October 4, 2009

Wommack breaks down MSU game

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Dave Wommack's players made big enough plays to pull out a win on the road at Mississippi State Saturday night. Jacketsonline caught up with Wommack to talk about the defensive game plan and what worked and what didn't after the game Saturday.

What did you like from the defense?

"It was good to get the turnovers and we were flying around out there, but we missed a bunch of open field tackles. We were chasing some people in some zones. In the first half, I do not think we squeezed the option and got someone over the top like we needed to. The linebacker was biting a little bit on that. Obviously we still have some work to do."

Do you think the tackling was weak?

"Yeah we were taking shots at them and treating everything like it was the second guy coming in to clean up. We missed a lot of tackles in the open field and there is going to be a lot of hidden yardage with that."

Brad Jefferson talked about how you noticed how the Bulldogs carried the ball loosely. When did you emphasize punching the ball out to create turnovers?

"We showed them right before we loaded the bus actually. We showed them some technique on how they were turning it over and that kind of thing. They were holding the ball out there and we showed them all of their turnovers we got against them last year as well and the turnovers they had this year."

Did you make some changes in the secondary towards the end of the game especially after Rod Sweeting got hurt?

"We went to a three man rush and had more defensive backs in there. We were in a 3-3-5 look. Sweeting also got hurt."

How did Martin Frierson and Michael Peterson perform once they got in there late in the game?

"I think at times they did some good things, but we still got some work to do. They did a good job of empting out on us and changing it up. They ran some zones and some crossing routes to reroute us in our zone."

How impressed were you with the red zone defense that created turnovers on the goal line?

"If they can't get it into score you are in good shape. We gave up 24 points in the game and we could have given up more if we did not stop them down there. That is why you play defense and that is part of guy's getting turnovers. It is a good thing we did that.

What effect did the dominant performance of the offense and their controlling of the clock help your defense?

"Obviously, that is one of the great things about being at Georgia Tech. It is one of the reasons Paul Johnson has been so successful over the year. They can control the clock and they have always been able to run the ball effectively. If you can do those things right there and get some turnovers, you will be successful. We have to get better on defense. There is no question about it. We gave a four-man rush and dropped the rest into coverage. We were able to do that at the end of the game, but we need to get better overall on defense."

How important was Anthony Egbuniwe's play at the beginning of the game with the sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery in terms of giving the defense some momentum?

"I think it was important. They made a long first down after a safety bit inside when he was supposed to be sitting down on the quarterback. We come back on the next play and get the turnover, so obviously turnovers are huge and they were the difference in the game."

How different is this offense compared to other teams you face?

"I think you will have to classify this team as half-option and a half-spread offense. The number one thing here is to control the ball. You have to be able to stop this team from running the football. I don't know if we did a good job of that. We did a good job of getting turnovers and that is all we did tonight.

Brad Jefferson also talked about the difficulty in getting defensive calls in because of the cowbells and all the crowd noise in the stadium. Is that something you need to work on because Florida State can be much louder than this stadium?

"From day one with all of our kids we have taught them all the signals. Everyone across the board knows the signals and that is why we don't huddle up as much anymore. Everybody should be able to get the signals. We also have wristbands that we use and kids can go off of those plays. That should not even be an issue."

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