Well, here we go

There are now two weeks and a few days before the season-opener against Jacksonville State.

During the previous two weeks there has been one major injury (Jaybo Shaw’s broken collarbone), and a few surprising performances from freshmen (Stephen Hill, Orwin Smith, Robert Godhigh) in the Saturday scrimmages, as well as more of the good stuff from the veterans (Josh Nesbitt, Jonathan Dwyer, Marcus Wright, Sedric Griffin). 

We know about the injuries that other teams have sustained (Virginia Tech’s Darren Evans) and, even after a summer of reading, ACC predictions and theories still don’t mean much.

But, as it pertains to Georgia Tech, based upon what you’ve seen and read the past two weeks, pick who you think will start the opener on Sept 5. at as many positions as you want, and why.

Starting Monday, practices are now closed so I won’t be able to provide you the same stuff as before, but I’ll still do my best to give you the best coverage of Georgia Tech’s football team.

82 comments Add your comment

GT...

August 16th, 2009
9:13 pm

GT...

August 16th, 2009
9:14 pm

How bad will tech beat UGA this yeat? Will CPJ run the score up?

AlabamaRamblinwreck

August 16th, 2009
9:18 pm

Doug: Will there be a fan blog this year on the ajc.com?

The Avid Cabiner

August 16th, 2009
9:23 pm

…and we appreciate that. You have done an outstanding job Doug. But as for picking starters, my response to that is…at this point im thinking about everyone staying healthy and hungry. I’m pretty confident with the way Coach Johnson has cleared up some questions on the depth chart, as well as addressed some of the mental aspects, i.e effort, mental toughness, discipline. You are only as strong as your weakest link. And a coach like that understands that, and rides his team hard and stays on them even through the heat. He’s got this group of guys right where he wants them to be. “This ain’t his first rodeo.” It’s all a part of a plan, and Tech fans should be very excited.

TDone

August 16th, 2009
9:36 pm

Why is the Mr. College Football blog only on the UGA site?

JJ

August 16th, 2009
9:37 pm

Hard nose running football. GT is going to pound other teams into submission.

Give ‘EM HELL Tech!
THWG!

TDone

August 16th, 2009
9:37 pm

Why if I want to read a Tony Barnhart column on Tech, I have to go to the UGA site?

Max Sizemore

August 16th, 2009
9:50 pm

The Barnhart blog is on the ajc.com/sports website which, I believe, is the primary AJC sports site.

Joe Schmoe

August 16th, 2009
10:08 pm

Skill positions offense: QB:Nesbitt, B-back:Dwyer, A-back; Rjones and toss up between Wright and Allen, WR:Bey-Bey, and Hill on talent. The O-line is up in the air, but enough depth to get a way better line than last year.

Defense: DE;Morgan and Hall, DT; Anderson and Peterson (Note, one of these positions will be TJ Barnes after the Clemson game.), MLB Since Kyle Jackson may not be back do they slide Griffin over, and put Anthony Barnes at the other LB spot?, If they are still using the wolf then Taylor is there. S:Burnett and Reese, CB: Butler and fight between three (Reid and Tarrant, which Reid may win initially.)

GTPUG

August 16th, 2009
10:34 pm

Here is my starting “O” and “D” for Sept. 5th

“O”
QB – Nesbitt
RB – Dwyer
RB – Peeples
RB – Allen
WR – Thomas
WR – Hill
T – Sellers
T – Barrick
G – Gilbert
G – Howard
C – Voss

“D”
DE – Morgan
DE – Hall
DT – Barnes
DT – Peters
LB – Taylor
LB – Griffin
LB – Jefferson
CB – Butler
CB – Tarrant
S – Burnett
S – Reese

“TO HELL WITH GEORGIA”

GaTech Steve

August 16th, 2009
10:56 pm

I love the fact that our fans finally are passionate again. However, let’s not put the cart before the horse. We have beaten UGA once this decade. Let’s put a winning streak together before we start declaring state supremacy.

AA

August 16th, 2009
11:58 pm

There’s a new sheriff in town, Steve.

Ed-Covington

August 17th, 2009
12:40 am

Doug:

“Spring games”? Duh! Do you mean scrimmages? How’s that UGA Journalism degree working out for you? Just kidding; thanks for the blogs, always good info and knowledgeable bloggers. THWG!

Cuttysark

August 17th, 2009
12:46 am

The team is still competing for several positions, but it all comes down to everyone doing their part when they are in the game. This system rotates lots of players in and out of the game, on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The starting team is for the insert in the program. Ultimately, who really cares if a starter scores a touchdown, or a third team A-Back. It is all about winning the game and winning a championship.

