Genius at work

I never get tired of seeing stats like these.

… Tech has been searching for a wide receiver since the Denver Broncos took Demaryius Thomas in the first round of last year’s NFL draft. The Yellow Jackets’ leading receiver last season was Stephen Hill, who caught just 15 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns. No other wide receiver caught more than six passes…

… The Yellow Jackets were counting on Hill to emerge as their deep threat following Thomas’ departure, but he never came close to providing the same kind of big-play ability as his predecessor last season. Hill caught just three passes — including a 79-yard touchdown against Duke — in the last five games of the season…

Again, somebody remind me why Johnson letting Ealey score late in last year’s game so that Tech would have to go the length of the field in something like a minute to have a shot at a tie was such a brilliant move.  Desperate, yes.  But brilliant?  With that receiving corps?

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59 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

59 responses to “Genius at work

  1. fuelk2

    While I’m happy to insult Paul Johnson in a variety of ways, I’m not really sure I’m with you on this one.

    His crappy passing offense didn’t have much of a chance to tie the game, but it had more of a chance than his crappy defense did watching us run the clock out.

    Sometimes it’s smart to know what to do when you’re desperate.

    • Dawgy45

      Appropriate? Probably.
      Smart? Maybe.
      “Richt got out-coached because the Johnson is a freaking genius!!!”? Hardly.

    • Your standards are lower than mine. ;)

      • fuelk2

        I guess I’ll say it’s smart in the same way that crapping in your pants when facing a bear is smart.

        Sure, you will probably just get eaten with dirty britches…….but maybe the bear will leave your stinky ass alone.

        Yes, perfect analogy there.

        • My analogy would be this: You’re on a C-130 cargo plane and some madman has shot both pilots and jumped out with the last parachute. All you have left is an umbrella and a Dora the Explorer backpack. Johnson jumped out with the umbrella.

          It was arguably the better of two terrible options, but it doesn’t make him a genius.

          • SC Dawg

            This is like the bottom of the ninth inning when you’re down by 6 runs and you decide to hide the ball in your first baseman’s glove to tag the runner out at first when he starts to get his lead.

            • fuelk2

              Except you wouldn’t be playing defense in the bottom of the ninth down 6.

              But I see what you’re doing there.

          • Dawgy45

            If the Johnson jumped out with the umbrella, then he made a really bad decision; that backpack always has just what Dora needs in there.

    • ScoutDawg

      Because he is a GENIUS sir.

  2. The other Doug

    It’s a moral victory. You wouldn’t understand.

  3. 81 Dog

    I’m not sure a decision to rely on his crappy passing offense instead of his crappy defense qualifies as insightful genius. For a guy whose teams were trumpted to only get better as time went on, “preseason top 10/ACC championship contenders,” etc, it sounds more like a shell game. “Pay no attention to the fact that my team is taking on water faster than the post-iceberg Titanic. Note the subtle, yet almost divine, cleverness of my decision to go against conventional wisdom, and allow the other team to score, so that I might then have a chance to score AGAIN. ”

    How counter-intuitive! What a stroke of strategic genius!!! Has it ever worked? Um, well, uh, no, but IT COULD WORK IN THEORY!!!!

    While Leonardo da Johnson is inventing new football strategies, some coaches are actually clinging to stodgy old approaches like, well, you know, recruiting good players and teaching them how to play well. Maybe in a few hundred years, someone will come along and rifle through LdJ’s notes and realize it would have worked flawlessly if the proper technology had existed. Or if he just had some guys who could actually play.

    Cheers, nerds.

  4. Yurdle

    Johnson made a desperate play. Its chance of success was pretty much zero, roughly equal to the chance of getting a turn-over from UGA. He should have taken a page from the Colorado playbook.

    • Jim

      Given our penchant for turning the ball over at the most inopportune times last year, my money would have been on GT’s defense or our own ineptitude to prevail over their offense.

