LIVE: Tech’s defense must improve vs. Pitt

Ted Roof’s defense has allowed 79 points, including 11 touchdowns, in last two games.

Ted Roof's defense has allowed 79 points, including 11 touchdowns, in last two games.

Ted Roof’s defense has allowed 79 points, including 11 touchdowns, in last two games.

PITTSBURGH –Paul Johnson, in general, and his option offense, in particular, tend to get the most attention when somebody takes a shot at Georgia Tech. But it’s the Jackets’ defense that has been the program’s undoing more often than not when things have gone sideways, and this season is no exception.

Tech started this season 5-0 and included in that were wins at Virginia Tech and home against Miami. The Jackets had the early inside the track to win the ACC Coastal Division and go to the conference championship game. But then came consecutive unexpected losses to Duke and North Carolina, and now Tech (5-2, 2-2) would need a series of developments, including probably a sweep of its last four ACC games, to win the division.

The reason for the last two losses? Well, there’s probably more than one, but its mostly defense. After allowing only 41 points in the wins over Virginia Tech and Miami, the Jackets allowed 79 in losses to Duke (31-25) and North Carolina (48-43). The Blue Devils and Tar Heels combined for 11 touchdowns and 952 yards in offense.

Johnson touched on one problem this week: “I take nothing away from [North Carolina], but we also missed 15 tackles and did things to help a lot. They were good enough, they didn’t need our help.”

Today’s opponent, Pittsburgh, has one of the better defenses in the nation and ranks No. 3 (out of 14) in the ACC in points allowed and No. 2 in yards allowed. Compare that to Tech’s rankings in various categories: 12th in scoring defense, 12th in rushing defense, 12th in pass defense efficiency, 10th in pass defense, 11th in takeaways, 12th in third-down defense and 14th in sacks.

Some of this certainly falls on defensive coordinator Ted Roof. But most believed the lack of talent along Tech’s defensive front would be a problem this season, and that has been borne out. The Jackets’ chances for a strong conference finish and going to a decent bowl game are dependent on defensive improvement.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll be live-blogging all game. Feel free to weigh in with questions and comments and I’ll respond when I can.

Digital Jukebox
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons lose, Jackets pull upset, Dogs in prayer circle
— AJC: Will a fresh perspective elude Braves?
— MyAJC: Todd Gurley’s return would raise Georgia’s ceiling again
— AJC: Why did NCAA say yes to Mo’ne Davis but no to Todd Gurley?
— MyAJC: Why playoff picture looks good for SEC (and Georgia)
— MyAJC: Here’s good news: Falcons are leaving country
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech continues to stomp on hope
— 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: 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
 

Reader Comments 0

638 comments
gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Great day to be a Yellow Jacket!!!!!...............huh Rue............LOL

grh0317
grh0317

Schultz, did the Jackets cover that 4 point spread?

Mild upset? What a call Schultzy... By the way, most

of the fumbles were forced by GT..

grh0317
grh0317

Big Jacket win and should have scored more!

Let's get the Hoos next week.

bobbyross1990
bobbyross1990

A much better defensive performance today by the old gold and white. Still plenty to improve on but I liked what I saw. Hey, y'all remember who we played November 1, 1990? Well we play them again next Saturday, November 1. Let's beat the Hoos! #THWG

GTRay
GTRay

Overall, that was a satisfying game.  Defense still needs work, but a lot of good things, too.  And no injuries, right?

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

Well who's going to gripe and moan this week?


PSWallace
PSWallace

Oh well. For justice, look to the afterlife. In this world we have football. I feel your pain, Pitt. Better luck next year.

GTRay
GTRay

Wouldn't it be nice if Pitt beat Duke next week?

GoGT
GoGT

Thanks guys! We are about to bee bowl eligible!

GTRay
GTRay

I thought we were only supposed to win 4 or 5 games this year?  ;-)

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

At least UNC did us a small favor today.

GTJohn
GTJohn

Can we get those oiled up footballs for the rest of the games this season?

GoGT
GoGT

What is the score now?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Defense is still hot garbage, but 6-2 is pretty good. Says a lot about how good the offense is.

GTRay
GTRay

Finally, a game in which one play didn’t make the difference, unless you want to count the pass reception call/review.

GTBob
GTBob

This is a beatdown. Nice response after the UNC game.

GTJohn
GTJohn

We just have to score a lot of points to win since we let the other team score at will

FBYJ
FBYJ

I know the six fumble recoveries were huge, but the game ball needs to go to the offensive line.  Those guys have done a GREAT job.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Man, are y'all Jekyll and Hyde, or what?!

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

was Matt Connors 3 star or a 4 star?

FBYJ
FBYJ

We're up to 550 yards of offense, with more than 400 of it on the ground.  Although it's not quite as good as the game against Carolina, it looks like we'll actually WIN this game.

Jagerman
Jagerman

Jeff must be typing his closing article, he's been quiet...

GTRay
GTRay

@grh0317

The over/under was 54.5.  Was that just for Tech?  ;-)

GTRay
GTRay

@bobbyross1990

At least we play them here.  Does Scott Sisson have any eligibility left?

GTRay
GTRay

Oops, forgot Perkins (re: injuries)

FBYJ
FBYJ

@GTRay We need Duke to lose twice more, and UNC to lose once more.  I think both of those things could happen.  Of course, we also need the Jackets to beat the Wolfpack and the Tigers, but that could happen too.  I'm looking forward to seeing it.

FBYJ
FBYJ

@Dirtyb8 I don't know why, but I was thinking he was a walk-on.  I could be wrong though.

GTRay
GTRay

@FBYJ

Duly noted.  And maybe VPI will rise up and take down Duke.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

why didnt we start this kid before? Could have really used his help in the Duke game