Go to isportsweb.com for more Georgia Tech Football articles. Go Jackets!

doug

August 17th, 2009
1:41 am

Seriously, do you even read these blog posts once before posting? Just curious. None of the mentioned freshmen played in the spring, though I am not quite sure what “spring games” are. They did report to fall camp though, which occurred in August (summer, for the record).

JACKETfan

August 17th, 2009
1:51 am

QB- Nesbitt
BB- Dwyer
AB- Jones
AB- Allen
WR- Thomas
WR- Melton
T- Claytor
T- Barrick
G- Gilbert
G- Howard
C- Voss

DE- Morgan
DT- Anderson
DT- Barnes
DE- Hall
LB- Griffin
LB- Jefferson
Wolf- Taylor
SS- Burnett
FS- Reese
CB- Tarrant
CB- Butler

JACKETfan

August 17th, 2009
1:56 am

My post with the lineup is my ideal lineup, but with injuries (Jones, Claytor) Marcus Wright and Brad Sellers would take those positions in my lineup

7-5 again

August 17th, 2009
8:03 am

Shaw’s injury will be huge. Nesbitt won’t be able to run this offence without getting dinged up some and we will collapse… at least 3 times this year. Our D will average giving up 30 per game if we can’t control the clock.

techman98

August 17th, 2009
8:24 am

Shaw’s injury won’t hurt us as much as many think. Even assuming that Nesbitt will get dinged up and be out of some games, Tevin Washington has been looking good and will get even better with the increased reps. I was at the spring scrimmage and the scrimmage on Saturday, and TW will be ready if/when needed. I feel bad for Shaw and wish him a speedy recovery, but the drop-off between him and Tevin are not as great many seem to think.

BANDWAGON

August 17th, 2009
8:43 am

My wagon is full now buy tickets for your home games you bunch of fair weather fans.GEORGIA is going to pound your beloved patsies into a new decade.Don’t cry you are used to it.By the way i’m a GATOR.

BANDWAGON

August 17th, 2009
8:51 am

The reason I make these post is because you and the rest of the acc.schedule the weaker SEC teams to help make your pathetic conference look better.Well the rest of the world and the BCS.know better.Try scheduling UF,LSU,ALA.We UF fans would love to invade your cracker box.

staff fan now

August 17th, 2009
8:55 am

gator fans negative comments are automatically deleted. They are only visible to gators.

@Steve. Two in a row is coming and then…..infinity!

Geori

August 17th, 2009
8:58 am

Stephen Hill needs to start. If he starts, it becomes much more of a gamble to put 8/9 in the box. Furthermore, in passing situations, the safety can’t cheat to BeBe Thomas’ side.

Jacket Rambler

August 17th, 2009
8:58 am

Those SEC schools you mentioned are too scared to schedule Tech, go ask them yourself. It’s no secret that nobody really wants to play Tech and The Wreckbone. You can delude yourself all you want, but reality stings. If memory serves me right, the mighty Gators lost to one of those “weaker SEC” teams… Your argument is illogical and tired, now go cut your mullet and stone wash those jeanshorts, it’s fall in Florida!! BTW, Tech has scheduled Bama, if they don’t bail out…

Buzz Belle

August 17th, 2009
9:01 am

BANDWAGON-Longhorns are going to eat your clock! By the way,I’m a JACKET!3
THWG

Doug Roberson

August 17th, 2009
9:01 am

Where you see Tony on the site depends upon his topic. If he’s writing about the ACC, you will see him on the main page of sports, as well as Tech’s channel. If he’s writing about the SEC, you will see him on the main page of sports, as well as UGA’s channel, etc. etc. etc.

And I cleaned up the spring games comment. Thanks for catching that….

So yall have Tarrant beating out Rashaad Reid, and Voss beating Bedford, and one of you has Hill beating Melton.

Keep ‘em coming.

GA Tech Insider

August 17th, 2009
9:06 am

BANDWAGON; Paul Johnson has attempted to schedule Urban Meyer and the Gators, but they have refused.

Urban Meyer had sought out Paul Johnson as he developed his spread option passing offense, and he has said that he wants no part of Paul Johnson’s offense to try to defend.

Perhaps we’ll be able to see them play in a bowl game one year; maybe even this year. I can assure you; the Jackets won’t let last year’s Chick-fil-A fiasco be repeated, no matter what anyone of the naysayers are about to say.

You can all have your extra month to prepare, my friends. We’ll see what happens after this bowl year and then we can talk about the results.

GT Rich

August 17th, 2009
9:27 am

QB- Nesbitt
BB- Dwyer
AB- Wright (no need to rush Jones’ recovery)
AB- Allen
WR- Thomas
WR- Hill
T- Claytor
T- Barrick
G- Gilbert
G- Howard
C- Voss

DE- Morgan
DT- Anderson
DT- Barnes (because it is Jax State)
DE- Hall
LB- Griffin
LB- Jefferson
Wolf- Taylor
SS- Burnett
FS- Reese
CB- Tarrant
CB- Butler

Might as well throw Hill and Barnes into the line up against Jax State. See what they can do. If Barnes isn’t consistent or Hill can’t hold blocks on running plays, then bring in the subs quickly.

