Yellow Jackets Slip to 3-3 with 38-20 Loss to BYU


Oct 12, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson talks to quarterback Vad Lee (2) during the first half of a football game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Brigham Young Cougars won 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports

Even on a day where Georgia Tech was able to generate 400 total yards of offense, the end result was far from positive.

Vad Lee struggled throughout the night, finishing just 7 for 20 passing for 133 yards and 0 touchdowns while running for only 41 yards on 21 attempts. This was never more evident, however, than when his errant pass was returned for a 51-yard touchdown by Alani Fua early in the 4th quarter. Frankly, this play ended any legitimate chance of a comeback for the road team, as when Fua crossed the goal line, the Jackets trailed by 18 points with just 11 minutes remaining.

The fact that Lee struggled was only one issue for the Jackets, although it may have been the greatest one. It’s difficult to win when your quarterback mounts a 35% completion percentage, but when that is mitigated by a subpar rushing attack and the game is away from your building, the chances go from “difficult” to “virtually impossible”. It’s fair to note, though, that Lee wasn’t the only member of the Tech offense who struggled.

6 of the 11 ball-carriers for Tech (yes, they used 11 ball-carriers) averaged 4.3 yards per carry or fewer, and only Robert Godhigh had any measure of “sustained” success (Matt Connors had 1 carry for 55 yards), as the senior from Acworth amassed 37 yards on 4 touches. The passing game was equally decrepit, as you would imagine with a QB who completed 7 passes, but that is to be expected at this stage.

Despite the offensive struggles, they were far from the only accountable party, as the previously near-dominant defense has now struggled in back-to-back games. After allowing 45 points to Miami, the Jackets gave up 433 yards of total offense to BYU, while failing to create a single takeaway. Cougars QB Taysom Hill seemed to have the defense solved for the majority of the night, and he needed only a “solid” performance to push the home team to a getaway victory.

I could go on for days about the semi-putrid performance in Provo, but instead I’ll stop here. There will be some not-so-quiet “whispers” calling for Paul Johnson’s job after this game, and it’s tough to combat them. I do believe he’s earned a long leash, but the prospect of a 3-3 record with road games left against Virginia and Clemson (not to mention a home date with Georgia) could spell legitimate issues for the Johnson regime.