ATLANTA — Paul Johnson had only mixed praise for his team following a lopsided victory in his debut as Georgia Tech's coach.
Johnson says he is a perfectionist who never is completely satisfied, not even with 349 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns in Thursday night's 41-14 victory over Jacksonville State, a Football Championship Subdivision team.
There are no more warm-up games. The Yellow Jackets next play back-to-back road games against Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Boston College and Virginia Tech.
"We're gonna have to get better faster because the competition level is going to get a lot better," Johnson said.
Quarterback Josh Nesbitt and running back Jonathan Dwyer each rushed for two touchdowns. Even so, Johnson said he was disappointed with his offense near the goal line, and he said there were missed opportunities in the passing game.
"We've got a lot of areas to work on," Johnson said. "I think it was good to get out there and play and get some things on tape. They say teams make the most improvement from game one to game two, and certainly we'll need to do that next week."
Georgia Tech impressed Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe with its collection of eight plays of 20 yards or longer.
"Playing against this offense, you can have eight or nine or 10 people doing what they're supposed to do," Crowe said. "If you have one guy that doesn't take the pitch, it can be 40 yards. There were some of those plays in there."
Crowe said his defense spent more than two weeks preparing for the new Georgia Tech offense.
"The rest of these folks will get two days," Crowe said before adding "Good luck, ACC."
Johnson has installed his triple-option attack that he calls a spread option, but he says he didn't use the triple-option that often.
"I think they were geared up to try and stop the triple option, and we didn't run the triple option a lot. ... They were definitely playing the run. That's why they were vulnerable (against the pass) early on. We threw the ball some early on."
Jacksonville State is not an ACC-caliber team, but still the game provided valuable experience for Nesbitt and Dwyer, making their first starts, and for backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw, a freshman who played in his first game.
Shaw played most of the second half and was 3-for-3 passing for 48 yards while running for 51 yards. He had a 43-yard run to set up his 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
"Words can't say how nervous I was," Shaw said. "I thought I did OK tonight."
Shaw said he was "so mad" he tripped at the end of his long run when he was so near the goal line.
"I was thankful for the opportunity to run it (again)," Shaw said.
Dwyer had 11 carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
"We showed our fans and the nation what this offense can do," Dwyer said. "We have a lot of talent here and we were very productive. We have some things to clean up, but we looked pretty good."
Nesbitt rushed for 60 yards with two touchdowns and was 5-for-12 passing for 87 yards.
"I thought Josh played pretty good, really," Johnson said.
"He didn't play perfect, but I thought he did some good things and made some plays. He's like everybody else, he's gonna get better the more he plays."
The Yellow Jackets lost two of five fumbles, including one on a kickoff return.
"Overall we had some players make some big plays, but we weren't near as consistent as I would like, really, on either side of the ball," Johnson said.