• Paul Johnson Checkmated in Overtime

    Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson, the man that Georgia Tech Associate Director of Athletics Wayne Hogan said, “He plays chess while everyone else plays checkers”, has been checkmated in overtime three times in the past five games.

    Johnson's vaunted Triple Option offense was held to three points in overtime against Utah in the Sun Bowl, and shutout against Virginia Tech and Miami.

    Was it fatigue, poor play-calling, poor execution or something else that resulted in Paul Johnson's offense not getting the ball into the end zone when the game was on the line?

    Some Georgia Tech fans think that a change in quarterback is needed and point to Tevin Washington's performance in overtime. In the last two overtime games Washington made a poor decision in putting the ball up for grabs against Virginia Tech resulting in an interception, and couldn't make half a yard inside the two yard line against Miami on a fourth down play.

    What are your thoughts on the changes Paul Johnson needs to make in his offense so it is more productive at winning time?
    Comments 122 Comments
    1. tp jones's Avatar
      tp jones -
      I like how you pull a picture from 4 years ago Your distaste for the man is borderline sociopathic.

      Poor play calling? Yep. You're right. Poor play calling led to us overcoming a 19 pt deficit (scoring 36 unanswered actually). Special teams and defense. Personally, I would have fired the new special teams coordinator on the spot after that. Unacceptable. Al Groh needs to hit the road also.
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      Quote Originally Posted by tp jones View Post
      I like how you pull a picture from 4 years ago Your distaste for the man is borderline sociopathic.

      Poor play calling? Yep. You're right. Poor play calling led to us overcoming a 19 pt deficit (scoring 36 unanswered actually). Special teams and defense. Personally, I would have fired the new special teams coordinator on the spot after that. Unacceptable. Al Groh needs to hit the road also.
      I like Paul Johnson, he's a good guy. But I don't like losing and he's done too much of that lately. He's paid to win games, not be our friend.
    1. Old Gold's Avatar
      Old Gold -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      I like Paul Johnson, he's a good guy. But I don't like losing and he's done too much of that lately. He's paid to win games, not be our friend.
      Hmm... in your post last night you called him a liar - your word. So he's a lying, good guy?

      Four threads started by you in the last 24 hours flaming the anti-Johnson sentiment? I'm not taking a position one way or another, but does this call to question your footnote - "No agenda or posturing or need to "take a particular angle" to increase board traffic or clicks."? Or, as I asked in your "liar" thread, did he do something to offend you personally?

      Enjoy your work, great board that you've put together, but isn't all of this a bit of overkill?
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      Hmm... in your post last night you called him a liar - your word. So he's a lying, good guy?

      Four threads started by you in the last 24 hours flaming the anti-Johnson sentiment? I'm not taking a position one way or another, but does this call to question your footnote - "No agenda or posturing or need to "take a particular angle" to increase board traffic or clicks."? Or, as I asked in your "liar" thread, did he do something to offend you personally?

      Enjoy your work, great board that you've put together, but isn't all of this a bit of overkill?
      OG, this is Paul Johnson's 5th year at Georgia Tech. This isn't his first or second or third or even fourth year. In other words, if I had an agenda I would have been after Paul Johnson a long time ago. Certainly the 6-7 record in 2010, the first losing record in like 14 years, the 0-4 bowl record, etc. has given me and everybody else plenty of ammuntion.

      When a GT coach is in a 2+ year down cycle and loses a game at home that he was favored to win by 2 touchdowns after pissing away a 14 point lead, I'm surprised I haven't written half a dozen more articles.
    1. srschirm's Avatar
      srschirm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      Hmm... in your post last night you called him a liar - your word. So he's a lying, good guy?
      A guy can lie once in a while and still be a good guy. I'm sure I've lied before, and I consider myself a great guy. Doesn't make the lying right, though.
    1. Old Gold's Avatar
      Old Gold -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      OG, this is Paul Johnson's 5th year at Georgia Tech. This isn't his first or second or third or even fourth year. In other words, if I had an agenda I would have been after Paul Johnson a long time ago. Certainly the 6-7 record in 2010, the first losing record in like 14 years, the 0-4 bowl record, etc. has given me and everybody else plenty of ammuntion.

