Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

dirty

EOG Master
#42
Tech linemen stick together

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/14/06 They play a rugged game, but doesn't it seem odd that offensive linemen sometimes whack each other on purpose?
It's not accidental. At Georgia Tech, those occasional thumps on a linemate's pads, ribs, back or wherever while retreating in pass protection aren't love taps. They're messages because sometimes ? like when defenders zigzag all around them ? there's little room for the spoken word.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Georgia Tech offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris tutors tackle Mansfield Wrotto, who has been switched from defense.
</td></tr><tr><td>
Kimberly Smith / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption"> Familiarity breeds knowledge. 'You can respond faster to the defense's changes,' said tackle Andrew Gardner.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "There's so much involved with the eyes, sight recognition, and when assignments begin to change location, they must be able to communicate to adjacent linemen," Tech offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris said. "They handle it through verbal communication, or sometimes instinct, or sometimes a physical bump to tell them, 'I'm right here beside you' [to help]."
Tech left tackle Andrew Gardner, left guard Matt Rhodes, center Kevin Tuminello and right guard Nate McManus return from a line that in 2005 paved the way for the ACC's third-ranked rushing attack and allowed just 10 sacks.
So, including senior defensive lineman-turned-right tackle Mansfield Wrotto, the Yellow Jackets bump with experience, and that's not their only unusual form of communication. At times, it comes down to a sort of telepathy, which also grows with familiarity.
Rhodes and Tuminello are roommates. "There are points where, you know, it's like I know what he's thinking, and he knows what I'm thinking," Rhodes said. "It's just a connection, I guess."
Gardner said, "After you play with a guy for a while, you get a sense of how he's going to do. You can respond faster to the defense's changes. Me and Rhodes have a very good rapport, so it makes it easier for us to make decisions on the fly, bump off double teams and so forth."
As a newcomer, Wrotto said he's still trying to get to where, "It becomes kind of a sixth sense ? you don't have to think about it."
Dinner and a movie might help. Most Thursdays during the season, the offensive linemen ? Tech has more than a dozen ? go to a local steakhouse.
"Normally, on days off, we'll go to each other's rooms, go see movies together," Tuminello said. "As a unit, we know each person in the O-line is there for us. We've had problems at home or in school, and we've all talked to one another because we're so close. We're really a unit."
They use more typical forms of communication as well.
"Let's say a linebacker crowds down on the line, and [Tuminello's] got his head between his legs fixing to snap it," Rhodes said. "I might tell him 'out,' and he knows from that one little word he's got to go out on that 'backer ... and I need to cover for him [in the middle if there's no defender over Rhodes]."
Tuminello makes line calls, which can change depending on defensive alignment, and sometimes he makes alterations without seeing why. "If I can't see something, and the tackle can see it, we communicate," he said.
They do that a lot. "It's a real tight group," Rhodes said. "We're going up and down [to each other's apartments] all the time."
D'Alessandris said, "Not one offensive lineman is going to make a play, but all five of them can make it go."
It's good, then, to be on the same page.
"That bond helps," Wrotto said. "Another way it helps is when you're dog-tired in a game, if you were playing for yourself, you might give up. You might say it's not worth it. But when you know the person next to you, and you're good friends, you don't want to let him down, so you pick yourself up and push through."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#43
Tech must get rid of its ?quit?

By Terence Moore | Monday, August 14, 2006, 09:37 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Terence Moore

For Georgia Tech football to stop continuing as only a tease during Chan Gailey?s regime, it must correct something more egregious than Reggie Ball?s fluctuations between wonderful and wretched. The worst thing you can do in sports is quit, and a whole slew of Yellow Jackets did just that last season.
Twice. Once in Blacksburg, Va., where they rolled over and played dead, even before Virginia Tech fired its considerable cannons their way. Then there was the Jackets? whipping at the hands of a strikingly average Utah team during the Emerald Bowl. After the Utes finished with 38 of the easiest points you?ll ever see to Tech?s 10, the winners from something called the Mountain West Conference stomped on what remained of the Jackets? pride even more by boasting that Tech quit.
Which Tech did. Which makes you wonder if a team that has 69 players returning from its disaster against Utah in December in San Francisco has the guts to handle the likes of Notre Dame to begin the season, the Hokies during another trip to Blacksburg, Clemson in Death Valley, Miami on homecoming and folks barking Between The Hedges.
My guess? If you?re among the Tech Nation, you shouldn?t make your reservations for a Bowl Championship Series game just yet. After all, with the Fighting Irish within three weeks away, Gailey said that the Yellow Jackets still are leaderless. That could push Tech in the direction of more listlessness this season at the worst of times.
?Of the seniors, we?re still looking to see which ones exactly are going to be involved there [as leaders],? said Gailey, before mentioning a group of juniors, ranging from running back Tashard Choice to defensive end Adamm Oliver, with the potential to become Tech leaders. Even so, the plain-speaking coach added, ?I think the jury is still out on that. I really do.?
The verdict already is in regarding this: To paraphrase an old hip-hop guy, when you quit, you?re not legit. Added Gailey, ?During the offseason, you evaluate as a coach who did it upset? Who didn?t it upset? You look at it and say to yourself, ?OK, this is where we are as far as leadership goes.? You have to lead on the field and off the field. You just can?t lead out here on game day.?
Tech linebacker KaMichael Hall sighed after a recent practice, saying, ?Against Virginia Tech last year, when they were beating us down about midway through the third quarter, it was like, ?Coach, just think of something. Let?s go. Let?s stop getting embarrassed.? After a while, it was like, ?What?s the point?? Since I?ve been here, that probably was the only game that we, as a team, quit.?
Well, that game and the Utah game. Even before the opening kickoff, Tech players looked more interested in hopping a cable car to Fisherman?s Wharf than trying to knock the gums out of a toothless Utah bunch in its post-Urban Meyer era. ?I really think that?s an unfair statement? said Hall, recalling the gooey conditions of the Giants? home ballpark. ?At the same time, I think it?s a fairly legitimate statement. The field was messy. We?re out there flying around on offense and defense. We have a lot of speed, and when you can?t get your feet, it neutralizes the game. We were slipping and falling everywhere. After a while you?re playing cautious instead of going 100 percent. I mean, you can?t play football if you can?t be on your feet.?
You also can?t play football if you haven?t a heart, and Tech players lacked one last year. Twice. I was there to witness both the Virginia Tech and Utah fiascos to see the Jackets give the least amount of effort during any set of games since Tech players had their private mutiny against former coach Bill Lewis in the midst of a one-victory season in 1994.
There were no signs of anarchy within the locker room during Gailey?s four previous seasons at Tech. Instead, there were signs of confusion over how a team with enough talent to shock Auburn (twice), Clemson and Miami could lose to Duke, Wake Forest and Fresno State along the way to the mediocrity of seven-victory endings to each of those seasons.
Just so you know, talent has nothing to do with effort. That?s because the effort that a team displays is directly related to the combination of what lies in the souls of its players and how well that team is motivated by its coaches. If the effort isn?t there for that team each game, then that team needs new players, new coaches or both.
If the Jackets have another Virginia Tech or Utah this season, somebody needs to go.
Permalink | Comments (16) | Post your comment | Categories: Tech / ACC, Terence Moore
 

dirty

EOG Master
#44
GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL
Nicknames abound for Jackets

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/15/06 Georgia Tech's football team has a Bull, a Moose and a Hedgehog, a dinosaur and a peer of the realm.
These are the names they call each other, on the practice field and around campus. Some are based on how a player looks, where he's from or what it says on his driver's license.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Meet the Yellow Jackets, as they know themselves.
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Size and shape
Ichabod: Offensive tackle Andrew Gardner used to look scrawny enough to be the schoolmaster in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Now he weighs 285 pounds and needs a new nickname.
Stretch: Defensive end Michael Johnson, 6 feet 7, also goes by "Flex."
Stick: Formerly skinny defensive end Darrell Robertson also answers to "Robo."
Stumpy: Offensive guard LeShawn Newberry stands 6 feet, 320 pounds. Enough said.
T. Rex: Center Kevin Tuminello has a big body and short arms, just like the dinosaur.
Thumper: Itty bitty running back Jamaal Evans has size 13 feet, so he hopped right into this nickname coined by teammate Djay Jones.
Tweeter: Receiver Andrew Smith looks like and plays the same position as the Scott Caan character in the 1999 football movie "Varsity Blues."
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Hometown or origin
The African: Kicker Mohamed Yahiaoui was born in Algeria.
The DeSoto Flash: Defensive tackle Elris Anyaibe is from DeSoto, Texas.
The Duke of Brookwood: Offensive tackle Mansfield Wrotto played at Brookwood High School. The "duke" part? "He's kind of like an ambassador-type guy, so he's the Duke," said defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta, who coined the name when Wrotto was on the defensive line. "He's a really sophisticated guy," defensive end Adamm Oliver said.
Hawaii Five-0: Defensive tackle Joe Anoai is from Pensacola, and his heritage is Samoan, but the nickname sticks, anyway. His real name is pronounced "an-uh-WHY-ee," which rhymes with "Hawaii." Anoai also has been called "Samoan Joe."
Moose: Offensive lineman Jacob Lonowski got his nickname from former Tech offensive lineman Brad Honeycutt, not because of Lonowski's looks but because he played for the Elkhorn (Neb.) High School Antlers. Lonowski and fellow Tech offensive linemen called their apartment the "Moose Lodge."
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Playing style
Bull: Fullback Mike Cox knocks over defensive players as if they were fleeing through the streets of Pamplona. Running backs coach Curtis Modkins gave him the name.
Consensus: American Football Coaches Association All-America receiver Calvin Johnson wasn't consensus All-America with all the other voting groups, but he was with his teammates. He's also known as the "Human Highlight Film," though NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins had that one first.
Hammerhead: Linebacker Taalib Tucker also has the nicknames "steroids," "meathead," "the rock" and, he said, "pretty much anything that's got to do with knocking somebody out."
Hedgehog: Offensive guard Dan Voss, also known as "Ball of Butcher Knives," got his nicknames from the way his arms and body move when he runs.
Little Monster: Left guard Matt Rhodes got the name from offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris. Rhodes, 6-3, 280 pounds, isn't so little anymore but is a monster on the field.
Machine: Defensive end Adamm Oliver jokes that the second "m" in his first name stands for this nickname, which he picked up his freshman year in high school for his non-stop motor on the field. "At first they called me Cyborg," Oliver said.
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Sounds like ...
Tinkerbell: Travis Bell, the kicker, just happens to be a T. Bell.
Haha: Cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels doesn't know who came up with it. "My first day of meetings, people couldn't pronounce my name. Somebody made a joke and said 'Haha,' and it just kind of stuck. There are a lot of people who knew me as Haha before they knew my real name," Word-Daniels said.
This and that
Baybay: Receiver Demaryius Thomas got this name from an aunt, who was inspired by the 1992 animated movie B?b?'s Kids.
Bubbles: Offensive tackle A.J. Smith doesn't like mornings, when he is definitely not bubbly.
Deuce: Running back Tashard Choice wore No. 2 at Lovejoy High School. He wears No. 22 now.
Felon: Philip Wheeler got this name before he stole, er, intercepted four passes in the first six games last season. "[Tenuta] says I look like a jailbird sometimes," Wheeler said. "Waking up in the morning, we always look sluggish."
Poppy: Freshman cornerback Laurence Marius has the same first name as his father and brother. Nobody calls him anything but "Poppy," a name he got from one of his father's friends in the military, Tech recruiting coordinator Giff Smith said.
Pops: "I look old," junior linebacker Travis Chambers said. "Actually, I was the youngest person in my class coming in." Chambers turned 20 in July. He's also known as "Old Man," "Unc" and "Wally." "I have no idea what Wally is," Chambers said of the name Tenuta gave him.
Initials
AT: Anthony Tyrone Barnes, linebacker.
Djay: Lloyd Dwight Jones Jr. never goes by "Lloyd" and got the nickname he does use from his dad, who isn't called "Lloyd," either. "He goes by Dwight," Tech's junior free safety said.
JJ: James Johnson, the team's second starting wide receiver.
Doctor: Defensive tackle Darryl Richard got the nickname because of his initials, at least according to Richard and Tenuta. "Everybody else says it's because I'm a nerd," said Richard, an ACC academic honor roll member also known as "Professor."
X: The X-traordinary thing is that X really does mark the spot for wide receiver Xavier McGuire, who plays the "X" position in Tech's offense.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#45
<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td align="left" valign="top"> Updated Wednesday, August 16 at 2:03 AM

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Yellow Jackets' offense shows life in scrimmage
by The Associated Press

ATLANTA - After the defense dominated Georgia Tech's first scrimmage Saturday, coach Chan Gailey and his staff turned up the heat on the offense.

``They were just telling us you have to have a sense of urgency from here on forward,'' said running back Rashaun Grant. ``Every play is important.''

Defense again won most of the battles Tuesday night in Tech's second scrimmage of the preseason at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The offense showed enough late in the session, including on a late touchdown plunge by Grant, to impress Gailey.

``Even the firs<table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="130"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2">
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</td></tr><tr><td>``It was better. We had one big play and we had a chance for a couple more big plays.''</td><td>
</td></tr><tr><td align="right">Chan Gailey</td><td>
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</td></tr></tbody></table>t couple of drives, they got a couple of first downs and moved the ball and got a little field position, even though we didn't stick it in there,'' Gailey said. ``It was better. We had one big play and we had a chance for a couple more big plays.''

Quarterback Reggie Ball completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson for the first scoring play on a night the first-team offense saw extended time against the first-team defense. Earlier, Johnson dropped a 50-yard pass from Ball near the 10-yard line.

Tech had two starting offensive guards leave the scrimmage with what Gailey said were minor injuries. Matt Rhodes limped off the field, favoring his left leg, early in the scrimmage. Tech's other starting guard, Nate McManus, needed help leaving the field late in the scrimmage.

``All of that looked minor,'' Gailey said. ``Nothing looks long-term or major.''

Right tackle Mansfield Wrotto suffered a minor ankle injury in the first scrimmage.

``That's part of it,'' Gailey said. ``You've just got to learn to fight through those type situations. In a game day (Rhodes and McManus) would probably come back and finish the game. It's not smart to do that today.''

Travis Bell kicked a 33-yard field goal on his only attempt.

While Tashard Choice has settled in as the starting tailback, Grant and freshman Jamaal Evans are competing to be the top backup.

Choice made a fill-in start for P.J. Daniels in Tech's upset win over third-ranked Miami last season. Choice had 29 carries for 84 yards against Miami's top-ranked defense and finished the year with 513 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

``Anytime a guy can get in a ballgame, especially big games like he was in last year, that experience is invaluable,'' Gailey said. ``You can never discount the amount of experience that a guy gets in big ballgames like that.''

Choice, a transfer from Oklahoma, said he was still trying to become comfortable with the terminology in Tech's offense last year. Now he says he's ready for the starting role.

``I'm just ready to go and show everybody what I can do,'' Choice said.

``We've just got a new attitude to be better this year, to finish games off and win the close games and put Georgia Tech back in a big-time winning tradition. We've been going to bowls but we want to win the ACC championship. Our goals are set higher and we want to be there at the end.''

For the defense, safety Tony Clark had an interception. KaMichael Hall, Pat Clark and Philip Wheeler had sacks. Linebacker Gary Guyton also made an apparent diving interception of a Ball pass, but the officials ruled Guyton did not make the catch.
Note: Georgia Tech and Mississippi State announced Tuesday they will play a home-and-home series in 2008 and 2009, with State playing in Atlanta in 2008 and the Yellow Jackets visiting Starkville, Miss., the following year. In 2009, Tech will play three Southeastern Conference teams: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Georgia. ``To me, if we've got to play another tough game, I'd rather play an SEC team,'' Gailey said. ``It's closer. It's much more regional, much more of an interest game. Our players recognize them.''

