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Georgia Tech Vs. Maryland: Isaiah Johnson thriving in Charles Kelly's defense

The safety has stepped up his production in a big way since Kelly took the reins of the Rambling Wreck's defense after former defensive coordinator Al Groh's dismissal.

Scott Cunningham

Georgia Tech safety Isaiah Johnson has escalated his output in the Yellow Jackets' defense since interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly took over the defense nearly a month ago. Johnson credits a simpler defensive scheme for his improved performance.

Johnson told Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Ken Sugiura that Kelly's scheme has allowed him more flexibility, as opposed to the more rigorous plan favored by erstwhile coordinator Al Groh. The safety from Tyrone, Georgia said he was "thinking too much" under Groh's leadership, although he praised the coach.

Kelly told Sugiura that Johnson has "settled down a little bit" with the simplified scheme, and the numbers back up that assertion. In his last two games, the safety has amassed nine tackles, forced a fumble against Boston College and returned an interception for a touchdown against Brigham Young University.

Johnson's recent play has been a bright spot for the skidding Yellow Jackets, who have lost four of their last five games and have given up nearly 45 points on average in their losses. They'll look to get back on the right track Saturday against the Maryland Terrapins.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.