September 30, 2017 Atlanta - Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson instructs quarterback TaQuon Marshall (16) in the second half of an NCAA college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Georgia Tech won 33 - 7 over the North Carolina. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Johnson: Defensive play calling, execution need improvement

On Miami’s game-winning drive against Georgia Tech Saturday, coach Paul Johnson acknowledged that the play calling by defensive coordinator Ted Roof could have been better. The Hurricanes drove 85 yards in 15 plays for the go-ahead field goal in their 25-24 win, including a series of bubble screens that the Jackets couldn’t stop.

“Certainly as coaches, we need to take some of the responsibility, and some of it is execution, as well,” Johnson said Monday following the team’s first practice of the week. “The killer was missing tackles. Could we have been in something better to help us against certain plays? Probably yes. It’s something that we’ve got to look at and get better at.”

Johnson again expressed his disappointment with the defensive play in one- and two-minute situations. Miami drove 77 yards for a touchdown on its final possession of the first half and then 85 yards for the game-winning field goal at the end of the game. It has been a recurring problem through five games.

“We’ve got to do better,” Johnson said. “If you take away the last drive of the first half and the last drive of the game, we played good enough on defense to win, probably, but you can’t take those away. They’re momentum killers, and it’s not like they’re taking it over on their 30. They’re going a long way. So we worked on it, and we’ve got to continue to work on it. I’ve got to do a better job helping with it, too.”

On his radio show on 680 the Fan Monday evening, Johnson also pointed the finger at himself, saying that there are times when his play calling on offense can be better.

Johnson also noted, though, that had Tech been able to stop Miami on its fourth-and-10 play that went for a 28-yard completion after the ball bounced off cornerback Lamont Simmons’ wrist and then receiver Darrell Langham’s helmet, the Jackets would have won.

“I mean, sometimes it just happens,” he said.

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