The problem was so pronounced to coach Paul Johnson that, after the Jackets won the coin toss against Miami, he elected to go against his convention of deferring to the second half and took the opening kick to try to avoid falling behind. It didn’t work, as the Jackets punted and Miami drove for the first score. It dropped Tech to 18-31 in Johnson’s tenure when the opponent has scored first.
In their five games, the Panthers have scored three times on their opening drive, all touchdowns.
Defensive end Rod Rook-Chungong called the trend “embarrassing” and was eager to break it.
“But we have to start fast,” he said. “We can’t be the nail. We’ve got to be the hammer on the first series. Every drive, but especially that first series because that sets the tempo of the game.”