      When a GT coach is in a 2+ year down cycle and loses a game at home that he was favored to win by 2 touchdowns after pissing away a 14 point lead, I'm surprised I haven't written half a dozen more articles.
      Jim, you still haven't answered the "liar" vs. "good guy" comments. Don't you think "liar" was a bit strong/unprofessional?

      I haven't felt that you had an agenda, as you put it, until perhaps recently - it's seemed a bit out of character for you, that's all.

      Personally, I'm withholding judgment until after this season is over. I am going to be upset if we don't start seeing Lee in at QB on a REGULAR basis going forward - every game. He needs to be worked into the lineup and get experience or he'll be in a learning-curve mode next season and we will still be in a rut. I wanted him in on Saturday after we got to 36. That, plus our poor play clock management on our last possession in regulation, has me upset and concerned.
    1. Old Gold's Avatar
      Old Gold -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      Jim, you still haven't answered the "liar" vs. "good guy" comments. Don't you think "liar" was a bit strong/unprofessional?

      I haven't felt that you had an agenda, as you put it, until perhaps recently - its seemed a bit out of character for you, that's all.

      Personally, I'm withholding judgment until after this season is over. I am going to be upset if we don't start seeing Lee in at QB on a REGULAR basis going forward - every game. He needs to be worked into the lineup and get experience or he'll be in a learning-curve mode next season and we will still be in a rut. I wanted him in on Saturday after we got to 36. That, plus our poor play clock management on our last possession in regulation, has me upset and concerned.
      Oh, and add "lack of a pass rush" to my list of concerns, obviously!
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      Jim, you still haven't answered the "liar" vs. "good guy" comments. Don't you think "liar" was a bit strong/unprofessional?

      I haven't felt that you had an agenda, as you put it, until perhaps recently - its seemed a bit out of character for you, that's all.

      Personally, I'm withholding judgment until after this season is over. I am going to be upset if we don't start seeing Lee in at QB on a REGULAR basis going forward - every game. He needs to be worked into the lineup and get experience or he'll be in a learning-curve mode next season and we will still be in a rut. I wanted him in on Saturday after we got to 36. That, plus our poor play clock management on our last possession in regulation, has me upset and concerned.
      Like schirm says, good people at some point in their lives tell a lie. Typically they don't make $2.5 million dollars a year and are entrusted with teaching teenagers right from wrong.

      My only agenda is that I see now that Paul Johnson is not cutting it at Georgia Tech and won't cut it. I saw that with Chan Gailey after the UGA game the first season. With Johnson it took until the fifth season. His main downfall is his recruiting and player development.

      Don't worry OG, I've got a busy week starting right about now so I won't make your eyes bleed with many more Paul Johnson threads this week..
    1. Old Gold's Avatar
      Old Gold -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      Like schirm says, good people at some point in their lives tell a lie. Typically they don't make $2.5 million dollars a year and are entrusted with teaching teenagers right from wrong.

      My only agenda is that I see now that Paul Johnson is not cutting it at Georgia Tech and won't cut it. I saw that with Chan Gailey after the UGA game the first season. With Johnson it took until the fifth season. His main downfall is his recruiting and player development.
      I'm going to stay with this one more time: There's a difference between acknowledging that "good people at some point in their lives tell a lie," and calling someone a liar. By your logic, all of us - you and me included - are liars. Right?
    1. tp jones's Avatar
      tp jones -
      At least get it right, Jim. We pissed away a 17 point lead

      I mean, I can see starting one or two threads, but you've contributed like half a dozen AND an article with a picture typically used by dwag fans when they're referencing him as "fish fry" or "moobs" (moobs always cracked me up b/c the typical dwag fan I see at wal mart is typically 50-100 lbs overweight).