      I said then, and I’ll say now, i can’t think of a scenario where the opponent would give me 7 points and i wouldn’t take them. Maybe if our kick coverage team was all hurt and our kicker was incapable of kicking the ball out of bounds – but only maybe in that scenario.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1. Johnson screwed up and out-thunk himself. His best chance was to play D and to try to create a turnover by causing a fumble or blocking a FG try if that was attempted. “Genius” my ass.

  5. The following thought crossed my mind, going back to the allowed Ealey score:

    Assume Ealey has a stroke of real prescience, noticing as he slices through Tech’s line and secondary the ease with which he was doing so. He realizes Johnson’s ruse as he’s heading to the end zone and stops about a foot short and waits. No high-stepping, hand waving or other forms of obvious taunting. Just waiting.

    Finally, Tech’s defenders are compelled to make a play. As they converge on him, Ealey steps over the line and scores the TD Johnson had intended to concede anyway.

    Do the refs throw a flag? I assume they would. So the only real options are to take the knee at the one-foot line, or rush in and score. However foolish it was to score immediately, it would have been doubly so to sacrifice the TD (particularly given Ealey’s history with goal line fumbles).

    So I’m not really sure anyone got outsmarted here. Johnson conceded the touchdown. We accepted the gift. And then we won our ninth of the last 10. Unremarkable, really.

  6. NCT

    Come on, guys. All you have to do is look at the end of the 2009 game to see how successful Johnson’s offense could be when all it has to do is score on its final possession. Genius, indeed.

  7. Go Dawgs!

    I would love to hear Johnson’s recruiting pitch to a blue chip wide receiver, given those numbers. If Johnson ever has a great receiver again, it’s going to be because he gets lucky and finds a diamond in the rough that develops into something special once they’re there.

  8. retwely

    PAUL JOHNSON IS A GENIUS DAMNIT!!! WHY DONT U NOTICE HIM?!?!?!?! COACHES WHO ARE POLITE TO THE MEDIA ARE WUSSES AND NOT GENIUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!11 HE BEAT GEORGIA ONCE DONT YALL REMEMBER? HE IS A GENIUS AND NOT A WUSS LIKE THOSE OTHER WUSSY COACHES WHO ARENT GENIUSES

  9. CarefulFrilot

    and if they did get the unlikely score they would have also needed a two point conversion. All of that to send the game to overtime. Wow, pure genius.
    It was basically like fouling at the end of a basketball game when you are down four. You are just hoping to somehow get the three to go and then on top of that get fouled and make the foul shot just to go to OT. Coaches do it all the time with little hope of success, but when Johnson does it he is a genius!

  10. The potential FLAG against Ealey if he would not have scored is EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION in CAPITAL letters according to referee betting book. LOL

    Otherwise the referees would have just invented something so UGA can lose the game. I was afraid that interception could have been called by those delusional referees as PASS INTERFERENCE which would have advanced the ball for the genius CPJ.—Conspiracy Theory—but did not happen.

  11. Reptillicide

    I’m sure CPJ isn’t worried what we think about that decision. He has bigger fish to fry.

  12. MinnesotaDawg

    To me, that whole deal is not about Johnson, it’s just about another bone-headed strategic failure by Richt. Sure, GT wasn’t likely to tie it up (only because of the time constraint), but they had a much better chance than if we just downed the ball. I doubt Johnson needs to be lauded for his reasonable, predictable decision, but I certainly don’t think Richt should be defended.

    By the way, Tech did drive it 35 yards in 30 seconds on that last drive before the interception. Considering the shape of our defense and the way last year went overall….I don’t think another 45 yards in 50 seconds was beyond most of our imaginations. Perhaps our coaches just Liked the challenge…

    • Biggus Rickus

      I’d much rather be up 8 with Tech’s god-awful passing game trying to score in a two-minute offense than risk anything going wrong on offense if Ealey didn’t take the TD. I don’t think anyone would be criticizing Richt about that play if Georgia hadn’t been crappy the last two years.