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
</td> <!--END STORY//--> </tr> <tr> </tr><tr><td align="left">
?Copyright 2006 AccessNorthGa.com / WDUN News/Talk 550.</td></tr></tbody></table>
 

dirty

EOG Master
#46
Future Tech schedules will be SEC-heavy

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/16/06 Georgia Tech is going back to the SEC, at least with its nonconference football schedule.
Tech plays at least two SEC teams per year six times in the seven-year stretch from 2008-14. It means a new regional emphasis and an end, at least until the middle of the next decade, of major national matchups like the games this season and next against Notre Dame.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> The 2008 and 2009 games against Mississippi State, announced last week by Mississippi State and confirmed Tuesday by Tech, signal first-year Yellow Jackets athletics director Dan Radakovich's desire to continue the SEC scheduling trend begun by former athletics director Dave Braine. Braine scheduled games against Vanderbilt in 2009, Mississippi in 2010 and 2011 and Alabama in 2013 and 2014.
Radakovich dropped a deal with Louisville to add Mississippi State.
"It's a little bit closer," Radakovich said. "There's a little bit of history, [with Tech] having been in the SEC."
He also said Mississippi State gave a bit more balance to Tech schedules that, if Louisville were on them, would include six programs currently ranked in the Top 25. The Jackets are locked into nonconference games every season against one current Top 25 member ? Georgia.
Tech will have at least six home games every season and will play seven home games in 2007 and 2010.
The past four years included a home-and-home series against BYU and a two-for-one series against Connecticut, which came to Bobby Dodd Stadium twice and played host to Tech once. While games like that might broaden recruiting horizons or, in the case of the BYU series, carry television appeal, SEC opponents might be better for the fans, Radakovich said.
Tech last played in the SEC in 1963, but fans remain familiar with the league's teams. Plus, there's another benefit.
"Some of these are places where they can pick up and drive," Radakovich said.
With the exception of Army, which Tech plays in 2007 and 2008, the only teams Tech is scheduling outside the ACC and the SEC are ones that will agree to play in Atlanta without getting a home game in return, or ones that will play two games in Atlanta for a single home game in return.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#47
Richard's return boosts Jackets
Defensive lineman missed 2005 season due to injury

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/16/06 In the dichotomy of Darryl Richard, there are tough and tender sides, which might not be unusual for a football player but for the fact the Georgia Tech defensive tackle is so clearly type A ? as in atypical.
The guy's 6 feet 4 and 285 pounds and routinely smashes his way through work. Then, for real fun, he plays the piano to soothe the inner beast.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">After a promising freshman season, Georgia Tech defensive tackle Darryl Richard missed the 2005 season because of a knee injury.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "Back at the Champs Sports Bowl [nearly two years ago], he played it, and I got a little sample of it at the hotel," said defensive end Darrell Robertson. "He's a very talented guy. We're all kind of broke, so we don't tip him."
Richard's payoff is coming. He doesn't get to tickle the ivories as often as he might like, but he's back to tackling people, which is a good thing because for the longest time he didn't get to do that at all.
As a freshman he rang up two sacks, including a safety, as the Yellow Jackets defeated Syracuse 51-14 in that Champs Sports Bowl. Sports Illustrated selected him for its all-bowl team.
Then he blew out his right knee in the spring of 2005 and redshirted last season after surgery. "If you're a football player, you don't want to sit and watch the game being played without being out there," he said.
You wouldn't know of Richard's absence last season by watching him practice.
"He knows where his help is, not just his assignment," said defensive line coach Giff Smith. "He knows who's fitting outside, who's fitting inside. I think that's where he developed. He knows the front four, and even the back end. Darryl's very much a student of the game."
Make that very much a student, period.
A member of the ACC's academic honor roll in each of his first two years at Tech, Richard decided upon his injury to take 21 credit hours last fall, earning all A's and B's. The classroom is not the only place he studies.
"It depends on how you handle the situation; [being injured] could be a loss or a benefit. I think it was a big benefit in learning to understand the scheme better and knowing where my help is on certain plays," said the starter, who has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
"I know what everybody around me is doing. I guess at first you learn what you have to do, and as you grow older, you figure out your unit and then the whole defense. With that, I'm able to counter better, and beat blocks, because I know, like, if I have a guy outside of me I can cheat and take [blockers] inside."
Coming out of Destrehan (La.) High, he was rated by many recruiting services as one of the nation's top 12 defensive linemen. He showed why as a freshman. While starting four games, including three of the final four, he had seven tackles for losses, 14 tackles and four sacks.
Smith expects much more this season from the guy they call "The Professor."
"You can go one of two ways when you have an injury," Smith said. "You can pout, or make yourself a better player. He redeveloped his body, got rid of baby fat, got his strength up, and he understands the game a lot better."
With the help of the Tech staff, including director of player development Eric Ciano, Richard said he did more than get stronger.
"Coach Ciano had me working," he said. "I got smarter in how to use my strength, too. I learned how to channel certain muscles, transfer it to the football field, improve my pop, explosion. You have a lot of guys who can do everything in the weight room, but they come out, and they're not transferring it over. You know, built like Tarzan, play like Jane."
Not Richard, unless he's at a piano.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#48
GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Offensive line depleted by injuries

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/17/06 It's clear that Georgia Tech's football team is quite beat-up, especially along both lines, and that the offensive line is in attrocious shape as starting guards Nate McManus and Matt Rhodes weren't even at practice Wednesday.
Beyond that, it's shades of gray, although coach Chan Gailey said, "I think this is the most [injured players] we've ever had [in his four-plus years at Tech]," and he admitted that an offensive line missing three starters is, "a little tenuous, and that's probably being positive."
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Right tackle Mansfield Wrotto is among several offensive linemen missing due to injury.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> McManus (left leg) and Rhodes were injured in Tuesday's scrimmage. Their absence and that of starting right tackle Mansfield Wrotto (left ankle) and top backup guard Jacob Lonowski (shoulder) made it tough on the entire offense in a week where two defensive linemen have switched to offense.
"We just have to continue to practice like those guys [McManus and Rhodes] aren't going to be back, but hopefully they will be," said center Kevin Tuminello.
Gailey most often speaks of injured players in terms of whether they're expected to be out long- or short-term.
When asked if he could predict if McManus or Rhodes - who visited doctors Wednesday - might return short-term, the coach said, "I don't know that much yet."
It got worse Wednesday after backup center Trey Dunmon moved to No. 1 right guard, and backup right guard LeShawn Newberry moved to No. 1 left guard.
Dunmon went down screaming late in practice, and was taken from the field. He was replaced by Dan Voss. "It was a leg, but I don't know what part," Gailey said of Dunmon.
Monday, the Jackets moved sophomore defensive linemen David Brown and Andrew Folkner, a walk-on, to right tackle and center. Also, Will Miller, who's been injured, has moved from tackle to guard.
Wednesday, Brown and Folkner were second teamers.
"It's extremely hard [to practice], especially when you went into the season thinking [the offensive line] was a strength, and now all of the sudden we're really scrambling," Gailey said. "We've got guys playing in that second offensive line that have been in the offensive line for two days."
Defense a lighter shade of gray
Starting ends Darrell Robertson (who is no longer wearing a precautionary collar on his neck) and Adamm Oliver (left ankle sprained in Tuesday's scrimmage) and top reserve Michael Johnson were out so backup tackle Elris Anyaibe moved to starting end.
Two days earlier, starting tackle Joe Anoai moved to the other end.
Regarding injured defenders, including starting safety Djay Jones, Gailey said, "They're not long term; I don't see them out past the middle of next week."
Safety dance
With Jones limited, Avery Roberson's been working a lot at safety with starters. He's also still in the mix for the cornerback spot opposite Kenny Scott, but so are Pat Clark and Jahi Word-Daniels, who began summer camp there.
"They're all playing well right now so I don't know where that will end up," Gailey said. "That's a good situation; not bad."
Fine-tuning kickoffs
Tech kickers worked Wednesday on their onsides kickoffs, and in the kickoff return game, freshman Correy Earls had a nice return with the second unit. Senior wide receiver Chris Dunlap got most of the work with the first unit.
Moving quickly
With considerable experience in the front of the defense, even if several players are injured, the defensive line is taking some matters into its own hands.
"We're making some calls on the field as defensive linemen, not waiting on linebackers," said starting tackle Darryl Richard.
More on the sideline
Wide receiver Xavier McGuire (ankle) and starting fullback Mike Cox (shoulder) are still not practicing. "I'm just re-habbing and getting it stronger, and I should be getting fitted for a brace," Cox said. "I want to play as soon as possible. That's the plan."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#49
Wheeler 'freakish' at middle linebacker

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/17/06 Georgia Tech teammates and coaches marvel at his athleticism. They exhaust superlatives to describe his balance, his reflexes, his preternatural ability.
He's an action hero on the game film, and he performs his own stunts.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Philip Wheeler's athletic ability has drawn comparisons to wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> He's Philip Wheeler, the defense's version of Calvin Johnson.
No. 41 doesn't get the attention
No. 21 gets from fans and reporters, but the Yellow Jackets routinely compare their junior linebacker with their junior wide receiver.
"Philip Wheeler does as many sick things as Calvin does, believe it or not," defensive lineman Joe Anoai said. "His balance is incredible."
"Every time you see Philip out here he will do something crazy that you thought he could not do," defensive tackle Elris Anyaibe said. "I've seen him jump four feet in the air to catch the ball. That's one freakish character right there. He's just as athletic, if not more athletic, than Calvin Johnson."
Wheeler showed off that athleticism last season by intercepting four passes in his first six games as a starter. The next game, he forced and recovered a fumble.
"I just have fun out there," said Wheeler, adding that his most amazing move came in practice, when he leaped over a running back to intercept a pass.
Kind of like the way Johnson leaps over cornerbacks?
"He's probably the best athlete on the team. He's an All-American," Wheeler said. "I'd love to be an All-American. It makes me feel really good to be compared to him, as the Calvin Johnson of the defense."
Johnson's athleticism comes in a
6-foot-5, 235-pound package that makes him unusually big and strong for his position. Wheeler, 6-2, 225, is a bit undersized. Johnson has started since Day 1. Wheeler waited his turn, first as a special-teams player, then through a redshirt season that gave him time to learn the defense and get squared away in the classroom.
All the while, coaches and teammates told anyone who would listen that Wheeler would be something special. Last season he proved it.
Not only did he tie for the team lead in interceptions, but he ranked second in tackles for loss, tied for second in sacks and tied for fourth in passes broken up.
He might have led the nation in most cut blocks overcome.
"A lot of times in games there will be people diving at his knees," Tech linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary said. "He has a knack for getting both hands on the ground and not even breaking stride and getting up and making the play."
Said fellow linebacker KaMichael Hall, "You very rarely ever catch Philip on the ground unless he's making a tackle."
Staying on his feet is only part of his job. Using those feet to get himself at the right spot at the right time is just as important. Jean-Mary talks about harnessing Wheeler's athleticism to get him to "use it as a linebacker in our scheme."
That's more important than ever this season as Wheeler moves from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker, filling the position occupied in 2004 and 2005 by current New York Giants rookie Gerris Wilkinson.
It wasn't an obvious decision for Tech's coaches. Hall, the starter on the strong side, knows all three linebacker positions and is considered to have as good an understanding of the defense as any player on the team. But when coaches stuck Wheeler in the middle to start spring practice, they liked what they saw.
"He played the position a lot more naturally than any of us gave him credit for," Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "I think that surprised the whole staff."
For Wheeler, it means not only more responsibility but more opportunity. He made 64 tackles last season; Wilkinson made 85 last season, 119 in 2004.
When you have an athlete such as Wheeler, why not build your defense around him?
For two years, Tech's offense has been looking for ways to get the ball to Johnson. Now, a position change should help Tech's defense get the ball carrier to Wheeler.
"In the middle," he said, "it can always go to your side."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#50
<table border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td align="left" valign="top"> Updated Wednesday, August 16 at 10:46 PM

</td> </tr> <tr> <td>
Bearded Bell aims for return to freshman form
by The Associated Press

ATLANTA - The beard is back. With that, Travis Bell hopes the inconsistencies of his 2005 season will disappear.

Smiling and relaxed after Georgia Tech's practice Wednesday, Bell appeared convinced he had moved past his kicking woes from last season.

``I haven't felt this good in years,'' Bell said.

Georgia Tech will settle for Bell kicking as well as two years ago.

In 2004, Bell missed his first field goal attempt and then set a Tech record by making 15 consecutive attempts before missing a 48-yarder in the Champs Sports Bowl.
<<table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="130"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2">
</td><td rowspan="4" bgcolor="#999999">
</td><td rowspan="4">
</td></tr><tr><td>``Last year I wasn't 100 percent healthy,`This year feels 10 times better."</td><td>
</td></tr><tr><td align="right">Travis Bell</td><td>
</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2">
</td></tr></tbody></table>br> With the strong freshman season as a walk-on from Roswell, Bell earned a scholarship and was considered an all-star candidate entering last season.

But Bell couldn't duplicate the magic of his freshman year.

Bell began the 2005 season by making his first five field goals before missing six straight, again making five in a row and then missing four of his last five.

Overall, he finished the year only 11 for 21 on field-goal attempts after making 15 of 17 as a freshman.

``Last year I wasn't 100 percent healthy,'' Bell said. ``This year feels 10 times better.

``At the beginning of last summer I had a hernia I had to get operated on. I was out all last summer. I wasn't healthy until a week before camp started.''

By comparison, a healthy Bell kicked through this summer and has had a busy preseason camp with new special teams coach Charles Kelly.

Coach Chan Gailey says Bell has returned to top form.

``To me, he's totally back in the groove of his freshman year,'' Gailey said.

Gailey said Bell's strong preseason camp is a carryover from an impressive spring practice.

``Yeah, I saw enough in the spring,'' Gailey said Wednesday when asked when he stopped worrying about Bell.

Bell first revealed one of his superstitions when, as a freshman, he didn't shave between games.

Also, for good luck he keeps an old pair of green Roswell High shoes hanging in his locker.

``There's always going to be a few superstitions, like the whole shaving deal,'' Bell said. ``It's superstitions, yeah, but it's also the fact that I hate shaving.''

Besides, Bell added, ``I like the old veteran look anyway.''

Kelly said Bell is kicking like a veteran.

``He's had a really good camp,'' Kelly said. ``I think it started last spring.''

Kelly said he doesn't become involved in any of the kicker's superstitions, but he's quick to say Bell's strong camp has nothing to do with not shaving.

``The biggest thing is Travis has worked really hard,'' Kelly said. ``That brings more confidence.''

But even as he has renewed confidence, Bell says he hasn't forgotten the lessons learned last season.

``It was frustrating because my first year I never experienced any of that,'' Bell said. ``I've always gone through life being successful. It kind of brings you down, knowing you're going to have some bad times in your life.''

Added Bell: ``This year is my redemption year. This will prove that I can do again what I did my freshman year.''
Note: Tech's injury problems on the offensive line grew to the crisis stage Wednesday when right guard Trey Dunmon, who had been working with the first team due to injuries to other linemen, was carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. Tech had two first-team linemen Nate McManus and Matt Rhodes suffer injuries in Tuesday night's scrimmage after losing another starter, Mansfield Wrotto, in the first scrimmage.

Wrotto rode an exercise cycle during practice Wednesday, and his injury is not thought to be serious. McManus and Rhodes were being examined Wednesday, and now Gailey also must await the report on Dunmon.

``Wow,'' Gailey said. ``Right now it's a little tenuous. That's probably being positive. We've got a bunch of guys down and I don't know how bad some of them are. We just have to wait and see what the diagnosis is on all of them.''

Left tackle Andrew Gardner and center Kevin Tuminello were the only healthy linemen remaining of the projected starting five.

``Hopefully those guys will be back, but if not we have to stick together with who we have,'' Tuminello said before noting the Sept. 2 season opener against Notre Dame ``is just a couple weeks away. We really need to start buckling down.''

Gailey said the rash of injuries is unusually high. ``I think this is the most we've ever had,'' he said.

Tech also was without several injured defensive players Wednesday, including safety Djay Jones and ends Adamm Oliver and Darrell Robertson. ``They're not long-term,'' Gailey said of the defensive players. ``I don't see them being out past the middle of next week.''