      Someone said before, and I agree, assuming 4 years needed for player development, this year is really the first year we can judge him with all things being equal. Next year makes or breaks him. We at least see him for one more season before he's run off / kept around.

      Chill out dog, after all, it's only a game. Besides, unless we can "outbid" the SEC programs for elite players, we'll never win another national title - great read here:

      Exclusive: Ex-employee details how Hurricanes program unraveled in scandal - NCAA Football - CBSSports.com News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and BCS Rankings
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      I'm going to stay with this one more time: There's a difference between acknowledging that "good people at some point in their lives tell a lie," and calling someone a liar. By your logic, all of us - you and me included - are liars. Right?
      When somebody tells at lie at that point in time they are a liar. When someone acts like an SOB at that point they are an SOB. When someone does a great deed at that point in time they are a great person.

      What am I missing here, OG?
    1. CSJacket's Avatar
      CSJacket -
      Jim, the CPJ hatred is starting to get out of hand. How about we hear about something new?
    1. Old Gold's Avatar
      Old Gold -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      When somebody tells at lie at that point in time they are a liar. When someone acts like an SOB at that point they are an SOB. When someone does a great deed at that point in time they are a great person.

      What am I missing here, OG?
      Jim old buddy, as one liar to another, here are your words: "But like true Georgia Tech fans you protect the liar and blame the messenger. Is that fair?"

      "The liar" doesn't sound to me like you're saying that it was a "moment in time" thing. Any reasonable person would interpret what you said as your having branded the man a liar.
    1. srschirm's Avatar
      srschirm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      Jim old buddy, as one liar to another, here are your words: "But like true Georgia Tech fans you protect the liar and blame the messenger. Is that fair?"
      Well it's true that many GT fans will protect their coach no matter what...the same people who loved Gailey now love Johnson, and hate Gailey now that he was discarded.
    1. mack's Avatar
      mack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Gold View Post
      Oh, and add "lack of a pass rush" to my list of concerns, obviously!
      And of. course ugly ass uniforms..,......blue and tan...........
      give me a brake!
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      Quote Originally Posted by srschirm View Post
      Well it's true that many GT fans will protect their coach no matter what...the same people who loved Gailey now love Johnson, and hate Gailey now that he was discarded.
      No truer words were ever spoken. Great observation, schirm.

      The problem with discussing college football is that you can't have a rational discussion with fanaticism.

      Although I think things have improved greatly since the Gailey scenario.
    1. lxUn1c0's Avatar
      lxUn1c0 -
      Paul Johnson wasn't "checkmated" in overtime in either the VT or the Miami game. To understand this, let's analyze the offending plays.

      In the game against VT, CPJ called a great pass play, and it resulted in an a-back running loose across the middle of the field. If Tevin throws the ball anywhere near the wide-open man, it's a TD. Instead, he got happy feet for no apparent reason. Despite having plenty of time in the pocket, TW rolled to his left, taking away half the field from himself and running himself into pressure. Then, instead of taking a sack, he tried to throw the ball away while being spun down, which is an inexplicable mistake, and we know how that turned out. That OT failure unquestionably resulted from poor QB decision-making, not any kind of tactical or strategic error by CPJ.

      The OT loss against Miami was a bit different. We marched down to the goal line but stalled out on 4th and inches. This one was a more of a tactical failure. On that 4th down play, CPJ had a QB follow called. The defense, though, was lined up in all the right gaps to stuff the play. Tevin checked the play down to a toss sweep, but Miami shifted immediately to take that away. Here's where it gets inexplicable. Instead of checking back to the original play (which would have worked after the defensive shift) or simply sneaking behind the center for the couple of inches we needed, Tevin took the snap and ran right into a defender that was unblocked by design. He ran against the blocking scheme and into the strength of the defense.

      Now, you can't put all the blame on Tevin, because he's not responsible for getting us into those situations. In both games, we had a TD lead with under two minutes to go, but Al Groh's defense somehow couldn't figure out how to stop a two-minute offense. In both games, our offense did just enough to win but was subsequently let down by the defense.

