• Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech Game - What Happened?

    I wanted to watch the game again before I posted my thoughts. Naturally, people let their emotions get the best of them after a tough loss, and I think the various threads where people are spouting nonsense is evidence of that. After watching the game, one of the sayings that popped into my head is: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”

    Anyhow, here are some of my thoughts from the game last night:

    One Game Does Not Make A Season
    Yes, this loss hurts us in the standings. Yes, we should have won it. Yes, we’re in the hole. That said, did anyone think we were going undefeated this season? Was this game not one of the popular choices for a loss before the season began? We’ve got 11 games left to play, and if our defense can play with the same effort and effectiveness for the rest of the season, we have the chance to win EVERY game on our schedule. This is the first game, and our feet are not under us yet…that’s why coaches schedule powder puffs to begin their schedules. We played a VERY GOOD team with a future top 10 pick at QB, on the road, and in one of the toughest stadiums to play in college football. Have some perspective.

    Depth Does Not Equal Quality
    So we’ve heard it all off-season. This is the most depth we’ve had on our offensive line since CPJ has been here. Yet, last night I saw a lot of whiffs, and inability to cut the DL and LBs down at the line of scrimmage. Even Uzzi, widely regarded as one of the best OGs in the nation, was uneven last night. Nothing against Kidney, there’s something to be said about a walk-on who earns a scholly, but the guy should not be playing ahead of guys CPJ hand picked out of high school. When that happens, I’m skeptical of the “depth” argument.

    Out Flanked
    For an offense based on out flanking the opponent, we’ve got to make sure the perimeter blockers are doing their jobs. Unfortunately, it seemed like the defense was the one doing the out-flanking last night. Can’t tell you how many times the ball went outside the tackle, but there were more defenders in the face of the ball carrier than there were blockers. People keep saying Tevin was missing a lot of reads (not that you would know without knowledge of the playcall anyhow), but go back and look at the tape. How many times did he look up on an option read and see VT defenders surrounding him and his trailer?

    More Pop than Bang
    We don’t have any “explosive” players on this team right now. Let’s just go ahead and accept that. Our WRs are big and tall, but they are not explosive like Stephen Hill and BeyBey. They don’t have the ability to stretch the field against a defense of VT’s caliber. We had some really good plays, but none of the 30+ yard variety that we’ve seen the past few seasons. It was evident in the plays that did “pop”. Lots of short and intermediate stuff we didn’t see much of the past few seasons. I think the staff knows that, that’s why we saw them working on the short and medium reads underneath to the ABs during the spring. The few times we took a shot down field, our WRs could not get the separation we saw the last four years from Hill and BeyBey.

    Third Times the Charm
    Statistically, CAG’s defenses have made their biggest improvements in the third year. If last night was any indication, we may have a pretty decent defense this year. One of the things that killed us last year against VT was the TEs and WRs down the middle. Outside of the blown coverage from Jamal Golden on VT’s first TD (more on that later), we never got hit on big plays down the middle like we did last season. Our rushing defense is MUCH improved from last season. VT had a few decent runs, but they didn’t gash us like they did last season, and they pretty much contained Logan Thomas on the ground. Our DL actually played well against the run, and they were neither positive or negative against the pass. Remember, our DL needs to maintain their blocks so the LBs can do their job and bring the pressure from wherever they’re coming from. They did that for the most part. We were able to get Thomas cause him to hurry his throws…and I believe we had about 3-4 sacks on him. You know how many players played on defense last night? About 15 guys. We had no depth on defense last night. VT’s last drive left a lot to be desired from our defense, but that may have been a bit of bad coaching and terrible tackling. Not sure why Groh brought soft pressure and played off so much to let VT get in field goal range. Don’t let that last drive overshadow what the defense did for 95% of the game.

    The Good Teams
    You know why good teams are good teams? It’s because they take advantage of mistakes by the opposing team and punish them. It happened to us twice. The first was Golden looking into the backfield when he should have been manned up on the tight end. He wasn’t. VT touchdown. The second was Sweeting watching the backfield even though the receiver was 20 yards down the field streaking by him. VT touchdown. That’s what good teams do, and if we play sound defense on those two plays, I’m not sure VT would have been in position to come back.

