Short takes: Tech 56 (points), Pitt 6 (fumbles)

Tech’s Broderick Snoddy runs for one of his three touchdowns against Pitt. (AP photo)

Tech's Broderick Snoddy runs for one of his three touchdowns against Pitt. (AP photo)

Tech’s Broderick Snoddy finishes off one of his three touchdowns against Pitt. (AP)

For my full column off of Georgia Tech’s 56-28 win over Pittsburgh, click here.

My three, “Short Takes” on the game are below:

1. WEIRDNESS PREVAILS: First this: It was an impressive effort by Tech after losing consecutive games to Duke and North Carolina. But the first half might have been the strangest half of football I’ve ever seen. Pitt fumbled on its first five possessions, and the Jackets turned the first four into touchdowns. The Panthers fumbled six times in the game (five leading to Tech touchdowns). Some credit to the Jackets’ defense, which entering the game was tied for last in the nation with only one fumble takeaway. But there’s no justifying Pitt fumbling on four of its first six plays from scrimmage. After that 28-0 lead, Tech struggled in the half, failing to score and led only 28-14 at halftime. At 28-0, Paul Johnson got a little greedy, passed on a field goal try and went for it on fourth-and-two from the Pitt 18. Result: Deon Hill was stuffed for a three-yard loss. But that turned out to not be a big deal.

2. RUNNING BACK DEPTH: The Jackets played without injured B-back Zach Laskey (their second-leading rusher behind quarterback Justin Thomas). They lost starting A-back Charles Perkins (their No. 3 rusher) early in the game with a knee injury. But this is the kind of game where coach Paul Johnson loves to say, “I dare you to stop my offense, anyway.”  Production wasn’t a problem against Pitt. The Panthers entered the game ranked third in the ACC in scoring defense (18.6 points per game), second in total defense (280.4 yards per game) and fifth against the run (112.3 YPG). Blow all that up. Tech had over 600 yards in total offense, led by the seldom-used Broderick Snoddy (82 yards, three touchdowns) and Synjyn Days (110 yards). Credit to Tech’s offensive line, but Pitt didn’t look prepared for the option offense.

3. YOU TAKE IT, NO YOU TAKE IT: Welcome to the ACC Coastal, the division in college football that seemingly nobody wants to win. Duke is 2-1 and in the lead. Every other team has at least two losses: Georgia Tech (3-2), Pitt (2-2), Virginia (2-2), Miami (2-2),  North Carolina (2-2) and Virginia Tech (1-3). The Jackets’ problem is they lost to Duke and, therefore, would lose a tiebreaker. So they really need to win their last three conference games (Virginia, at North Carolina State, Clemson) and hope Duke loses two of its remaining five (at Pitt, at Syracuse, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest). There also are three-way tie possibilities but, in the interest of maintaining some level of sanity, we won’t go into those right now.

Digital Jukebox
— AJC: LIVE: Tech’s defense must improve vs. Pitt
— 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

60 comments
OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

Interestingly enough the SAT #s at Tech show that the 6 year average for the football team averages over a 1000 (the exact score average is not shown in the AJC graph) and, iirc, correctly that the highest average in Div 1 football.Also the average GPA is in excess of 3.0 for the football recruits as well.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

I guess the CPJ apologists will have to stop taking cheap shots at STANFORD after the AJC ran this investigative report:

========================
• SAT scores and high school grade point averages for football players trail well behind those of regular students. That's especially true at Tech and UGA, where data shows football players entering the schools have recorded SAT scores that are hundreds of points lower than regular freshmen.

• Depending on the year, as many as 100 percent of football players have SAT scores in the bottom quarter of their freshman class at Tech. At the University of Georgia, roughly eight of 10 football players are in the bottom quarter.

• There were a handful of extremely low scores. Georgia Tech admitted one player with a Math-Verbal combined SAT of 590, and UGA, 570. A score of 400 is the lowest possible on the SAT. Among college-bound seniors in 2014, just 2 percent of all SAT test takers nationally scored 600 or below, according to the College Board.

See AJC link:
http://investigations.myajc.com/football-admissions/

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

@RuePaulJohnson 

What does this have to do with the game piece, liar? Please try to stay on topic. Oh that's right you couldn't care less about a W for Tech, you just want to take any all possible opportunities to criticize anything and everything related to Tech. That's your usual m.o., isn't liar? 

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@RuePaulJohnson Just curious, can you point to a chart that shows Stanford athlete SAT scores compared to their fellow students?  Or does, Stanford, being a private school, not disclose such information?  Also, Can you find anywhere at Tech where students were officially guided to "easy" classes like they were at Stanford before Stanford got caught?

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@RuePaulJohnson 

You've posted this crap on three separate blogs now.  If that's not spam, I don't know what is.  Guess the success of this high school offense is really sending you off the deep end, huh?