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
</td> <!--END STORY//--> </tr> <tr> </tr><tr><td align="left">
?Copyright 2006 AccessNorthGa.com / WDUN News/Talk 550.</td></tr></tbody></table>
 

dirty

EOG Master
#51
Stung by injuries

By Matt Winkeljohn | Thursday, August 17, 2006, 10:53 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
OK, as you all have a bad habit of getting off topic ? although the blame is not all yours as we generally leave blogs up an entire week (that?ll change once the season begins, if not sooner) ? I?ll change the topic for everyone.
What?s up with all the injured players at Tech?
I?ve seen a lot of football in the past 10 years, including seven training camps with the Falcons and visits to several NFL camps, but Tech?s in a mess like none I?ve seen.
The only major injury in practice Wednesday was Trey Dunmon (some sort of leg injury, which left him screaming repeatedly), which by itself might move most Tech fans to say, ?Trey Dunmon??
Yes, he?s the backup center, or was, until injuries all over the place prompted offensive line coach Joe D?Alessandris to start ?cross training? him at guard Wednesday. Add that to the fact that LeShawn Newberry also moved from right to left guard, Will Miller from tackle to guard, and defensive linemen-turned-offensive-linemen David Brown and Andrew Folkner are new as can be, and, well, perhaps you get the point.
Suddenly, Folkner is the backup center, Dan Voss is the starting right guard, Newberry the No. 1 left guard, and A.J. Smith the starting right tackle (where Mansfield Wrotto?s ankle is ailing him), and holy mackerel! You have a mess.
There?s more to worry about here than whether starting guards Nate McManus and Matt Rhodes (injured in Tuesday?s scrimmage) are seriously hurt. The jury is very much out on that, as coach Chan Gailey and others were vague and neither player even attended practice.
But this is certain: when there?s that much movement in the offensive line, the trickle-down effect on the rest of the offense is huge.
Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta doesn?t exactly start dialing back; his boys don?t suddenly start taking it easy. That means all the inevitable mistakes on the offensive line mangle one offensive play after another, and the overall progress of the offense suffers - tremendously - as plays keep blowing up.
Gailey even admitted that there are so many injuries (including the top three defensive ends, as two tackles - Joe Anoai and Elris Anyaibe - are now working with the starters, as is Avery Roberson at safety in place of Djay Jones) that he considered not staging the final two-a-day Thursday.
?You do [think about it],? he said. ?The thing you do [if you cancel a practice] is cheat the guys who can practice and get better ? so you have to decide what the best way is to handle things.?
It?s a tough call.
You gotta realize that when they practice, yeah, it?s good for the inexperienced players to get reps, but there?s also a blowback of sorts as all the mangled plays could conceivably mess with the karma of the entire offense, foul up their chemistry, timing, etc.
The O-line was to be a strength this year, with four returning starters. Now, two of them, and the newcomer (former D-tackle) Wrotto are out, although Wrotto will be back soon enough from an ankle/foot injury (and have to fight off A.J. Smith).
Now, it could be a big question mark, pending McManus and Rhodes (not to mention top backup guard Jacob Lonowski, whose shoulder has kept him on the sidelines for quite some time).
Think about it: the Jackets are down their top three offensive guards, one of their starting tackles, their backup center, and their top three defensive ends.
Maybe this is the valley before the Jackets scale mountains, or perhaps it?s just plain bad news as the vibe about Rhodes and McManus is less than positive.
Stay tuned.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#52
GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Coaches hope powerful lineman steps up

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/18/06 LeShawn Newberry power-cleans 370 pounds, best on the Georgia Tech football team and four pounds shy of the school's all-time record for an offensive lineman. Newberry's 500-pound squat ties him for the team high, and his 460-pound bench press ranks him among the Yellow Jackets' top five.
That's good for Tech, because it looks as if Newberry will have to do some heavy lifting this season.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Starting guards Matt Rhodes and Nate McManus were injured in Tuesday's scrimmage, haven't practiced since. Coach Chan Gailey said Thursday they have a chance to return the middle of next week.
Top backup Jacob Lonowski, coming off of shoulder surgery, is out indefinitely. "It's whether or not we can reinforce it enough to go ahead and let him play," Gailey said.
That means you can expect to see Newberry on the field Sept. 2, maybe even as a starter, when Tech opens the season against Notre Dame.
"If my name gets called, I'll be ready," Newberry said.
"He started very strong when we started preseason practice," Gailey said. "The last two or three practices he kind of leveled out. I'm interested to see if he can pick that back up in the next few practices."
Newberry, 6 feet, 320 pounds, has arms and legs like tree trunks, very short tree trunks. That's why offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris nicknamed him "Stumpy." Those arms and legs are among the strongest on the team, but there's more to success on the line than just being strong.
"It's feel for the game," Gailey said. "It's when he pulls, where does he turn up, who does he have? Hand placement, hat placement, the whole process of playing offensive line."
Newberry says he's working on those things. His lifting has shown that when he works at something he can produce great results, the way he did at Spruce Creek High in Daytona Beach, Fla.
"We won 21 state championships in weightlifting, so it was real competitive," Newberry said. "I started weightlifting for football, but once you get into that program, you buy into the competitiveness of weightlifting as a sport."
Redshirt freshman rushed into service
Newberry might not be the only guard pressed into service ahead of schedule. Redshirt freshman Dan Voss now figures into Tech's plans so much that Gailey talked with him Wednesday to stress how important it is for Voss to get ready to play.
"The way it's going now, he never knows, he may be walking out there two Saturdays from now," Gailey said.
Unlike Newberry, who worked with the first team when Rhodes was hurt last preseason, Voss is getting his first shot. It happened a lot earlier than expected.
"It's a shock," he said. "Obviously I came here wanting to play, but it's a lot different from last year at this time, when I was taking some reps at the end of practice with the third team, to now going with the ones against the ones. It's a big change. The guys are bigger and faster. You just need to buckle down."
As if working with the first team weren't enough of a challenge, Voss also is working on adding a position. He practices snapping the ball before and after practice and ran a couple of plays at center at the end of the 11-on-11 drill Thursday morning.
Hang out with Buzz
Tech fans can get autographs from and take pictures with players, coaches and Buzz the mascot from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Admission is free. Park in Peters Parking Deck.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#53
Tech walk-ons await their chance
Wannabes ask little, give a lot

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/18/06 An 8-yard punt return caused quite a commotion last October at a Beef O'Brady's in Tampa.
Georgia Tech already led Duke by 25 points in the fourth quarter when the ESPNU telecast showed the play that elicited the night's loudest cheer ... from everyone but Barry Smith, that is.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "They said my dad was speechless," Andrew Smith said.
Of course he was. Andrew Smith hadn't even traveled to Tech's first two road games, and he hadn't found out until two days earlier that he'd be traveling to Duke. His mother and some friends quickly arranged to attend the game in Durham, N.C., but the best his father could do on such short notice was organize a TV-watching party at the local sports bar.
The last thing he could have expected to see was his son, a redshirt freshman walk-on, returning a punt in an ACC game.
Andrew Smith didn't return any more punts last season. He appeared in only two other games. But moments like that one at Duke, and the prospect of more moments like it in the future, keep walk-ons like Smith going. More than two dozen of the 106 players listed on the Yellow Jackets' preseason roster receive no scholarship support. Some of those walk-ons, like Smith, were invited onto the team by Tech's coaches. Others, like Matt Kamp and Andrew Folkner, had to survive a tryout.
Kamp hired a personal trainer to prepare him last summer, and Kamp and Folkner took the field last fall with about 20 wannabes. Three made the team, and Kamp and Folkner are the only two left.
Now, they're right in the thick of Tech's practices. Folkner has been practicing at second-team center since Trey Dunmon's injury Tuesday night. Kamp has taken some snaps with the first team at fullback since the injury to starter Mike Cox.
Neither Kamp nor Folkner is likely to take the field with the offense in an actual game this season, but just practicing with players who will means a lot.
"It's exciting," Kamp said. "It puts a lot of pressure on me to get the plays and make things right. It makes me want to work harder."
Kamp, a mechanical engineering major, and Folkner, a management major with a minor in biology, might have played at Ivy League schools. Cornell, Dartmouth and Pennsylvania recruited Folkner, and Furman did, too. Yale recruited Kamp, and so did Colgate. But Folkner tore knee ligaments as a high school senior, and Tech was Kamp's first-choice school from the start.
Folkner tried out in his second year on campus, after rehabilitating the knee. Why go through all that work, and all the work in practice, with such long odds against playing?
"I just enjoy playing football, whatever I can do, whether it's giving the first team a look [at the opposing team's plays], or just helping the team get better overall," Folkner said.
"I've been playing football since I was about 4 years old," Kamp said. "I really don't know what life would be like without football. It's something I love to do, and I hope to keep doing it, which is fulfilling my dreams right now."
Smith's dreams are on hold after he hurt his shoulder on Wednesday, an injury coach Chan Gailey said Thursday will keep him out two to three weeks.
But that's nothing compared to the knee injury Smith suffered as a high school senior. Fortunately for him, his father was friends with former Tech recruiting coordinator David Wilson. Wilson looked at tape of Smith as a high school hurdler and saw enough to think Smith could help out on special teams.
There was another Tech connection, too. Smith was a Jesuit High School classmate of Yellow Jackets offensive tackle A.J. Smith.
"They call us the Smith brothers," Andrew Smith said. "We sometimes get each other's mail. That's been going back for years. I used to get his report cards in high school. We'd have to go to school and exchange them."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#54
GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Coaches hope powerful lineman steps up

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/18/06 LeShawn Newberry power-cleans 370 pounds, best on the Georgia Tech football team and four pounds shy of the school's all-time record for an offensive lineman. Newberry's 500-pound squat ties him for the team high, and his 460-pound bench press ranks him among the Yellow Jackets' top five.
That's good for Tech, because it looks as if Newberry will have to do some heavy lifting this season.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Starting guards Matt Rhodes and Nate McManus were injured in Tuesday's scrimmage, haven't practiced since. Coach Chan Gailey said Thursday they have a chance to return the middle of next week.
Top backup Jacob Lonowski, coming off of shoulder surgery, is out indefinitely. "It's whether or not we can reinforce it enough to go ahead and let him play," Gailey said.
That means you can expect to see Newberry on the field Sept. 2, maybe even as a starter, when Tech opens the season against Notre Dame.
"If my name gets called, I'll be ready," Newberry said.
"He started very strong when we started preseason practice," Gailey said. "The last two or three practices he kind of leveled out. I'm interested to see if he can pick that back up in the next few practices."
Newberry, 6 feet, 320 pounds, has arms and legs like tree trunks, very short tree trunks. That's why offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris nicknamed him "Stumpy." Those arms and legs are among the strongest on the team, but there's more to success on the line than just being strong.
"It's feel for the game," Gailey said. "It's when he pulls, where does he turn up, who does he have? Hand placement, hat placement, the whole process of playing offensive line."
Newberry says he's working on those things. His lifting has shown that when he works at something he can produce great results, the way he did at Spruce Creek High in Daytona Beach, Fla.
"We won 21 state championships in weightlifting, so it was real competitive," Newberry said. "I started weightlifting for football, but once you get into that program, you buy into the competitiveness of weightlifting as a sport."
Redshirt freshman rushed into service
Newberry might not be the only guard pressed into service ahead of schedule. Redshirt freshman Dan Voss now figures into Tech's plans so much that Gailey talked with him Wednesday to stress how important it is for Voss to get ready to play.
"The way it's going now, he never knows, he may be walking out there two Saturdays from now," Gailey said.
Unlike Newberry, who worked with the first team when Rhodes was hurt last preseason, Voss is getting his first shot. It happened a lot earlier than expected.
"It's a shock," he said. "Obviously I came here wanting to play, but it's a lot different from last year at this time, when I was taking some reps at the end of practice with the third team, to now going with the ones against the ones. It's a big change. The guys are bigger and faster. You just need to buckle down."
As if working with the first team weren't enough of a challenge, Voss also is working on adding a position. He practices snapping the ball before and after practice and ran a couple of plays at center at the end of the 11-on-11 drill Thursday morning.
Hang out with Buzz
Tech fans can get autographs from and take pictures with players, coaches and Buzz the mascot from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Admission is free. Park in Peters Parking Deck.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#55
GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Gailey not worried about Ball

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/20/06 Reggie Ball and Georgia Tech's offense have struggled in scrimmages this preseason, and Saturday's was no exception.
But Tech coach Chan Gailey has seen enough in the other practices not to read too much into just 60 yards passing on a 7-for-17 day, with one touchdown and one interception. Ball looked sharp on Thursday and Friday.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "I feel like Reggie's going to have the best year he's ever had," Gailey said. "I think he's going to take another good jump. How high that is I don't know, but I think he's going to take a good jump this year and be a good leader for this football team."
You'll have to guess what Ball thinks of his preseason and what it bodes for his senior year. He hasn't spoken with reporters since Tech's news conference before the first practice.
"He said, 'Hey, can I wait until after [the opener against] Notre Dame before I start talking to the press?' and I said, 'Why?' and he said, 'You know,' and I said, 'You're right, I know,' because things get twisted and something gets said, and he just wants to focus on playing quarterback," Gailey said. "And I said, 'Fine, I'll cover for you.' "
So, Gailey was asked, "Does that mean we can ask you questions and you'll give us a Reggie Ball answer?"
Gailey played along.
"What happened on the interception?"
"I just threw it a little bit late, but I wouldn't have done that in a ballgame," Gailey/Ball answered. "I was trying to see if I could get it into somebody down there, but I'd never do that in a game."
Greg Smith closing fast on receiver job
Tech's receiver rotation appeared set coming out of spring practice. James Johnson, who missed the spring because of injury, was expected to start opposite Calvin Johnson. Senior Chris Dunlap would be the third receiver in the three-receiver set. But two weeks before Tech's opener, another name has entered the picture. Redshirt freshman Greg Smith has had such a strong preseason he's contending for one of those jobs.
"He's made a real big jump. If he keeps getting reps out there, he's going to play a lot, and he could be in the first three before we get to the first game," Gailey said. "He's made some big plays, almost one a scrimmage.
"He's an elusive guy. He's a long strider, but he's elusive for a long strider. Most long striders are one-dimensional; they're straight-ahead guys. But he's got some sideways to him that allows him to be elusive."
Smith made one catch Saturday, but it was a big one. On fourth-and-11 he caught a pass from Taylor Bennett short of the first down marker, put a hand down to keep his balance and crossed the field ahead of safety Djay Jones to complete a 13-yard play.
James Johnson has been in and out of practice this preseason, and Xavier McGuire has been out, and that's given a lot of plays to Smith with the first and second teams.
"It's been a great opportunity," he said. "It gave me a chance to step up to the plate and show what I can do and prove I can play on the D-I level."
His goals for 2006?
"I just want to make plays, Coach," Smith said. "Give me the ball. That's all I want."
A.J. Smith tries on line position switch
Yes, that was A.J. Smith playing at right guard with the first team offense in the second half of the scrimmage. Tech fans might have been surprised to see the 6-foot-7 1/2, 300-pounder lined up anywhere but tackle. Smith was surprised, too. He learned about the possibility in meetings before the scrimmage.
"It was an experience," he said. "I like playing, so wherever I can help the team and compete and play, I'm down for it."
Smith worked with the first team at tackle when Mansfield Wrotto was hurt. With guards Matt Rhodes, Nate McManus and Jacob Lonowski hurt, Tech wanted to see what Smith could do there. (McManus, who attended the scrimmage on crutches, and Rhodes are both expected to be able to play against Notre Dame, as are injured defensive ends Darrell Robertson and Michael Johnson.)
"A.J.'s come out and competed," Gailey said. "He's really not suited at guard. We threw him out there today. He fought, and that's what you're looking for. We get to the third game of the year and you don't know, he may be there, so you expose him to it."
Anoai figures out what fans want
Crowds at the annual Fan Photo Day were so large Saturday morning that defensive tackle Joe Anoai offered this explanation: "They must have thought we were auctioning off Calvin."
<!--endtext--><!-- // END OF CONTENT // --> <!--endclickprintinclude--> Sponsored Links
 

dirty

EOG Master
#56
GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Move to offense suits Brown

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/19/06 David Brown needed a second chance.
One of Georgia Tech's top recruits in 2004, he went from the Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100 to the bottom of the depth chart on Tech's defensive line. Strep throat and mononucleosis hit him with a one-two punch after his first fall as a redshirt, and he lost 25 pounds. He missed spring practice, regained his strength slowly and didn't play a down last season. When the Jackets needed a defensive tackle, they turned to freshman Vance Walker. Brown became the forgotten man.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> But coach Chan Gailey remembered him.
On Sunday, Gailey approached Brown about moving to offense. Brown talked it over with his parents and a day later became a right tackle.
"He's very smart, he's strong and he's hunting a home. He just couldn't find it on defense, and he wants to play," Gailey said. "Instead of letting him stand over there on defense, at least he gets on the field and gets a chance to try on offense. I don't know if he'll make it or not, but he's intelligent and he's strong, he needs to put some weight on, but a year from now, who knows?"
"It's definitely hard, but it's a good hard, because I'm actually out there working," said Brown, who because of injuries moved up to second team by his third day on offense. "I'm glad to be out on the field, because it's been awhile."
Brown, 6 feet 3, said he's just now back to the 270 pounds he weighed before getting sick. He needs to bulk up a lot to play right tackle, but he is eager to do it.
"The first step is 275 [pounds]," he said. "From there, I'm going to just keep on trying to go up."
Wrotto, Oliver return to contact
Offensive tackle Mansfield Wrotto and defensive end Adamm Oliver returned to full contact practice Friday after recovering from ankle injuries. Defensive lineman Elris Anyaibe and running back Rashaun Grant were out with apparently minor injuries.
Line injuries
cause problems
Tech expects to have all of its offensive line starters back practicing more than a week before the opener Sept. 2 against Notre Dame, but the Yellow Jackets still have paid a price for the injuries to Wrottoand guards Matt Rhodes and Nate McManus.
There's the obvious problem that they miss practice time. Then there's the less obvious but no less significant problem that the rest of the offense can't function the same way if Tech has breakdowns at three of the five line spots. Those breakdowns become an even bigger factor for the second team, where the domino effects of those injuries, plus injuries to Jacob Lonowski and Trey Dunmon, have forced Tech to use players who only last week were playing defense. Brown and second-string center Andrew Folkner joined the offense on Monday.
"The challenge is to keep the other guys up to speed while you're slowing it down for [the new ones]," offensive coordinator Patrick Nix said. "We have some guys on the second-team offensive line that are going to have to play for us this year. Some aren't. Yeah, they're going to make mistakes, but you've still got to go on and let those other guys keep learning and developing because you know that you're going to have to use some of those guys when the season hits."
Fortunately, you don't have to gain yards in practice and scrimmages to gain ground in preparation. Even when the offense as a whole doesn't succeed, individual players improve.
"It might not look the best at times, but you watch it on tape and you see that you're accomplishing what you wanted to because you see a certain guy getting better at something, and he's going to have to play this year," Nix said.
Johnson makes Walter Camp list
Receiver Calvin Johnson was named to the 35-player watch list for Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Walter Camp Football Foundation announced Friday. The award is voted on by Division I-A's head coaches and sports information directors.
New bracelets
take best shot
Tech football bracelets sold so well in their debut last year that the team's parents organization has produced a new version for 2006 and added a T-shirt. Both will be on sale Saturday at fan photo day, 10 a.m.-noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The bracelets, patterned after Lance Armstrong's Livestrong bracelets, read "Take your best shot" and "GT football 2006" and sell for $2. The T-shirts, $10 for most sizes, $12 for XXXL and XXXXL, bear the slogan "Expect it."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#57
Jackets try new snapper, holder
Newcomers to kicking game aim to help Bell's confidence

