Plethora of missed assignments by Georgia Tech against Clemson

TaQuon Marshall talks to his head coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during their game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Credit: Streeter Lecka

Credit: Streeter Lecka

On Monday, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s assessment of the Yellow Jackets’ 24-10 loss to Clemson was not much different than it was after the game Saturday night. However, after the coaching staff reviewed the game video, he had a number to illustrate the offense’s mistake-ridden performance.

Out of 56 snaps, he said, there were 29 plays in which one or more players missed an assignment. That isn’t a player getting beaten, but simply not following through on his assigned responsibility.

“We didn’t play well,” Johnson said following the team’s Monday practice. “Not just (quarterback TaQuon Marshall). I didn’t do a good job getting ’em ready. Clearly, if you have that many missed assignments, we’re not on the same page.”

The Tech defense fared better than the offense did, and held Clemson to three points after halftime. Johnson noted that Clemson “kind of self-imploded themselves on offense with penalties and snapping it over their head and this, that and the other.”

In the game, Tech gained 230 yards, 51 percent of the season average. On Tech’s 56 plays, the Jackets were tackled for loss 11 times. Johnson did say that Marshall missed reads in the option and that the line made some poor calls at the line to communicate blocking assignments, allowing Clemson defenders to freely attack Marshall and the Tech running backs. Marshall also said that he should have done a better job pitching the ball on option plays to the A-backs. He said that Clemson’s defense made him tentative.

Johnson owned what he thought was a mistake in his management of the game, not letting quarterback Matthew Jordan play a series earlier than he did to give Marshall a chance to settle himself. Jordan came in the game near the end of the third quarter and moved the ball before getting injured and leaving the game. By that point the score was 24-3 in Clemson’s favor.

Johnson also pointed out that Clemson has a superior defense that has controlled nearly all of its opponents. The Tigers have held every opponent besides Syracuse to 21 points or fewer, and six of eight have scored 17 or fewer.

“You’ve got to play good,” Johnson said. “We were talking (Monday), I was telling TaQuon, I’d love to play them again, and he would, too. But you don’t. You flush it and you move on. They won.”

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