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

We can still win the Coastal at 5-3.  The most probable would be a 4-way tie with UM, VT, and Duke. GT and UM would have a 2-1 head-to-head among the 4 teams and GT would hold the head-to-head against UM. This will happen if VT wins the remainder of their games and UM wins all of their games except FSU. We need Pitt to rebound and beat Duke this weekend. Pitt has to play both VT and UM. UNC plays UM this week and FSU next week---that sounds like 2 losses.  UNC can beat Duke and hopefully VT will beat Duke as well. UM has to play FSU and that will be their third loss.

So keep the faith Jacket fans, we're still very much in the hunt. We just need to take care of business these next 2 games at least and if you're praying, have VT, FSU, UM (in that order) on your prayer list and anybody who plays Duke...since, well....who really likes Duke.

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

My apologies to all. UNC does not play FSU, but they play at UM this week and also play Pitt, Duke and NCSU.  That's at least 2 losses, but hopefully one of them is not Duke

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

@Yellerbug No way FSU ever gets on my prayer list. Sorry.

And they'll be off yours if your scenario transpired and we got to play them again in the ACCCG.


bagwell
bagwell

A W is a W.  However, this defense is still not where it needs to be to stop really good teams.  The tackling is still horrible, no pass rush whatsoever, and pass coverage still stinks.  Don't know why Roof continues to let his corners play 10 to 12 yard cushions on receivers.  This one is over, now lets get ready for VA with a good win, and we will be in drivers seat in Coastal

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@bagwell 

Unfortunately, there is virtually no chance at all of us winning the Coastal, because to do so, both UNC and Duke would have to lose 2 more games, and we would have to beat Clemson.  Even if we beat Clemson, which I definitely think is possible, it's still unlikely that both Duke and UNC lose 2 more.  But so what?  Win out and get a good bowl game and let that be a stepping stone to next year.
And actually, if FSU goes to the playoff, the Orange Bowl can pretty much pick whom they want, and there's not guarantee that they would pick Duke or UNC over us.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 

UNC already has two losses (VT and Clemson) so they only have to lose once more which I think will happen to an opponent other than Duke.  Problem is I don't see Duke losing another game unless it's an upset.  They're actually pretty respectable this year and they're schedule is weak sauce.  Even then we would have to win out.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@BleedingGold 

DIdn't remember that UNC had already lost 2.  I really don't think Duke is that good; in fact I think they were better last year.  Tech SHOULD have beaten them easily, but it seems we just lie down for at least one game every year, and this year it was the Duke game.  I think they may lose one more, but probably not two.  Regardless though, the Jackets need to win out and gain some prestige, even if we don't make it to the ACCCG.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@birdrow 

An idiot like yourself will make a comment like this where you make it seem like winning the Coastal is no big deal, yet if we don't win it, you'll cry and cry and cry and say Johnson should be fired.  No winning with you trolls.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@birdrow 

Like every other team in the country, we play with the had we were dealt.  The SEC Least is certainly no better than the Coastal Division of the ACC.  Georgia is the only team in that division worth a damn, and we really don't know how good they are, since they haven't played anybody of consequence and lost to a mediocre SC team

Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB
Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB

@ birdie, dude that's what everyone said 2 years ago when we were average with Tevin at the helm. Guess what. Down only 6 with under 2 minutes to go in the game and we had the ball. We probably won't get there this year, but it's pretty foolish to give up on your team before a game is played don't you think?

birdrow
birdrow

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @BleedingGold Oh goody!  We may still have a shot at winning a tie breaker for the worst division in competitive football.  Then we could go to the championship, and play the only Big Boy Football school in our entire conference (albeit with a rapist, shoplifting idiot for a quarterback), and get blown out by 35!  Wow!  Never seen that movie before!  Boy we really know how to play football down on the historic "Flats"!

RBR
RBR

folks keep overlooking NC State in Raleigh, but this is a game where GT can easily lose (especially knowing how NC State can look on offense when it want's to...exhibit A: Florida State game).  At the beginning of the season, I had VT, UNC and NC State as losses (as well as UGA and Clemson).  Didn't think Tech would lose to a marginal Duke team, so I was wrong there.....


UNC does have the inside track to the championship IF they can beat Duke, b/c then they hold tie breakers over GT, Duke, and UVA.  Let's hope NC State can upset UNC.  


Im not getting my hopes up for any championship game and probably don't want to see FSU put up 80 on Tech's D.  Especially the week after UGA game. 

gatechclassof95
gatechclassof95

Who cares about the ACC? Beat UGA and we will call 2014 a success.

GTBob
GTBob

@gatechclassof95 Give us one good reason that beating UGA is more important than beating any ACC opponent.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@RBR 

UNC is going down next week at the U.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@GTBob 

His brother in law is probably a UGA fan and gives him noogies when we lose. 

