Tech trying to stay positive after third consecutive loss

Coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets speaks in his radio during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Miami won 35-21. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Though his team played as hard as it has all season, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said on Monday that they have to flush the disappointment of Saturday’s 37-34 loss to Pittsburgh and begin focusing on a good Georgia Southern team.

“Win or lose, you have to flush it on Monday and go to the next game,” he said. “That’s what it’s about.”

The difference in winning and losing Saturday’s game didn’t come down to the tipped pass that turned into a 74-yard touchdown for Scott Orndoff, according to Johnson. Nor did it come down to the inability to pick up three feet on fourth-and-1 on the 34-yard line on Tech’s ensuing possession.

Johnson said there were as many as 15 plays that contributed to the Yellow Jackets (3-3, 1-3 ACC) losing their third consecutive game.

“Guys aren’t dumb,” he said. “They can look at the tape and see and understand what happened. They know.”

Linebacker Brant Mitchell said little details such as not being in the right gap or not running the correct blitz pattern are a few examples of mistakes in last week’s loss.

“We’re frustrated,” he said. “It’s hard not to be like that when you lose a game like that by a field goal. Looking back and watching film today, it’s just a step here and a step there. It’s the little stuff. We just have to find a way to win.”

Defensive end Keshun Freeman said he is focusing on making sure his teammates don’t stay frustrated because he said that is when the entire team’s energy will decline. Freeman said Tech’s locker room seems positive and that the players are looking forward to Saturday’s game.

“We can look back as much as we want to but we can’t change those things,” he said. “We just have to stay looking forward, look at the things we can gain for the rest of the season and just stay positive.”

Tech may have to face the Eagles (3-2, 2-1 Sun Belt) without starting linebacker P.J. Davis and starting right tackle Trey Klock, who left the Pittsburgh game with injuries. Johnson didn’t have updates on the two on Monday.

Davis is tied for the team lead in tackles (34). He was seen grabbing his hamstring during Saturday’s game. If he can’t play, Victor Alexander may start. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof said there are myriad options at the position, but he expects Alexander to prepare as if he’s going to play the whole game. Alexander, a sophomore from Jacksonville, has nine tackles in six games.

“Vic is hard-nosed and he’s going to hit,” Mitchell said. “He’s going to run to the ball.”

Klock’s injury hasn’t been announced. If he can’t play, junior Andrew Marshall and redshirt junior Eason Fromayan will likely start. Klock previously missed the Vanderbilt, Clemson and Miami games because of an ankle injury. He started against Pittsburgh.

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