ATLANTA — With a hallmark, potentially season-turning win over North Carolina on the road last week, it might seem easy to assume that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets would have plenty to smile about this week.
Not the case at all.
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One day after the Yellow Jackets’ 30-24 win over the Tar Heels, head coach Paul Johnson on Sunday was rather subdued in praising his team, citing a myriad of concerns across it.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” he said, “it’s not like we played picture perfect.”
One of the chief problem areas he wanted fixing and immediately: run defense.
In the past six games — dating back to last year’s Georgia-Georgia Tech regular season-finale — seven ballcarriers have amassed 100-yard rushing performances against the Yellow Jackets. The latter three, those from this season, are most worrisome to Johnson, whose defenders are now playing in a newer, supposedly faster and run containing 3-4 defensive scheme.
“I’d say it’s a big concern,” Johnson said.
What started as a little-known trivia fact about the prolific rushers has suddenly blossomed into such a well-detailed statistic that even most casual Yellow Jackets fans are all too familiar with the news.
In addition to North Carolina’s Johnny White (113) last weekend, Kansas’ James Sims rushed for 101 yards the week before and South Carolina State’s Asheton Jordon had 129 in the season-opener.
According to the Yellow Jackets themselves, the high totals can only be attributed to two things; missed tackles and misread assignments.
As far as the tackles are concerned, several players said there has been an added emphasis in practices this week on bringing ballcarriers to the ground in perfect, fundamentally-sound methods...
For more on this story, read Thursday's Telegraph or go to macon.com Thursday morning.