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/19/06 Among classic play-by-play calls, few if any have gone like this:
"There's the snap. Oh, she's a beaut, folks. My, what a wonderful, tight spiral on a beautiful low line. That baby settled oh-so-softly into the holder's hands. Whoa, check out the spin-and-stop the holder put on it.
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JOHNNY CRAWFORD / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption"> New Georgia Tech holder Durant Brooks is replacing last year's holder, Kyle Manley. The new snapper is Bret White.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "OK, we got perfect tilt, perfect lean, laces are away, all fingers cleared, the line holds ... good gracious, it doesn't get any better. Now, the kick ..."
Much as all this matters, most fans talk only about the kick. Yet Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey lately has championed new snapper Bret White and new holder Durant Brooks with the same conviction he's had in suggesting that returning kicker Travis Bell is back on beam.
"It is a very clean operation at this point. I'm very pleased," the coach said. "If you have a good snap and hold, then it's up to your kicker. That's what you hope for."
Or cross your fingers for. Bell made only 11 of 21 field-goal tries (.523) in 2005, which ranked tied for 10th in the ACC. A year earlier, he made 15 of 17, earning All-ACC second-team honors.
The coach's nerves were all shot last year but seem soothed now ? for the time, at least ? even though solid snapper Gavin Tarquinio graduated.
Last year's holder, Kyle Manley, is back, but Brooks, Tech's new punter, is holding, prompting Bell to say thinks like, "You can't get it done any better than he's been doing it."
Brooks and White are not new at this; they'll simply be new to Tech games.
Brooks and White, who walked on the team in 2004 and redshirted (just like Bell), started working together last season when Brooks redshirted after transferring from Georgia Military College.
"They've done this thousands of times already," Bell said.
While Tarquinio was a part-time tight end and Manley a reserve quarterback, White and Brooks are specialists. All White does is pitch between his legs (he once pitched a no-hitter, while upright, for Marietta High), and Brooks always takes snaps from him, either to punt or hold.
"There has to be time [to work on it]," Gailey said. "And last year, Kyle Manley was at quarterback and didn't have all that extra time. All of a sudden, here's Durant Brooks, who has all this extra time. They can go over there and work and work and work and come as close to perfection as possible."
Brooks has a two-second checklist of sorts.
"I use one glove, on my right hand, to get an extra grip in case I have to spin it," he said. "[The ball] has to tilt a little right, toward me, and I've always got to have the laces out ? that's most important ? away from the kicker.
"If it's a long kick, you want it leaning back a little toward the kicker to get less height and more distance. I [tip the top of the ball] with my middle finger and index finger of the left hand."
Bell counts on all this for peace of mind, which could lead to Gailey's bliss.
"You have to be confident in the whole operation," Bell said. "You've got to know you've practiced it a thousand times, and it's going to be the same every time. That is where a kick is going to go wrong, when a kicker doesn't have the confidence, and doesn't kick the same every time.
"All I'm looking at is my holder and my spot. I don't see the line or any kind of rush. All I see is my holder and the ball."
He doesn't want to see any laces.
"It doesn't get a good bounce [off the kicker's foot]," Bell said. "It will usually fall short, or the spin will get all messed up."
And that could lead to a play-by-play call that's memorable for a bad reason.
 

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EOG Master
#58
Jackets good enough to outrun past

By Mark Bradley | Sunday, August 20, 2006, 06:51 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mark Bradley

There?s no reason for this season to end in a podunk bowl in the Pacific Time Zone. There?s no reason Georgia Tech shouldn?t be playing on ? or even after ? New Year?s Day. A team can?t have much more going for it than this one appears to have.
A three-year starter at quarterback. An All-American at wide receiver. A big-time talent at tailback. Four returning starters along the offensive line, five if you count the tight end. Six returning starters on defense. A head coach whose job status seems to have been clarified via a contract extension. What?s not to like?
History.
It isn?t as if Tech hasn?t won big games under head coach Chan Gailey. On the contrary, the Jackets have beaten six ranked opponents in his four seasons. Trouble is, each of those seasons has ended the same way ? with seven wins and an appearance in a who-cares bowl. Says Mansfield Wrotto, a senior: ?We?ve been a consistent 7-5.?
Alas, there?s never anything consistent about the way Tech gets to 7-5, which is why both the AP and the ESPN/USA Today preseason polls omitted this conspicuously gifted team from the Top 25. If that?s ever going to change, this is the year. Tech has enough glamour games ? and, just as important, enough apparent gimme wins ? to break upwards.
Wrotto again: ?The only thing keeping us from our goal is ourselves. ? We?ve got a lot of talent and a lot of depth on this team.?
A case in point: Wrotto. A three-year starter at defensive tackle, he?s now the right tackle on offense. (He missed time with a tender ankle last week but has returned to practice.) Such a positional shift seems a sign not of weakness but strength. There were times under Gailey when Tech had too many holes to play at a high level every week, but those days have passed. If Tech winds up 7-5 and back in Boise, it won?t be for lack of manpower.
Wrotto yet again: ?We?re looking for 10 wins, or nine wins or more, and to play for the ACC championship.?
Can that happen? Heck, it wasn?t far from happening last season. Had Tech not lost winnable games against N.C. State and Virginia, it would have tied Virginia Tech atop the Coastal Division. The Hokies would have played in the ACC championship game by virtue of beating the Jackets head-to-head, but still: A 9-2 regular season would have sent Tech to a much better bowl and would have helped reconfigure public perception. Instead the Jackets managed road victories over Auburn and Miami and still came across as the same ol? flaky Tech.
?The consistency factor is very important to us,? Wrotto says. ?One of our goals is to be more consistent.?
Such words could come from almost any other player at any other school, but only at Tech do they carry such resonance. A case can be made that this is, on both sides of the ball, the best-looking bunch of Jackets since the 11-0-1 UPI national champions of 1990. (The highly regarded teams in the latter days of George O?Leary were repeatedly undone by their inability to stop people, a failing Jon Tenuta has rendered moot.) Tech historians will recall that the 1990 team was similarly unranked in preseason, but that comparison is actually a contrast.
The 1989 Jackets had closed fast, winning seven of their last eight games, but hadn?t graced a bowl and were only two seasons removed from a 3-8 finish. These Jackets haven?t had a losing season under Gailey and have had ample opportunity to hammer out a profile for themselves. To their chagrin, they have. They?re regarded as the flightiest team in the land.
That can change. That should change. There can be no excuses if December arrives and the Jackets aren?t ranked. A program gets only so many chances to prove its worth before it proves instead that serious consideration is unwarranted. For Tech under Gailey, this is almost a last chance.
Permalink | Comments (13) | Post your comment | Categories: Mark Bradley, Tech / ACC
 

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EOG Master
#61
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Reports have him looking better than ever this year....went to a sports psychologist over the summer....worked wonders from what they are saying:+thumbs-2
 

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EOG Master
#62
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Injured Jackets back on field

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/23/06 All but one of Georgia Tech's injured starters have returned to the practice field, Yellow Jackets football coach Chan Gailey said Tuesday.
Offensive guard Matt Rhodes, fullback Mike Cox and defensive end Darrell Robertson practiced, and Tech hopes to have offensive guard Nathan McManus back by the end of the week.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption"> Fullback Mike Cox returned to practice after sitting out with an injured shoulder.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Cox had missed a week and a half of practice because of a shoulder injury, and the rest had been out about a week. All probably will be able to play in the season opener Sept. 2 against Notre Dame.
"I can't promise that, but it looks like it, yes," Gailey said.
Backup center Trey Dunmon and backup defensive end Michael Johnson have returned to practice, too. "We're monitoring Michael a little bit, but he was on the field," Gailey said.
The return of so many players not only helped them but also helped their teammates. Injuries had hit so hard that healthy players were forced to practice out of position, and players who had just moved from defense were forced to work with the second-team offensive line.
Irish deserve lofty rank
Tech has begun preparations for the opener, and it looks like an even bigger challenge than last season's opener in which Tech knocked off No. 16 Auburn, a team that had won 15 consecutive games. Notre Dame ranks No. 2 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 and No. 3 in the USA Today coaches poll.
"They deserve to be ranked 1, 2 or 3," Gailey said. "They've got a veteran quarterback and a lot of veteran players. They're not breaking in as many new players as Auburn was having to break in."
Quarterback duties in veteran hands
Unlike in-state rival Georgia, Tech has had a stable situation at quarterback. Not only is Reggie Ball a fourth-year starter, but Taylor Bennett is a second-year backup.
"I feel good. Everything's going smooth," said Bennett, who quarterbacked Tech to a victory over Connecticut last season in Ball's absence and appeared in two other games. "I'm more comfortable with everything [than in 2005]. I just feel more comfortable sitting in the pocket, trusting everything, trusting the routes and the reads and all that stuff."
Jackets get closer to season's routine
The beginning of classes and the closing of practices to outsiders signals a change for the Jackets from "training camp" to something closer to the in-season routine and rhythms.
"It's more mental than physical," Bennett said. "We're still hitting hard, 100 percent, but it's more like getting the scout team out there and seeing what they're going to do and walking through and making sure you know it. It's more controlled and intense. It's not as 'rush everybody and hit everybody as hard as you can.' "
Etc.
Tech has sold out its approximately 2,150 club seats, the school announced. That's important for the Jackets, not only because the seats are sold at a premium but because their location has made previous vacancies noticeable. ... Tech practiced at the Georgia Dome on Tuesday because of rain and the threat of thunderstorms.
 

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EOG Master
#63
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Talent piles up in Jackets' secondary

Published on: 08/22/06 Chan Gailey wanted to use the first two weeks of preseason practice to figure out who would play in Georgia Tech's secondary.
It didn't work out that way, but that's a good thing.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Tech's coach said so many players have done so well that the Yellow Jackets haven't settled on starters.
At the cornerback position opposite Kenny Scott, Pat Clark moved ahead of Jahi Word-Daniels last week to practice with the first team in the base defense, with Word-Daniels playing corner and Clark playing nickel back in the five-defensive-back set.
Avery Roberson continues to practice at corner and at safety.
"We're going to wait and see how all that shakes out," Gailey said after Saturday's scrimmage.
Before the end of the season another name could come into play: Laurence Marius. The freshman cornerback from Key West, Fla., has been living up to his billing as one of the team's top signees.
Gailey often won't mention a player unless asked about him but made a point to talk about Marius after the scrimmage.
"I thought Marius made some plays out there today, made several tackles and did some good things," Gailey said. "He's playing very well right now."
Smith appreciates season as redshirt
Greg Smith wanted to play last season straight out of Douglass High School. Now he's glad he didn't. He's in the running for one of Tech's top three receiving jobs.
"Redshirting was the best thing that ever happened to me," Smith said. "It let me get bigger and stronger and faster and smarter. I just feel like I'm an overall better player.
"You've got a lot to learn coming from high school. The time I had sitting out got me stronger, mentally and physically."
Dad follows son despite distance
There are Yellow Jackets fans all over the world. These days, Dan Paquette follows the team from Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He's working a four-month tour of duty for a Defense Department contractor. His job: Manage the people who maintain military communications equipment. His son Alex Paquette is a redshirt freshman walk-on defensive end.
Because of his father's work, Alex was born in Germany and lived in Colorado, New Jersey and Germany again before settling in Georgia by the time he reached sixth grade. Dan is based in the relative safety of Kuwait but has had to venture into war zones.
"He's riding around in Humvees," Alex said. "He's got to travel back and forth. Last time, he had a few mortar shells shot at his base."
Father and son stay in touch with daily e-mails. The Internet makes it easy for Dan to stay on top of Yellow Jackets news.
"I made [the ACC academic honor roll]," Alex said, "and he knew before I did."
Practice closes as summer break ends
Monday was the first day of classes. It also was the first day of closed practices, as the team starts working on its game plan for the opener Sept. 2 against Notre Dame.
 

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EOG Master
#64
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

GEORGIA TECH
Weis says road opening suits Irish

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/23/06 South Bend, Ind. ? The good ol' days are gone at Notre Dame, where the football team no longer plays every game at home, as in 1895, when a squad nicknamed the "Catholics" beat Northwestern Law, the Illinois Cycling Club and the Chicago Physicians and Surgeons, but got whipped by Indianapolis Artillery.
Notre Dame doesn't schedule carpetbaggers any more, the team is known as the Fighting Irish and they'll begin their third straight season on the road, Sept. 2 at Georgia Tech. That seems fine with second-year coach Charlie Weis.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
AP
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis (center) watches his team sing happy birthday to a player at a preseason practice. Weis moved the team indoors to practice in 90-degree heat to prepare for Tech.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "I enjoy going on the road because it plays to my psyche of an 'us-against-the-world' mentality," he said. "I like that where, 'It's just us in this locker room.' "
Weis' first Irish team went 5-0 in away games, including a season opening victory at then-No. 23 Pitt. The Irish followed that with a 17-10 win at No. 3 Michigan and also won at Washington, at No. 22 Purdue and at Stanford with 55 seconds left, prompting the coach to say his team was more focused behind enemy lines.
Notre Dame is 11-2-1 in games at Georgia Tech, where Weis said, "There will be a few [Notre Dame] fans there, but basically it's going to be all them, and be all hostile, just the way you want it. I like to play to that psyche."
To get ready for the conditions in Atlanta, Weis enlisted the help of a few Irish players from Georgia ? star running back Darius Walker
(Buford) and cornerback Mike Richardson
(Warner Robins).
"We practiced inside, and cranked [the heat] up, and it was miserable," Weis said. "I was the only one who knew it was going to be that way. It was hot in there, about 90, and it was humid in there.
"I turned to a few guys from Georgia and said, 'Look familiar?' I'm trying to send a message that this is what it's going to be like."
Weis said Notre Dame has more reinforcements in 2006 than it did last season, especially on defense. The Irish went 9-3 last season, its losses coming to Michigan State, Southern Cal and Ohio State [Fiesta Bowl].
"When you're going out there for the first game of the year, you have to be ready to beat the heat and the humidity, and you can't do that if you're not willing to use your depth," he said. "If you're just going to keep your front guys in the whole time, then you're just opening up a can of worms."
 

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EOG Master
#65
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Jackets selective on special teams

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/24/06 Georgia Tech's added emphasis on special teams this season shows up in more practice time for the kicking game and more direct attention from coach Chan Gailey.
It won't necessarily show up in more starters on the return and coverage teams.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td><table bgcolor="#cccccc" border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" width="170"><tbody><tr><td><table bgcolor="#ffffff" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="168"><tbody><tr class="railscreen01"><td>Your Turn</td></tr></tbody></table><table bgcolor="#ffffff" border="0" cellpadding="9" cellspacing="0" width="168"><tbody><tr><td> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td colspan="2">
</td> </tr> </tbody></table> <script language="javascript"> function clickVote() { document.pollForm.buttonClicked.value = "yes"; document.pollForm.PageId.value = "poll_vote_submit"; document.pollForm.submit(); } function alert1(){ document.pollForm.buttonClicked.value = ""; } </script> <form method="post" action="/poll/poll/poll/take_poll/PollRefresh.jsp" name="pollForm"> <input name="PageId" value="poll_vote_submit" type="hidden"> <input name="pollID" value="10447" type="hidden"> <input name="page" value="take" type="hidden"> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td width="100%"> [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1] How would you rate Tech's recruiting class thus far? [/SIZE][/FONT] </td> <td align="right" height="15" width="46">
</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top"> <input name="choice" value="37030" type="radio"> [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1] It's been great, very impressive. [/SIZE][/FONT] </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top"> <input name="choice" value="37031" type="radio"> [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1] Good, but they need to keep it going. [/SIZE][/FONT] </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" valign="top"> <input name="choice" value="37032" type="radio"> [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1] It doesn't matter until they show their stuff in a Tech uniform. [/SIZE][/FONT] </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">
</td></tr> <tr> <td align="center" width="100%"> <input value="Vote" name="vote" type="submit">
[FONT=arial,helvetica][SIZE=-2]Voter Limit: Once per Hour
View Poll Results [/SIZE][/FONT] </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </form> </td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Judging from the open practices Tech conducted the first half of the preseason, you'll see a couple of familiar numbers on the field along with some second-teamers and some players further down the depth chart. It's not just a question of who is the best athlete or blocker or tackler, but who will be playing 60 or more snaps a game on offense or defense and doesn't have a backup ready to step into that role.
"None of the coaches have put anybody off-limits, but you have to do a good job of judging in certain positions," special teams coordinator Charles Kelly said.
"Where we have depth issues we have to be smart," Gailey said. "That's what I have told him. Linebacker is one of our places where we have depth issues, so we're trying to be smart where we use KaMichael =Hall] and Philip [Wheeler] and Gary [Guyton]."
Tech quartet faces hair-care issues
Practicing football under Atlanta's summer sun drains every player, but it can be especially uncomfortable for the dreadlock-wearing quartet of Wheeler, defensive backs Avery Roberson and Djay Jones and running back Rashaun Grant.
"It gets hot in the sun. Underneath the helmet it's like a sauna," said Roberson, who hasn't cut his hair in two years but still has a way to go to catch Grant for the title of longest braids.
Wheeler has another hair-care issue. The two women who used to braid his hair moved to Florida and California, and he needs to find a replacement as soon as possible. His position coach offered another idea.
"If it was up to me, he'd cut them," linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary said with a smile. "I think his mom expressed that, too. I think between me and his mother, we're going to get them cut at some point. I can't say when because then he'd know, but we're going to take care of it."
New starters bring enthusiasm, confidence
Tech has eight new starters this season, not including special teams. Guyton, Jones, Tashard Choice, James Johnson, Darryl Richard, Darrell Robertson, Jamal Lewis and Pat Clark or Jahi Word-Daniels will be full-time starters for the first time. Some are likely to take a big step up because of their new jobs.
"For every guy who didn't start last year and is starting this year, you see a different look in their eye," Gailey said. "They're excited. They're enthusiastic. They're working hard. I think that's true for every player in America, whether they're a junior high player or a high school player or college or pro. You get that little edge to you. You know you're the guy, and you weren't last year."
Changing sides of ball not easy for Wrotto
Mansfield Wrotto isn't a new starter, but he's not exactly a returning starter, either. He's an old starter at a new position, and though he knows what it's like to play Division I-A football, he doesn't know what it's like to do that on offense.
His biggest challenge isn't learning what to do but getting to where he reacts quickly enough.
"You don't want to have to think about it," Wrotto said. "You see the linebacker move, you see the end move, you want to know immediately what to do."
Ball makes early list
for Manning Award
Reggie Ball was one of 22 players named to the watch list for the Manning Award, presented to the best college quarterback, the Sugar Bowl committee announced. The award, voted on by a media panel, will be presented after the bowl season.
 

