Georgia Tech's success on depends run game

Yellow Jackets have passed 20 or more times in each of their four losses

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerNovember 19, 2013 

ATLANTA -- When fans cry out for Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson to throw the ball more often, he points to the numbers. The truth remains that more the Yellow Jackets throw the ball, the more trouble they have.

"We've lost four games, and in each of those games we've thrown it 20 or more times," Johnson said. "For us to be successful, we need to run the ball successfully. That gives us the best chance to win."

Here's the evidence:

• Against Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech completed 7 of 24 with two interceptions for 144 yards

• Against Miami, Tech completed 6 of 19 with two interceptions for 66 yards

• Against BYU, Tech completed 11 of 24 passes with one interception for 163 yards

• Against Clemson, Tech completed 15 of 26 passes with one interception for 192 yards

In those four games, Tech completed 39 of 93 passes (41.9 percent) with six interceptions and no touchdowns.

"We're at practice every day and we're doing the thing that we think gives us the best chance to win the game," Johnson said. "If I thought that throwing it 50 times a game would give us the best chance, we'd be chunking it."

And while it is unlikely to see Tech transition into a run-and-shoot offense, it is equally unlikely to see a change at quarterback. Vad Lee will continue to start and get most of the snaps, although backup Justin Thomas could see more time this week against Alabama A&M.

While it may not matter this week against Alabama A&M, injuries are continuing to take their toll on the offensive line. Chase Roberts suffered a concussion against Clemson and is doubtful for this week. Shaq Mason was dinged up in the game, but should play. Veteran Ray Beno returned last week, but there's still no sign of tackle Morgan Bailey, who has missed five straight games and played in only three games.

"We've got a lot of guys banged up," Johnson said. "We may sit a couple out on Saturday to make sure we're healthy for the last game."

Notes: The kickoff for the Georgia game on Nov. 30 has been set for 3:30 and will be televised by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. … The ACC Coastal Division is still undecided and there are still nine of the 32 scenarios that would put Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game. Duke would win the division with victories in its last two games against Wake Forest and North Carolina. Should Duke lose one of those games, Tech would have a share of the regular season championship. … Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu, who is four sacks short of tying the school's career record, has been invited to play in the Senior Bowl.

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