Tech over its win vs. UNC, focused now on N.C. State

Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson says the Yellow Jackets' loss against Kansas just shows room for improvement.

Georgia Tech head football coach Paul Johnson says the Yellow Jackets' loss against Kansas just shows room for improvement.

ATLANTA -- There was plenty of doubt among the media and Georgia Tech's fan base following the Yellow Jackets' loss to Kansas two weeks ago.

However, none of that negativity existed among coach Paul Johnson and his staff or the players.

Likewise after last Saturday's 30-24 road win at North Carolina in the ACC opener, Johnson is not about to let his team's emotions swing too far the other way.

In fact, his message to his team for heading into Saturday's game with N.C. State at Bobby Dodd Stadium is very similar to what it was this time last week.

Two simple words: "Show me."

"I was pleased with the effort last week from our guys and the intensity," Johnson said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. "The challenge (this week) is going to be to see if we can duplicate that or increase it this week."

N.C. State comes into Saturday's game at 3-0 for the first time since 2002 after a 30-19 win over Cincinnati last Saturday.

And the Wolfpack pose quite a threat, especially quarterback Russell Wilson, who has thrown for 744 yards and 8 TDs on 57-of-101 passing through the first three games.

But the other dimension of N.C. States offense has Johnson just as concerned.

Wolfpack freshman running back Mustafa "Moose" Green earned the ACC's Rookie of the Week honor after rolling up 138 all-purpose yards -- 84 on the ground -- and a touchdown last week against the Bearcats.

He's also second on the team in both all-purpose yards (256) and total offense (174), and Johnson knows the Jackets will have their hands full making sure the Moose doesn't break loose.

"He's got good speed and ... bounce," Johnson said of Green.

The Tech defense put up a stout effort in the second half last week, holding North Carolina to just 181 yards and 14 points in the final three quarters, with ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week Izaan Cross (five tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a pass breakup) leading the way.

However, Johnson said there is still a lot of improvement he is looking for this week against N.C. State.

"At times, I think they made some plays. Certainly Izaan had his moments," Johnson said. "We've got to be more consistent and continue to get better. We're not where we need to be by any stretch of the imagination.

"I think we played hard in the last game. That's the way we play with some intensity, and that's the way you've got to play."

Now it's time to see if the Yellow Jackets can maintain that intensity -- something they couldn't do against Kansas.