    • carefulBrad

      They moved 35 yards in 30 seconds before the what? Oh yeah, interception that ended the game.

      • MinnesotaDawg

        I guess you missed the point–the game was ALREADY OVER if we just downed the ball. No interception necessary. Even if the likelihood of them scoring on an 80 yard drive was 1% (even with GT’s shitty passing offense, I think it was higher), we prolonged the game, and gave GT a CHANCE to win. Unlike the foolish fans that Richt frequently refers to, I’m not part of the “if we won, it was a good decision…If we lose, it was stupid” crowd.

  13. UNCDAWG

    I was so mad when Ealey scored I almost punched Grandma when I threw my cap. I was ALARMED that he was not told to take a knee by our coaches. The ONLY way GT could have won that game was if Ealy scored a touchdown. I am a 2 season high school RB coach and I knew that. I’m no genius so I would say this doesn’t qualify Paul Johnson. But it does qualify Mike Bieber and Richt as dummies.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I understand your point of view on this but UGA won the game. Let’s be upset about something that causes the team to lose instead. If a car veers into your lane but steers back and misses you there is no damage. No harm no foul. Same thing here.

    • 81Dog

      Dude, with that line of reasoning, I’m pretty sure you aren’t teaching math. 8 is still more than 1, right? If you coach long enough, you may become aware of a concept known as “not overthinking your strategy.” Absent that, maybe you could explain how a genius like you is stuck coaching HS, and dummies like Mark Richt and Mike Bobo lucked up into college jobs. Polish up your resume; Ohio State may be looking for the next Woody Hayes, and you sound like just the ticket.

      • UNCDAWG

        I think you underestimate the “good ole boy” system in place for nabbing a college G.A. position much less a coaching job. But point taken nonetheless. Let’s just say I don’t think we’ll make that same mistake again, and I desperately hope Coach keeps his job because that will likely mean a 2011 SECCG birth. Since last season I honestly feel like they have done everything possible to better the team. (I do realize also that changing OC’s would have pretty much ensured coach a way out the door)

        Apologies to the Senator for an incendiary post. Still a bloggin rookie.

        • 81 Dog

          well, now you’re just making me feel bad.

          I guess anyone could argue the “we should have downed it/we should have scored” issue ad infinitum. We did what we did, and it worked out. It doesnt mean it wouldnt have worked out had we done it your way, but it doesnt mean it would have, either. I dont think it makes Richt and Bobo a couple of naive waifs for taking Fish Fry’s bait (see what I did there?). I dont think it makes Fish Fry a genius because he decided to try an unconventional, and extremely desperate, ploy.

          If you would have run it differently, you can make a good argument for your approach. It might have worked. I just think the ultimate response to “UGA should have done something else,” as Charlie Sheen might say, would be: Duh. Winning!

  14. Two Minute Offense

    Does anyone know how often a two minute offense succeeds (i.e. scores the required number of points)? I ask because I’ve never seen any such stats. My guess is that when a team, regardless of who it is, has to run a two minute offense at the end of the game, the success ratio is fairly low. I say that because it seems to me that if the two minute offenses were all that good, the teams would run them all time.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I think it depends on which team it is. The Falcons have won several games in the last couple of years in the 2 minute offense. In fact, the Falcons beat the Bears in 2009 at the GA Dome on the last possession when the Bears scored what appeared to be the winning TD with only 30 seconds left in the game to go up by 1 point. The Falcons ran back the kickoff to the 50 using about 15 seconds. They then ran a pass play (out pattern) that Ryan threw on the money to the receiver at the 35 just as he was running out of bounds. The Falcons’ kicker then kicked the winning FG with about 2 seconds on the clock. I have seen things like that happen in college football, too. Marino did that sort of thing at Pitt regularly. Remember the 1982 (’81 season) Sugar Bowl? I also distinctly remember the 2001 UGA-UT game at UT where Greene “broke their face.” It happens a lot if the team is a winner. Not so much with losers like the 2010 Tech bunch, though.

