When Paul Johnson said before the season that this year’s Tech team might play better, but lose more games than last year’s team, that was a trade-off I was willing to take. I’d much rather the team play well, and lose for reasons due to talent, than to play poorly, and lose games they should win. Guess which of those we’ve seen so far this year?
I’m not going to call out the defense here, or the defensive coaches, since this is year one in a new system, and the personnel doesn’t quite fit yet. The offense, however, has several players that need a wakeup call. Anthony Allen excelled at Aback last year, and his transition to B back has been rough, to say the least. One thing this offense cannot afford is putting the ball on the ground, and Allen did so twice Saturday. Simply unacceptable. If the roster is four deep at B back, I say let’s give some of the other guys a look. Another player that’s jumped out to me for the wrong reasons is Roddy Jones. He’s been called out by the coaches for his lack of effort blocking down the field, and on Saturday, he and Nesbitt weren’t on the same page in the passing game, and the consensus is that Jones was running the routes incorrectly. He can have a seat next to Allen. Orwin Smith and B.J. Bostic have been the most dynamic players at A back so far, and they take advantage of the limited playing time they get. I’ll also mention the play of Joshua Nesbitt here, as he’s been erratic in the passing game. We all know that he’s not the world’s most accurate passer, but the vast majority of his throws this past weekend were high and wide of the mark, and he didn’t bother to set his feet after rolling out, causing the ball to sail. This offense will never lead the world in passing, but it needs to be able to throw the ball some, and do so effectively. The fundamentals of throwing on target passes don’t change, even for option quarterbacks. Set your feet, Joshua.
I said this after the Kansas loss, but these problems stem from focus and execution. If players can’t hang onto the football, or can’t run the right routes, they need to have a seat. Losing with guys that play well and execute is far, far better than losing with guys that lack focus and turn the ball over.