Chick-fil-A Kickoff Postgame Discussion

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So after digesting last night and putting it into perspective, after almost 50 years of Tech football.
1. T Marshall great game but he needs to work on pitches and distributing the ball. He will not last carrying the ball 40 plus per games.
2. K Benson great game with and without the ball. Surprised he didn't pop a big one. Yet to come.
3. A backs great game.
4. S Devine run behind him is a guaranteed 4 yards.
5. Punting one bad but the rest great.
6. Defense, well good for 3 quarters.
7. PK well this was the killer. Need to find a kicker.

What it all means, look Tennessee is a good team, they won 9 games last year and were on their way to the SEC East championship. Their running back is good as he got on track and they had a few throw em up and jump catches.
We need to find a kicker. What I saw and what I saw from other teams we stand a very good chance to win at least nine games. Let's see what Miami has in two weeks as they play Florida State. Vt looked ok but WVU is not a defensive power. Clemson may be for real but if our offense continues we have a shot. 1998, opened with a loss to BC in a game we should have won. Ended up winning 10 games.
 

CuseJacket

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And we should have had a 4 TD lead by the 4th quarter. But we didn't.

The first TD was a result of UT getting the ball twice on our side of the field in a row. That's not on the Defense. The third TD was because usually reliable players took bad angles, and their player made a play. That wasn't at all about adjustments or Roof. On their last TD in regulation we had a DB in perfect position and read the play to get an INT but didn't get a quick enough jump on it. That's not on a lack of adjustments. Yes, UT started scoring. They have a lot of talent. You can't expect them not to find something that will work eventually especially once they got momentum back on their side.

We need a defense that can put the game in our offense's hand to decide and that is what we had tonight. Expecting the defense to constantly bail out the team when turnovers and missed FGs happen as much as they did tonight is ridiculous. We lost 6 points on the FG, probably 7 on the second TD, and gave away 7 on the first TD. We don't have a defense, nor should we expect to, to overcome a 20 point deficit like that. This was exactly what I said I was worried about this year, that we would be too reliant on death marches and that we'd end up having long drives end in 0 points that would cost us.

Defense will always be the weaker side of the ball as long as Johnson is here. That's not because of the DC. That's because of Johnson.
I agree with your philosophy on big plays vs. death marches. I'll take 1 play TD drives all day long vs. the additional risk associated with 13 play drives, though those are nice when they also result in 7 points.

The thing with the JJ Green fumble, looking back at the drive chart, is it happened on a 6 play, 82 yard drive. Maybe some of those yards were from the ball rolling, but I wouldn't call that drive a death march. His fumble play was a big run by itself.
 

DvilleJacket

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The block was poorly applied. But, yeah... Bad read. The pitch would had made a difference.. Maybe... We'll never know. I thought we should of ran it up the middle, personally. We were blowing them off the LOS all game.
Totally agree! The line had been road grading the middle the whole game.
 

CuseJacket

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As others have mentioned, I look at the result as coming down to special teams and turnovers.

The tough thing for me is, when you fail in those two areas like we did, it's hard for me to feel like we "dominated" the game. Total yards and TOP are good and should not be ignored. But special teams is not an afterthought - I think @GTNavyNuke has pointed out those are often 15-20% of the plays in a game - and we got owned.

And of course turnovers are empty possessions and momentum swingers. This should hopefully be easier to correct than special teams.

I'm not sure where the Brenton King injury report is coming from. Maybe it's in other threads? I thought he was competing with Davis for starting K up until a few days ago, per CPJ practice reports. I know he was injured earlier in camp, but I took CPJ's comments in the last week to mean that he was at least capable of hitting short FGs, unless of course CPJ was intentionally misleading us which is also possible.
 

John

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The loss, as always, will be a tough pill to swallow although this one wasn't as bad as vs. Miami 2012 (had 23-point lead) and vs. UNC 2015 (had 21-point lead).

Not surprisingly, our need to find scapegoats never elude us after a loss but I feel this is one of those games where we should look at this holistically instead of singling out a single play, player, or unit because there were multiple chances by multiple plays/players/units that would have resulted in a better outcome for us.

Aside from that, I honestly can't believe we had a chance to win even with the four turnovers (I consider the two missed FGs as turnovers). Had just one of around seven to eight things gone our way, we would be having a completely different conversation this morning.

Even with the loss, was happy to see the Jackets back on the field. The players just have four days of rest; I'm certain it'll be much harder for them to flush a game like this to start mentally preparing for the next game (on top of taking care of their academics).
 

GlennW

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Here's something I wanted to throw out for consideration:

As bad as the defense may have seemed, take away the two turnovers that Tennessee turned into 14 points, and eventually forced overtime, the Vols would have only scored 14 points for the entire game because all of the rest of their points came in OT. Personally, I think giving up 14 points to that offense was a pretty good job.

For their first 7 possessions, Tennessee had a TD on a 46 yard drive following one of our fumbles. Their longest drive other than that was a six play, 23 yard drive. The Vols had a TOTAL of 103 yards prior to us missing the Field Goal in the 3rd Quarter. To put things in better perspective, Tennessee had five 3-and-outs in their 11 possessions prior to Overtime.
 

nod

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My takes:
1st Hat's off to the Vols for the win, I think their coach did a good job of not panicking when down by 14 like a lot of coaches would have, believed his player could make plays. The game went their way despite Tech running over them at will. Vol's got penalty when they needed it to kill Tech drive, got turn-over when they needed it, got big play when they needed it. A lot of team would have been demoralized by Tech's run game, Tenn kept playing hard, sign of a good team.

