Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
I did not choose this photo of happy Paul Johnson in order to undermine Al Groh's comments. I chose this photo of happy Paul Johnson because happy Paul Johnson is funny.
The idea of Paul Johnson and Al Groh not getting along is a very easy one to accept. The former Virginia coach has a Super Bowl ring and came up under noted all-universe curmudgeon Bill Parcells, while Johnson might be the college coach least likely to budge on anything ever. Especially if "anything" includes fielding a defense so bad it costs his offense games.
Groh is now commenting on the arrangement, which ended after a 2-4 start by the Jackets that include three straight losses in which Johnson's offense scored 28 or more:
"Just to say it briefly, this circumstance here was the most unprofessional, divisive and negative environment in which I've ever been," Groh said. "To say more would be unprofessional of myself.
"It was just a bad cultural match."
Not a lot of difference between saying a little and saying a lot, but alright.
Whatever the issue was, resolving it paid off for the Jackets.
In five games against FBS opponents, Groh's defense surrendered 468.6 yards per game, which would've ranked No. 109 in the country if it had carried on all year. That includes an overtime game and tough offenses in Miami and Clemson, but also a 510-yard game against the Sun Belt's third- or fourth-best team.
In eight games against FBS opponents, interim coordinator Charles Kelly's defense gave up 331.25 yards per game, which would've ranked No. 18 in the country. Those opponents included Georgia, Florida State, North Carolina, Duke and USC.
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