BANDWAGON

August 17th, 2009
9:28 am

You guys are delusional.The gators play all these SEC teams you have on your schedule every year,and they are prone to step it up in big games good luck you will need it.We never take these teams for granted.UGA is the most important game in the east side of our conf.and is a tuff game every year.

Joe Schmoe

August 17th, 2009
9:28 am

If Hill is not starting, then he is on the bench. If he is on the bench it is because we redshirt him. No need to waste a year of his tallent. The diffrence between Melton and Hill is huge. Also believe if it wasnt for last years benching of Tarrant, he would have already been the starter.

carolina jacket

August 17th, 2009
9:35 am

Great job Doug. Look forward to your posts. There is no need for Tech to imitate our Athens brethren. Their rivalry means only counts for 1 game a season. Tech is in the ACC. In time an exciting and winning team in Atlanta will sell tickets. The future looks bright.

RAMBLE ON!!!

August 17th, 2009
9:40 am

Mr. College (sic) Football says Jaybo injury is huge, which it’s not. He doesn’t know any better since he only pays attention to the SEC.

It’s not good, but, Washington did very well in the spring game and the drop off is not bad…if Barnyard knew anything about the ACC and GT, he would/could tell you.

GT vs. Miami…I got a round trip ticket to Ft. Lauderdale for 115.00…less than 30 minutes (not miles) from the stadium…

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!!

Fly down Thursday, South Beach on Fri., come back Saturday…DO IT!!!

superDawg

August 17th, 2009
9:42 am

Well mr.gaytur its ok to bash tek and the acc. but we don’t need your help beating tek.nerds.Yes the UGA game is tuff 2-3 last five years.GO DAWGS.

superDawg

August 17th, 2009
9:46 am

STAFF FAN.Infinity is once every decade for tek.

Baba O'Riley

August 17th, 2009
9:46 am

BANDWAGON is a UGA fan. UGA is a “tuff” game every year for Florida? Nice try.

gte268p

August 17th, 2009
10:11 am

Hey fellow Tech fans, I just want to point out that Tech has not beaten uga only ONCE this past decade. We have beaten them TWICE. Yeah, it really doesn’t matter, but let’s get our facts straight. uga didn’t even show up for the game in 2000 against George Godsey and gang. I sure wish I had a video of the 33 yard slowest quarter back keep option run to the endzone ever!

I’ve noticed this numbers mistake quite a few times in these blogs and wanted to clear it up.

SUNNYSIDE

August 17th, 2009
10:38 am

After reading these post about who starting at wideout i can tell no one saw a practice in person

Ramblin Wrecker

August 17th, 2009
10:49 am

QB – NESBITT
BB – DWYER
AB – JONES
AB – ALLEN
WR – THOMAS
WR – HILL
OT – CLAYTOR
OG – GILBERT
C – VOSS
OG – HOWARD
OT – BARRICK

DE – MORGAN
DT – BARNES
DT – PETERS
DE – HALL
LB – GRIFFIN
LB – JEFFERSON
WOLF – TAYLOR
CB – BUTLER
CB – TARRANT
S – BURNETT
S – REESE

A couple of caveats. If Roddy Jones’ wrist is not ready to go, then Marcus Wright would get the call at A-Back. Stephen Hill has created buzz at the WR spot, and I’ve not really heard boo from Tyler Melton. Melton might be the starter just because he’s got experience in the system, but I think Paul Johnson doesn’t blink about putting freshmen in there if they are the best option (no pun intended) at a particular position. I know he’s on record as saying that ideally you’d redshirt all freshmen, but starting his program here he’s had to ignore that rule because of the scholarship probation, transfer attrition after Gailey’s firing and just poor quality at certain positions. WR was probably the weakest position of all (with only Bey-Bey Thomas as a worthy starter). So Stephen Hill stepped on campus and was (in my opinion) the second best receiver on the team before he’d been coached one snap. I think Hill plays and this offense will augment its passing game this season to blow opponents away. Then Johnson can recruit more WR’s and redshirt them for the next couple years as Thomas and Hill light it up.

