October 21, 2017 Atlanta - Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson instructs Georgia Tech running back Clinton Lynch (22) in the second half of an NCAA college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Georgia Tech beat Wake Forest 38-24. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/Hyosub Shin/AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC/Hyosub Shin/AJC

Paul Johnson: Wrong strategy on two-point try

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson had a simple explanation for his decision to go for a two-point conversion after a touchdown cut Wake Forest’s lead to 21-19 with 12:55 to play in the third quarter Saturday night.

He made a mistake.

“I’ve coached long enough, I know better than to chase those two points,” Johnson said after the game, a 38-24 win. “Especially in the third quarter. It was 21-19, Everything is, ‘You’ve got to go for two.’ But you start chasing them and then you can’t get off. You’ve got to keep chasing them.”

Johnson’s decision to go for two backfired when quarterback TaQuon Marshall was tackled shy of the goal line on an option play. After Tech scored a touchdown at the 4:35 mark to take the lead at 25-24, Johnson went for two again to try to increase the lead to 27-24, and the Jackets again failed, this time when Marshall’s pass to A-back Clinton Lynch was incomplete.

“That’s on me,” Johnson said. “The way we ran them, they were awful play calls. We tried to run the zone option on the first one that we worked on all week and the second one was a little rub route with three gusy and we pulled it down and kept reverse field. We might could’ve run it, but (Marshall) tried to kill Clinton with it. He threw it like a low fastball.”

It was not Tech’s final adventure with a point-after try. Kicker Brenton King’s point-after try at the 11:55 mark of the fourth quarter was blocked after a low snap by Casey Wilson.

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