First of all, let me say that I am NOT a CPJ hater. I like him as a man and as our coach. But for me what changed the game yesterday was not the bizarre penalty against Davis, it was Tech's first offensive series in the second half. Why did we come out passing after cramming it down GSU's throat on the ground in the first half with just enough passes thrown in to confuse the Eagles? Coming out passing for no apparent reason with a 25 point lead reminds me way too much of the Utah Sun Bowl, the 2012 Miami game, and, most recently, the 2013 Georgia game. It APPEARS to me that Johnson doesn't know how to handle a big lead. Instead of continuing with what works, he starts playing games, and invariably that has backfired on him. We were fortunate to win yesterday, and I am happy with that win, but I really feel like if we had come out in attack mode at the top of the second half, none of what in fact followed would have. Johnson often blames these things on a failure to execute, but there's no way of saying that about the first offensive series of the second half, when what he did was call plays that he hadn't been calling in the first half and IMO didn't need to be calling when he did. He needs to get a killer instinct and just keep pounding and pounding with what obviously works. When it stops working, then and only then is there a need to try something different. That's just my 2 cents worth.
I am mostly with you. I have no problem at all with a tough running offense. Period. Therefore, I love how the passing game is built on the back of running the ball. So I hate possessions that don't seem
to my eyes to do that very thing. As for the first possession of the 2nd half, however, I am less harsh than you because of two considerations: 1) CPJ at halftime would have kind of planned the first possession based on what he expected GSU to try and do to compensate for the fact Tech's running game had been so effective and also based on tendencies he thought he could exploit. 2) He must have seen GSU's alignments and reactions as most likely to allow for an "explosion play" or 1-2-3 play TD scoring drive in the passing game. That is, I think he really wanted to have a deflating and fast scoring drive right away and so went to higher risk higher reward plays. He also knew that Smelter and Waller had such an advantage size and strength wise on the coverage.
Now, one specific pass play did
frustrate me at the game. I still haven't re-watched so check my recall), by the way. The pass was after the wheel route to Laskey to convert for a first down maybe on the 2nd or 3rd to last
Tech possession. At that point GSU is right there ready to take the lead. Laskey makes a great play on a well thrown ball to move the chains and we immediately go back to the pass on first down. It is incomplete and the rest of the downs failed and the drive stalled and it was another punt. GSU takes the lead after that. I think watching CPJ's running offense has worked on me to such an extent that I recoil
at some of the pass play calls now. That was one of them on first down when we have just moved the chains and are gaining momentum. I wanted to run it up the gut then and get those tough 3-5 yards. Someone else complained somewhere on this site about pass plays on first down and I tend to agree. I wouldn't even mind seeing a pass play on 3rd and 1 or 2 when everyone in the world knows we will just run up the middle with the QB or BBack because the first down is so assured that way. I say throw the ball on 3rd and 1 sometimes when
we are in 4 down territory.
But I do not put all that much stock or love into my opinions here, its just armchair coaching. At the game my brother pointed out when I complained about the above pass on first down that it wasn't like we had been running the ball nearly as effectively in the second half either. He probably has a good point.