      So, you see, saying CPJ was "checkmated" in overtime is overly simplistic. The number one culprit was really our endgame D. Going into this season, we knew that this was the year to judge the success or failure of Al Groh as a defensive coordinator. So far, he hasn't been up to par. We've put his defense in position to secure wins, and they haven't been up to the task. The number two culprit is Tevin and his inability to lift the team to victory under pressure. He makes inexplicably bad decisions in those intense situations, though he never should have been in them in the first place.

      Paul Johnson isn't exempt from blame, because he's the head coach. Everything is his responsibility. But we haven't once been strategically or tactically outplayed this season. Our failures come down to a couple of specific problems with the team.
    1. srschirm's Avatar
      srschirm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      No truer words were ever spoken. Great observation, schirm.

      The problem with discussing college football is that you can't have a rational discussion with fanaticism.

      Although I think things have improved greatly since the Gailey scenario.
      Thanks Jim, I think things probably have improved since Gailey's reign of error. I can't recall one game changing this many fans' minds since I've been on message boards.
    1. alagold's Avatar
      alagold -
      Quote Originally Posted by tp jones View Post
      I like how you pull a picture from 4 years ago Your distaste for the man is borderline sociopathic.

      Poor play calling? Yep. You're right. Poor play calling led to us overcoming a 19 pt deficit (scoring 36 unanswered actually). Special teams and defense. Personally, I would have fired the new special teams coordinator on the spot after that. Unacceptable. Al Groh needs to hit the road also.
      I've never seen a worse runback mental error.THAT is COACHING.A simple rule is -if in EZ don't run it out!
    1. Blazer529's Avatar
      Blazer529 -
      Look guys we all need to be reasonable right ?

      I mean CPJ does have blame here but it's not the type of blame that seems to be the focus of this topic.

      CPJ has blame in one fact, right now. That fact is he has to know that this defense is very undependable. Now I can't say this for sure but it seems to me that CPJ tends to slow down the offensive aggression when he gets a big lead. Yes it could be argued that the reason for this is he wants to eat more clock. The toss, wheel route etc...were proving to be big time plays with most going for long yardage. Running the B back up the middle takes more time off the clock. On the other side of the coin though is this fact. Our defense has not shown the ability to make a big stop yet this season. Given that, CPJ should keep running the offense as normal. We got very conservative last year with Utah and now again with Miami and its killed us-- again because of the defense.

      In the short run our offense can win us the 50-49 type games, if we keep running it. In the long run the tell tell sign of CPJ and his head coaching abilities will be in recognizing our lack of defense and doing something about it.

      Again, we should win a game that we score 36 points in. I did not see any adjustments to Miami's play calling during the entire game. I saw them running 3 receiver slants all day with the occasional post or fly. We stayed in Zone and Man all day with nothing underneath and it killed us on every 3rd down. On at least 2 third down plays of 6 or more yards to go I saw our coverage 10-12 yards off with linebackers blitzing, the perfect defense for a 10 yard slant to the slot. We NEVER dropped the LB. That is on the defensive coordinator not CPJ. Not unless he is trying to usurp his defensive coordinator on the field by telling him what to run.

      I won't even go into the individual play of Washington or the constant high tackling attempts made. This team needs some serious yelling at, film study is the perfect time to stop the film and blast Sweeting for repeatedly looking in the backfield when he is in man coverage on a wideout. STAY ON YOUR MAN STOP THE RUN SECOND ! I will say this also, if Washington is a leader he will check as many times as needed in that situation. As someone else said he failed to do that and it ended up that he ran himself right into a man that he should have known would be unblocked, given the rest of the team thought they were running a toss, which is what he told them to run-- all while he had decided to run his own play, into the pursuing defense --- again, stupid ! LAP time at the practice field. Hardly the play of a senior who is keeping Lee on the bench because he knows the offense !