Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/18/11
Paul Johnson likes to keep things simple, despite running one of the most complex offenses in football in the Spread Option. He'll frequently embrace the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) method, stating things to the effect that football is not science. Yet there are elements of science in football and he quoted Albert Einstein in his Tuesday afternoon press conference to prove his point. The response came following a question about the kicking game -- specifically kicker Justin Moore, who had his second field goal in eight tries blocked Saturday in Tech's 24-21 loss to Virginia -- an area that has been difficult for Tech to get right. "The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result," he said. "We've got to get the ball up. We've had some penetration on that team, but when they block it with their facemask then you aren't kicking it high enough. "He's very capable but there's a point where you have to believe what you see. I think at times in practice he kicks it low. He's working on it. He understands that that is something that we need to get better at." Johnson said his Yellow Jackets understand there are things they need to get better at by Saturday at 3:36 p.m., kickoff time in a key Coastal Division game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. The first thing is stopping the run. Tech has allowed 195, 246 and 272 rushing yards in its last three games. The presence of linebacker Daniel Drummond will help, and the potential return of Jeremiah Attaochu, who Johnson put at 75-to-80 percent, would help even more. But Johnson refused to use the injuries as an excuse. Instead, he put the onus more on the coaches. "I think anytime you lose people it's a concern, but I don't know that that's the big problem," he said. "We've got to find something that our guys can do better. They've got to play better and we've got to put them in better positions. That's how it goes, whether it's offense or defense. As a coach we have to put them in position to be successful." Johnson said the 3-4 also should not be an out. "I think too much is made over this scheme vs. that scheme," he said. "The bottom line is that you have to beat blocks, you have to identify formations, and you have to beat them in certain areas to give your guys a chance. We have to do all of the above. We have to get our guys in better spots. Our guys have to do a better job of beating blocks. "They have to do a better job of tackling. I find it hard to believe that a team would be a great 4-3 team but not a great 3-4 team, or vice versa. I think they'd probably be the same within reason no matter how you were lined up." Limiting big running plays is priority No. 1 on defense. Rediscovering the big pass plays is a key in getting the offense cranked up again. Tech has scored 42 points the last two weeks. They had been held below 42 points once in the first five weeks, and although Virginia's defense is stout, Maryland's is not. The lack of big plays in the passing game -- the Jackets have two big plays (plays over 20 yards) through the air over the last six quarters -- certainly has been detrimental. Johnson expects to attempt more than eight passes, which was all quarterback Tevin Washington attempted against Virginia. "It really kind of started in the Maryland game where we missed some opportunities in the first half," Johnson said. "We probably need to throw it a little more in this game and get some confidence back. We need to hit some big plays in the passing game. The thing I've noticed that past two weeks is that we haven't hit any big plays in the passing game. Earlier in the year we were able to hit the play action and do some things." Earlier in the year the team also was fresher. With the Yellow Jackets playing their eighth game in eight weeks and the bye still two games away (theyll host Clemson next Saturday night before their bye week), Johnson stated he and the coaches would make a concerted effort to cut back some in practice. "I think our guys want to win and want to play, I don't doubt that," he said. "They just need a little more in that tank. This week we will try to cut back some more and do some less physical stuff. Hopefully, we can get to the gate a little fresher and play fast like we did early on in the year. It's very important, especially when you have a young team and they need the practice. But, at the same time there's got to be some balance there, and it's our job to find that balance." Johnson is confident his teams mental attitude is fine and that they will bounce back from last weekends loss. "I feel like our guys are going to have a positive attitude," he said. "We're disappointed that we lost, but the sky isn't falling. The team is 6-1. Before you bury us let us play two more games. It seems like everyone wants to end the season and bury the team. Maybe they're right, but let's at least go play and see what happens."
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