    The Second and Third QB is Always the Most Popular
    Outside of “the throw”, Tevin had a pretty good game. We have absolutely no threat outside at the WRs spots, our ABs are new and the one that’s suppose to be our biggest playmaker (Orwin Smith) was hurt half the game. The BBs didn’t really add any value this game. You know what our biggest play from scrimmage was? Tevin’s 22 yard run. He was 10-15 passing (67%), and until “the throw”, he was efficient and made great reads in the passing game. What do you think Vad or Synjyn would have done differently in that situation? Inexperienced, terrible blocking all night, and each one of them have huge negatives to their QB game…you think it would have been pretty in a tight game at a hostile environment for them? If the defense did their jobs for 44 more seconds, the narrative on Tevin is different today. Don’t get me wrong, this is a bottom line business and he should not have made that throw, but if you think things would have been different with either Synjyn or Vad in the game last night you’re either delusional or need someone to blame (or both). Here are some names: Jaybo Shaw, David Sims, Synjyn Days. What do they all have in common? All of them were QBs the GT fanbase all called for to replace the starting QB at one point. We all know why they never did. If a kid is good enough to play, he’d be playing.

    …Then Came the Pistol!
    There’s a lot of complaints about bringing out the Pistol late in the game. Tevin was doing just fine under center. Had we used the Pistol any sooner, do you really think it would have been any more effective later in the game when we caught VT off guard with it? Defenses adjust. Last I checked, Bud Foster is still one of the best defensive minds in the game…you don’t think he would have adjusted his defense? VT runs the Pistol, so it’s not like it’s something their defense doesn’t see.

    The New Guys
    We saw a lot of new faces in the starting lineup last night:

    Jabari Hunt-Days: Stud. Now we see what all the fuss was about this spring and when he signed. He was subbed out a lot on 3rd downs so Groh might see him as a liability on passing downs, but when he was on the field he was a difference maker.

    The ABs: They were great in the passing game, but man did they have a night to forget blocking. Deon Hill will be a good player for us. A few nice runs from Bostic. Godhigh had a nice run on the TD.

    The DL: Like I said above, good against the run, neutral against the pass. TJ Barnes held up well, but definitely not the TJ we saw against Clemson. Cross was fantastic. I don’t remember hearing any other names from the DL. They did a fantastic job in OT to keep VT out of the endzone.

    Jamal Golden: He is not a safety. Out of position a few times, and didn’t stay with his man on VT’s first TD against us. Was caught looking in the backfield when he should have stayed with the TE. That said, he’s a CB, and was pressed into the safety spot because Holton and Young were out. He’s got better days ahead of him.

    Laskey: The one thing that separates Laskey from Perkins is that Laskey plays positive through the first line. Whereas Perkins braces for contact at the LOS, which kills momentum, Laskey looks for contact to explode through at the LOS. We saw it last night, and that’s a big reason he would have been the starter had it not been for strep-throat. Like Golden, better days are ahead for him.

    The new coaches: If VT is an indication of our special teams this year, I’ll take it. MUCH better than the past, though we’re still lacking in leg strength from our
    kickers. Nothing Walkosky can do about that. Hopefully the stud kicker we have committed will fix that. The work the guys have done with Sisk definitely showed up last night. Our DL didn’t looked too gassed, and they weren’t getting knocked backwards like they have been in the past. Our LBs were everywhere. Definitely good additions to our staff.

