Archive for August, 2009

A little bit of love

I know that yall only read ajc.com for all of your sports news, :) , but I happened to glance at a couple of other sites today.

What do you know, Georgia Tech has suddenly become the favorite in the ACC, according to CNNSI.com’s Stewart Mandel. He predicts the Jackets to make it to the Orange Bowl.

But wait, there’s more.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit confirmed Mandel’s vote (a little jab at ESPN’s practice of confirming already-published reports. As if ESPN confirming it validates the legitimacy of the news), and also said that Tech is going to make it to the Orange Bowl.

I thought y’all would be interested….

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Coach Paul Johnson was asked if he had any memories of his first season-opener as an assistant coach at Avery County high school in 1979. He said he didn’t, though he joked he may have had a mohawk.

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If you have any questions about the team, I’ll check back at 1:30 or so tomorrow. 

As always, follow me on twitter …

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Monday, Monday

First, I hope yall got a chance to check out the package online and in print about some of the interesting majors that the football players have: http://www.ajc.com/sports/jackets-dogs-excel-in-the-classroom-127164.html

I’ll say this, after reading the course descriptions for those classes, I don’t know how in the world anybody graduates from college anymore. Of course, you know the old joke about journalists and math classes.

I also hope you enjoyed the special section previewing the college football season that was in Sunday’s paper. 

Anyway, we’re six days away from the first game (depending upon when you read this). While I was at an outing Sunday afternoon, someone asked which player is going to make the most improvement this season.

My answer: Josh Nesbitt.

Johnson has said as much over the summer, and then he added last week that Nesbitt played the last half of last season with a bad ankle.

Based upon the improvement the offenses have shown between years 1 and 2 at …

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The calm…

Just one more practice before it’s game week.

Let me repeat that.

That.

Just kidding.

Just one more practice before it’s game week.

And it appears a few of you are excited as well. 

26,200 season tickets have been sold compared to last year’s 23,900.

And, judging from what was going on after practice on Thursday, the GTG mafia will be back this season. They were doing some of the stuff that they do at Callaway Plaza. I’ll be curious to see their final results.

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As you’ll see in the notes from Thursday’s practice, Roddy Jones had a new, lighter cast put on his right wrist. He said it will be on there for another week or so, and that he’s targeting the Clemson game for his return.

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Brad Jefferson said the linebackers are looking good, and are ready to hit somebody else beside their own teammates. I’ll have a bit more on Jefferson in Tuesday’s paper.

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So do you have any gameweek or gameday superstitions that you must start on …

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Records (or CDs) were made to be broken

With the talk from the players and coaches about how much better the offense is going to be this season (and I believe it will be based upon some research that will appear in Sunday’s college football preview section), I got to wondering which Tech records could be broken this season.

So, starting at page 136 in the very fine media guide put together by Dean Buchan in the Institute’s Sports Information Department, I’m going to list a few that could go kapppplooooooeeeeeyyyyyy (I don’t know how to insert an audio file into a story).

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Before we begin, this is all off-the-top-of-my-head stuff.

Most Net Rushing Yards, Season: 1,562 set by Eddie Lee Ivery in 1978. I can see B-back Jonathan Dwyer busting that one.

Most Touchdowns Rushing, Game: 4, set by several. I can see quarterback Josh Nesbitt, Dwyer, or one of the A-backs taking over that one.

Most Touchdowns Rushing, Season 19, set by Robert Lavette, 1982. You-know-who could take that one.

Most Rushing Yards by a …

Continue reading Records (or CDs) were made to be broken »

ACC basketball schedules and you

Well, as it has always done, the ACC quietly released the 2009-10 basketball schedule today.

I’m not sure why the conference doesn’t make a bigger deal out of the schedule of its marquee sport. I would think the build-up would be pretty danged interesting, at least in terms of people talking about college hoops just before college football and the NFL take over until January.

But, as I’ve said many times, what the heck do I know?

Anyway, in talking with Paul Hewitt today he discussed how the pending trip to the Great White North will help his Jackets.

He said that the three-game exhibition tournament in Canada that the team will play Oct. 2-5 will help him continue to evaluate the returning players, as well as the freshmen. NCAA rules allows teams 10 extra practices when they play in an international exhibition. Those practices will start on Sept. 19.