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EOG Master
#66
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Hall sees competition for linebacker award

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/25/06 KaMichael Hall's path to the Butkus Award leads through six of his 64 top competitors for the title of college football's best linebacker.
Hall and Georgia Tech open against Maurice Crum and Notre Dame and also face Vince Hall and Virginia Tech, Anthony Waters and Clemson, Jon Beason and Miami, Larry Edwards and North Carolina and Jarvis Jackson and Georgia. All were among the 65 players named Thursday to the watch list for the award.
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JOHNNY CRAWFORD / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Receiver Calvin Johnson hasn't heard trash talk since he was the ACC's rookie of the year in 2004.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Ten semifinalists will be announced Oct. 19, with three finalists named Nov. 9 and the winner announced Dec. 9. A media panel makes the selections.
Tech's Marco Coleman was a finalist in 1991.
Johnson's performance silences trash talk
Everybody might be talking about Calvin Johnson, but they're not talking at him. Or, at least, they're not trash-talking at him.
"Not anymore, not since my freshman year," Johnson said Thursday in a teleconference with reporters. "I have worked hard to be in the position I am in right now, so [that respect] is something that is earned."
Johnson, a junior, hasn't been a trash talker on or off the field.
"It is not the way I do things," he said. "I just go out there and do what I have to do."
It's not game week yet, but with classes back in session and No. 2 Notre Dame on tap to open the season Sept. 2 there's already a game-week type of atmosphere around the Tech campus.
"We get comments about this game from everyone around us," Johnson said. "Everybody is encouraging us."
McManus returns to offense after injury
Offensive guard Nathan McManus, out since injuring his left leg in an Aug. 15 scrimmage, returned to practice Thursday afternoon, Tech coach Chan Gailey said. He's the second offensive line starter and the fourth member of the offensive line two-deep to return from an injury. Guards Matt Rhodes and Jacob Lonowski and center Trey Dunmon returned earlier this week.
Gailey hopes experience improves return game
Gailey has decided to open the season with experience at punt and kickoff returner. Pat Clark will again return punts, and Rashaun Grant and Chris Dunlap will return kicks. Clark returned a team-high 30 punts for 191 yards last season after returning five for 19 yards as a freshman. Grant's 11 kickoff returns last season were second on the team to Chris Woods' 17, and Grant averaged a team-high 22.6 yards per return. Dunlap returned three for an average of 19.3 yards.
The Yellow Jackets would like to get a little more spark in their return game. Their last punt-return touchdown came three years ago (Jonathan Smith against Virginia), and their last kickoff-return touchdown was in the 20th century (Dez White against Maryland in 1998).
 

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EOG Master
#67
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

GEORGIA TECH
'Mental aspect' keeps freshmen on bench

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/25/06 The odds on Georgia Tech turning out the ACC freshman of the year for the third time in four seasons are not good. And that might be a good thing.
Of Tech's 15 scholarship freshmen, coach Chan Gailey said, "The five that will play, as it looks right now, are Robert Hall, Laurence Marius, Sedric Griffin, Shane Bowen and Jamaal Evans."
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Freshman running back Jamaal Evans says enrolling in January helped him get a jump learning the game and playing early.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> Gailey means they're ready to contribute Sept. 2 against Notre Dame, not start, other than perhaps on special teams. That handicaps their chances of winning the ACC freshman of the year award that quarterback Reggie Ball captured after becoming a starter for his very first game in 2003. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson also won the award, in 2004, starting every game.
Generally, it's not physical issues that keep freshmen on the sideline. "It's the mental aspect, and them not understanding the speed of the game," Gailey said. "That's the one thing they have no way to simulate ? the speed and intensity of the game."
Here's a look at how scholarship freshmen stack up by position:
Running back
Two of the freshmen Gailey tabbed to play early enrolled in January, getting a jump on classmates.
"It's helped a lot because I know everything to do as far as [blitz] pickups, the audibles, as opposed to coming in June 19th, when I probably wouldn't have picked it all up," Jamaal Evans said. "I came early because I wanted to increase my chances of playing as a true freshman. I wanted to get on the field."
Evans is the No. 3 tailback. Freshmen Quincy Kelly and Trevor Bray are down the depth chart.
Quarterback
Byron Ingram has had moments in practice, but for now he's well down the depth chart behind Ball, Taylor Bennett, Jonathan Garner and perhaps Kyle Manley.
Receivers
Correy Earls was given consideration in the kickoff and punt-return games, where he excelled in high school, but he's not likely to be a factor early.
Demaryius Thomas also played well in summer camp, but Tech has several veteran wide receivers, so he and Earls would have to leapfrog several players.
Austin Barrick is behind a crowd at tight end.
Offensive line
The Yellow Jackets didn't sign any offensive linemen in February.
Defensive line
Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta has been more inclined to deploy young players in the front seven rather than the secondary. Tackle Vance Walker played in 10 games and started two last year as a freshman, and tackle Darryl Richard started four games as a freshman in 2004.
Robert Hall, recruited as a 210-pound linebacker but is up to 225 pounds, could work his way up to the No. 4 or 5 end spot. He also might factor into special teams.
Freshman tackle Ben Anderson is behind considerable depth in the interior line.
Linebackers
Shane Bowen, like Evans, enrolled early and has spent time with the second string, where Sedric Griffin also has seen work. Tech coaches say they feel good about the starting trio of KaMichael Hall, Philip Wheeler and Gary Guyton. The backup linebackers are generally inexperienced, other than Travis Chambers.
Bowen and Griffin will play some and add to special teams. Fellow freshman Osahon Tongo might have been able to play, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury early in camp.
Secondary
Laurence Marius worked with the second string at times, but Tenuta is likely to mix in six more experienced defensive backs early in the season. Marius is No. 7 or 8 while playing cornerback. He has shown enough that it's quite plausible that he'll play some defense this season, and he might be an option as a return man.
Dominique Reese, chiefly a quarterback in high school, is learning the cornerback position, and safety DeRon Jasper is behind several players.
 

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EOG Master
#68
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

2006 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW
How Johnson can win the Heisman
Tech receiver already among Jackets greats

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/27/06 Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington's 2001 Heisman Trophy campaign featured a 10-story billboard near Times Square. The University of Memphis sent sports writers model race cars last year to promote DeAngelo Williams' "Race for the Heisman." Washington State mailed envelopes containing a leaf to back Ryan Leaf in 1997.
Those marketing efforts produced plenty of publicity. They didn't, however, produce a Heisman Trophy winner. The award honors college football's best player, not its best gimmick.
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PHIL SKINNER / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Tech hasn't turned up the Heisman hype machine for Calvin Johnson, but they prefer it that way.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> So Georgia Tech is trying something different. Yellow Jackets junior receiver Calvin Johnson appears on many preseason Heisman watch lists but in no high-dollar promotional efforts. The school's publicity work so far has been as low-key as Johnson himself.
You can find a Calvin Johnson Web page ? with video, photos and statistics ? linked from the Tech athletics home page at Ramblinwreck.com. And Johnson conducted a conference call with reporters on Thursday, a behind-the-scenes move that could raise his profile.
But the ACC's preseason player of the year graces the back cover of the media guide, not the front, and there's no special Calvin Johnson page inside, just a standard player profile positioned alphabetically on pages 65-67 between profiles of safety DeRon Jasper and receiver James Johnson.
Tech doesn't plan any giveaways, like the mouse pads and highlight video CDs it shipped to potential voters to support Joe Hamilton's candidacy in 1999. Hamilton finished second, matching Billy Lothridge (1963) for the best finish in school history.
"I learned with Joe Hamilton," Tech sports information director Allison George said. "We did a lot of stuff for him, and that was fine, but all the CDs and everything that we did didn't have one millionth of the effect of him going 22-for-25 against Florida State on national TV."
Tech's publicity for Johnson is so understated it uses the term "All-America" but not the word "Heisman."
"If he plays well, I don't have to send out something that says he's a Heisman Trophy candidate," George said. "You guys [in the media] do that for me."
Less is more in Heisman PR
Recent history suggests she's right.
Southern California has won three of the past four Heismans without staging elaborate campaigns. USC sports information director Tim Tessalone, who has helped five Trojans win college football's top individual award, used to think he had to start early and make a lot of noise to reach the more than 900 Heisman voters.
"We always had a belief you had to go into your potential Heisman season with a lot of juice," Tessalone said. "We always tried to change a player's name from 'John Doe' to 'John Doe, Heisman candidate.' "
But USC didn't do that for 2002 winner Carson Palmer. He wasn't on the media guide cover, and the Trojans were coming off a 6-6 season in which Palmer threw almost as many interceptions (12) as touchdown passes (13). In October 2002, when it was clear Palmer and Co. were a lot more special than people anticipated, Tessalone pitched the idea of Palmer as a candidate to the most influential TV announcers, newspaper reporters and Internet writers.
"I'm thinking 15 guys," he said. "Once they started writing about it or talking about it, that spread the word."
Last year, Tessalone had 2004 Heisman winner Matt Leinart and 2005 candidate Reggie Bush do what amounted to a video blog at MattReggieTV.com, and Tessalone e-mailed football highlight videos to reporters and broadcasters. Bush won.
"We could've basically taken a vacation and let those two guys play," Tessalone said, adding that any big gimmick might have been counterproductive. "I think voters now almost get turned off if there's too much done. Media people roll their eyes."
Others reached the same conclusion.
"Our [Heisman publicity] budget was zero," said Michigan's Bruce Madej, who promoted 1991 winner Desmond Howard and 1997 winner Charles Woodson. "It was great players with decent PR."
Wisconsin took a "no-frills, budget-friendly approach" to helping Ron Dayne to the 1999 Heisman, said Steve Malchow, the Badgers' publicist at the time. Weekly postcards sent to about 1,000 recipients tracked Dayne's pursuit of the NCAA career rushing record.
Oklahoma also used postcards to keep people up to date on Jason White's accomplishments en route to the 2003 Heisman.
"I learned that less is more if the less has substance," Oklahoma publicist Kenny Mossman said.
Wins carry a lot of weight, too
A 2003 survey of Heisman voters showed the most important factor they considered was what they'd seen on television. The second-most important factor was how the players did in marquee games, according to the survey Clark Haptonstall did for his Florida State doctoral thesis.
That suggests Johnson's candidacy could hinge on how he performs in Tech's opener against Notre Dame Saturday night on ABC. The Irish have two Heisman candidates ? quarterback Brady Quinn, the frontrunner, and receiver Jeff Samardzija. Johnson said he won't get caught up in proving he's the top receiver on the field.
"I'll just go out there and perform my best," Johnson said. "Whatever he does, he does. It's not really a competition between the two of us. It's a competition between the two teams, not just us."
Johnson can't win the Heisman if Tech doesn't win a lot of games. Only one Heisman winner since 1989 played on a team that won fewer than 10; Ricky Williams played on a 9-3 Texas team.
"One thing that is key is if you can get in the Top 25," George said, "because then your scores are everywhere. Everyone's going to read, 'Calvin Johnson caught six passes and two touchdowns to lead Georgia Tech over Wake Forest' or whoever it is."
That's Tech's strategy, to let Johnson's feats speak for themselves, at least for now.
"His play promotes him tremendously," Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "I'm probably more old school than I should be in that respect. If things go well this year and he has another great year and he ends up what he was voted in the preseason [ACC player of the year], then maybe we'll have to look at playing the game, so to speak."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#69
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

<table border="0" cellspacing="1" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td class="TSN1d" align="center" width="100%">2006 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Schedule/Results</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="TSN1"><td width="50%"> </td><td colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%">Won 0 Lost 0</td></tr> <tr> <td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%"> </td> </tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 2 - vs. Notre Dame, 8:00 PM, ET</td><td class="TSN5" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 9 - vs. Samford, 3:30 PM, ET</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 16 - vs. Troy, 1:30 PM, ET</td><td class="TSN5" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 21 - vs. Virginia, 7:30 PM, ET</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 30 - at Virginia Tech, TBA</td><td class="TSN5" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 7 - vs. Maryland, TBA</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Oct 14 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 21 - at Clemson, TBA</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Oct 28 - vs. Miami-Florida, TBA</td><td class="TSN5" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 4 - at NC State, TBA</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 11 - at North Carolina, TBA</td><td class="TSN5" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 18 - vs. Duke, TBA</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 25 - at Georgia, 3:30 PM ET</td><td class="TSN5" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr></tbody></table>

<table border="0" cellspacing="1" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="TSN1d" align="center" width="100%">2005 Results</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="TSN1"><td width="50%"> </td><td colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%">Won 7 Lost 5</td></tr> <tr> <td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%"> </td> </tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 3 - W at Auburn, 23-14</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 10 - W vs. North Carolina, 27-21</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 17 - W vs. Connecticut, 28-13</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 24 - L at Virginia Tech, 7-51</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Oct 1 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 6 - L vs. NC State, 14-17</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Oct 15 - W at Duke, 35-10</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 22 - Postponed at Miami-Florida</td><td class="TSN1" colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Oct 29 - W vs. Clemson, 10-9</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 5 - W vs. Wake Forest, 30-17</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 12 - L at Virginia, 17-27</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 19 - W at Miami-Florida, 14-10</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 26 - L vs. Georgia, 7-14</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%">Dec 3 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Dec 29 - L at Utah, 10-38</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr></tbody></table>

<table border="0" cellspacing="1" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="TSN1d" align="center" width="100%">2004 Results</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="TSN1"><td width="50%"> </td><td colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%">Won 7 Lost 5</td></tr> <tr> <td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%"> </td> </tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Aug 28 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 4 - W vs. Samford, 28-7</td><td class="TSN1" width="25%"> </td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 11 - W at Clemson, 28-24</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 18 - L at North Carolina, 13-34</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Sep 25 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 2 - L vs. Miami-Florida, 3-27</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Oct 9 - W at Maryland, 20-7</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 16 - W vs. Duke, 24-7</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Oct 23 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 28 - L vs. Virginia Tech, 20-34</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 6 - W at NC State, 24-14</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 13 - W vs. Connecticut, 30-10</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 20 - L vs. Virginia, 10-30</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 27 - L at Georgia, 13-19</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Dec 4 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Dec 21 - W vs. Syracuse, 51-14</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr></tbody></table>

<table border="0" cellspacing="1" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="TSN1d" align="center" width="100%">2003 Results</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="TSN1"><td width="50%"> </td><td colspan="2" width="50%"> </td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%">Won 7 Lost 6</td></tr> <tr> <td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%"> </td> </tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Aug 23 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Aug 28 - L at B-Y-U, 13-24</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 6 - W vs. Auburn, 17-3</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 13 - L at Florida State, 13-14</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Sep 20 - L vs. Clemson, 3-39</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Sep 27 - W at Vanderbilt, 24-17 OT</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Oct 4 - W vs. NC State, 29-21</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 11 - W at Wake Forest, 24-7</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Oct 18 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Oct 23 - W vs. Maryland, 7-3</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" colspan="3" width="100%">Nov 1 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 8 - L at Duke, 17-41</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 15 - W vs. North Carolina, 41-24</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" width="50%">Nov 22 - L at Virginia, 17-29</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN1" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Nov 29 - L vs. Georgia, 17-34</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN1" colspan="3" width="100%">Dec 6 - Open</td></tr><tr><td class="TSN5" width="50%">Jan 3 - W at Tulsa, 52-10</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Wrap</td><td class="TSN5" align="center" width="25%">Box</td></tr></tbody></table> </td> </tr></tbody></table>
 

dirty

EOG Master
#70
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

2006 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW
Furman Bisher: 'The best game I ever saw'
Veteran columnist puts Tech-UVa classic in 1990 at the top of his list

