Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson picks apart 70-point win

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerSeptember 3, 2013 

SPORTS FBC-ELON-GATECH 4 AT

JOHNNY CRAWFORD/MCTGeorgia Tech's Nick Menocal, left, and Beau Hankins tackle Elon's Thuc Phan for a 2-yard loss during Saturday's game.

JOHNNY CRAWFORD — MCT

ATLANTA -- It's hard to quibble with a 70-0 win, but Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson still found plenty of things that need improvement. The players will know all about it when he shows them the game film on Wednesday afternoon, Johnson said.

One thing that didn't go as well as Johnson would have liked in the season opener was the defense's inability to close on third down.

"I don't know what our third-down conversions defensively were," Johnson said afterwards. "They couldn't have been great. We had a hard time getting them off the field. The good thing was that when they got down there, we didn't let them score."

Elon was 6-for-16 on third downs.

"That's still not what we achieve for," Johnson said. "The bottom line is they didn't score. That's what happens when you get turnovers like that. The game was out of reach before the offense really had to do anything. When we started the game the defense got a few turnovers and the game's gone."

Brandon Watts had nine tackles and Quayshawn Nealy had eight tackles for Georgia Tech.

"A lof of guys got good reps today and we got to see our depth on defense and see guys make plays," said linebacker Tyler Marcodes, who had an interception. "We had a lot of big plays on 'D.'"

Jabari Hunt-Days, who missed spring workouts with an injury, also had an interception and was pleased to be back on the field.

"It's definitely a continuous practice from the end of last season to now," he said. "It's not about what I do individually, but about the whole team. As a team everybody progressed and we had a fun time."

Johnson also singled out the tackling on special teams and the number of missed tackles on defense as being unsatisfactory. Johnson said he also had a discussion with B-back David Sims about ball security. "We didn't have any fumbles, but that wasn't our fault," he said.

Butker's kicking debut

Freshman Harrison Butker made a successful debut as the team's kicker. He made all seven extra points he attempted and was 7-for-9 in kickoffs into the end zone. Butker did not get the opportunity to try a field goal.

"It was really exciting," he said. "Last year I went to all the home games and I envisioned myself kicking and I finally was today. It was a dream come true."

David Scully, who lost the job to Butker, also kicked a pair of extra points and put one of his two kickoffs in the end zone.

Using the off week

Georgia Tech doesn't play this week. The Yellow Jackets open the ACC schedule on Sept. 14 at Duke, a team that Tech has beaten for nine straight years.

Duke has retooled its offense and isn't as reliant on the pass. The Blue Devils also have a new defensive coordinator. Duke bowled over North Carolina Central 45-0 in its opener and plays at Memphis on Saturday.

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