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

@RBR UNC will lose their next 2 games. I do hope they beat Duke---I hope everyone beats Duke because as Super mentioned, they are really not that good---they are well disciplined which is attributable to a Cutcliffe coached team, but they are not that talented.

You are right---we do not match up well with NCSU and that style offense, but their D is as weak as UNCs.  It should be like our game with UNC---the last team to have the ball will probably win.

GTVille
GTVille

Great victory, but Pitt dropped the ball in all sense of the game, fumbles and passes through their hands. Good teams will not do that.


All ACC teams except Duke and GT will likely have 3 losses.  Duke will need 3 losses to put us in a three way tie where we may have a chance.


GT football is exciting this year.  Next year will be more exciting with a better line up; and,, a more veteran team.

Cristobalite
Cristobalite

This team hustles. The play by DJ White is a good example it could be a defining play of the season.  Without that hustle its Tech 7 Pitt 7 and a different game.  Even in the losses they never, ever, gave up.  I really like this and it is the mark of a winner. 

 I think this team still has the chance to be one of the good ones.   The D has to playmore consistantly and the offence has to keep healthy.   If they keep hustling they will win a lot more than they lose.  

Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB
Gr8_2B_aFuzzyB

And you Cristo need to work on your spelling lol!

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

Really? Beating pitt who gave you 6 extra chances is a big deal? Oh, and Ohio State sucks buckeye balls..

GT71
GT71

Gave up over 500 yds.  To Pitt.

If there were only a small semblance to an actual defense, or a defensive scheme somewhat akin to the 'special' offense, this team would be a top 5 team.  But no.  It will not happen.  The O is designed for lesser-talent players to be successful.  Given that TECH cannot get the best athletes (many, many reasons for that), we need 'special' more than most.  The D has to be at least imaginative and be risk-taking and just...different.

Otherwise, take the 6-8 wins/year, a minor bowl and be an institute of higher learning.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@GT71
I would rather have 8...........and we will always be a institute of higher learning.

OH-IO
OH-IO

Yea Tech! 


Still No Gurley

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@OH-IO You're going to get those rumors going again.

OH-IO
OH-IO

@gtcaryd


They're not rumors. There are true believers.


Or, in some cases, Beliebers.

Greentow
Greentow

@OH-IO So far it hasn't looked as if they need him all that much.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Les Miles is on drugs............he has make-up on.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

6-2, looking good in the coastal................playing some decent football...our Offense is awesome....Great day to be a Jacket!

FBYJ
FBYJ

If anyone wins the Coastal division with only two losses on their record, I will be very much surprised.  However, if Clemson doesn't get their starting QB back before the GT game, then I think we have an OUTSTANDING chance of beating the Tigers by a large margin.  Virginia might give us problems, but the Jackets might just have as good a chance as anyone of running the table for the remaining conference games.

UpWithTheWhiteAndGold
UpWithTheWhiteAndGold

@iseestupidpeople I agree. It would be nice to take more chances on D. Play tighter on the corners and blitz a little more. Hey, it can't deliver worse results than what we are seeing now.


Go Jackets. Keep scoring points!

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

I feel as confident in our offense as I have since Joe Hamilton was here. Sheesh, they're awesome. The defense is equally bad, unfortunately.

gatechclassof95
gatechclassof95

The offense is certainly the least of our woes. But The "O" needs more balance, before I'd start comparing it to what we had under Fridge. I'd still like to see us throw the ball more efficiently. If we do, the offense will be darn near unstoppable. We don't pass block and set up a pocket well. Thomas is running for his life too often on pass plays.

Still, a good win. Go Jackets.

iseestupidpeople
iseestupidpeople

NC has the inside track for the division if you look at everyone's remaining schedule. The lack of defense in the NC game will cost Tech a date in the ACC championship game.

Aside from that Tech has to stop someone at some point. 6 TOs is a good thing but looked at closely Pitt simple dropped 3 of them. Roof still cannot stand bringing pressure. When he could he dropped the CBs 7-13 yards and waited to be attacked.

Don't get me wrong, I've been a lifelong fan and hope we win every game but we cannot instill a destructive defensive mindset by playing soft like we do.

Press coverage and blitzing not only cause pressure they manufacture a mindset of aggression and this defense needs that mindset.

A backup QB who hasn't thrown the ball in 18 games should not be able to pass like Pitts did today. I know the game was essentially over but what better time to teach

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@iseestupidpeople 

NC has the inside track?  Don't you mean Duke has the inside track.  They have 1 less ACC loss than UNC, play Wake and Syracuse from the Atlantic and play UNC at home (not that they will have more fans at the game than UNC).

GTBee
GTBee

Don't really care about Pitt. Just beat UGA!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@GTBee You don't care about winning the ACC?...........you wait through 11 games just to hope to beat a team you usually don't beat............you make stupid an adventure don't you?

Greentow
Greentow

@GTBee Some guy above said beating UGA doesn't matter if we just beat the ACC opponents.