Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson instructs running back Melvin Davis (23) in the second half of the opener against Alcorn State on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
Photo: Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com

Paul Johnson moving past officiating in Georgia Tech’s opener

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson made clear his perspective on the officiating in Saturday’s 41-0 win over Alcorn State after the game when he was asked to comment on it.

“Not going to get me on that one,” he said. “Next.”

There were a handful of calls that Tech fans took issue with, notably a pass-interference penalty against Jalen Camp in which he and a Braves cornerback tangled and Camp fell down, leading to an interception. A sideline catch that Camp made that was ruled out of bounds was another, and a sneak by quarterback Tobias Oliver that was ruled short of the goal line was a third.

Sunday night on his teleconference, Johnson was asked if he would ask the ACC to review any plays, as is common practice. The conference office looks at the plays and informs the teams whether the play was called accurately. Johnson said he doesn’t do that anymore, calling it a waste of time. He has made that observation previously.

“So what if they say it’s a touchdown?” Johnson asked. “What do you get?”

He went on.

If a missed call ultimately leads to a loss that results in the coach losing his job, “do they come help you pack your moving van?” Johnson asked. “Do they come to your house or what?”

Johnson surmised that the Oliver run was not reviewed because the score at that point was already 41-0. His issue was more with the execution of the play.

“It didn’t have to be close,” he said. “It could have been well into the end zone if we did the thing right. I was more upset with that than I was the review.”

In the first game of a new NCAA rule that seems to have an implication for Tech’s offense, the Jackets were not called for blocking below the waist more than five yards down the field, which is now illegal.

“I wasn’t expecting one,” Johnson said “I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think you’ve almost got to be looking for it to call it. I talked to (officials) before the game about it. I think they had a sense of it, and it never really happened.”

Related Stories