Georgia Tech offense can continue to improve

Johnson believes his offense must fix miscues before facing UNC

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerSeptember 17, 2013 

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Tech offense has scored 108 points in its first two games. That includes 38 points in the ACC opener against Duke. Still, coach Paul Johnson believes the Yellow Jackets can continue to get better on offense.

After prefacing his postgame comments with his traditional, "We did some good things," Johnson lamented many ways the offense misfired and failed to take advantage of all of its opportunities. Such lost chances will be more hurtful this week against a North Carolina team that's expected to contend in the ACC's Coastal Division.

"We left some points on the field," Johnson said, referring to the Duke game. "We had two or three other passes that we could have hit for touchdowns or big gains. As we move on and the competition gets better we can't afford to do that."

The Tech offense accumulated 344 yards rushing and 125 passing, resulting in 28 first downs. There were two fumbles, neither of them lost, and one interception by Vad Lee, who threw four touchdown passes in his first ACC start.

"He made some big plays, but he also missed some that were wide open that could have been big plays. A young guy is going to do that, and that's why I'm saying, the more he plays the better he's going to get."

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora was impressed with Lee's performance against Duke.

"You know the kid can (run), you can put him in situations where he can beat you with his arm," Fedora said. "You watch the Duke game and what did he throw? Three or four touchdown passes? So there's your threat. You get down in the red zone and those areas and now you're trying to stop the triple option and deflect passes off of him. It's tough. It's very tough."

Lee was good enough to be named the ACC's Offensive Back of the Week, the first Tech quarterback to earn the honor since Reggie Ball in 2006. Shaq Mason, the starting right guard, had 16 knockdown blocks and was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

Tech's stable of running backs played well against Duke. A-back Robert Godhigh led the team with 79 yards on just four carries, thanks largely to a 44-yard run. B-back David Sims carried 14 times for 65 yards.

"We were efficient. That's about where it was," Johnson said. "We can do better."

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said his defense will continue to take an aggressive stance against Tech's offense.

"You want to play aggressively," he said "But at the same time you've got to be responsible for your job. You have option responsibilities no matter how aggressive you want to be. If you have the dive, you've got to take the dive. If you've got the quarterback, you have to take the quarterback, you can't help out on the dive just because you want to go get the guy. It boils down to being very disciplined. You can still play hard and be disciplined. So if we play hard and we've got a lot of guys running the football, we've got a chance."

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