Perhaps trying to bring his defense some luck, Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof chose to call plays from the coaching box for the first time this season in Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern.
It served its purpose at least early on, as the Yellow Jackets stopped the Eagles on their opening drive. It broke a five-game streak in which the opposition had scored touchdowns on its first possession of the game. Tech entered the game ranked 78th in defensive yards-per-play at 5.68 and 106th in third-down conversion rate at 45.68 percent. The Jackets struggled again on third downs, but Georgia Southern averaged 4.0 yards per game.
Coach Paul Johnson said that Roof came to him Monday and asked if it would be OK if he coached from the box. Johnson was fine with the switch.
“Personally, I think he was better off up there anyway,” Johnson said. “You can see better. … I’ve thought about going up there myself.”
Roof has tried both previously. In 2013, his first season, he started on the field, but then asked Johnson prior to the Syracuse game if he minded if he went upstairs. Like Saturday, Tech was in a three-game losing streak at that point.
“So I did, and we shut ’em out and I said, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just stay up here,’” Roof said in September.
He had been up in the box ever since until the first game of this season.
“Just felt like I wanted to do it,” he said. “So I did it.”