But you can’t watch Tech lose 42-41 to a Tennessee team that would go 0-8 in SEC play and not believe that the defensive issues remain systemic. Lest we forget, Tech’s two biggest regular-season victories with Roof as DC came in Athens: In the first, Georgia scored a touchdown to nose ahead with 18 seconds remaining; in the second, Tech’s winning score came after an interception that bounced off a Bulldog receiver. Even on the best of days, there wasn’t much stopping being done.
North Carolina State announced Friday that Roof had been hired as co-defensive coordinator, which was surely Johnson’s way of saying, “I didn’t push him; he jumped.” But theirs was a partnership – not nearly an equal partnership, we stipulate – that had lasted five years, or half Johnson’s time here. For the sake of both parties, it was time to move on.
Yes, they’d won an Orange Bowl together. They’d won it on a night Mississippi State gained 605 yards.