When the TV announcer said Paul Johnson stood 29-2 as coach at Georgia Tech when entering the fourth quarter with a lead, our inclination was to put this one in the book.
Who knew it would be the "Book of Mormon," where nothing is at it seems?
The Yellow Jackets' lead was against Utah in the Sun Bowl -- two touchdowns -- was hardly negligible. This was an offense designed to eat up clock in large bites. Surely Tech could pull off enough 30-second runs off the triple option to fix a negative number -- six bowl losses in a row.
But, no. The offense went comatose, the defense allowed a few big pass plays and steady runs by John White IV -- Tech can only hope there will be no V -- and. beset by injuries to four key players, went belly-up 30-27 in overtime.
A punch in the gut, is how Johnson described it, after having begun celebrating when a Tech field goal at the end of regulation seemed headed between the uprights, only to veer off to the right.
A spanking from Georgia and a bowl defeat to a slightly inferior team puts a New Year's Day hangover on the season. Eight wins was a reasonable goal going in. Coming out, it is a downer.
Going forward, as they say, Johnson needs to persuade another receiver to join Stephen Hill so he could dial up a few more passes and keep the defense honest. Capable quarterback Tevin Washington will be better as a senior, so the stubborn coach would be well advised to bring a modicum of balance to the play calls.
Those fourth-quarter leads would become easier to put in the right book.