Published on: 08/25/06 Topic: The best college football game I've ever seen? Hmm-m-m-m-m, let's see. That covers a lot of ground, all the way back to 1933, N.C. State-Wake Forest in old Reddick Field in Raleigh. It was a scoreless tie. I'd seen a game, but I still hadn't seen a touchdown. In the next 57 years I'd see plenty. I'd also see a boatload of "best games." Sometimes they'd come at you like a gusher, then you'd see another, and you were sure that it was better than the last.
Then, on a Saturday in November 1990, it hit and it stuck. Oh, it wasn't just the game, it was all the circumstances woven into it, a mosaic of college football at its finest. College football in a classic setting of the academe, between two institutions noted for maintaining the highest of standards. That week Virginia had been voted No. 1 in the country, the first time in the history of the Cavaliers ? or "Wahoos," as they'd come to address themselves precociously. Charlottesville was alive with anticipation. You could almost feel its pulse-beat in the air.
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AP
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Kicker Scott Sisson (right) and holder Scott Aldredge were the heroes at Scott Stadium.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> This is one of America's classic college towns, given more to the historic than the histrionic. A bow-tie kind of town that presides over its own particular preserve in the Shenandoahs, rather unaccustomed to such autumn exhilaration as this. Georgia Tech had come into this atmospheric whirlpool ranked only 16th, but undefeated, its only blemish a 13-13 tie with North Carolina.
Most unbecoming to this campus, some dastardly wretches had broken into Scott Stadium and set fire to the artificial turf during the night. By the time the fire department could extinguish the flames, the field had been seriously burned and the damage was extensive. But athletics director Jim Copeland and his staff never blinked, and the 18-by-32-foot section of the turf was repaired with time to spare for the 2:30 kickoff, as designated by the CBS network for its national telecast.
Tell the truth, this was the loftiest moment in UVa football, and staid old Scott Stadium overflowed. So did its press box, where every inch of space was filled. To memorialize the occasion, sports information director Rich Murray had distributed T-shirts to all occupants that read: "I Squeezed Into the Press Box at Scott Stadium ? Virginia vs. Georgia Tech, November 3, 1990." I still have mine and sleep in it on occasion.
On the Georgia Tech side, here was Bobby Ross, a VMI graduate returning to his home state for the most important game in his career as the Yellow Jackets coach. It was a match between two quarterbacks named Shawn ? Jones of Georgia Tech, Moore of Virginia. At halftime, Virginia had banked a 28-14 lead, and history showed that 49 of the 55 times the Cavaliers led at halftime in George Welsh's reign, they won.
Tech tied the score at 28-all, then six times held off the Cavaliers offense inside the 6-yard line. One touchdown was called back for illegal procedure, and Virginia had to settle for a field goal. From here on in, it was a battle of knock-down offenses. Virginia went ahead, then Tech fired back, and on it went. As the third quarter ended, William Bell crashed into the end zone and Scott Sisson ? remember that name? ? kicked the tying 35th extra point. Sisson then kicked a field goal, and Tech had its first lead. Virginia came back with a field goal of its own, and the score was tied again, 38-all, with darkness closing in on Charlottesville.
Two minutes left, Tech moved the ball from its own 24-yard line to the Virginia 20. Timeout. Seven seconds were left, and Virginia retaliated with a timeout to "freeze" Sisson, who was lined up for a field goal. Scott Aldredge kneeled for the snap, placed the ball, and Sisson kicked it through the uprights from 37 yards, the clock ran out, and the two Scotts had beaten Virginia in its own Scott Stadium, 41-38.
"I think we're back," Bobby Ross said, "and I've been reluctant to say that," and he was right on. Georgia Tech finished its run against Wake Forest and Georgia, then husked Nebraska's corn in the Citrus Bowl, thus becoming nation's No. l, at least in the eyes of one news service.
Ross would win one more bowl game in Hawaii the next season, then shockingly depart for the San Diego Chargers and a Super Bowl, then the Detroit Lions, then a Lions "burnout."
Now he's back in the college game, trying to restore pride at West Point, just as he did when he came to Georgia Tech.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#71
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Tech?s changes point to 7-5 again

By Jeff Schultz | Friday, August 25, 2006, 03:00 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jeff Schultz

Who says engineering schools are dull? Georgia Tech saw its football coach (Chan Gailey) finally sign a five-year extension, only to turn around and hand play-calling duties to Patrick Nix (which infuriated nobody). The school hired a new athletics director (Dan Radakovich) to replace his beaten-down predecessor (Dave Braine). Also, the Yellow Jackets took yoga classes.
To what extent this opens Tech?s chakras or elevates the team to an enlightened state remains to be seen. But I?m thinking it?s going to take more than a candle and incense to beat Notre Dame.
Sept. 2: Notre Dame
There?s a book out, ?The New Gold Standard: Charlie Weis and Notre Dame?s Rise to Glory.? First time I?ve ever seen a 9-3 season associated with ?gold standard? or ?glory.? Of course, the Irish hadn?t won nine games since Ty Willingham won 10 in his first season. That certainly turned out well. Did Willingham get a book in South Bend, too, or is that just reserved for dumpy white guys with crew cuts? The Irish have talent. Tech has a habit of jolting ranked opponents. Count on a scare, but that?s all:
? Prediction: Loss.
Sept. 9: Samford
Hey, beatable Bulldogs! Tech beat Samford only 28-7 two years ago after winning the first five meetings in the series by a combined 170-0. But you can?t be picky. Besides, Samford might be feeling cocky after that opener against Miles College (huh?).
? Prediction: Win.
Sept. 16: Troy
Ah, the extent a schedule-maker will go to get a team back above .500 after Notre Dame week. Why not just add Montevallo in Week 4 and crown this the ?Punks of Alabama Month?? Troy, at least, could make things interesting with a spread offense. Did I just say that?
? Prediction: Win.
Sept. 21: Virginia
It?s a short week with an ESPN game. Fortunately, Virginia isn?t a step up from Troy. When the Cadavers hired Al Groh, they expected a Bill Parcells clone, not a coach who would go 2-11 against Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Boston College. Virginia even lost to North Carolina last year, 7-5. The fact Groh has had several NFL graduates leads to only one conclusion: He?s coaching them down.
? Prediction: 3-1.
Sept. 30: at Virginia Tech
Imagine going 11-2 and being in a bad mood. (Jackets can only imagine.) Hokies started 8-0, then were drilled by Miami, lost to FSU in the ACC title game and had a Gator Bowl win soiled by Marcus Vick?s tap dance on an opponent. But Va-Tech is what Miami used to be ? a program on constant reload. Upset? Don?t even think about it.
? Prediction: Smackdown.
Oct. 7: Maryland
I like Ralph Friedgen. Everybody likes Ralph Friedgen. But when 10-12 in two seasons follows 31-8 in the first three, you don?t want to be anywhere near Ralph Friedgen. The man?s so dejected, I guess he can?t eat. He?s lost 30 pounds, give or take a Ho Ho. He also lost his coordinators ? and nobody?s sure where they?re buried. Friedgen will go back to calling plays, which is what he?s good at.
? So eat this up: Loss.
Oct. 21: at Clemson
Team Esso has become the fashionable upset pick in the ACC Atlantic, which begs the question, ?Since when do teams that lose to Wake Forest become fashionable upset picks?? If the Tigers? annual preseason projections were any more inflated, they?d be Georgia. Yeah, they have 17 starters back. But they?re CLEMSON starters. I think I just talked myself into an upset.
? Prediction: Win.
Oct. 28: Miami
It?s been a great offseason for Miami. Larry Coker blew out his coaching staff, four players (including running back Tyrone Moss) were suspended and another was shot in his hiney. The alumni liked it better when the players just won national titles between arrests. But motivation won?t be a problem against Tech, which somehow won in the Orange Bowl last year. Payback time.
? Prediction: Loss.
Nov. 4: at N.C. State
Chuck Amato said he would build a great program. Then again, he never said when. Or where. For that matter, he never said football. Maybe he was talking about a cooking show? The Wolfpack is only 23-25 in the ACC under Chuckles. Hope he enjoys that rugged non-conference schedule (Appalachian State, Akron, Southern Miss, East Carolina).
? Prediction: Win.
Nov. 11: at North Carolina
Buzz gets the Tar Heels the week after they?re pummeled at Notre Dame and the week before they meet their rivals from Raleigh. And there?s this: Carolina QB Joe Dailey is a transfer from Nebraska, where he threw 19 interceptions in 2004 and was on the hook for the Cornboys? first losing season since 1961. Oops.
? Prediction: Win.
Nov. 18: Duke
Zack Asack, who would have started at quarterback for the Blue Devils, was suspended for the season for cheating on a test. OK, I?m trying to figure out what the problem is. Duke was 1-10 last season and is 9-59 in the past six. Is losing the quarterback going to make that big of a difference?
? Prediction: Three straight!
Nov. 25: at Georgia
The Jackets allowed 85 points in Gailey?s first two games against Dog U but only 33 in the past two. So somebody?s figured something out. But moral victories don?t pay the donors who pay the bills. Same game, same story. Another Tech senior class gets blanked.
? Prediction: Loss (record: 7-5).
Permalink | Comments (43) | Post your comment | Categories: Jeff Sch
 

dirty

EOG Master
#72
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Just give Calvin the darn ball!!

By Terence Moore | Friday, August 25, 2006, 03:00 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Terence Moore

Maybe if we all get together, aim our mouths toward Bobby Dodd Stadium and shout loud enough, those involved the most with Georgia Tech?s offense (head coach Chan Gailey, coordinator Patrick Nix and quarterback Reggie Ball) will hear us and actually do this:
Get the ball to Calvin Johnson.
You know, they should just get the ball to Calvin Johnson.
No excuses this time. Not with Gailey out of the picture as play-caller and the hopefully more imaginative Nix taking his place. Not since Ball really should know what he?s doing by now as a fourth-year starter, including his third with Johnson in the same huddle. Not when you clearly have the best wide receiver in the country who isn?t wearing an NFL uniform.
Ever since Johnson joined the Yellow Jackets after his prolific high school days in Tyrone, he has caught everything and anything within reach of his agile frame of 6 feet 5 and 235 pounds. He has turned the spectacular into the routine. So they should just get him the ball.
?Yeah, if he?s one-on-one out there, yeah, we ought to be throwing the ball to him, because that means they?re stacking against the run,? said Nix, in his fifth season as a Jackets assistant, whose response should make the Tech nation a little nervous. I mean, the Jackets ?ought to be throwing the ball to him? no matter what ? within reason, of course. Such always is the case when you have a great one. Terrell Owens. Randy Moss. Chad Johnson. Tech?s Johnson is destined to be their equal. You even could see as much last season, when the Jackets finished a ridiculous 103rd out of the NCAA?s 119 Division I-A teams in points scored. No way an offense should be that dreadful with a Calvin Johnson.
Mostly, no way Tech?s offense should be less than wonderful this season with an experienced offensive line, with a talented running back such as Tashard Choice and with Nix doing everything he can to get Calvin Johnson the ball.
Nix will be obsessed with getting Johnson the ball, won?t he?
Oh, well. ?If they?re out there doubling him and totally trying to keep him out of the ballgame, then we?ve got other receivers and backs and a quarterback and everybody else who can make plays and get the job done,? Nix said. ?Overall, we?ll use [Johnson] generally the same way [as we did in previous years]. Once again, he?s one member of an 11-member unit, so you?ve got 10 other people who have to fit in, too. He might be able to handle a little bit more, but what can those other guys handle? You have to put them in the best position, too. You?ve got to think of the whole thing, including what they might be doing defensively.?
With apologies to Nix, forget what opponents might be doing defensively. Those among Tech?s offensive brain trust should be doing everything they can to make opponents fret over what the Jackets might be doing offensively. It?s a philosophy that should begin and end with Johnson. It?s a philosophy that made Southern Cal dominate in recent years. The Trojans? Calvin Johnson was Reggie Bush, and given the aggressive offensive approach by those on the Southern Cal coaching staff regarding Bush, they had others more worried about what the Trojans might do than the other way around.
Which brings us back to Johnson, the ultimate weapon that Tech should unleash with regularity.
?He?s a phenom, and everybody wants to put the ball in his hands,? said Ball, who rarely did last season. Well, considering everything. Courtesy of Ball?s erratic play and Gailey?s conservative play-calling, Johnson caught just six more passes and one fewer touchdown as a sophomore than he did as a freshman. Through it all, Johnson remained the humble youngster that he is, with Gailey saying, ?He understands that he?s good. Who are we fooling? But at the same time, he understands that he has a responsibility to be the best that he can be, and that means continuing to work.?
No problem there for Johnson, whose work ethic always has been praised by his coaches and peers. All he needs now is for Nix to keep calling his number and to have Ball keep delivering passes somewhere within his area code. ?Basically, I know when [Ball] is going to come my way, and we give each other a little look in the huddle sometime,? Johnson said. ?Since we?ve played together for so long, it?s just natural for us. We?ve learned each other?s mentality so to speak. I definitely expect [our] chemistry to be even better this year.?
So get him the ball.
Permalink | Comments (23) | Post your comment | Categories: Tech / ACC, Terence Moore
 

dirty

EOG Master
#73
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Comparing Tech's Johnson and Irish star

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/28/06 It's impossible to predict much about Notre Dame's game at Georgia Tech on Saturday, but it's a good bet neither team will get out of Bobby Dodd Stadium without completing a pass, which happened in 1975 and '76, when the Yellow Jackets didn't connect once (and won in '76 without even making an attempt).
Notre Dame has the nation's leading returning wideout, senior All-American Jeff Samardzija (77 catches last season), and Tech returns All-America junior Calvin Johnson, whom some draft experts feel is the nation's best wideout.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> At 235 pounds, Johnson is heavier than Samardzija, who weighs 218, but they're both 6 feet 5 and quite similar beyond that. Body types suggest they're possession receivers, but both are much more than that, two outstanding athletes with great hands who can be nightmares for opposing defenses.
Here's a comparison between them:
CALVIN JOHNSON
His statistics may not overwhelm: 48 receptions for 837 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman, 54 for 888 and six as a sophomore. But Tech threw only 418 passes last season. He had 27.4 percent of the Yellow Jackets' catches, Samardzija 26.2 percent for the Irish.
The nature of Johnson's catches is impossible to miss, however, and besides, numbers don't mean everything for a receiver who can also play small.
"He's very fast, very quick and very smart," Tech receivers coach Buddy Geis said. "There are receivers that are fast that are not quick. By that, I mean he can take you up the field, but when he has to he can get separation on an in-route, or a comeback, which makes him exceptional.
"Big receivers have a tendency to run, and once they get going they can go, but he can burst you up the field at 18 or 20 yards, and come back as good as any 6-foot, or 5-11 receiver I've had. To have control of his body at his age, he's done all the right things in his life, I can tell you that."
Longtime NFL scout Gil Brandt said Johnson generates uncanny straight-line momentum for a player his size.
"He's everything you want in a wide receiver. He's tall, has great speed," Brandt said. "Calvin averages right at 17 yards a catch, so he's pretty good. Johnson reminds you a lot of a Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens in that once they make a catch, they accelerate and pick up more yards."
JEFF SAMARDZIJA
Samardzija, a part-time pitcher who was drafted in the fifth round by baseball's Cubs this summer, might climb into the top of next year's NFL draft, too.
Amazing for a guy who was no higher than No. 3 on Notre Dame's wide receiver depth chart before last season.
But junior Rehma McKnight tore up a knee in the Irish's second game, and Samardzija took off, setting school records for yards (1,249) and touchdown receptions (15) in a season. He, too, has outstanding body control and can separate, but he might not quite have Johnson's vertical leap.
"He's going to be one of the interesting players of all time in the draft," Brandt said. "If the draft were today, I think Samardzija would be a top 10 pick. He's another big receiver playing in a very friendly passing offense.
"He may not be quite as fast as Johnson, but I think sometimes you're fooled by a person's speed."
Now that Tech coach Chan Gailey has turned over his offense to Patrick Nix, Gailey watches tape of opposing defenses and offenses.
He can tell Samardzija won't be easy to double team.
"[McKnight] was their leading receiver the two years prior to that. They're both very productive players, very good athletes," Gailey said. "On top of being athletes, they're very productive. They're a really good 1-2 punch."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#74
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Assured Nix takes over Tech offense

