Georgia Tech vs. Kansas
When: Noon, Sept. 11
Where: Lawrence, Kan.
TV, radio: Fox Sports Net, 1240-AM
ATLANTA — The day after No. 16 Georgia Tech beat South Carolina State 41-10, Paul Johnson scoffed at less important numbers from the game.
Johnson said Sunday he may be the only one who isn't worried that Joshua Nesbitt completed only one pass. Johnson sounded even less concerned that new starting running back Anthony Allen did not have big numbers in the opening win.
The Yellow Jackets enjoyed good balance, rushing for 372 yards as six players had at least 30 yards rushing in Saturday's opening win. Allen, who has replaced Jonathan Dwyer as the team's featured B-back, had only six carries for 28 yards.
"I think they came in with the mindset they were going to stop the B-back position," Johnson said. "That's pretty much all it was. I don't care who's carrying the ball. As long as the quarterback and the A-backs are making yards, so be it."
Nesbitt ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns as he kept the ball on option plays while the South Carolina defense consistently focused on Allen and the other B-backs.
"The last time I looked it's a team game," Johnson said. "It's not a question of can I get this guy this many yards. The bottom line is you're trying to win."
Nesbitt, the senior who is being pushed by the school as a Heisman Trophy candidate, was 1-for-6 passing for 8 yards with an interception.
"Josh played well," Johnson said. "I didn't think he passed particularly well. ... He had a couple that were off line."
Nesbitt had at least one pass dropped as Georgia Tech adjusts to playing without NFL first-round pick Demaryius Thomas, the team's leading receiver the last two years.
"There's a bunch of areas we need to improve on," Johnson said before mentioning "a ton of missed assignments" on defense.
"Offensively, I don't think we played as fast as we can play," he said. "I certainly don't think we executed as well when we decided to throw the ball. We didn't throw it much. I'm probably not as worried about that as everybody else."
Backup Tevin Washington completed one pass for 4 yards, leaving the Yellow Jackets with 12 yards passing. That's not a major surprise in the spread option offense.
Nesbitt completed 75 of 162 passes (46.3 percent) for 1,701 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions last season, when Georgia Tech ranked second in the nation in rushing but only 116th of 120 FBS schools in passing.
The poor passing numbers became an afterthought when the Yellow Jackets finished 11-3 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
Georgia Tech (1-0) plays at Kansas next week.
"The bottom line is you try to score more points than the other team," Johnson said. "We scored 41 points and they had 10. That will leave everybody else to talk about how we can't throw it. Maybe they're right and maybe they're not. We might throw it next week at Kansas. We might throw it better."