TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Charlie Strong of the South Florida Bulls and head coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets shake hands following a game at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Changes coming for Georgia Tech’s kickoff team

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said he will make personnel changes on the kickoff team for the Yellow Jackets’ game at Pittsburgh Saturday.

The unit gave up two kickoffs for touchdowns in Saturday’s loss to South Florida, and Johnson said that the preponderance of freshmen on the field – five for the first touchdown and four for the second – was a factor.

“That’s my fault,” Johnson said. “I should have stopped that. I know better than that. So, get some better people out there and see if we can do a better job.”

There was one starter on the field for the first kickoff returned for a touchdown – linebacker Victor Alexander – and two for the second – safety Tariq Carpenter and Alexander.

“I’ve always said this, and I made it really clear this week,” Johnson said. “Really crystal clear to everyone involved. The punt team and the kickoff team have priority over every other team out there. If you want to save a snap from somebody, you take ’em off offense or you take ’em off defense. You don’t take ’em off the kickoff team or the punt team, because that’s the best way I know to lose a game.”

Shawn Davis will remain the kicker for kickoffs. Johnson said Davis “did a pretty good job kicking the ball off.” Of the first kickoff, to the 2-yard line and on the sideline, Johnson said that “if you’d have dropped it out of a helicopter, you couldn’t have put it in a better spot.”

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