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/27/06 Patrick Nix reviewed game tape and rehearsed his passes like any other college quarterback, but Nix added one more piece of preparation in the week leading up to Auburn's game at No. 1 Florida.
He studied the book of Joshua.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"><tbody><tr><td>
Johnny Crawford / AJC
</td></tr><tr><td class="caption">Tech offensive coordinator Patrick Nix makes a point beside quarterback Reggie Ball and tight ends coach Jeep Hunter.
</td></tr></tbody></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> And the walls of the Swamp came tumbling down, metaphorically at least.
Nix threw an 8-yard touchdown pass in the final 30 seconds to give Auburn a 36-33 victory in a game that shocked the nation but not Nix. He had always believed.
Twelve years later, he still does. He believes in himself and his preparation. He believes in his approach and his answers. And he believes that at 34 he's ready to call the offensive plays for Georgia Tech. He debuts in that role Saturday night when Tech opens the season against No. 2 Notre Dame.
The man who left Auburn a decade ago as its career leader in passing efficiency might now rank as one of the nation's leaders in self-assurance. He gets it from his high school football coach father and from his lifetime in and around the game, but most of all, Nix said, he gets it from his Christian faith.
That faith doesn't guarantee his team will win. Auburn didn't go undefeated in his two seasons as a starting quarterback, and Henderson State went 2-9 and 1-10 in his two seasons as a head coach. But Nix does believe he's living God's plan for him, and that gives him confidence in his decisions and in himself.
"I'm where he wants me to be, and I'm doing what he wants me to do, so how can I fail?" Nix said.
Jesus won't call the play on third-and-15; that's Nix's job. But Nix's faith does give him an "inner peace" that he's doing the right things with his life and his career.
He has been preparing for this job literally as long as he can remember.
Indoctrinated as a child
Patrick and Rusty Nix tore up popcorn boxes in the stands on Friday nights to make confetti they'd throw on their dad after a victory. They'd ride with him on the team bus to and from every road game, and Saturday morning they'd put on the remains of Friday night's tearaway jerseys for their own game of football in the yard. Patrick, three years younger than Rusty, played against Rusty's friends, too.
"It would be pretty rough at times," Patrick said. "If I didn't compete with all I had I wasn't going to hang in with the older kids."
By the time he was 6 or 7 he had left his mom in the stands to join his dad and his brother on the sidelines, as the water boy, then the ball boy, then the play charter. By ninth grade, he was helping his dad break down game film. Conrad Nix coached Patrick's throwing motion, and they'd play catch for hours. When Rusty returned home from Jacksonville State for Christmas break, he and Patrick would head to the gym, and Rusty would catch so many passes he'd start to get blisters, and then Patrick would throw to trampoline targets instead.
Patrick had enough talent that he was recruited by Auburn and UCLA, but he was far from the jewel of the Tigers' signing class. He wasn't especially big, wasn't especially strong-armed, wasn't especially fast.
"By today's standards I wouldn't have been able to play a lick," Nix said. "I know I wouldn't recruit myself."
But he was smart enough and competitive enough to go 9-0-1 in his first 10 starts as a junior and captain his team to an 8-4 record as a senior. And he was poised enough as a sophomore to make one of the biggest plays in school history.
Auburn faced fourth-and-15 and a nine-point deficit against Alabama when Nix rushed in as an emergency replacement for the injured Stan White. There was no time to warm up or run a play or two to settle his nerves. He needed to come through immediately. Nix dropped back and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass, and the Tigers went on to win 22-14 to cap their 11-0 season.
"A lot of people might have been nervous or uptight," Conrad Nix said. "He knew it was God's time to put him in. He was prepared for it."
That night, after the celebration finally ended, Patrick and girlfriend Krista Chapman returned to Jordan-Hare Stadium and sat alone in the student section, soaking it all in. Both of them knew how big it was. They'd been Auburn people all their lives.
Auburn bred and born
Nix, the son of Auburn graduates, knew he wanted to quarterback the Tigers from the day he saw his first Iron Bowl as an elementary school kid. By the time they met, Chapman was a Tigerette, an official Auburn football hostess. And when they got married, her father was such a big Auburn fan he wanted to delay the wedding until after Patrick's senior season so as not to interfere with Patrick's football.
Nothing stopped Patrick though. Through high school and college, he played through every injury, never missing a game, said his mother, Patsy Nix.
"I fell coming down a hill at Auburn," she said. "He played, and his mama had knee surgery."
Conrad and Patsy Nix wanted Patrick to be a dentist or an engineer so he could have a high-paying job with plenty of security and stability. He chose engineering. He liked math because each problem had a solution he could find and prove was right, and he found the answers all the way through Calculus 4. But by his second year at Auburn he knew he didn't want to be an engineer. Rusty, while still in college, had become the wide receivers coach for his dad. Patrick wanted to get into the family business, too.
"I think we knew all along that was what he was going to do," Patsy Nix said.
Others saw a natural fit.
"If he doesn't make in [the NFL], he'll be cheating himself and some young people if he doesn't become a coach," Auburn quarterbacks coach Jimbo Fisher told the Birmingham News in 1995.
All offensive early
Nix proved early in his coaching career that he had the offensive mind to put up big numbers. At 25, he was passing game coordinator at Jacksonville State when Montressa Kirby broke or tied 14 school passing and total offense records. At 27, he was a second-year head coach at Henderson State when Chris Reil and Chad Luttrull set Gulf South Conference records of 579 yards passing and 352 yards receiving in a single game.
One problem: Henderson State lost that game 42-40 to Arkansas Tech.
Nix has a better defense to work with this fall, but he also has a different attitude.
"Our goal is to win games. That's the bottom line," Nix said. "We can win 2-0 or 49-48. That's my philosophy. When I was 26 and the head coach at Henderson it was to set records and have fun and have this explosive offense and all that. We did it, but we forgot to do one thing, and that was win games."
Sometimes the defense needs a rest and the offense needs to run some time off the clock, not throw deep. Sometimes avoiding a turnover is smarter than running a riskier play that gives you a better chance to score. Sometimes a sure field goal will give you all the points you need.
"Patrick has gained an understanding of seeing the team concept of what you have to do to win," Tech coach Chan Gailey said.
Before this season, Gailey called the plays, except in the two-minute offense. Nix ran that, with great success in the 2004 upset at Clemson but with an embarrassing failure in the 2004 loss to Georgia, in which Reggie Ball threw the ball away on fourth down, thinking it was third down.
Gailey could have made Nix a scapegoat after that game. Instead, he stuck by him. He believes in Nix, too.
Career switch was natural
Tech special teams coach Charles Kelly was a graduate assistant when Nix was at Auburn, worked with Nix at Jacksonville State and worked for Nix at Henderson State. He said Nix didn't stop calculating when he switched his major from engineering to secondary education. Kelly calls Nix "analytical" and said regardless of the score, the time remaining, the down and distance or the personnel, Nix will be so well-prepared "he will have gone over it in his mind 1,000 times."
"He's one of those guys who's going to study, study, study," said Bill Burgess, who hired Nix for his first coaching job at Jacksonville State.
But it's not all about numbers and schemes. It's about people. And Nix excels at that part of the job.
Last year, when meningitis made Ball a late scratch for the Connecticut game, Nix was careful not to spook replacement Taylor Bennett, who had never taken a college snap.
"He tried to keep it as mellow as possible so I wouldn't get freaked out," Bennett said. "He came up to me and told me, 'You're starting. Go in and do your job. Let's win and go home.' He really didn't make it a big deal in hopes that I wouldn't get freaked out and go out there and choke."
Bennett's first play was a touchdown pass, echoing Nix's 1993 experience against Alabama. Tech won 28-13.
Nix isn't always so mellow; he's intense and demanding and knows exactly what he wants.
"He wants it done right," Burgess said. "There's one way to do it, and that's the right way."
Although Nix doesn't swear and rarely yells, he demands his players' attention with steely eyes and no-nonsense instructions delivered at close range.
"Too close," Bennett said. "He'll get in your face and let you know."
Molded after father
That part of Nix comes from his dad, who's in his 39th season as a coach, currently at Northside-Warner Robins.
"They are very much alike, very focused, very ... hardheaded is not the word, but in a lot of ways they know the right way to do things, and they want everybody to be on the same page as they are," Rusty Nix said.
Patrick Nix has some of his elementary school teacher mother in him, too. When he meets a prospect's parents he shows his softer side, the fifth-grader who made his mother a needlepoint cross she still puts on her Christmas tree every year, the college quarterback who'd sometimes hold mom's hand for a second as he passed by on the Tiger Walk to the stadium. That tenderness helps make him one of Tech's most effective recruiters.
He brings the same work ethic to recruiting he brought to becoming Auburn's quarterback. Four years ago, when Krista was pregnant with their third child, Patrick spent so much time calling and writing to one hot prospect the Nixes joked Caleb's first words would be "Kenny Scott."
Caleb's brother, Bo, 6, spends Friday nights the way his father and his uncle once did, on Conrad Nix's sidelines and team bus. Bo's not quite ready to join his dad at Tech games, but although Patrick can't always bring his family to work he can bring his faith. Just as he did as a player, Nix chooses a part of the Bible to study every week of the season. It could be a verse, or a chapter, or an entire book that becomes part of his twice-a-day devotionals.
Those readings will be as important to him on Saturdays as any other part of his game-week preparation. They give him a clear head, a positive outlook and the self-assurance that he's on the right track, whatever happened on the previous play.
"That's always been very comforting for me," Nix said. "You don't even have to think about it [during the game], and it's there."
 

dirty

EOG Master
#75
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Irish mysteries challenge Tech defense

By MATT WINKELJOHN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/26/06 The guessing game is under way at Georgia Tech, where the Yellow Jackets know some of what to expect from Notre Dame in their Sept. 2 opener, but not everything.
Second-year coach Charlie Weis has said the Irish will expand their repertoire on offense, and suggested his defense will be more aggressive and deeper, too.
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> That makes it tricky for Tech's offensive line, where injuries to three starters recently cut into their shared practice time. Every injured starter on both sides of the ball is practicing, but some are still limited.
Center Kevin Tuminello thinks the fact that four offensive line starters return will help.
"We've worked with each other, and we have the mental reps. We just have to get the physical reps," he said. "I feel that come Sept. 2, we'll be ready. It's the first game, so you really don't know what they're going to throw at you. We'll be working some things out as they happen."
Reserve defensive end Michael Johnson has been practicing, but coach Chan Gailey said, "We kind of need to wait to the first of the week to see where we are with him. That's a guy we're monitoring real close."
Wide receiver Smith
to see a lot of action
Douglass High graduate Greg Smith hasn't unseated senior Chris Dunlap for the No. 3 wide receiver spot, but he'll play plenty.
"Calvin [Johnson], James Johnson and Chris Dunlap, they're my top three, but Greg Smith, he'll play a lot at different positions," said wide receivers coach Buddy Geis. "I feel good about those four right now. They'll rotate a lot."
It won't take an injury to someone else for Smith to get on the field. "He's going to play," Geis said. "He's too valuable to me. He has the size I like. He's a 6-3, 200-pound redshirt freshman that I like a lot."
Evans likely to spell
Choice and Grant
Gailey said he'd usually use two tailbacks in a tight game, but freshman Jamaal Evans is likely to play against Notre Dame ? and not just on special teams.
The coach said, "I bet if the heat's what it is, he'll get a series or two" in place of starter Tashard Choice and backup Rashaun Grant.
 

dirty

EOG Master
#76
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Jackets Host No. 2 Notre Dame in Season Opener National stage in Atlanta with primetime telecast, ESPN Gameday<!-- remove this block --><script languange="javascript1.2"> procad("http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/CSTV.GEOT/SPORTS.MFOOTBL.SPECREL;pos=promo66;sz=120x60;dcopt=ist;",0); </script><!--begin adver tag--> <script src="http://ad.doubleclick.net/adj/CSTV.GEOT/SPORTS.MFOOTBL.SPECREL;pos=promo66;sz=120x60;tile=4;dcopt=ist;ord=7560233738427281?" type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript1.1"></script>
<noscript><img src=http://ad.doubleclick.net/ad/CSTV.GEOT/SPORTS.MFOOTBL.SPECREL;pos=promo66;sz=120x60;tile=4;dcopt=ist;ord=7560233738427281?"> </noscript> <!--end ad tag--> <!-- end block --> Aug. 27, 2006
Complete Release in PDF Format
ATLANTA--Georgia Tech opens the 2006 football season by hosting second-ranked Notre Dame on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field.
The Yellow Jackets also welcome the national stage to town as the game will be nationally televised on ABC (WSB-TV Channel 2 in Atlanta) as the debut of the new ESPN on ABC primetime series. ESPN College Gameday will originate from the Tech campus throughout the day.
Tech is no stranger to strong non-conference schedules after opening last season with a 23-14 victory at 15th-ranked Auburn.
Georgia Tech enters the 2006 season unranked but receiving votes in both polls. Tech is coming off a 7-5 record in 2005, including a 5-3 mark in the ACC, as the Yellow Jackets posted their ninth straight winning season and earned their ninth consecutive bowl bid despite playing one of the nation's toughest schedules. The season was highlighted by victories at 15th-ranked Auburn and at third-ranked Miami.
In head coach Chan Gailey's fifth season on the Flats, Tech returns eight starters on offense, led by all-America wide receiver Calvin Johnson and three-year starting quarterback Reggie Ball. On defense, the Jackets welcome back five starters, led by defensive tackle Joe Anoai and linebackers KaMichael Hall and Philip Wheeler. Former all-ACC placekicker Travis Bell also returns.


Notre Dame, ranked second by the Associated Press and tied for third in the coaches' poll is regarded as a national championship contender.
"If you don't get excited to play a game like this, then something's wrong," said Gailey. "This is why you come to college, to play in big ballgames like this.
"It is isn't just another game, but at the same time, it's one of 12 on the schedule."
The Fighting Irish's high-powered offense is led by quarterback Brady Quinn, wide receiver Jeff Samardzija, and running back Darius Walker.
"He a great football player," Gailey said of Quinn. "Not a good football player, but a great one. I'm very impressed with his accuracy and his decision-making, and those are the two most important attributes for a quarterback.
THE SERIES VS. NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame leads the series, 26-5-1, but Georgia Tech captured the last meeting with a 35-28 victory in the 1999 Gator Bowl that capped a 10-win season for the Yellow Jackets. One year earlier, Tech travelled to Notre Dame to open the 1997 campaign, but the 11th-ranked Fighting Irish won, 17-13.
Notre Dame is making its first visit to Tech since 1980, when the Jackets stunned the nation's No. 1-ranked team with a 3-3 tie. The Tech quarterback that day was a freshman walk-on, Ken Whisenhunt, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jackets also defeated Notre Dame in Atlanta in 1976, knocking off the 11th-ranked Irish, 23-14, without throwing a single pass.
At No. 2 in the Associated Press poll, Notre Dame will be the highest ranked team that Tech has faced since a 2000 matchup with Florida State at Bobby Dodd Stadium when the Seminoles were ranked second (FSU won 26-21). The last time Tech met a higher ranked foe was also against Florida State as the Jackets fell at top-ranked FSU, 41-35, in 1999.
ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY RETURNS TO GEORGIA TECH
ESPN College Gameday makes its second appearance at Georgia Tech. The popular program, featuring Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Chris Fowler, first visited Georgia Tech on Oct. 24, 1998 as the Yellow Jackets hosted Florida State. The Gameday crew was also in the house for Tech's trip to Virginia Tech last fall.
TECH IN SEASON OPENERS
Georgia Tech has a record of 78-31-4 in season openers. The Jackets won at 15th-ranked Auburn, 23-14, in last year's opener and have won six of their last seven season openers, with the lone loss coming at Brigham Young, 24-13, in the 2003 opener.
Tech is opening its season against Notre Dame for the fourth time. The Jackets opened at Notre Dame in 1939 (lost 17-14) and 1997 (lost 14-13) and hosted the Irish for the 1974 opener. That year, Tech fell, 31-7, to a second-ranked Notre Dame team in a game that was played on Monday night on ABC.


TECH SEASON OPENERS VS. TOP 10 TEAMS
1994 Arizona (7/8) hL 14-19
1991 Penn State (7/8) nL 22-34
1982 Alabama (4) hL 7-45
1981 Alabama (4) aW 24-21
1980 Alabama (2) aL 3-26
1979 Alabama (2) hL 6-30
1974 Notre Dame (2) hL 7-31
1961 Southern Cal (9) aW 27-7
</pre> SIX WINS OVER RANKED TEAMS UNDER GAILEY
Georgia Tech defeated two nationally-ranked teams last fall, both on the road. The Jackets opened the season with a 23-14 victory at No. 15 Auburn, then knocked off third-ranked Miami, 14-10, at the Orange Bowl.
Tech's wins over Miami and Auburn give the Jackets six wins over ranked teams in four seasons under head coach Chan Gailey. Five of the six victories have been on the road.
In 2004, Gailey's Jackets won at 18th-ranked Clemson, 28-24, and at 23rd-ranked Maryland, 20-7.
In 2002 in Gailey's first season on the Flats, the Jackets won at eighth-ranked NC State, 24-17. In 2003, Tech knocked off No. 17 Auburn, 17-3, at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
Tech has defeated at least one nationally-ranked team each of the last 11 seasons.
BELIEVE THE HYPE
Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech's sensational wide receiver, enters his junior season as one of the nation's top players. A two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, he earned first-team all-America honors last fall. He is the preseason choice as the ACC Player of the Year as well as a preseason all-America.
Johnson already ranks among Tech's all-time leaders with career totals of 102 receptions, 1,725 yards and 13 touchdowns after just 24 games. Over the last two seasons, he has accounted for 38 percent of Tech's passing yards and caught 13 of the team's 29 touchdown passes, despite facing constant double and even triple teams. In addition to his 102 catches, he has drawn 16 pass interference or defensive holding penalties.

