Question & Answer Session with From the Rumble Seat

We caught up with From the Rumble Seat for this week's Q&A.  Be sure to head over their way later this week for our answers to their questions.

STS: Georgia Tech's offense went from cranking on all cylinders to sputtering out of gas the last 3 games.  What's been the difference? What are they looking to do to get it fixed?

Paul Johnson once told his players to "play like a man." This week he was quoted as saying that "we played better defensively...but didn't score enough points to win the game." Paul Johnson is looking to be more efficient with the football and wants to work on scoring more than the opponent.

STS: Tevin Washington seems like a different breed at QB in the triple option than Josh Nesbitt.  He isn't nearly as physically imposing.  Is Washington the long term answer at QB?  Or would Johnson prefer someone with a more physical running style?

Johnson wants two things: execution and lack of turnovers.  His QB's at Navy were Kaipo (5'11", 194#), Lamar Owens (5'9", 185#), Aaron Polanco (6', 200#), etc..  There isn't a consistent size or style requirement because, like any offense, Johnson wants the best QB on the team leading his offense.

A healthy Georgia Tech offense has seen more distribution of carries amongst the backs.  The QB:fullback:slotbacks should have the following distribution 1.6:1.6:1.0.  For every fullback dive, the QB keeps it.  For every 10 slotback pitches, the QB should keep 16 times.  It's a fairly simple ratio.  Tevin's indecisiveness or perhaps over-thinking has blown this ratio up in the last three games.  Tevin is pitching to slotbacks 10 times for every 24 QB keepers.  Fullbacks are getting the ball half as frequently as a normal CPJ offense.  It's been fairly sickening watching the decay of our offense.

STS: From reading Paul Johnson's comments after the Miami game it's obvious he is not happy with the offensive line's play.  What's been the cause of the poor line play?

I like to use 2009 as a benchmark.  In 2009, all of our linemen played every game except for the last 4 where Phil Smith replaced Austin Barrick. Unfortunately, Tech has had to shuffle its interior linemen a good bit in game as Jay Finch has been knocked out the past couple games. Losing a center in any offense is bad.  Losing a center where everything hinges on the QB and fullback dive to gain a yard every other play is catastrophic.

Blocking has been bad in general across all units but penalties from the OL have been crippling, too.  Tech has racked up 10 penalties from the offensive line alone (mostly in false starts) since Maryland.  With an ineffective passing game, Tech can't afford to start a series of downs on 1st and 15. So yes, we can agree with CPJ that the offensive line has struggled but I think with some good breakfasts and a little rest the OL will rebound.

STS: Al Groh seems to be slowly turning around GT's defensive woes from the past few seasons.  What's the strength of GT's D this season?  Where are they vulnerable?

Al Groh separates himself from Dabo Swinney by 26 years not only in life but also in football. That's a long time ago, I mean, NES debuted 26 years ago. Does that date you or what? Al Groh brings a Dabo Swinney lifetime of experience to the table, while Swinney Hulkamania. Our vulnerability is staying up past 10pm and missing the night's episodes of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. We're worried about that 8pm kickoff. Cranky Groh-fense.

STS: Do you have any tips for Clemson fans traveling to Atlanta for the weekend?  Suggestions on food joints and watering holes?

Well, if you walk around campus  you have quite a few food options. There was a pretty ok restaurant called Wingnuts right across the street from the stadium. It was good when you were drunk. But they moved. The Varsity is a classic place, but your 2 Chili Cheese Slaw Dogs, onion rings, and Frosted 'O might add up quick. Arby's, McDonald's, and Burger King are nearby plus a 24-hour Chinese takeout on 10th street called Chinese Buddha. Mick Jagger's been there before so it must be goodie.

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