 

“I’m anxious to see what kind of impact will the Canadian Tour and these 10 practices have on the team for the rest of the …

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A few changes

Summing up what I wrote for the notebook that is now on ajc.com, there were a few personnel changes that have occurred on Tech’s team: 

Freshman defensive tackle J.C. Lanier looks like he’s going to redshirt this season because of his injured shoulder. Coach Paul Johnson said that he was likely going to redshirt anyway.

Freshman defensive end Izaan Cross has made the two-deep depth chart at defensive end. Defensive line coach Giff Smith said that, as of right now, Cross would be the only freshman to play on the line. I’m not sure what that means right now for Emmanuel Dieke, who was on the first two-deep depth chart released a few weeks ago, or Euclid Cummings.

 Lastly, and interestingly, Quentin Sims has moved over to quarterback in the wake of the injuries to Jaybo Shaw and Jordan Luallen. The team needed another quarterback considering they were down to three, but Sims was expected to compete for playing time at wide receiver this season. He ran the offense during the …

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Tech and the Associated Press poll

Georgia Tech debuted at No. 15 in the college football poll on Saturday.

Coach Paul Johnson has very strong feelings about the preseason polls. He said at the team’s media day three Saturdays ago that if it were up to him the polls wouldn’t come out until after the third week of the season.

He theorized that if a team starts outside the top 10 and loses a game, it’s unnecessarily difficult to make it all the way back to Nos. 1 or 2 by season’s end. He said that’s one of the reasons he doesn’t vote in the coaches’ poll.

I asked him afterward if he thought a team that started around 15 and went undefeated could make it to the title game. He couldn’t see why not, but it’s along way to go.

Personally, I think the coaches’ poll is a bizarre concept to begin with. It’s the equivalent of potentially having best friends or enemies comprise your jury, so to speak. Throw in the oft-made arguments about time spent researching other teams to place them accordingly, ethical issues, etc. …

Continue reading Tech and the Associated Press poll »

You say it’s your …

birthday.

Ok, well you didn’t say that. But I did. 

For those who didn’t know, and sure most of yall did, coach Paul Johnson turned 52 on Thursday.

So, before we get to other stuff, I wanted to ask yall about cool gifts related to your favorite team. What’s the coolest Georgia Tech-related gift you’ve ever received or given, and why?

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And, on to other stuff. In the practice report you may have read that Demaryius Thomas missed practice with a couple of injured digits. I wouldn’t sweat it. He’s been playing with since injuring it at the start of August. He’s just being held out as a precaution. 

In other news, Kyle Jackson got to do some conditioning drills with the team today. I believe it was his first day getting to participate.

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Somebody asked for an update about Roddy Jones in the previous blog. Johnson said today that Jones’ cast will be coming off Monday.

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Someone also asked for an update on J.C. Lanier. He missed at least one practice earlier this …

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At the halfway point

Ok, it’s been 15 days since practice started, and it’s another 15 until the season-opener against Jacksonville State.

What have we learned? Plenty, though how much of it is relevant to what could happen this season remains to be seen.

The offense, all three units, appears to be clicking well, from what we’ve seen in 11-on-11 drills.

T.J. Barnes seems to have flicked a switch during the past week or so and could be a difference-maker on the defensive line.

There are a lot of players who started in last season’s last game that may be on the bench in 2 1/2 weeks.

There are several freshmen, including wide receiver Stephen Hill, defensive ends Izaan Cross and Emmanuel Dieke, defensive back Jemea Thomas, and A-back Robert Godhigh who will likely see snaps this year.

There should be more big plays this year from the running game and passing game, if history is any indication.

Jonathan Dwyer looks as explosive as he was last year.

Derrick Morgan looks like he’s going to be a beast, …

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Let’s try something different

Practices are now closed, so I’m not able to give you the same information that I was able to give you the previous two weeks. I wish it were different, but compared to other coaches’ policies regarding practice access, Johnson is being very generous, so I’m not going to complain. 

I spent the time that I would have spent watching practice working on a piece for the pending special section (please buy and read) that will come out later this month. The piece is a position-by-position look at the team, consisting of an overall outlook, and then two categories: what must go right, and what could go wrong. Both are hypothetical analyses based upon returners, injuries, opponents, history, etc. 

It was a fun exercise and got me to thinking even more about the depth the team has at most positions. The largest question mark I had was at linebacker. And that question mark has nothing to do with the Brad Jefferson and Sedric Griffin, it had more to do with what happens if they miss …

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