I liked Taquan Marshall running the offense, great 1st start, as impressive as his skills were, I liked his leadership in the huddles / sideline / timeouts. Hard to describe but you can tell players really like to play with him.
Defense looked good. Glaton / Branch / Cerge / Austins / Mitchell all played great.
 

deeeznutz

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Somewhere I thought I heard Jim McElwain say... I want that offense.... :) Could you imagine if we had a D like UF? We'd be unbeatable. *sigh* Can only dream. Just like UF can only dream about our offense.
They've already seen what a team like that would look like...it's just that it was with the coach now up at Ohio State.
 

Pj4prez01

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If only we could afford a top tier DC like Shoop, Chavis, Chizik, etc....

Loss is brutal but like some others have stated, I am optimistic about this team this year based on what I saw tonight. Every piece of this offense was impressive. Defense is still an issue but I am confident we will be better than last year. Pass rush looked a little better and overall seems to be a little more talented than in recent seasons. Special teams is obviously the big question mark.

This was a non-conference game that gave us good exposure against a big name team, and we were clearly better than them. Better for the program than an easy W against Mercer. We found a QB and a BB. Escaped the game without any big injuries it seemed. Losses to Marshall, Benson, or Jahaziel Lee would have really hurt--all were injured at one point but returned. I am now more confident we can compete for an ACC Coastal crown.

If I thought Tenn was halfway decent i would agree with you. But i think UNC, VT, clemson, Miami, and UGA are all better than the team we played last night.

Dont get me wrong, i think we will score a lot of points this year, but so will the teams we play. Without looking at the stats, my guess would be that Tenn was one of the few teams that didnt commit a turnover in week 1 (against an fbs team) which is concerning.
 

Techster

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Here's the bottom line for me:

We were as dominant of an offense as I've ever seen us....and we did it in the first game against a quality team from a power conference. We did it with a new QB, new BB, and new Center. Think about that. The "spine" of our offense was new, and we whupped UT. Usually it takes us 3-4 games to get going like that. Except for 3 plays (Taquan's 1st fumble, JJ's fumble, and the goal line stop), we were outstanding. I said it earlier, but Tennessee did NOT want to be there during the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Everyone on the UT sideline was resigned to defeat.

We were headed for the endzone had JJ not fumbled. And if our kicker makes that last field goal, that's a 10 point win for us.

After thinking about it, I'm worried about our defense. This is why: UT lost their QB to graduation (and the NFL), lost their starting OT, had to replace their biggest weapon on offense (WR went out due to wrist injury) and a bunch of other guys to suspension. I also believe they lost their starting RB. Yet, somehow, our veteran defense let UT come roaring back. If we don't start cleaning things up on the defensive side of the ball, it may be 2012 all over again and our offense will be forced to outscore our opponents. UT OC adjusted to our defense and just picked us apart in the second half.

Overall, much more postives than negatives to work with going forward. Like I said, our "spine" is young, and that was the first time they all played together. Add to that, our skill position players are the best collection we've had under CPJ, and our OL is the best we've had as well. Once our "spine" matures and fully works well together, this could be a SCARY offense.

IMO, we'll go as far as our defense will take us. We won't be able to outscore everyone even though I think our offense is just getting started. Our defense has to step up.
 

Sideways

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So every give to Benson was a called play and the only option was whether Marshall was going to pitch or not on counter plays? I confess I was so caught up in the emotion of the game I missed that in real time.

Others more knowledgeable would best determine that. I would not go so far as to say EVERY give to Benson was a called play. We did run some veer it looked like and the usual counter traps and counter delay with T running the ball. Don't know if that was with a double option or not. Hard to tell unless you know what to look for. Ask the experts.
 

okiemon

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This is a team that can win our division and play in the ACC title game. I watched Miami, VT, Pitt and UNC this weekend. Absolutely no reason we can't beat all 4 of them.

I hope you're right, but, realistically, it will be a challenge. At least two of those teams you mention — Miami and VT — have far better defenses than Tennessee, so we probably won't be gaining 600+ yards nor scoring 40+ points on them. They also have far better offenses than Tennessee, so unless our D improves dramatically, I don't see us holding them like we did UT in the first half last night. And until the D shows it has improved dramatically, I don't even want to think about Clemson and UGA.
 

Pj4prez01

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Too many pages to go back, and i will rewatch to confirm, but the initial poster was correct that we didnt run any 3O last night. It shouldnt be surprising though as jt and vad didnt run any there first couple games either. Its such a tough play to execute, and pj can typically guess correctly from the sidelines anyway, so thats what you saw.
 

Sideways

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Point... Very good point.. Look at Bama and Clem and Son. Both have stout Ds. I mean stout. Sad part, I think Clem is better on D, this year, than last. I already dread playing them. I don't think UT is a good team.. They are above average. But, they will lost to UGA and the hapless, scoreless, offensively challenged Gators. UT is an 8 win team, at best. I am pretty sure we'll whip JSU. Pitt looked awful, so I foresee either a shootout, or decently high scoring game. Pitt still has an ok offense. Their D is worse than ours, I think. So, here's to 2 wins. Yeah, the D will look good against JSU.. Just because of the talent gap. The rest of the season, beyond that will define the D and the team.

I will admit it. I was marginally concerned about the possibility, however remote, that JSU could spring an upset with us coming off an emotional game and playing just a few days later but after watching that offensive juggernaut...Nah they just will not be able to match us touchdown for touchdown. The rest of the season I will worry about at the appropriate time and at the risk of being redundant, Coach Roof and his assistants need to strive for weekly, incremental improvement on defense. Just get better and let the chips fall where they may. It is all we can ask as fans. Our men are playing their hearts out it was apparent at least to me that the effort and the desire are there.
 
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