    Summary
    Look guys, last night hurt. Big time. But let’s not be irrational about it and blowup the team just because we lost to one of the best teams in the conference and in the nation on the road in our first game. How good is VT? Who knows, let’s watch the season play out. How good are we? Same thing…we still have 11 games to play. There’s A LOT to play for, and VT has a much harder conference schedule than we do. If this is how things are in games 4-6, then yes. Let’s put in guys like Vad and Synjyn and get ready for 2013. By then, we’ll have played a good amount of our conference schedule and we’ll know where we stand. To do it right now would be to give up.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Thoughts on the VT Game started by AllGT View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      You can view the page at http://gtsportstalk.com/content.php?...inia-Tech-Game
    1. HelluvanEngineer's Avatar
      HelluvanEngineer -
      What sucks the most is that we had it won!! 44 seconds on the clock and we had the lead. And then we choked. Hard. There is no getting around this fact...
    1. Big Philly's Avatar
      Big Philly -
      Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
      As someone reminded me today: you guys want to bag an entire season after losing by three points, in overtime, to the defending division champion, on opening night. Kind of puts it in perspective.
      Don't forget covered!
    1. Big Philly's Avatar
      Big Philly -
      Quote Originally Posted by HelluvanEngineer View Post
      What sucks the most is that we had it won!! 44 seconds on the clock and we had the lead. And then we choked. Hard. There is no getting around this fact...
      Yep. Hurt so bad.
    1. Ga Tech Navy Nuke's Avatar
      Ga Tech Navy Nuke -
      Excellent summary. I've talked with a few fans of other teams today and overall the comment was that both teams looked sporadic and inconsistent. The other comment is that we did pretty well given we played at VT. The specific comment a few minutes ago from a Northwestern alum was that the bogus personal foul call at the end of the game is the type thing that usually goes the home team's way.

      Concerning the section on Outflanking, my comment about poor option reads comes down to this. The first option consideration is whether to take the dive or not. That holds for the triple option or trap option. I our dive is getting stuffed all the time, that is a hit on TW since he should have kept the ball or pitched it. I don't think you can say in the first second of the play when the mesh decision is made that TW can know he won't have a run or a pitch. I think he got faked out AND our OL got man handled. The BB had three defensive people greeting him on the line many times from what I remember. I could be wrong about that and your watching the game again would allow you to comment better. If all those plays were called dives with no option, then that's a hit on CPJ. But I really doubt that is the case as the whole purpose of the flex is to take what you are given at / after the snap of the ball.

      Concerning the WRs, I agree they didn't block worth a damn for the few times I noticed them. But I also look at the short routes and much better than what we have done in past years, with Bebe and Stephen -- we didn't throw the long pass plays which have been so prone to interception. So that's a mixed bag on not doing the long routes.

      One thing you didn't mention was that CPJ has got his mojo back. Going for it on 4th and 1 or 2 just outside the 50 early in the second half had me cheering. I know we didn't make it, but it was worth the risk since the vast majority of the time we get more than that. The fourth down attempt with 3 minutes to go was a no brainer as we wouldn't see the ball again or if we did we would still need a TD. CPJ went for it there too. Kudos to CPJ.
    1. Lexjacket's Avatar
      Lexjacket -
      Quote Originally Posted by HelluvanEngineer View Post
      What sucks the most is that we had it won!! 44 seconds on the clock and we had the lead. And then we choked. Hard. There is no getting around this fact...
      We didn't choke, VT won the game. They fought as hard as they could fight and lost. A magnificent effort to come back and go ahead with 44 seconds, a gutsy goal line stand at the end of overtime.

      Great post AllGT. this is your brain.....Georgia Tech Sports News - Sober Analysis on the Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech Game
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Quote Originally Posted by stonedwall View Post
      guess i'm just too spoiled watching CJM evolve the flexbone into something more potent through the use of formations such as the pistol. and, it's not because he uses it for passing. he uses it for running. did we? not that really recall. we'll never know what could have been because we did NOT mix it up earlier! you're absolutely right--defenses adjust. the entire game is about adjustments. why not SD at wildcat here or there? why not some vertical throws earlier that aren't a trick play? i just think we can do more and we don't need to wait till the game is on the line, IMO.
      You have no arguments from me about that. The only run from the Pistol I have in my notes is a quarterback keeper from Tevin for 7 yards. We had a few vertical throws, but I think CPJ realized that our WRs aren't getting any separation (and that's probably what Tevin saw as well) so the reads were kept underneath the safeties.

      Monken's offense doesn't only utilize flexbone and pistol, he also incorporates "power" formations (power I, offset I, etc.) and personnel. He's very multiple in his schemes. That's why I love watching Southern play. I'm not one of those that believes you can't perfect one thing if you do multiple things. That's a load of BS. One of GT's best offenses came from multiple formations and sets...Ralph Friedgen's offense. It was notoriously complicated and hard to learn, but somehow it was of the top offenses in the country every year and we were putting up video game numbers.
    1. AllGT's Avatar
      AllGT -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ga Tech Navy Nuke View Post
      Excellent summary. I've talked with a few fans of other teams today and overall the comment was that both teams looked sporadic and inconsistent. The other comment is that we did pretty well given we played at VT. The specific comment a few minutes ago from a Northwestern alum was that the bogus personal foul call at the end of the game is the type thing that usually goes the home team's way.