I was diappointed, like everyone else when I heard about Jaybo Shaw’s injury. He’s the best backup QB I know of, because he stepped in and the offense got better the two weeks he played (miss st & duke). So when Nesbitt came back, the offense became more explosive. Shaw’s contribution was invaluable. Nesbitt could get dinged up for a few plays and the game did not go down the drain with Shaw in there. But on the other hand, Shaw did have some trouble holding onto the ball. And from what I’ve read and the video of the spring game that I watched, Tevin Washington was pretty effective, and seems to have a better handle on the ball than Shaw. Now Shaw I think runs the offense better (sometimes better than Nesbitt), but I think Tevin brings a lot of the same talents to QB that Nesbitt does, and he had the added advantage over Shaw and Nesbitt of watching this offense for a whole year without the added pressure of learning on the job. So I think he’ll produce enough to fill in for Shaw well.

sunnyside

August 17th, 2009
10:50 am

After reading these post it obvious none of saw a practice in person. Hill is not ready to start.

Hayseed Dixie

August 17th, 2009
10:56 am

A multi-part question, Doug.

We keep hearing about the O-Line not even knowing what they were doing last year.

Do you get the sense that this has changed? If so, what will be its primary and immediate impact: more big plays, more consistency, better passing game?

With so many guys taking reps, will we have a rotating cast of o-line characters (possibly confusing the defense even more) or will CPJ settle once he’s found something that works?

No Homer Football

August 17th, 2009
10:59 am

I think we see Allen and Jones at the A-back positions, however, I expect Wright to get many snaps because of Jones’ injury and how good Wright with and without the ball. I expect Stephen Hill to be starting by the season’s end. Now does that mean he will start as an 18 year old, like Calvin? I don’t know. It depends alot on the coaches’ philosphy as well. I don’t see Tyler Melton holding the starting job for more the 6 games.

On defense I think the top 15 are:
Coop, Burnett, A. Barnes, TJ Barnes, D. Morgan, Reese, Butler, Terrant, Reid, Jason Peters, Ben Anderson, Anthony E., Sed, Robert Hall, and the Gladiator. I think the Sylvestor man sees some good playing time as well.

http://accgtsecuga.blogspot.com

Doug Roberson

August 17th, 2009
11:05 am

Most excellent questions, hayseed. Thanks.

My answers will be cribbed from various conversations with linemen and coaches from the summer, as well as from the August practices:

Yes, I do get the sense that the line is much more confident this falls. They know the schemes, the fundamentals, the calls and the wrinkles on calls that they didn’t know last year.
The result could be all the things you mentioned: more big plays and less bad plays. As for the passing game, that’s going to depend on the pass blocking, which is a bit different than the run blocking. It looked better in Saturday’s scrimmage, but they are still working on it.

As for the rotating cast, Johnson said last Saturday that can see the team actually rotating in two different offensive lines this year to keep guys fresh and to wear down the defensive lines and linebackers.

Sunny, I’m curious to know why you think Hill isn’t ready to start?

BS Patrol

August 17th, 2009
11:51 am

Bandwagon is most definitely a scote licker. Understandably he doesn’t want to admit it. Riding UF’s coattails again.

BS Patrol

August 17th, 2009
11:52 am

That’s scrote.

R&D

August 17th, 2009
11:58 am

Experience sometimes is wonderful but not always. If it was the cure for all, the Japs would have won the battle of Midway.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

August 17th, 2009
12:05 pm

Doug: Please answer my question regarding whether or not this website will continue to have a “fan/alumni” blog like last year???

Thanks…

big dawg 89

August 17th, 2009
12:23 pm

7-5, how is that going to sit with ya?

time to start another 7-8 year run…

oh, when do y’all go to gardner-webb for the home and home????

Doug Roberson

August 17th, 2009
12:42 pm

Sorry, Alabama. I’ve asked my friends in our digital department. I hope to get an answer soon.

Doug Roberson

August 17th, 2009
12:51 pm

Yes, it’s back and should have a link on the front soon

ExecutiveStinger

August 17th, 2009
12:56 pm

QB – Nesbitt
B-Back – Dwyer
A-Backs – Jones and Allen (Cox, Wright, Peeples, and maybe Smith rotating)
WR’s – Thomas and Melton (Hill a close 3rd, I think those 3 plus Sims and Cone will all play significant downs)
OT – Claytor
OG – Howard
C- Voss, but I’m pulling for Bedford
OG – Gilbert
OT – Barrick
(Looking forward to the fresh legs of P. Smith, Uzzi, Sellers, and Bedford to pound the D-line)

DE – Morgan
DT – Anderson (With Peters rotating in)
DT – Barnes (With Walls rotating in)
DE – Hall
LB – Jefferson
LB – Griffin
WOLF – Taylor
CB – Butler
CB – Tarrant (Reid very close)
S – Burnett
S – Reese

PK- Blair
P – Anderson

Not until I filled this out did I realize how many players I didn’t include. I hope that speaks to our quality depth and the number of guys who will see the field and do different things for the team.

Among freshmen, I think Hill, Thomas, Smith, Dieke, Cross, Sweeting, Lanier, and Luallen all have chances to play, but if we can, I hope all of the redshirt except for Hill and Dieke. Lanier may be the only other exception there.