Career Receiving Yards Years Yds
1. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 2,907
2. Kerry Watkins 1999-02 2,680
3. Harvey Middleton 1994-97 2,291
4. Jonathan Smith 2000-03 2,238
5. Dez White 1997-99 1,833
6. John Sias 1966-68 1,727
7. Calvin Johnson 2004- 1,725

Career Receptions Years Rec

1. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 195
2. Jonathan Smith 2000-03 174
3. Kerry Watkins 1999-02 171
4. Harvey Middleton 1994-97 165
5. Will Glover 1999-02 122
6. Bobby Rodriguez 1989-92 115
Jerry Mays 1985-89 115
8. Robert Lavette 1981-84 114
9. John Sias 1966-68 110
10.Calvin Johnson 2004- 102


Career TD Receptions Years TD

1. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 24
2. Kerry Watkins 1999-02 22
3. Dez White 1997-99 14
3. Buck Martin 1950-52 14
3. Gary Lee 1983-86 14
6. Harvey Middleton 1994-97 13
6. Jimmy Robinson 1972-74 13
6. Greg Lester 1987-91 13
Calvin Johnson 2004- 13

</pre> WROTTO, CLARK ON THE MOVE
Mansfield Wrotto is a three-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, but the senior moves for his final campaign from defensive tackle to offensive tackle.
The 6-3, 310-pounder started 32 games over the last three years at defensive tackle. Last fall he had 4.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks.
Wrotto had originally moved to offense in the spring of 2005 but he returned to defensive tackle over the summer. This time, the move is for good and he will be Tech's starting right tackle. He is both the veteran and the rookie of the offensive line - he is the only senior on the line, but the Jackets return starters at the other four positions.
Conversely, moving from offense to defense is junior Pat Clark, a backup at wide receiver the last two years who is now at cornerback, where he could earn the starting berth.
TOUGH SLATE
For the second year in a row, Georgia Tech likely will begin and end the season with non-conference games against nationally-ranked teams.
The Yellow Jackets open the 2006 season by hosting second-ranked Notre Dame at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field and conclude the fall at Georgia, currently ranked 14th. Last fall, Tech opened at Auburn, which the Jackets defeated 23-14, and ended by falling to Georgia, 14-7.
NEW FACES IN THE LINEUP
New faces will be most prominent in the secondary, where Georgia Tech must replace three starters. Junior safeties Djay Jones and Jamal Lewis will be making their first career starts. The Jackets will also have a new starter at cornerback in Pat Clark or Jahi Word-Daniels, although Clark started one game last year at wide receiver.
Elsewhere on defense, linebacker Gary Guyton, defensive end Darrell Robertson and defensive tackle Darryl Richard are first-year starters, but each has made at least one career start before this season.
On offense, the only first-time starter is sophomore wide receiver James Johnson. On special teams, Tech has new faces in punter and holder Durant Brooks and long-snapper Bret White.
A CASE FOR THE DEFENSE
Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta has built one of the nation's top defenses over the last two seasons. Tenuta's unit has ranked in the Top 25 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense each of the last two seasons, including 13th against the run both years.
Over the last two seasons, the Jackets have held 10 teams below 275 total yards, including Miami (237 in 2005), Georgia (226 in 2004; 266 in 2005) and Maryland (82 in 2004)
NO ROOM TO RUN
Twenty-five times in 50 games under defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta, Georgia Tech has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing, and the Jackets are 18-7 in those games.
Since the start of the 2003 season, Tech has allowed an average of 102.9 rushing yards per game and held 20 of 37 teams below 100 yards. The Jackets ranked 12th nationally in 2003, allowing 100.5 yards per game, then 13th in 2004 at 104.6 yards per game, and 13th again in 2005 at 103.9.
CONSISTENT SUCCESS
With a 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference record in 2005, Georgia Tech finished with an ACC record of .500 or better for the 11th straight year. The only other ACC school that can make that claim is Florida State, which has posted a winning ACC record each of its 14 years in the league. Clemson has the next longest current streak with seven straight years of .500 or better in the ACC.
Georgia Tech is one of just seven schools in NCAA Division I-A to post a conference record of .500 or better each of the last 11 years. The others are Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Southern Mississippi, Toledo and Miami (Ohio).
Since 1997, Tech has won more ACC games (44) than any school except Florida State (62).
LEWIS RETURNS TO TECH
Notre Dame's visit to Georgia Tech marks the return of former Yellow Jacket head coach Bill Lewis, now the assistant head coach (defense)/defensive backs coach for the Fighting Irish.
Lewis spent three seasons as the Tech head coach, compiling a record of 11-19 from 1992-94. He had previously spent two years (1971-72) as a Tech assistant coach under Bud Carson and Bill Fulcher.
Lewis and Tech head coach Chan Gailey served two years together on the Miami Dolphins staff when Gailey was the offensive coordinator (2000-01).
NFL LEGACIES
Two current Yellow Jackets are the sons of former NFL players.
Redshirt freshman safety Jake Blackwood is the son of long-time Miami Dolphin defensive back Glenn Blackwood (1979-87). Jake's uncle, Lyle Blackwood, also played for the Dolphins (1981-86), as well as Cincinnati, Seattle and Baltimore.
Freshman quarterback Byron Ingram, a likely redshirt, is the son of Brian Ingram, an NFL linebacker with the New England Patriots (1982-86) and San Diego Chargers (1987).
COACHING CHANGES
Georgia Tech welcomes two new assistant coaches to its staff this season. Special teams coordinator Charles Kelly comes to Tech from Nicholls State, where he served as defensive coordinator. New tight ends coach Jeep Hunter joins the Yellow Jackets staff after coaching the running backs at Memphis, where he worked with all-America D'Angelo Williams.
Another change for the Tech staff this year is that head coach Chan Gailey has turned over the offensive play-calling duties to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Patrick Nix.
BALL'S "FEETS"
Quarterback Reggie Ball has moved into second place in career rushing yards by a Georgia Tech signal caller, trailing only Joe Hamilton. Among all players, he ranks 28th on the Yellow Jackets' career rushing list.
Ball, who was sacked only eight times last season, is one of just 11 quarterbacks in ACC history to rush for 1,000 yards. He currently stands ninth in league annals in rushing yards by a QB.

Career Rushing Yards by Tech QB Years Yards
1. Joe Hamilton 1996-99 1,758
2. Reggie Ball 2003- 1,097
3. Danny Myers 1973-75 921
4. Shawn Jones 1989-92 855
</pre> CHOICE CUTS
The Georgia Tech backfield graduated three-year starter P.J. Daniels, the fourth leading rusher in school history, but the Yellow Jackets have a more than capable replacement in junior Tashard Choice.
Choice transferred to Tech from Oklahoma in 2005 and backed up Daniels last fall. He actually started in place of an injured Daniels in Tech's win at third-ranked Miami, when Choice rushed for rushed for 84 yards on 29 carries and scored the Jackets' first touchdown in the 14-10 victory.
For the season, Choice was Tech's second-leading rusher with 513 yards and a team-high six touchdowns.
Choice rushed for a career-best 107 yards on just 15 carries and scored two touchdowns in Tech's win at Duke. Earlier against Connecticut, he had 89 yards rushing and two touchdowns. In 2004 at Oklahoma, Choice totalled 100 yards on 22 carries while playing behind Heisman Trophy finalist Adrian Peterson.
BALL ENTERS RARE AIR
Quarterback Reggie Ball has entered "rare air" on Georgia Tech's career passing charts. With 6,308 career passing yards and 46 touchdown passes, Ball is in the company of all-ACC honorees Joe Hamilton, Shawn Jones and George Godsey. He ranks third in Tech history in passing yards and total offense and fourth in touchdown passes and touchdown responsibility.
With 7,405 yards of total offense, Ball trails only Hamilton and Jones, both of whom finished their respective careers as the ACC's all-time leader in total offense.
In ACC annals, Ball currently stands 16th in total offense and 19th in passing yards.

Career Passing Yards Years Cmp-Att TD Yards
1. Joe Hamilton 1996-99 629-1020 65 8,882
2. Shawn Jones 1989-92 652-1217 51 8,441
3. Reggie Ball 2003- 491-986 35 6,308
4. George Godsey 1998-01 484-765 41 6,137

Career TD Passes Years TD

1. Joe Hamilton 1996-99 65
2. Shawn Jones 1989-92 51
3. George Godsey 1998-01 41
4. Reggie Ball 2003- 37


Career Total Offense Years Yards TDR

1. Joe Hamilton 1996-99 10,640 83
2. Shawn Jones 1989-92 9,296 70
3. Reggie Ball 2003- 7,405 46
4. George Godsey 1998-01 6,137 47

</pre> BELL LOOKS TO RING TRUE AGAIN Junior placekicker Travis Bell looks to return to the all-conference form of his freshman season after enduring an up-and-down sophomore campaign.
Bell was remarkably consistent as a freshman, when he was an all-ACC selection and a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award. He hit 15-of-17 field goals, including a school-record 15 straight in 2004. The former walk-on made his first five of 2005, giving him 20 of his first 22 field goals, but then his struggles began. He missed his next six field goals, then made five in a row before missing four of his last five.
Still, Bell is 26-for-38 in his career for a field goal percentage of .684, third best in school history. He also ranks eighth in Tech annals in career points by kicking and 17th in career scoring with 136 points. He is a perfect 58-for-58 on extra points for his career.
</p>


http://ramblinwreck.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/082706aab.html
 

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EOG Master
#77
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

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EOG Master
#78
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

GEORGIA TECH REPORT
Defense adjusts with Henderson gone

By MIKE KNOBLER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/29/06 Eric Henderson forced four fumbles last season, just one less than the rest of the Georgia Tech team combined. Henderson also led the team in sacks despite sitting out a third of the games.
So who will fill that big-play role on the defensive line now that Henderson is gone?
<!--endtext--><!--endclickprintinclude--><table align="left" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0" width="175"></table><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--begintext--> "Leadership-wise, Eric did such a tremendous job for us, and that's where your seniors come in, and we have a good one in Joe Anoai that has provided that leadership not just now, but since Eric left and through summer workouts," Yellow Jackets line coach Giff Smith said. "We've always approached it in our room that no matter who is there and not there we play as a family, and people have to rise and pick up the slack. I don't think it's necessarily one person. It could be multiple people making tackles for losses like Eric did to set the school record [of 59.5 in his career]."
Tech has depth on the defensive line; six to nine linemen could play in Saturday's game against Notre Dame. But backup end Michael Johnson might have to sit out the opener.
"I still expect big things from Michael this year," Smith said. "His upside is tremendous. We just want to make sure that he's at his physical best to get on the field. Hopefully he'll be there [against Notre Dame]. If not, he'll be there soon."
If Johnson is out, Smith might have to rotate one of his tackles to back up at end. Fortunately, they've had practice at the position while Johnson and starting end Darrell Robertson were hurt this preseason.
"We'll mix and match and make sure our best guys are out on the field at the same time," Smith said. "That part doesn't concern us."
Convert still touches ball
Pat Clark has made such a rapid transition from receiver to defensive back he might start Saturday night. But that doesn't mean Clark had to give up his taste for toting the football and putting moves on defenders. He'll get to do that as Tech's punt returner, a job he also held last season.
"Any time you can get your hands on the ball, as I was accustomed to as an offensive player, it's good," Clark said. "As a defensive back you're trying to get your hands on the ball. As a punt returner you have a chance to get your hands on the ball and make something happen with it. So it's all fun."
Clark returned five punts as a freshman and 30 last season, when he averaged 6.4 yards per return.
"I think I'll be tremendously better [this season]," he said. "Last year was my first year doing it full time. I saw the different situations that were involved with it. Protecting the ball, that's the most important thing, maintaining ball security."
Said Tech coach Chan Gailey: "I think he's a lot more mature than he was last year in all phases of the game. I think he'll do a good job back there. He's a lot more aggressive than he was the first two years."
Nix shows his old touch
Patrick Nix doesn't show off his quarterbacking skills very often these days, but he had a just-for-fun throwing competition against No. 3 quarterback Kyle Manley in practice last week. Nix won handily.
Asked about it later, Nix did anything but trash talk.
"As long as we keep it close distances I'm OK," said the man who still holds the Auburn record of 34 completions in a game.
Irish tough in openers
Tech has won six of its past seven season openers and is 78-31-4 all-time. But the Yellow Jackets are 0-3 in openers against the Irish, the most recent being a 17-13 loss at Notre Dame in 1997.
 

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EOG Master
#79
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Tech-Irish always classic

By Furman Bisher | Tuesday, August 29, 2006, 07:19 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Furman Bisher

It might seem that, for all the furor about us, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame are breaking new ground this weekend, but the truth is, these two have been at it on the football field since the ?Four Horsemen? were sophomores. You remember, I?m sure, Grantland Rice?s immortal lyric in 1924, composed in the icy press box of the Polo Grounds, ?Outlined against a blue-gray October sky the Four Horsemen rode again.?
Not famine, pestilence, destruction and death as in lore, but Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden, the Irish backfield that beat mighty Army. Two weeks later, Notre Dame would win its 200th football game, and the victim was Georgia Tech. In 1928, on its way to the Rose Bowl, Georgia Tech would get its first taste of victory over the Irish, 13-0, in Atlanta. It would be 14 years before it happened again, this time in South Bend, and it was one of those games that still lingers lovingly in the minds of Tech historians. The star of the 13-6 game was a freshman, Clint Castleberry, though he never scored one of Tech?s two touchdowns, a freshman All-American who lost his life flying a bomber during World War II.
When the two teams played 11 years later, Georgia Tech was unbeaten and riding high after a national championship season. South Bend rocked. The day was dour and chilled, and the game was close until a high snap and a blocked punt turned matters the Irish way. However, something happened at halftime that is best recalled. When the Notre Dame team came back to the sideline, their coach, Frank Leahy, never came with them. When it was called to the attention of Charlie Callahan in the press box, Notre Dame?s information director, Charlie said, ?Oh, no, can?t be.?
But it was, and checking with the sideline, he found out that Leahy had suffered some kind of seizure in the locker room. The game went on without him, but it would turn out to be Leahy?s last season, though unbeaten.
On a snowy day in 1959, Georgia Tech upset the Irish in South Bend when Bobby Dodd had to dig into his reservoir of quarterbacks and came up with Marvin Tibbets, who?d been raised less than 10 miles from the campus. Tibbets came off the bench, scored both touchdowns in a 14-10 game. It was the last time Tech has won in Notre Dame Stadium.
Then there was the ?Rudy? game of 1975, when Notre Dame?s celebrated benchwarmer, Rudy Reuttiger tackled Georgia Tech?s Rudy Allen for a sack on the last play of another defeat for the Jackets. After which the Irish Rudy parlayed his nondescript career into a movie. Then came an improbable game the next season in which Georgia Tech beat the Irish at Grant Field without throwing a pass. It was Gary Lanier?s day, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound quarterback from Savannah, who executed Pepper Rodgers? wishbone offense to perfection, and you can still find Gary around, raising money for the Alexander-Tharpe Fund.
Now comes the most unlikely game of them all. 1980. Notre Dame came to Grant Field ranked No. l. Georgia Tech had beaten only Memphis State, and would not win another game. Meanwhile, all eyes were centered on Jacksonville, where the Georgia-Florida game was on. That was the Buck Belue-Lindsay Scott game. Every guy wanted to cover that one. Nobody wanted to cover Tech-Notre Dame, but 41,266 paid to watch an astonishing event. Johnnie Smith kicked a field goal in the second quarter and Tech led, 3-0, until the last four minutes, when Harry Oliver kicked a wobbler that cleared the crossbar and the Irish were lucky to get away with a 3-3 tie. All the while, Georgia Tech quarterbacks had fallen like flies, until Bill Curry was down to his fourth, or maybe fifth number, a freshman named Ken Whisenhunt, later a Falcons tight end, and now offensive coordinator of the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
?All I told him to do was keep order, don?t try anything foolish and remember you?re not Johnny Unitas,? Curry said.
The two teams have met in one bowl game, the Gator Bowl of 1999, nothing of any great distinction about that one, except that Tech did win, 35-28, with 70,790 paying witnesses.
There has been a somewhat now-and-then flow of personnel traffic between the two states. One of the ?Four Horsemen,? Don Miller, was an assistant to Bill Alexander at Georgia Tech in the 1920s, but retired after four years to go into law practice. Harry Mehre, the ?Four Horsemen?s? first center before they became ?Four Horsemen,? came to Georgia as coach from 1928 to 1937, whereupon, he later said, ?They tore up my lifetime contract and declared me legally dead.? And Bill Lewis, who has coached at both Georgia and Georgia Tech, is now an assistant at Notre Dame.
It was early in 2002 that Notre Dame reached down to Georgia Tech for a new coach to follow Bob Davie, and thus developed an embarrassment to both the new employee and school. For less than a week George O?Leary was football coach at Notre Dame, a likely fit of Irish coach for the Irish. Then when it became public that his record as player and career were not what they seemed, he resigned, Notre Dame blushed and moved on, and both O?Leary, at Central Florida, and the Irish, with Charlie Weis, have done quite well since. Strange thing, that a fellow could go to Notre Dame, not play the game that nearly defines the school, and wind up as coach.
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EOG Master
#80
Re: Georgia Tech Football Information Thread for the Upcoming NCAA Football Season

Against ND: Pass, pass, pass

By Mike Knobler | Monday, August 28, 2006, 03:55 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
OK, so you?re Patrick Nix, and you?re making your Division I-A play-calling debut, on national television, against Notre Dame, in front of a full house at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Assuming you?re not backed up against your own goal line, what do you do with your first series?
Do you play to the ?get the ball to Calvin? crowd by throwing to Calvin Johnson on the first play? Do you come out in a formation Georgia Tech hasn?t used, to show that, yes, things will be a little different? Or do you ease into things by handing the ball to Tashard Choice?
My best guess: A not overly ambitious pass against a defense that ranked 103rd in the nation in pass defense last season, followed by some more passes. The running comes after it?s set up by the pass.
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