      Concerning the section on Outflanking, my comment about poor option reads comes down to this. The first option consideration is whether to take the dive or not. That holds for the triple option or trap option. I our dive is getting stuffed all the time, that is a hit on TW since he should have kept the ball or pitched it. I don't think you can say in the first second of the play when the mesh decision is made that TW can know he won't have a run or a pitch. I think he got faked out AND our OL got man handled. The BB had three defensive people greeting him on the line many times from what I remember. I could be wrong about that and your watching the game again would allow you to comment better. If all those plays were called dives with no option, then that's a hit on CPJ. But I really doubt that is the case as the whole purpose of the flex is to take what you are given at / after the snap of the ball.

      Concerning the WRs, I agree they didn't block worth a damn for the few times I noticed them. But I also look at the short routes and much better than what we have done in past years, with Bebe and Stephen -- we didn't throw the long pass plays which have been so prone to interception. So that's a mixed bag on not doing the long routes.

      One thing you didn't mention was that CPJ has got his mojo back. Going for it on 4th and 1 or 2 just outside the 50 early in the second half had me cheering. I know we didn't make it, but it was worth the risk since the vast majority of the time we get more than that. The fourth down attempt with 3 minutes to go was a no brainer as we wouldn't see the ball again or if we did we would still need a TD. CPJ went for it there too. Kudos to CPJ.
      Thanks, Nuke!

      You're right, CPJ did take some chances he probably wouldn't have last year. I don't think CAG was too happy about it, but then again that's a complement to his defense. One of the overlooked things about last night was our defense held up to VT's offense against a short field for most of the game. CPJ doesn't do that if he doesn't have confidence in our defense.
    1. pckl300's Avatar
      pckl300 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AllGT View Post
      The DL: Like I said above, good against the run, neutral against the pass. TJ Barnes held up well, but definitely not the TJ we saw against Clemson. Cross was fantastic. I don’t remember hearing any other names from the DL. They did a fantastic job in OT to keep VT out of the endzone.
      Dieke did well on that goal-line stand. He met Logan face-to-face and just stopped him.
    1. GA TECH's Avatar
      GA TECH -
      I don't think that we choked either
      Our defense held them to 17 in their own stadium
      If you asked anyone prior to the game that if we were to hold vt to 17 points would we win the game, 100% would say yes
      Our offense scored 2 TD's on 14 drives and 1 of them was due to vt setting us up for the score, thus it was closer to 1 for 14--please don't try to justify CPJ's play calling with these numbers
    1. bcaff's Avatar
      bcaff -
      I think Tevin did great. He was an efficient passer and ran the option as best as he could. He is our best option at quarterback right now. I do think that the younger guys have more potential than Tevin, but they're not ready to be the starters. Synjyn is a better runner, Vad is a better passer, and Justin Thomas is looking really good too. However, the triple option offense is about experience and knowing how to call the reads and that's where Tevin wins out the job. No one expected us to give VT such a hard time. Our defense looks great, our special teams is improving, and we have a ton of good (not great) running backs. Our biggest issue now I think is to figure out how to replace Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton. The young receivers have potential, but none of them seemed ready. There also needs to be way more depth in the secondary. I do have one problem with CPJ. When Tevin's helmet came off and it was 3rd down and 8, he put in Synjyn. It was an obvious passing opportunity. They should've put Vad in, especially since Tevin had to be out for one play. It seems like whenever Synjyn is supposed to pass the ball, he just keeps it and runs it. Don't get me wrong, I love Synjyn, but why not put in the best passer if it's 3rd and 8. I just don't know how he's gonna fit in our offense, but he should be out there somehow. I think once Tevin leaves, there will be great options with the next three guys at QB.
    1. GA TECH's Avatar
      GA TECH -
      Here is our offensive scoring over the last 9 games (exclusive of defensive scores):
      21 against maryland
      14 against virginia
      7 against miami
      31 against clemson
      26 against vt
      38 against duke
      17 against uga
      17 against utah
      17 against vt