With upset win, Georgia Tech suddenly has chance to go 9-4

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, whose team once was in danger of not going to a bowl game again, now has a chance to win nine games with a strong finish. (Michael Shroyer / Getty Images)

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, whose team once was in danger of not going to a bowl game again, now has a chance to win nine games with a strong finish. (Michael Shroyer / Getty Images)

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Games like this don’t dismiss the 1-7, rock-bottom finish in the ACC last season and it’s not going to make some forget the defensive collapses from this year, including the carnage in Chapel Hill a week ago.

But what happened Saturday happens frequently under coach Paul Johnson. He brings Georgia Tech the extreme highs. The Jackets, a two-touchdown underdog, stunned Virginia Tech 30-20 Saturday in a game that really wasn’t that close. They did so without starting quarterback Justin Thomas, B-back Dedrick Mills and two starting offensive linemen.

Tech does this. Johnson does this. There are several reference points but three immediately come to mind:

• Last season’s 22-16 win over unbeaten and No. 9 ranked Florida State.

•  A 30-24 overtime win last season over then No. 9 Georgia  (which was a 10½-point favorite).

• A 28-23 upset of No. 4 Virginia Tech in 2009, which prompted fans to tear down one of the goal posts and carry it out of Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The Jackets (6-4, 3-4) became bowl eligible with the win. If they sweep their remaining games against Virginia (they will be favored), Georgia (they will be underdogs in Athens) and the bowl game, they would finish 9-4 — the near-inverse of last year’s 3-9 finish.

“I told the team 6-6 is not what we’re after,” Johnson said. “We have a chance this week to get to seven (wins) and then we have a chance to get one more. Once we were out of the conference race, I challenged our team to try to win nine games. And if you look back over the last 50 years, it hasn’t been done a lot (at Georgia Tech).”

As Johnson left the field, members of the school’s marching band and some of the 150 Tech fans in attendance chanted, “CPJ! CPJ!”

That’s a far cry from those who’ve been screaming for his firing. But he has made a history of changing the narrative.

Paul Johnson isn’t going anywhere.

FOR MY FULL COLUMN ON GEORGIA TECH’S WIN, CLICK HERE.

Subscribe to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein. All episodes can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or here via WSBRadio.com. New episodes every Monday and Thursday. 

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71 comments
GTBee
GTBee

Ifs, Ands and Buts!

Jmonty
Jmonty

The offense better be on their game the rest of the year.  The defense had it's one good a year, last week.  

TideDawg
TideDawg

Don't you wonder why Tech can play like they did against North Carolina and then play a game like they did against Va. Tech? It's all coaching. If you have the talent to beat Va. Tech where was that talent against North Carolina? You can't coach them up one week and then let them down the next.

MyMourningJacket
MyMourningJacket

and Hillary Clinton still has a chance to win the election

Mulk
Mulk

Does anyone know what the heck Mills did to earn his 2 games suspension? When you are suspended, do you get to work out with the team or are you just running stadium steps? 

Mulk
Mulk

@GTroller


Was kinda looking for WHICH team rules or were you not told that?

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@Mulk

From what I understand, it was either missing a team meeting or skipping class.

TideDawg
TideDawg

A coach can't "Rah" Rah" a team to win each week. That just creates highs and lows, and upsets and losses to teams you should beat. Maintaining a level of calm and determination leads to consistency. A coach can't "Rah" "Rah" his team up for one game because they have a difficult time getting the same hype for the next game. I'm not saying Smart & Johnson do that, but upsets are born from that kind of coaching. You won't find that in a book.....it's just my opinion.

GTroller
GTroller

@TideDawg

Tech and Georgia have never had the coaching or talent to win consistently

Mulk
Mulk

@GTroller


Hard to argue with that statement if you mean: by consistent, do you mean like Bama? By coaching, do you mean like Saban? By talent, do you mean like Bama?


TideDawg
TideDawg

@Mulk @GTroller What I mean is there are a lot of coaches that can coach football but there are only a few that can keep their team from being overly hyped for one opponent and not down for the next. Mentally coaching a team is just as important as physical coaching. GT and Ga. played fantastic games Sat. Can a coach get them back up to that level of play next week or the week after? Mentally tough! You've heard it before. Don't look ahead....don't look back. We'll see how the Dawgs and Jackets play their next game. Any team is subject to being overly hyped, even Bama. It's up to the coach to prevent that from happening.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@GTroller @TideDawg I respectfully disagree. Ga. won a National Championship and Tech won a National Championship. You don't win Championships playing on hype. Vince Dooley could convince his team that Agnes Scott was a powerhouse. Saban teaches "The process". Being mentally tough is part of "The Process". Smart may have learned from Saban but he gets awfully excited on the sidelines......he'll learn from experience. PJ....I don't know!

GTBob
GTBob

Can't say that I saw that coming either. It was certainly the best game we have played defensively all year. Tackling was crisp and we were actually getting a push up front. On offense. I m not really surprised. Our young guys on the OL are playing well and MJ is a more than capable backup. Great effort all around.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob

Ditto.

Superb effort--all things (injuries, road game, rankedopponent, etc.) considered.

Hell, next thing you know they'll be moving that UGA-GT game out of the dreaded noon time slot.

