As we anticipated, our DLine is so bad that Wofford ran over us. I think Roof covered it for a while with tricks, but now the league has seen what we've got, it's easy to scheme against.


Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

@ this level Fish-fry is a good OC, not an HC. His inability to recruit and hire good people has led to a spiral of 7 years. Time for a change. he has had long enough. I see a 7-5 on our horizon, and 3 of the wins came against Tulane, /Wofford, and G.Southern.........shame......

Sticks
Sticks

This team rips my heart out.....  Congrats to them for coming back and almost pulling it out.  Go back all the years Johnson has been head coach and it's pretty obvious - he's a pretty good offensive coordinator/coach (even though he's too stubborn to expand some things) but has not a clue about how important defense is.  


I think that's the verse that keeps ringing through my head and every comment I've seen for years.  Johnson does not function as a head coach.  With the head coach, the buck stops there and having a weak defense year after year falls on his shoulders.  


Am I down.  Sure.  But not giving up on the Jackets.  To be a GT football fan you have to resign yourself to this. Year after year, after year.  

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Dr. Truth.....................................................we can't blame our bad defense for the loss, so it's our offense's fault for not scoring 60?...........................................................boy, you make dumb an adventure.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@gtcaryd Another lost GT fan expecting this team's defense to win games. Are you drunk too?


One more time, for the short-bussers...And if you still can't figure out WHY we lost at UNC, then you're just lost, confused or both.


PJ took his "high-powered TO offense" into NC last night to face a UNC DEFENSE that was ranked 124 in SCORING DEFENSE out of 125 FBS teams.  Do you even understand that statement, or am I already over your head here?


The UNC DEFENSE had allowed 260 pts in only 6 games, which is an AVERAGE of 43.3 pts allowed. Obviously that means the GT OFFENSE scored slightly LESS THAN the average of the other 6 teams UNC has faced.


If your high-powered OFFENSE fails to exceed the scoring average given up by the 124th out of 125 DEFENSES in FBS, then your OFFENSE is to blame for the loss.  That's exactly what happened.  If you are still in denial, facts are wonderful things...


EAST CAROLINA's OFFENSE scored 70 pts and beat UNC 70-41.

CLEMSON'S OFFENSE scored 50 pts and beat UNC 50-35.

NOTRE DAME'S OFFENSE scored 50 pts and beat UNC 50-43.


GT'S OFFENSE scored 43 pts and LOST to UNC 48-43.


So go ahead and "blame" the defense for the loss. I don't care. It just shows how little you understand about football and what actually took place in NC last night.


Should our offense have hung 60 on the UNC D last night?  Consider that 3 of their previous 4 opponents SCORED 50, 50 and 70 pts and, well, you should be able to answer your own dumb question unless you're in permanent denial...And at this point it's clear that several of you posting here are in denial or just morons.


Mama always said, "Don't waste your time arguing with morons."...So I'm done here. I won't be responding to any more of your insults because of your failure to understand WHY GT lost last night.


Oh, and PITT has the 14th ranked scoring defense in FBS.  So IF our high-powered offense fails to score 19 or more and we lose, you can all come back here and "blame" the defense again for the loss, which is exactly what you will do.

SmyrnaGuy
SmyrnaGuy

@DrTruth @gtcaryd Your argument the O lost the game, while it has statistical merit taken in isolation, is flawed.  The key to winning football is a balance between both O and D.  An offensive shootout is not a reliable game plan.  In each of the three games your reference above (ECU, CU, ND), UNC scored fewer points than against GT.  Meaning GT gave up more points defensively than those other three teams.

MesaDawg
MesaDawg

@gtcaryd Thought I'd digress and see what you had to say on your own blog.  Hmmm. Not happy camper even when your w/your own kind.  I do believe you'd eat your own young.  Tell you what. Stay in your own 'hood and I won't pick on you any more. 

zengulliver
zengulliver

@DrTruth @gtcaryd Idiots always take a full page to make their point, then come back later with another full page to reinforce it. Yea, DrT, you're a real Lombardi.

DrTruth
DrTruth

@SmyrnaGuy I gave you FOUR examples of how UNC plays ball this year. The scores were 70-41, 50-35, 50-43 and 48-43. You show me the "balance" between O and D in those scores, OK?  There is no general "key" to winning every game. That's ridiculous. You GAME-PLAN according to specific strengths and weaknesses of each opponent. In the case of UNC, their strength is obviously offense while they rank 124 in scoring defense.


We have a defense that couldn't stop GA Southern and you guys keep saying you expected them to stop UNC and win this game. It's laughable!  And if you didn't think an offensive shootout would ensue at UNC, then you're just clueless.


I showed you exactly how those other 3 teams beat UNC...By absolute offensive scoring assault.  WHY? Because they knew their defenses would NOT be able to stop UNC's offense.


They game-planned to win.  They game-planned to put as many points as possible on the board because the opponent's weakness was being 124 out 125 in scoring defense.


What's comical is you state the obvious that GT gave up more points defensively than the other 3 teams like you also expected the GT defense to STOP the UNC offense and effectively win the game.


I guarantee you PJ wasn't as foolish as you guys, expecting the defense to shut down UNC and win the game...He knew full well if we couldn't put at least 50 on the board, we'd most likely lose.  And guess what?


In the land of fairies and elves, your "key" to winning is a balance between O and D.  It doesn't work in college football.  Watch PITT next Sat and you'll find out why.


Our defense only allowed 10 more pts than they allowed GSU...But our offense failed to put up 50-70 pts against the WORST scoring defense in FBS.  That was the failure that cost us the game.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Tech doesn't take football seriously. If they did, they wouldn't have gone overboard with the restrictions after the OLeary ordeal. Get used to it.

GTBee
GTBee

We all said 6-6 or 7-5 and all the liser GT fans thought differently after we were 5-0. They all somehow forgot how horrid Johnson is. Well ww stink and so does he. Lose to a 2-4 team. Brilliant.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

If I was CPJ, I would try to attempt at least 2 or 3 onside kicks per game and go for 2 point conversions whenever possible. Maybe even throw in a few fake FG or punts here and there. This is the only way to win games when your defense is a bunch of lazy kids coached by an inept DC.