  15. Coondawg

    He had a greater chance of creating a turnover than driving the field within the last minute. Giving up points is rarely the answer and it wasnt in this case.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      Seriously? How many times have you seen a college or pro team turn the ball over when the QB is taking a knee. Have you ever? I bet you can find even a lousy offense scoring in 1:21 on any given weekend.

      Just because it didn’t cost us the game, doesn’t excuse the stupidity of the decision. It’s forgivable because we still won, but doesn’t mean it was right.

  16. 69Dawg

    Only the truly fixated give a big rats butt about not taking a knee. It will not be noted in the record book and it looks like we handled them easier than we really did.

  17. DawgBiscuit

    One of my co-workers met a guy that played RB for Johnson at Navy. They started talking football and my co-worker said he thinks Mark Richt is too nice. The RB responded that Johnson is definitely not a nice guy. Said if a player screwed up in practice that Johnson not only hated the player and berated him all the way back to the sideline, but also cursed the player’s mother, father, and entire family.

    I don’t know Paul Johnson, but I’ve always thought he was a prick. It’s nice to know that those who do know him think so too.

  18. Hobnail_Boot

    I am surprised that nobody has brought up the ’05 Auburn game yet.

    Richt should have let them score on the play right after 4th and Willie.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Correctomundo.

    • Bourbon Dawgwalker

      I have been thinking the same thing for years. We could have given Shockley and Pope over a minute to drive the field for a TD, instead we gave them a few seconds. Sometimes the best stategy is to let them score.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Actually it was a weird ruling that caused the problem. Asher Allen punched out the ball from the Auburn receiver’s hands near the goal line and it went forward into the endzone where an Auburn player recovered. Had the ball gone through the endzone it would have been a touchback. But because Auburn recovered the refs ruled that it Auburn got the ball on the 1 which allowed them to run clock. I never have understood why, however. Something about the ball batted forward I think. Anyone know the answer?

        • Red Dawg

          The rule is about a 4th down fumble. Something along the lines of a 4th down fumble, fumbled forward, recovered by the offense results in a dead ball at the spot of the fumble. Same thing happened in 2006 at South Carolina. Blake Mitchell fumbled on 4th and goal forward into the endzone. A Carolina player recovered the ball so Georgia got the ball at the spot of the fumble. If that same play happens on 3rd and goal it results in a Carolina TD. In the case of Auburn 2005, the spot of the fumble resulted in 1st & goal Auburn.

          • fetch

            Yeah, a ball fumbled forward on 4th down has to be recovered by the player that fumbled it (or the opposing team) otherwise, the ball is dead at the spot it was fumbled.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Well, in a perverse way getting the ball on the 1 rather than getting the TD actually HELPED Auburn.

  19. zdub

    Who’s to say the coaches told Ealey to take a knee if he got the 1st and he just flat out did not listen to them?

    Would that surprise anyone given Ealey’s past attitude?

    • Dboy

      Richt admitted after the game that he was out maneuvered by CPJ and had not thought to tell Ealy not to score

  20. Dboy

    I don’t think CPJ Is a genius but it was a smart move. It made UGA kick off, allowed for a possible KO return for TD or at least decent field position and at a slim chance to score. It was a longshot but is was the smart move given their abysmal chances of coming back if they just let UGA run out the clock

  21. shane#1

    Remember that there is a thin line between genius and insanity, in fact, they are not mutually exclusive. Now where did I leave my foil cap?

  22. Dawg85

    Such is life. It was a desperate move to be sure. One that gave them a slim chance. Do I blame Ealey? Nah. Kid gets a waltz to the goal line. It happened too fast. I don’t even blame CMR. Hopefully it won’t happen again though. Then there will be blame to go around.

  23. Stoopnagle

    Look! A two-headed emu!

    • shane#1

      I caught a two headed Bull Snake one time. That snake would have been worth a lot of money too. I had to work late one day and missed feeding time, by the time I got home one head was swallowing the other head and before I could stop him that snake ate himself. And that’s the truth!