Mulk
Mulk

I believe that Bark Madly is the only one that has mentioned firing Johnson. But, like the Geigo commercial "if you are Bark Madly, that's what you do".

Mulk
Mulk

@DawgNole Help me out here. Geiko? Anyway, you get my point.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Tech's fill in QB played like a seasoned starter and probably should have had playing time all year. Not at all trying to diminish the talent of Thomas, but I think he had gotten bored with PJ's offense.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TideDawg  It's hard not to get bored with an offense that essentially consists of 3 plays and diving at the knees of defenders.  I'm pretty bored with it too. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

@dawg fan @TideDawg Fortunately, we're Dawg fans and it really doesn't matter. However, beating a 6-6 team doesn't add to a strength of schedule. I'd like for that game to have meaning other than "Tech could upset Ga."

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TideDawg

Couldn't agree with you more on the importance of the reg-season finale having "meaning."

I frequently pull for the opponents of my favorite teams simply because beating good teams means infinitely more to MY teams than beating marshmallows.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@dawg fan 

And you're not bored with Georgia's inept offense which hasn't done a damn thing all year?  Are you really that stupid?

Mulk
Mulk

@dawg fan


Speaking of offensive, I guess you didn't see the Fla/Ga. game? the Ole Miss/Ga. game? The Auburn/Ga. game? I could go on, but you get the point don't you?

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@TideDawg Why should a dawg care? the dogs could never produce enough points to even compete

with the Jackets. UGA only one game over 30

points.. UGA offense too weak.. Where is Chubb and Mitchell?

Mulk
Mulk

@dawg fan


Nobody is asking you to watch it. But, games usually end up with scores more than 13-7.

Mulk
Mulk

@TideDawg


It has to be boring especially to a UGAG fan with all those points that UGAG puts up EVERY week. Do you think that Eason is bored with Chaney's offense?


Jordon did play hard yesterday and he is a little more physical than Thomas. However, he is not much on the option. He had to have at least 30 carries, less than 5 pitches?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@LOGS1973: "the dogs could never produce enough points to even compete with the Jackets.

________________

That's odd. We've won 13 of the past 15 with you but never even compete with you???

Hello?

Duh!

You're giving the smart GT fans--and there are many--a really bad look, loghead.


GTBob
GTBob

@TideDawg Thomas was the national player of the week just a couple of weeks ago. He didn't seem bored then.

@eidsonb
@eidsonb

@TideDawg That boring offense has put up 300 yards rushing in several games this year.  As usual you guys are talking about something you know nothing about.  The Mighty Chubb was limited to what 27?  Scoring is not our problem.  

TideDawg
TideDawg

@@eidsonb @TideDawg The mighty Fournette was limited to 35 yards. He's still considered a 1st round draft pick. What's your point?

Mulk
Mulk

@TideDawg


I think it means that NFL status doesn't always translate into good college careers. Or Heismans. And, that a style of offense doesn't guarantee points, yards or championships in the college game.

dawg fan
dawg fan

It hasn't been a good weekend for Schultz.  I'm starting to have doubts that he even watches that much college football. 

swimfin2
swimfin2

How clueless you are schultz.  Obviously vt watched unc lose to dook on Thursday. And realized the gt game is meaningless.  The coaches too. And they looked at gt and said ok we got this. It's called complacency.  I would do one thing if I were pj. I would keep the same starters in that game for the rest of the season.  But he won't. He's a buffoon. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

@swimfin2 Some common causes of upsets: Favorite team does not respect opponent and assumes a win. Super effort by underdog. Favorite team reads their press clippings, and believes them. Looking ahead to a tougher opponent. I'm not saying that was the case with Auburn and Va. Tech, but they both lost to underdogs. Whatever the reason, Georgia and Georgia Tech each benefited and neither gives a damn what the reason might have been. Congratulations to both teams................Regarding PJ...right on both counts he won't change and he is a buffoon.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Mulk @TideDawg  Living in the past will keep you in the past. How many of those awards were with someone else's talent?

Mulk
Mulk

@TideDawg


Why change anything? Buffoons don't win 3 coach of the year awards in 8 years. 

Mulk
Mulk

@TideDawg

Past? He has only been there 8 years. Don't you have to consider past behavior/results to call someone a buffoon? Do you mean today? Or, the future?

FrankieB
FrankieB

 Tech was missing 5 starters, not 4.

QB: Justin Thomas

B-Back: Dedrick Mills

OL: Freddie Burden and Andrew Marshall

A-Back: J.J. Green 

TideDawg
TideDawg

@FrankieB Maybe those guys filling in should have been the starters all year.

DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: "A 30-24 overtime win last season over then No. 9 Georgia  (which was a 10½-point favorite)."

________________

There was NO win at all by GT over UGA last season.

But back to yesterday's game, that certainly was an impressive showing by the Jackets--to say the very least. Overcoming all those injuries to put a beatdown on a ranked opponent on the road?! Helluva performance!

Here's hoping that both Dawgs and Jackets can enter their regular-season finale on winning streaks.


SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@DawgNole 

I figured you would catch that gaffe....LOL

As much trouble as the mutts had with Nichols State, La Lafayette is not a sure win.  You'd better watch out.